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

86 Budget Conscience Build

William Spitzer

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fulks Run, VA
Vehicle Year
1986,
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9, 2.3
Transmission
Manual
So since i finally think I have a RBV that im going to keep for a long time, here is my build thread. Just somewhere to track my progress (and how much I spend :D ) and see how far I've come.

here it is when I got it, took a 3 hour drive to go and pick it up. Previous owner put in a 4,0 clutch, new sending unit, plugs, wires, and a bunch of other stuff. He installed a M5OD and manual t case from a 91 Exploder.(its a 86 XLT) Total $1,500





First thing, had to replace the shocks, tie rod ends,($60) both really wore out. tires were kind of dry cracked, decided they needed to be replaced. I had a set fo 31/10.50/15 General Grabber AT/2's on aftermarket Ranger wheels I saved from my previous Ranger, however i would have to lift it first.

Ordered my lift from James Duff, 2" body, and new body bushings totaled $211, came home 3 days later to be plesantly surprised.



Never lifted any vehicle in my lift, so this was definately a learning experience. Cut the 2 front bonts, got 6 out with an electric impact, cut one, twisted one off. Not too bad for being 26 years old. Heres halfway done, to compare stock to lifted. Starting measurement from center of hub to top of fender was 17.75", final, with lift and new bushings measurement was 20.5"



Heres the final product, with the General Grabbers, next to my old econobox Festiva.



Clears 31's, no rubbing, but its still pretty close.



Ground clearence! :D

 
Last edited:


chrwilkins30

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Messages
1,720
Reaction score
6
Points
0
Location
Mishawaka, Indiana
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9
Transmission
Manual
You planning on a suspension lift?

Seems like the body is in pretty good shape.
 

William Spitzer

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fulks Run, VA
Vehicle Year
1986,
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9, 2.3
Transmission
Manual
I'd really like to get a suspension lift, yeah. I just had to get the tires on before winter, so I started with body lift, and half the bushings were completly gone. I was thinking I'd look into a suspension lift when I wear the tires on now out. The cheapest I found was the 4" Rough Country, total I was looking right at around $550. I would also really like to upgrade to a D35 and 8.8 with 4.10 gears. I can't hardly imagine bigger tires with the 3.73 gears, it lost alot of power with the tire size increase. (it could also be stuck in 4x4, im haveing transfer case issues) Ideally I would find Explorer axles (or Ranger, i dont really mind drum brakes) all ready geared 4.10, so I could save money on having them set up properly. As for the body, its suprisingly straight, but the P/O had painted it, and there was no clear coat or sealer put on and is getting pretty rough again, but it dosent bother me too much. As for right now i need to do something about the transfer case, the body lift is making the shifter lever bind up on something, and i think its stuck in 4x4 (I just havent had anybody handy to watch the front driveshaft.) Also need to try putting a different ECU in, it has a really bad stumble/stutter, when its not warm, which i think is partly because the 2.9 is about worn out, and the ECU is running in safe mode, since it was orginally an automatic.
 
Last edited:

86Ranger302

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2012
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
SE Missouri
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
I have an 86 ranger as well that I'm looking to put a lift in, if you order one any time soon be sure to put that sucker in asap and take plenty of pics ;)
 

William Spitzer

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fulks Run, VA
Vehicle Year
1986,
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9, 2.3
Transmission
Manual
I have an 86 ranger as well that I'm looking to put a lift in, if you order one any time soon be sure to put that sucker in asap and take plenty of pics ;)
the body lift was pretty simple, just time consuming. It'll be a while before i lift any more, winter is almost here and I'm about out of money for spending on vehicles. :dunno:
 

lil_Blue_Ford

Well-Known Member
Forum Moderator
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
6,062
Reaction score
2,168
Points
113
Location
Butler, PA, USSA
Vehicle Year
95
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.9L
Transmission
Manual
I always do a full tune-up whenever I get a new-to-me vehicle. There's no telling the last time that was all done. I'm talking plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter, air filter, oil change and take the TFI module to a local Autozone and have it tested (TFI module is mounted to the distributor in these). That tends to cure a lot of the running issues unless there is something else lurking there.

Running an auto computer in something with a manual transmission shouldn't put it in the safe mode. I've been running my choptop with an auto computer for a couple years now, it keeps the idle a little higher than it should be and I think it's looking for the transmission that doesn't exist, but all my running issues have been due to other causes.

As far as lifting goes, you can always do a budget suspension lift, it's been talked about a number of times on here and there is a bunch of information about it in the tech archives. You can add up to 2" of lift for about $150 and the cost of an alignment. Anything beyond that you need to get into axle pivot drops in the front, longer coils, etc. But it is possible to more or less build your own lift (which is what I did with my choptop - running roughly 5" of suspension lift right now).
 

jhammel85

Guest
Looks great! I love the stance. You do know that you wont gain ground clearance without a suspension lift though right?

