2002 minitruck in progress


superdog299

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Upstate NY
Vehicle Year
2002
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Ford
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2.3
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
My friend says it's cool, does that count?
When I first located this truck, she was 100% stock, including the blown motor. The previous owner, seemingly not understanding coolant, fried the motor and attempted to "fix" it themselves, blaming the lack of power and smoking exhaust on the thermostat. Swapped it out for another 2.3 from a 2005 ranger, which we had to mill the head on to flatten it. Only a couple thou, but could add a miniscule amount of power to the whopping 142 or something the 2005s had stock. The next day we made a 2.5 hour round trip to pick up a motorcycle for my brother, problem free.

The stock steel wheels and tires were both trash, and since it was already late fall by that point I threw on a set of aluminum 15s from another ranger with some new winter force tires (would highly recommend for snowy areas)


Next, the little things. A new third brake light lense, taillights out of (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) a 2008 ranger, and bedliner on the bedrails and front bumpers. Obligatory stickers for added HP. Here you can see my rusted tailgate and bedfloor. I regularly spray down both with fluid film, to stop the spread.



Next came more toying with lights, this time adding some blue accent lights to the headlights, putting LEDs in all the way around, and installing blue strobes in inside the headliner. I'm a volunteer firefighter in NY, with a permit to run these, so they're legal.



New shoes! 18" x 9" mamba wheels, with a 5x5.5 bolt pattern. Ordered some 1.5" thick adapters to the ranger bolt pattern. 245/45R18 Riken raptor ZR. Kinda cheap off brand of michelin, but they're one of the best tired I've used.



Shortly after this, I shipped out for boot camp. Big hold on the project. I already had a 3/5 drop kit on the way, as well as a flowmaster 60 Delta exhaust. This, btw, is probably the best sounding exhaust I've heard on a 4cyl ranger, with the stock cats. Side exit exhaust was installed just before I left. While I was having my ass kicked at Parris island, my brother gave me a treat - he installed the kit for me. (Head mechanic and now shop manager at our local Ford dealership, not too difficult a project for him) The only thing that needed to be changed were the upper control arms, which he replaced with those of a mustang. Alignment was needed right away, and there's a decent amount of camber up front. Might change that in the future.

I actually never got to see it lowered on those wheels, because right after that winter came and the snows were put back on. Still like the way it sits though.

Sits low enough that we had to take the front mudflaps off, and any tiny bumps (or even body roll on hard turns) makes the rear scrape. Gonna have to pull them, or at least trim.

Got a little bit done on leave after boot camp. Lund trifold tonneau cover, shorty antenna, and some nice blacked out headlights. Blue accent lights look a lot better with these.

That's about how she sits right now, but covered in a lot more snow. I've been in Florida since January, so I haven't been able to do much of anything with her. I do, however, have a lot planned out. Parts I currently have include;
Honeycomb grill+surround
-Black Ford emblem
-Taller hood (off a newer model year)
-New tailgate, rust free
-17 x 8 wheels, to be next year's snows
-1gal of color matched paint -for hood, tailgate, and anything else that ends up needing it
-obdII Bluetooth scanner
-low profile transmission support cross member

In the future I plan on installing individual bucket seats, a center console, and various other cosmetic/comfort/performance mods

I still need a name for her!

I can give links to parts if anyone's interested.

She might not be the best, but I'm proud of where she's at.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 57CD9601BD5AB4 Expires: July 1, 2019

1qaz

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Manual
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NIce job. Love the stance.

Semper Fidelis

BTW you could name her FiFi.
 

superdog299

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2002
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Automatic
My credo
My friend says it's cool, does that count?
Thanks!
I also have a few ideas I've been kicking around, but I haven't really been able to properly visualize.
My roof is one of the places that will eventually need paint. I was thinking, since I'll also be painting the grill, hood, and tailgate, that it might look good to go black down the entire center of the truck.
Bear with me, not a cheap plastic dip matte black, but a nice hi-gloss black similar to some cars that have full glass roofs.
Again, just a thought.

2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger
 

Jim Oaks

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4.0 V6
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
Looks good. Always nice to see some mini truckin in the forum.

What brand of strobes are you using for the FD? I use to collect old emergency lights. Sold most of them before I moved to Texas. Texas puts blue lights on everything here.
 

superdog299

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2002
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Automatic
My credo
My friend says it's cool, does that count?
Looks good. Always nice to see some mini truckin in the forum.

