• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' the posts that you read.

1997 ranger 4x4 trail truck build! UPDATED finally offroad with video


ericbphoto

Old Redneck just wingin' it.
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
6,842
Reaction score
3,659
Points
113
Age
56
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
ill feel much more comfortable wheeling harder with out the risk of permanently jamming a door closed,
What you talking bout, Willis?

20190907_150721.jpg
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 4FF3E9EEA14805 Expires: October 1st, 2020

Jim Oaks

Administrator
Administrator
Founder / Site Owner
Article Contributor
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 2, 2000
Messages
10,725
Reaction score
2,933
Points
113
Location
Roanoke, Texas
Vehicle Year
1996 / 2019
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
Been there, done that. It got the bottom of my door too.

@USCGC130 you should definitely stop in at Ruffstuff if you haven't been there before. I was there in 2019. Great bunch of guys.


Be sure to say hello to Morgan.


I'll have to watch for your rock slider project and see how it works out. I need some on TRS-2.
 

ericbphoto

Old Redneck just wingin' it.
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
6,842
Reaction score
3,659
Points
113
Age
56
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
I'd love to buy some that somebody engineered for my truck. But I'll probably just do a home brew. Before the final decision, I'll compare material prices with "store-bought" prices.
 

USCGC130

Member
U.S. Military - Active
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
98
Reaction score
67
Points
18
Location
sacramento
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"

USCGC130

Member
U.S. Military - Active
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
98
Reaction score
67
Points
18
Location
sacramento
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
Been there, done that. It got the bottom of my door too.

@USCGC130 you should definitely stop in at Ruffstuff if you haven't been there before. I was there in 2019. Great bunch of guys.


Be sure to say hello to Morgan.


I'll have to watch for your rock slider project and see how it works out. I need some on TRS-2.
Jim, ive been to ruffstuff For a couple quick visits just to grab parts, they are super friendly! I got my Ubolts from them along with some premade gussets, just to keep on hand.

funny you mention morgan I follow him on IG and message him once in awhile, his ranger is almost identical to mine. He did A great winch bumper build and actually installed one of the first prototype sliders from ruff stuff on his truck, they even feature them on the site as one of the slider pics for the 60” set up even though he has the 84”. I think for 84” pre cut slider kit I’ll end up spending about 400$ but still not bad, and worth the time saving for me. I plan to do bolt on kens though, I don’t like welding to a frame if I can avoid it

here is the link with Morgan’s picture but under their armor page they have a 72” set and say they can make longer ones too

 

USCGC130

Member
U.S. Military - Active
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
98
Reaction score
67
Points
18
Location
sacramento
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
I
I'd love to buy some that somebody engineered for my truck. But I'll probably just do a home brew. Before the final decision, I'll compare material prices with "store-bought" prices.
I would probably do home brew too if I didn’t have ruffstuff so close. I have a buddy who got some built for a tundra and he spent over 1200$ Installed.... that’s crazy to me, but he also spent 1200 on lights before doing any real offroad mods.. I think he does it for the gram lol
 

ericbphoto

Old Redneck just wingin' it.
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
6,842
Reaction score
3,659
Points
113
Age
56
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
damn!! Thank you for the reassurance that I should definitely get them lol

does that door open at all? Or do you just NASCAR It through the window?
The door opened and closed fine. I got lucky. I have pulled most of that bend out of it.

Rocks are tricky. They randomly jump up out of the dirt and attack your truck right at the exact time that you cringe and think "oh no. This is gonna hurt."
 

mtnrgr

Active member
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
256
Reaction score
84
Points
28
Location
California
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
6" Skyjacker, with 1.5" coil spacers, custom radius arms, custom traction bars
Tire Size
31x10.50
My credo
Lord God is my guardian
Truck looks great, and love the off road adventure. Had those spacers installed on my ranger a few weeks ago. Stance is much better than the other spacers I had on there. Thanks again.
 

PNW Paul

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
38
Reaction score
48
Points
18
Location
Grit City
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3" New Torsion Keys, Added Rear Leaf Springs (Suspension Only)
Tire Size
285 75R 16
Great build and video - - really like the set-up and mods, well done.

Didn't notice brand name on your RTT support - - seen some of the uber-expensive versions from Yakima, etc., did you fab them yourself or are they from another company?

Those Ruff Stuff sliders look good, and that's a great price. . . Went a different route for mine from "Rocky Road Outfitters", but twice the price (plus shipping!).
Rock Sliders (JUN 20).jpg
Slider-passenger Full (JUL 20).jpg


Awesome job, keep up the great effort.

