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Hello, I'm New To TRS and this is my Ranger


Joined
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Messages
79
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Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
Hey guys, I am new here and figured I would introduce my truck.

I have a 3.0 Ranger XLT that I drive pretty everywhere.

Here are the specs as of now:
  • 2WD
  • 3.0 Flexfuel
  • 7.5 rear end with 3.73 gears
  • 4R44E Transmission
  • Lowered 3" front and 5" rear
  • Front and rear swaybars
  • 03 'Cobra' wheels on 245/45/R17 tires
IMG_4767.jpg

The truck was painted around 6 months ago and was lowered around that time as well. Original leaf springs were worn out and caused the rear end to shift laterally towards one side and sagged a little. New springs have 4 leafs as opposed to 3 and definitely a bumpier ride, but the shift and sagging were corrected. Currently looking for more ways to tighten up the handling on this truck; the lowering kit came with slightly stiffer shocks and I added rear swaybar from a Mazda B3000. The rear swaybar did wonders for the handling, now the rear end of the truck is pulled into the turn and there is significantly less body roll. Steering still feels too soft, so I have my eye on a set of polyurethane bushings for the steering rack here (I just need to make sure they will fit) I installed cam adjusters for the upper control arms to fix the insane amount of camber after lowering the truck. Now it is somewhere between 1-0.5 degrees as opposed to 2-3 degrees.

I haven't done too much research on the power steering system, but I am hoping there is a way to change the steering ratio. I have plans to autocross the truck so that is why I am so particular about handling.

Future plans include:
  • E-Fan swap
  • Stiffer swaybars
  • Polyurethane bushings all around
  • 8.8 rear end with 3.73 gears and limited slip diff
  • Stiffening the frame (either with frame boxing or bolt-on stiffeners)
  • Bigger brakes with a disc brake swap for the rear
  • 302 + 5 speed swap
  • This 4 link kit (out of stock but a really great deal so I hope it is still sold somewhere)
The 4 link kit will be the most work because I will have to rearrange everything in the rear end, and this includes sizing a fuel cell that will fit around all of the linkages.
 
Last edited:


Ranger850

Doesn't get Sarcasm . . .
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Location
Tallahassee Florida
Vehicle Year
2001
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
Born with a 3.0, looking for a donor V8
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
Stock 2"
Tire Size
Stock
My credo
Doing things wrong, until I get it right.
Nice Looking Truck. Love the stance.
Your gonna need an Explorer Donor vehicle. That'll give you the V8 you want and the rear end you need. the Explorer Rear axle has leaf springs under the axle, and has disc brakes. MOST parts from the Expo with swap right over to the Ranger with little to NO mods needed. The 5spd manual will have to be sourced from a F-150 with the 4.2 V6 or possibly a mustang but IIRC the mustang Trans needs an S-10 part to move the shifter forward.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2023
Messages
79
Reaction score
36
Points
18
Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
I currently have the drivetrain from a foxbody mustang: a 302 (that runs) with a B-cam and the 5spd, I would just need to pull the harness and accessory bracket from a 5.0 Explorer right?
 

Ranger850

Doesn't get Sarcasm . . .
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Points
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Location
Tallahassee Florida
Vehicle Year
2001
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
Born with a 3.0, looking for a donor V8
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
Stock 2"
Tire Size
Stock
My credo
Doing things wrong, until I get it right.
I currently have the drivetrain from a foxbody mustang: a 302 (that runs) with a B-cam and the 5spd, I would just need to pull the harness and accessory bracket from a 5.0 Explorer right?
You're definately on the right track. You nead the FEAD ( Front End Accessory Drive ) off of an explorer, to fit in the Ranger. There are more people here with knowledge, just be wary, most of them only know 4x4 V8 swap stuff, so they'll mention lift and tires that probably don't pertain to your swap. At least thats what happened to me when I was gathering info. I haven't done the swap yet, but I have the Ranger Edge & the Eddie Bauer Explorer Donor. NOw I just need a decent workspace and lots of time.
 

bobbywalter

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Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
Nice truck!...There are some competitive guys here with similar setups ... And will be more useful than I in regards to improvements...I am in the other direction....where sheet metal damage and rubbing on trail obstacles is the end result.


Whether you are cone dodging or ditch diving....

we all appreciate a well done rbv around here.
 

ericbphoto

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Age
59
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.
Welcome to TRS! Sweet ride!
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2023
Messages
79
Reaction score
36
Points
18
Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
You're definately on the right track. You nead the FEAD ( Front End Accessory Drive ) off of an explorer, to fit in the Ranger. There are more people here with knowledge, just be wary, most of them only know 4x4 V8 swap stuff, so they'll mention lift and tires that probably don't pertain to your swap. At least thats what happened to me when I was gathering info. I haven't done the swap yet, but I have the Ranger Edge & the Eddie Bauer Explorer Donor. NOw I just need a decent workspace and lots of time.
The Edges are cool, they have a lot of little things that make them interesting. I haven't heard of the Eddie Bauer Explorer though
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2023
Messages
79
Reaction score
36
Points
18
Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
Nice truck!...There are some competitive guys here with similar setups ... And will be more useful than I in regards to improvements...I am in the other direction....where sheet metal damage and rubbing on trail obstacles is the end result.


Whether you are cone dodging or ditch diving....

we all appreciate a well done rbv around here.
You will have to refer me to some of the other autocross guys here, or is there a subforum for it?
 

ericbphoto

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Messages
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Points
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Age
59
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.
You will have to refer me to some of the other autocross guys here, or is there a subforum for it?
They're all around. I think we have a "mini trucks" forum where you may find more specific info. The engine swaps forum will also become your friend.
 

cbxer55

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Transmission
Automatic
With a V8 in this the power to weight ratio will be epic!
Remember when Ford made the Lightning Bolt? A 2002 Ranger with a Lighting engine and drivetrain. They did not make it because their testing indicated it would be a lot of trouble for most regular drivers to master. I have an article in a magazine at home, and that is what is said. The power to weight in such a small truck, was very difficult to put to the ground without a bunch of unwanted side affects.

Most of us would love those "unwanted side affects"!
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2023
Messages
79
Reaction score
36
Points
18
Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
Remember when Ford made the Lightning Bolt? A 2002 Ranger with a Lighting engine and drivetrain. They did not make it because their testing indicated it would be a lot of trouble for most regular drivers to master. I have an article in a magazine at home, and that is what is said. The power to weight in such a small truck, was very difficult to put to the ground without a bunch of unwanted side affects.

Most of us would love those "unwanted side affects"!
Yeah, that was sick, I read about it. Not a huge fan of the explorer front end swap though.
 

StephenF

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55
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Location
East TN
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.8 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4
Tire Size
235-75-15
Welcome. The four link will add a little bit in the back. That is always an issue with a pickup and adding power, the rear end is already to light and adding weight for more traction hurts the power to weight ratio. Always fun trying to figure out a solution.
 

Ranger850

Doesn't get Sarcasm . . .
TRS 20th Anniversary
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Jan 24, 2018
Messages
8,503
Reaction score
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Location
Tallahassee Florida
Vehicle Year
2001
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
Born with a 3.0, looking for a donor V8
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
Stock 2"
Tire Size
Stock
My credo
Doing things wrong, until I get it right.
I haven't heard of the Eddie Bauer Explorer though.
my donor is a 2000 Eddie Bauer Explorer. AWD, 5.0 and power everything, basically a fully loaded SUV.
 

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