I had the same luck as you when I did my 3" Body Lift. Lots of cutting! Just make sure that you retorque everything down after a little while.

I think you sold me on my next tire size / brand :icon_cheers:
 

jhammel85

Guest
I always do a full tune-up whenever I get a new-to-me vehicle. There's no telling the last time that was all done. I'm talking plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter, air filter, oil change and take the TFI module to a local Autozone and have it tested (TFI module is mounted to the distributor in these). That tends to cure a lot of the running issues unless there is something else lurking there.

Running an auto computer in something with a manual transmission shouldn't put it in the safe mode. I've been running my choptop with an auto computer for a couple years now, it keeps the idle a little higher than it should be and I think it's looking for the transmission that doesn't exist, but all my running issues have been due to other causes.

As far as lifting goes, you can always do a budget suspension lift, it's been talked about a number of times on here and there is a bunch of information about it in the tech archives. You can add up to 2" of lift for about $150 and the cost of an alignment. Anything beyond that you need to get into axle pivot drops in the front, longer coils, etc. But it is possible to more or less build your own lift (which is what I did with my choptop - running roughly 5" of suspension lift right now).
Also, I full heartly agree on all this. You can definitely run an auto trans EEC without an issue....except for idle. It should be about 850 RPM.

I bet if you do a tune up, you'll have a much better truck. I know mine benefited...Even if the previous owner "just did it". My plugs were terrible along with the rotor / cap.

Good luck!
 

lil_Blue_Ford

Well-Known Member
Forum Moderator
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
6,062
Reaction score
2,168
Points
113
Location
Butler, PA, USSA
Vehicle Year
95
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.9L
Transmission
Manual
Looks great! I love the stance. You do know that you wont gain ground clearance without a suspension lift though right?

I had the same luck as you when I did my 3" Body Lift. Lots of cutting! Just make sure that you retorque everything down after a little while.

I think you sold me on my next tire size / brand :icon_cheers:
Actually, larger tires will gain you ground clearance.

You're thinking about flex. Flex is gained by doing suspension lifts correctly. And they allow you to fit larger tires, thus more ground clearance (and an improved break-over angle). Body lifts don't gain you any better suspension travel but they do allow you to put larger tires on which allows for better ground clearance.
 

jhammel85

Guest
You're right. I was thinking about myself...When I did mine I didnt change tire size.
 

William Spitzer

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fulks Run, VA
Vehicle Year
1986,
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9, 2.3
Transmission
Manual
I always do a full tune-up whenever I get a new-to-me vehicle. There's no telling the last time that was all done. I'm talking plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter, air filter, oil change and take the TFI module to a local Autozone and have it tested (TFI module is mounted to the distributor in these). That tends to cure a lot of the running issues unless there is something else lurking there.

Running an auto computer in something with a manual transmission shouldn't put it in the safe mode. I've been running my choptop with an auto computer for a couple years now, it keeps the idle a little higher than it should be and I think it's looking for the transmission that doesn't exist, but all my running issues have been due to other causes.

As far as lifting goes, you can always do a budget suspension lift, it's been talked about a number of times on here and there is a bunch of information about it in the tech archives. You can add up to 2" of lift for about $150 and the cost of an alignment. Anything beyond that you need to get into axle pivot drops in the front, longer coils, etc. But it is possible to more or less build your own lift (which is what I did with my choptop - running roughly 5" of suspension lift right now).
I just got a K&N filter today, and plugs and wires are soon to follow. Oil is definately filthy, planning on doing the diff's and transmission before I put it on the road. As for the ECU, (maybe i was just misinformed about what safe mode actually was) I think there may be an underlying problem. When it just starts up and is cold it bogs down, enough to even shut the motor off, (all while not toughing the clutch or trying to move the vehicle) itidles down, then revs up slightly, the rpms drop as low as 500, and go as high as 800ish, and it smells as if it is running kind of rich. I got the proper ECU from my cousins totaled Ranger, and it cleared it up alot, theres still something thats not quite right, so I'll see if plugs and wires clear it up even more.

I'm going to need an allignment anyway, since i put new tie rod ends on, so now would probably be as good a time as any to get a bit more lift. Are you refering to the coil/leap spring swap, spacer washers, and the Belltech 6400's? I was considering doing the washer spacers if the shocks could handle the extra spacing. I think i just need a little bit more lift it make sure the tires don'trub in a ture with a little flex.

Looks great! I love the stance. You do know that you wont gain ground clearance without a suspension lift though right?

I had the same luck as you when I did my 3" Body Lift. Lots of cutting! Just make sure that you retorque everything down after a little while.