Paul
 

USCGC130

Member
U.S. Military - Active
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
98
Reaction score
67
Points
18
Location
sacramento
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
Thanks for all the kind words and a big thanks to Jim for featuring the truck on the TRS homepage, it really means alot to me that others like what ive done. So the sliders are on the back burner right now, i had a clicking/clanging noise from my driver side front wheel and decided ill do all my ball joints since all but one seemed to be original, and while i was doing those i figured ill just replace all the steering joints before i go get an alignment since the place i trust to do it right is kind of expensive. so i dropped my slider money on getting all that fixed and glad i did because i did find my driver side lower ball joint bad and am thinking that was the clanging noise. Im also going to flush my power steering fluid, its pretty dark and i have good fullsynthetic ATF around from my tranny replacement so while its down and the steering is off, ill get that done too.

i was having some annoying AC issues liek constant hot air barley coming from the feet but here in sacramento it would get the truck hot in a hurry, i knew my blend door was broken, but max AC worked except when i put a big load on the engine, like climbing hills and freeway runs. I noticed i could never get my heater control valve to move and didnt have a vacuum going to it, so after i removed the blend door and swung it in the other direction, presto! my heater control valve would close and cut hot fluid to my heater core in max AC, so anyways i think the blend door will fix most ( hopefully all) of my A.C issues so i have a new door in and plan to just cut the bottom triangle out and go that route.

PNWPaul- i really like the low profile and clean look of yours, even if they cost a bit more, plus i would love the weigh savings of something like yours, but i think ill get something with just a bit more outter protection, i know my jeep buddy will get me into some shit and ill be thankfull i have them, but that being said i like the look of yours more than the bigger ones.

MTNRGR- im glad those spacers worked out for you, they were still in good shape, and im glad they went to a good home and TRS member.

ERICBPHOTO- im sure ill learn much more about those jumping rocks soon lol. i cannot belive that door still works, it looks like it was a HARD hit!
 
Last edited:

USCGC130

Member
U.S. Military - Active
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
98
Reaction score
67
Points
18
Location
sacramento
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
5.5"
I got the blend door fixed yesterday, it was really pretty straight forward and only took maybe 90 mins to get done with exception the the actuator back screw, for the life of me i could not get it in, i had to have tried 50 times, fished the screw out with a magnet half of those and i could get it in the hole but couldnt get it started, even with a 1/4 ratchet i couldnt get enough of a turn to start it, i even tried the old taping it into the socket, but nothin! so finally the last attempt the screw got lost and could not be located so i said forget it, ill just run it with the front 2 and see how it goes. but it was so stisfying to finally have temp control and that now when i got to MAX AC it will actually cut off coolant to the heater core. The wife didnt complain at all last time as we had to roll witht he windowns down even when it was 90 degrees out, but i know she will be much happier now with out that heat radiating from the floor boards.

BTW i did get the dorman kit with the metal upper insert and to install i cut the bottom triangle out of the plenum with a dremel, for anyone else who does it make sure you do not cut the bottom reccess where the blend door bottom pivot point sits. i saw some amazon reviwers or a youtube video saying to cut there and that is just plain wrong!

besides the back screw the 2nd "hardest part" was getting the old door out, i used a screw driver to break off what i coult from the top of the door ( the portion that sticks out of the plenum) and then used a hack saw blade to saw downa nd weaken what i could so i could break the very top part of the door off to have enough room to pry it down and out. But the back screw absolutley kicked my ass and i hate to toot my own horn but at work i am pretty good about getting things back together and out of tight spaces.

i also got the power steering fluid changed out, i just did the old lazy turkey baster way and drained the reservoir, refilled with fresh fluid, ran the steering through from lock to lock a few times and repeated about 4 times, it looks much much better!

i got new motocraft tierod ends that are greasabe and now im just waiting on the inner tie rods and the adjusting sleeves, i probably could have used the old ones but i just wanted all new.

does anyone know, are the inner link joints ( the one to the pitman arm and the one that connects the drag link) replacable or do you just buy the whole assembly? obviously i got the whole assembly but its weird i didn't see those joints anywhere sold separately.
 

RamblerRyGuy

New member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
1.9 TDI
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3 inch
Tire Size
33’s
My credo
Graduated one of the top in my class for automotive technology at Sinclair College, Ohio.
Ive been trying to build up my recovery gear so i bought some X-bull recovery boards (Maxtrax knock offs) this video sold me on them for my kind of offroading, i dont for see myself using them to bridge gaps, MAXTRAX Vs XBULL I also got a steal on a almost new Viair 300 pump with an ARB tire deflator for 90$ for both and then met up with Freedom Ropes (a local california company making Kintetic ropes, so i wanted to support them and they are american made) so i got a 1"x30' kinetic rope with 2 soft shackles rated at like 40K lbs breaking strength, the rope is a beast so it should hold up for a long time with my little ranger.
I have a couple sets of the X-BULL traction boards and I absolutely love the things. I cracked one because I came down hard on one as it was bridging a small gap, but in its defense, it was about 20 degrees F out at the time. I still use the cracked on though along with my other 3 boards. They’ve gotten me out of some hairy situations. At $60-$80 they’re not a bad price either.
 


Top