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Front End Swap


86MUDRCJ

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I have tried to find the answer via search function, and I am pretty sure it has been asked a bunch of times so I apologize in advance.

I know that 1st gen and 2nd gen bodies are similar, but can you swap a 1st gen front clip on a 2nd gen? I've been wanting to get back into a Ranger for awhile, and ideally want a 1st gen extended cab. I've got a line on a pretty clean and straight 2nd gen and if its relatively simple I might just buy it and swap the front end later. As far as parts I would assume that it would be fenders, hood, grille, lights, and core support? Thoughts?
 


franklin2

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I am not sure, but sometimes you run into things you didn't expect. Like I thought a 1984 was just like a 1986. Come to find out, they look the same from the outside, but the radiators and radiator supports are different. Who knows about the A/C coil and other little odds and ends. Never have done the swap you are contemplating.
 

Ranger850

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I have tried to find the answer via search function, and I am pretty sure it has been asked a bunch of times so I apologize in advance.

I know that 1st gen and 2nd gen bodies are similar, but can you swap a 1st gen front clip on a 2nd gen? I've been wanting to get back into a Ranger for awhile, and ideally want a 1st gen extended cab. I've got a line on a pretty clean and straight 2nd gen and if its relatively simple I might just buy it and swap the front end later. As far as parts I would assume that it would be fenders, hood, grille, lights, and core support? Thoughts?
Check to see if anyone has done the opposite swap, ( in the other direction {2nd gen onto a 1st gen}) then reverse the process. The big issue is going to be "parts availability". Those 1st gen parts aren't as abundant anymore. Maybe aftermarket stuff, but that's a crap shoot at getting good parts.
 

scotts90ranger

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I'm not sure you have to swap the core support, was hoping someone else would chime in... I prefer the second gen front end but whatever fits what you like :)
 

86MUDRCJ

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Check to see if anyone has done the opposite swap, ( in the other direction {2nd gen onto a 1st gen}) then reverse the process. The big issue is going to be "parts availability". Those 1st gen parts aren't as abundant anymore. Maybe aftermarket stuff, but that's a crap shoot at getting good parts.
Getting parts would be kind of difficult, and to my knowledge I don't think anybody has done that swap. It seems most people either like the second gen or first. This build would be more of a cleaner build to keep not just to wheel and beat up.

I'm not sure you have to swap the core support, was hoping someone else would chime in... I prefer the second gen front end but whatever fits what you like :)
I can definitely see why people would like the second gen front ends, especially since most of what aftermarket there is for them typically is for the second gens. There's something about the first gen front ends that ticks all the right boxes for me. Also i had an idea as to possible try and retrofit the new bronco heads/tails into a first gen grille and body.
 

Ranger850

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Getting parts would be kind of difficult, and to my knowledge I don't think anybody has done that swap. It seems most people either like the second gen or first. This build would be more of a cleaner build to keep not just to wheel and beat up.


I can definitely see why people would like the second gen front ends, especially since most of what aftermarket there is for them typically is for the second gens. There's something about the first gen front ends that ticks all the right boxes for me. Also i had an idea as to possible try and retrofit the new bronco heads/tails into a first gen grille and body.
I saw a guy on YouTube who was 3D printing the new bronco grills and fitting them to the old broncos, so, that IS doable

 

86MUDRCJ

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I saw a guy on YouTube who was 3D printing the new bronco grills and fitting them to the old broncos, so, that IS doable

That would be cool. I feel like it would still keep the front end squared but update it a bit.
 

Nickel_Plated

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I'd be interested in this too. Looking to pick up my first Ranger after my Town Car got totaled recently. I definitely want the square body. Prefer the early 83-88 front-end. But want the updated interior and mechanical/electrical updates of the later 89-92. So figured I'd get an 89-92 and just swap the earlier front-end on it.

I suppose you could dig through people's build threads and look for pictures of an 83-88 and an 89-92 with the front body panels stripped off, to see if the radiator supports and all the other body structure is the same. If it is, then it should be a straightforward bolt on swap.
 

franklin2

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I'd be interested in this too. Looking to pick up my first Ranger after my Town Car got totaled recently. I definitely want the square body. Prefer the early 83-88 front-end. But want the updated interior and mechanical/electrical updates of the later 89-92. So figured I'd get an 89-92 and just swap the earlier front-end on it.

I suppose you could dig through people's build threads and look for pictures of an 83-88 and an 89-92 with the front body panels stripped off, to see if the radiator supports and all the other body structure is the same. If it is, then it should be a straightforward bolt on swap.
Like I said in my previous post, 84 to 86 are not the same. All you have to do is pretend to order a 1984 radiator. Then pretend to order a 1986 radiator. Totally different. I did make the later radiator work with some modifications though.
 

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