What brand of strobes are you using for the FD? I use to collect old emergency lights. Sold most of them before I moved to Texas. Texas puts blue lights on everything here.
I think the ones I got are DT Moto, but I've seen the same ones under several different names and sellers. They were $30 on Amazon, and for that price I can't argue.

2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger
 

Jim Oaks

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Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15

superdog299

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My credo
My friend says it's cool, does that count?
Little update, now that we're officially out from under the snowbank. I got tired of dealing with a third brake light that never wanted to look quite right and gave in and bought one off Amazon.
Pretty regular smoked gray LED, but it does help with the look. Once I put a light smoke on the tail lights it should tie together nicely.
The other update is a little baby ducktail. Only plexiglass and not polycarbonate like I would prefer, but this one is just a test anyway. All the pieces involved came from Home Depot. Piano hinge for the pivot, flush mount carriage bolts in the Plexi, cable tensioners for the struts, 90° shelf brackets for the struts mount, and various sheet metal screws to tie everything to the tailgate. Didn't bother with stainless yet because I don't expect to stay with this one for too long.
Gonna make a more final version when I install and paint the new tailgate, either from polycarbonate or some 1/8" - 3/16" plate aluminum. I'll also use actual rivets and more adjustable pivots on the end version. As is its adjustable range is about 4" total up/down at the very tip.


2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger
 
Last edited:

insaneranger

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Nice progress! I used the same tires in a 40 series on my "88 ranger project several years ago & loved them. :icon_thumby:
 

woodyedmiston

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Thanks for your service to the USA. I'd like to know about your front drop on your Ranger. Mine is a 99 and I would like about two or three in the front. What mustang upper, is it a no weld replacement, I assume this is 2wd, what spindle replacement is necessary? And so forth . . . please.
Frankenranger
 

superdog299

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My friend says it's cool, does that count?
I'd like to know about your front drop on your Ranger.
Frankenranger
All I have as far as lowering in the front right now are shorter springs. Mine came with a kit but you can buy the springs on their own for a relatively low cost, or if you want to get risky you can chop the stock ones. For my Gen ranger (2002) the mustang upper control arm is a direct bolt in, but all it does is counter some of the camber and alignment issues that come with lowering a truck.
Sometime soon I do plan on buying some djm lower control arms, which should drop the front an additional "2, as well as correct for more camber and frame clearance issues. I know they make a similar kit for your truck, but I don't know if any mustang uppers mach up with your Gen ranger.
Let me know if this helps, or if you need more info. Sorry for the delayed reply!

2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger
 

pjtoledo

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All I have as far as lowering in the front right now are shorter springs. Mine came with a kit but you can buy the springs on their own for a relatively low cost, or if you want to get risky you can chop the stock ones. For my Gen ranger (2002) the mustang upper control arm is a direct bolt in, but all it does is counter some of the camber and alignment issues that come with lowering a truck.
Sometime soon I do plan on buying some djm lower control arms, which should drop the front an additional "2, as well as correct for more camber and frame clearance issues. I know they make a similar kit for your truck, but I don't know if any mustang uppers mach up with your Gen ranger.
Let me know if this helps, or if you need more info. Sorry for the delayed reply!

2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger

what year Mustang? is it shorter or longer than a Ranger arm?
 

superdog299

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My credo
My friend says it's cool, does that count?
what year Mustang? is it shorter or longer than a Ranger arm?
I believe it was the same year as my truck, I don't remember exactly. It was close to the same length if not a hair longer, but it was mostly because the mustang A arm allowed me to adjust more for alignment.

2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger
 

superdog299

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My credo
My friend says it's cool, does that count?
Little update, I got a unique view of what the front suspension looks like with lowered springs. I have it on a 4 post lift so we can actually see how it sits on level ground.

That's with just 2" shorter springs. The upper ball joint is really struggling there, which is why I need to get some upper control arms that can adjust for the severe angle. What you can't see in that pic is there's also only about 1/4" between the lower and the framerail... Which means I'm going to need lowers soon too...


2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger
 

superdog299

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My credo
My friend says it's cool, does that count?
I got tired of basically bouncing off frame when I go over bumps, so here it is: QA1 coilovers and DJM upper control arms.



The ride is amazing and it handles like it's on rails. The coilovers are actually the part number designed for a Chevy S10, because the company doesn't have any listed for a ranger yet, but they work perfectly and basically bolt in. Also leveled out the truck perfectly.


2002 2.3 flareside mini Ranger
 


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