I think you sold me on my next tire size / brand :icon_cheers:
Alot more clearence than the 235's that were on it :D

I absolutely love the General Grabbers, on my Ranger they have great road manners, don't howl or anything like that, and are decent off road. The downfall is they really like to pack up in the mud, but theres not many A/T tires that dont, and they really sling the gravel, but that didnt bother me at all. I paid about 140 a piece, mounted and balanced.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

Well-Known Member
Forum Moderator
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
6,062
Reaction score
2,168
Points
113
Location
Butler, PA, USSA
Vehicle Year
95
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.9L
Transmission
Manual
I would try cleaning the throttle body (I've used brakeclean, carb cleaner and throttle body cleaner, they all work, you want to get any gunk out of there) and I would try cleaning the IAC (idle air control valve - you'll have to take it off to clean it). Might want to consider the possibility of replacing the o2 sensor too.

FWIW, plug wires come with a lifetime warranty from Autozone - which means that as long as you own the vehicle you can take them back and they'll swap 'em out for free. None of the rest of the tune up stuff has that though unless you have to replace the TFI module (which is something else that can cause running issues).

When you do the oil change, you can subsitute up to one cup of ATF (just the regular dex/merc works great) for the same amount of oil. The ATF will help clean out sludge and it'll help soften and swell the seals it comes in contact with.

And yes, that's the kind of lift I was talking about. You can use springs out of an older 4-door Explorer (front and rear), Belltech 6400 shackles, stacked washers, a coil spacer, or F-150 spring perches for lifting purposes. When I did mine, I went with the shackles and the F-150 spring perches, ran me around $100 for both. You may need new alignment bushings though, I would recommend getting adjustables. The factory shocks and whatnot will handle a 2" lift typically.
 

William Spitzer

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fulks Run, VA
Vehicle Year
1986,
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9, 2.3
Transmission
Manual
I would try cleaning the throttle body (I've used brakeclean, carb cleaner and throttle body cleaner, they all work, you want to get any gunk out of there) and I would try cleaning the IAC (idle air control valve - you'll have to take it off to clean it). Might want to consider the possibility of replacing the o2 sensor too.

FWIW, plug wires come with a lifetime warranty from Autozone - which means that as long as you own the vehicle you can take them back and they'll swap 'em out for free. None of the rest of the tune up stuff has that though unless you have to replace the TFI module (which is something else that can cause running issues).

When you do the oil change, you can subsitute up to one cup of ATF (just the regular dex/merc works great) for the same amount of oil. The ATF will help clean out sludge and it'll help soften and swell the seals it comes in contact with.

And yes, that's the kind of lift I was talking about. You can use springs out of an older 4-door Explorer (front and rear), Belltech 6400 shackles, stacked washers, a coil spacer, or F-150 spring perches for lifting purposes. When I did mine, I went with the shackles and the F-150 spring perches, ran me around $100 for both. You may need new alignment bushings though, I would recommend getting adjustables. The factory shocks and whatnot will handle a 2" lift typically.
I'll clean the throttle body up, but where is the IAC valve? It looks like the o2 sensor has been out, so i'll pull it and see how it looks.

I've always used put a bit of kerosene in the oil, run it for a bit, and immediately change the oil. but i'll deefinately try the ATF.

I'll more than likley try to find some of those washers and do the 6400 shackles for the back. I'd just do a little bit, to get a bit more clearence and to avoid having to get the adjustable allignment bushings. Right now I got the cheapest shocks from Rock Auto, like 10 bucks a piece, but honestly from the little bit I've been pretty impressed for only being 10 bucks a piece.
 

William Spitzer

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fulks Run, VA
Vehicle Year
1986,
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9, 2.3
Transmission
Manual
More pictures of how it sits now





Future half doors :D






Also going to get the motor form my cousins Ranger, rolled 4 times, still runs like a champ


 
Last edited:

lil_Blue_Ford

Well-Known Member
Forum Moderator
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
6,062
Reaction score
2,168
Points
113
Location
Butler, PA, USSA
Vehicle Year
95
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.9L
Transmission
Manual
I'll clean the throttle body up, but where is the IAC valve? It looks like the o2 sensor has been out, so i'll pull it and see how it looks.

I've always used put a bit of kerosene in the oil, run it for a bit, and immediately change the oil. but i'll deefinately try the ATF.

I'll more than likley try to find some of those washers and do the 6400 shackles for the back. I'd just do a little bit, to get a bit more clearence and to avoid having to get the adjustable allignment bushings. Right now I got the cheapest shocks from Rock Auto, like 10 bucks a piece, but honestly from the little bit I've been pretty impressed for only being 10 bucks a piece.
IAC is located right on the side of the intake, on the side the oil cap is on, it's held on by two bolts and has a couple wires plugged in the one end. You can see it in the pic below, it's the long piece seen above the oil cap running horizontal with the intake.



ATF does a MUCH better job than trying to run kerosene in the oil. Kero doesn't have the lubricating properties that ATF and oil have.
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Top