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1997 ranger trail truck build! UPDATED She got rolled and I bought it back for $231


Naddanme

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Thanks! And I am still rocking 3.73’s they have done fine but I do use 4 lo fairly often when off road, if I could find a really good deal on a 4:10 rear end with disk brakes or a FX4 lvl 2 with the Torsen LS I would probably just regear the front to 4:10, but ideally I would like to go to 4.56 gears, which from what I have read are about perfect for 33’s.
3.73 and 33’s are plenty doable, I do have a front locker and use Lo range when really off, that set up hasn’t let me down yet but 4.10 would better and 4.56 would be ideal.
Not to thread Jack but this is what I just did. I’m running 255/75/17 tires (about 32.6” actual) they work pretty good but I’m was a little disappointed in change. Think of it this way 3.73 to 4.10 is going from 3,000 rpm to 2700 rpm. Your not gonna notice a lot of difference 10% lower. That being said only time it’s an issue for me Is if I’m going over big rocks on an up hill grade. You really need to ride the clutch( 5 spd). My next set of tire is going to be 285/75/17 (33.7). I can only get away with that though because of such a light truck 95 reg cab w/ fiberglass Step side bed and 4.0 with 5spd intake elec. fan UD pulley etc. moral of the story go with 4.56 if you possibly can. Especially if you have an auto ext. cab which weights 10% more than my truck. Hope this helps sorry to interrupt.
 


USCGC130

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Well its with a heavy heart I have to say that I rolled my ranger up here in Alaska, I came around a corner on some black ice, got spun backwards and then had a fairly slow roll over and ended up on the roof. I'm broken hearted after all the work I put into it, insurance classified it as a "total loss" but like most of us on here would, I BOUGHT IT BACK!!! Insurance said it was only worth $ 231 in scrap so it was a no brainer. It was upside down for about 45 mins, my buddies and I tried to roll it back with their winches but the ice made it impossible, even the tow truck guys struggled for awhile. After being upside down for 45 mins the engine got hydro locked with oil after I tried to start it, so I pulled the plugs and pumped the oil out and it fired right up, albeit, smoking like a banshee!

The bad news is it needs a whole new cab and I'm in Kodiak, a small town on an island south of the mainland so options are very limited, the junk yard had no good donors and I'm still searching out on some options but the couple I did find are very rusty. so for now I'm not sure what I'm going to do. But the truck is still mine and now since its mainly a toy and not a daily driver I can mess with it even more. With the insurance money I have to get my wife's spare vehicle shipped up here which will run about 2k and then most of the rest is going to go back to the ranger. After I get it drivable again ( with a new cab) i'm thinking about attempting to regear it myself to 4.88's add a rear locker (probably E locker) in addition the the front Aussie locker I already have in it and then going to some 35" mud tires for around here, also adding a front winch bumper, slider and maybe an EXO cage if I can find a good rust free cab. Nothing is in stone yet though, just a ton of brain storming.

So if it were you guys, building an off road toy that is still technically street legal, with the long term goal of taking it back to the lower 48 west coast what would you guys do if you had lets say $ 4,000 to put into your truck? I'm not going to SAS it, if I ever do a full build it will be on an SUV so I can wheel with kids someday. oh also I have access to a nice tubing bender and welders to that will make building things a bit easier.here are some pictures on the carnage, wish I had a cooler story for it.


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Uncle Gump

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First off... glad everyone is OK.

Secondly... for $231 you just had to buy it back.

I'd probably kick the windshield out... hammer me out some head room and go see what it will take. Absolutely no fear of body damage.

I would try to find a truck with a good body and a blown engine for cheap.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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If it was me? I'd cut the top of the cab off and replace it with a donor. Those rust buckets up there....what do the tops look like?
 

85_Ranger4x4

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The problem with dragging a cab out of the JY... no title.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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The problem with dragging a cab out of the JY... no title.
I bet that's not so much of a problem up there. I think there is much less government over oversight there.
 

JMF661

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Well gosh dangit. 😔
 

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I bet that's not so much of a problem up there. I think there is much less government over oversight there.
I vacationed in Alaska for 2 weeks when I was 7.

Back then, it seemed like Alaska didn't have any sort of inspection requirements... a meaningful amount of vehicles we saw driving around were in worse shape than half the stuff we have sitting in junkyards up here. Smashed windshields, missing doors, bald tires.. it was wild.

I'm sure nobody would care If he bought a new cab and put his existing vin number on that one lol.
 

dvdswan

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Glad you're ok. Looks like the tents ok too.
 

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Uncle Gump, thank you for the concern, luckily it was me and a buddy and not my wife, and it was a slow rollover. I will try to straighten the cab up as best I can, I'm really not touching it too much until insurance pays me, but ill see what the hammer and maybe a jack and some wood blocks can yield me for fixing the roof. I've put out a wanted add for a parts truck but well see what happens its not too big of a town but there are a few rangers here.

If it was me? I'd cut the top of the cab off and replace it with a donor. Those rust buckets up there....what do the tops look like?
I like the way you think, this seems like an absolute possibility, I actually floated the idea to some buddies here about that since I can find doors and a decent roof fairly easy plus my little 110 welder will work about perfect for that. The hard part will be getting it good enough to make a new windshield fit. I saw on your thread that you actually did the same thing to an older ranger, so if that's what I have to do I may hit you up for some tips and lessons learned. almost every truck here is freaking rusted to bits. plus a roof swap will make the whole matching VIN thing a non issue, even though I doubt anyone here would even check, but if I go back to the lower 48 it could possibly come up.

85Ranger- That's a good point that I didn't even thing about, but if I have to cab swap it then so be it and ill just have to figure it out.

Blmpkn- There are some pretty questionable trucks here, actually there was a ranger here for awhile that I use to see that definitely should not be on the road but it was getting around everywhere! ill attach a picture below, I'm sure the cops finally got that one off the road, but what a testament to the ranger! Also you're right if I swapped VIN plates no-one would ever know lol

dvdswan- the tent was completely undamaged! The only thing was a little bit of fuel got on the mattress but I washed the cover and am going to thoroughly was the mattress and it will be good as new, I was about to sell that thing anyways, ill get top dollar for it up here and really won't use it too much.

Thanks for all the input and ideas, I hope I can get it back road worthy by this summer and really look forward to making it a 90% of the time trail truck

IMG_9691.jpg
 

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Too bad @rusty ol ranger isnt around to see that pic...
It would make him jealous....lol.
 

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Get out your sawzall, make a “ranger roadster”. I rolled this ‘97 reg cab 3.0 auto 2wd longbed. Drove it this way a few times. No 1st in transmission but would do awesome burnouts- with 3.45’s even!
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phone pics 020.jpg


Mine bounced back from that... blew 3 beads (old tires... happened easy), cab was pushed back, windshield frame wasn't in the right shape, pulled the roof skin (metal headliner, no access) to straighten it, pulled both fenders to straighten them, took a porta power to the cab to push it back into shape, took some measurements from another Ranger cab to get the windshield opening the right dimensions, that was like 11 years ago now... mine landed on the side and was only on the side for like 5 minutes before that blue Jeep rolled me back over... heck, I was like 300 miles from home and drove that there, got sand in the seatbelt buckle so had to cut it, drove it home...
 

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Yeah.....I would smash it out and run it....or pop a new top on.....and a cage..


Way too good of a rig.
 

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