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


Lefty

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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
  • Cobra replica wheels from LMR on 207s
View attachment 96281
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.
We are on a similar journey. I put in a larger '97 Ford Explorer Sway Bar (thanks to the advice of some of the older members). It did wonders for the front. I've been looking for something similar to replace the rear, but no such luck so far. I stiffened up the stock bar by adding a set of leaf spring clamps, putting each clamp about 6" in front of the axle. You can get the clamps for about $17.00 at Summit Racing or Auto Zone: a very noticeable improvement. They will improve what you have already done. I am one of those who likes the James Duff traction bars which minimize axle wrap and make shifting smoother.
20230629_202005.jpg

James Duff traction bar and leaf spring clamp mounted 6" in front of the axle.
20230715_094917.jpg

Some '97 Explorer sway bars are thicker than the stock Ranger bar.


Keep us posted!
 


Josh B

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It's clear those two in the photo don't match. How do you bolt it up that way?
 

Lefty

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It's clear those two in the photo don't match. How do you bolt it up that way?
It bolts up just fine. It may be different, but the distance from hole to hole is the same. The problem is the two bushings that hold the sway bar to the frame. They are much larger than the originals so i just kept cranking them down tighter and tighter.

20230804_121838.jpg

Note the old stock bracket has been wrenched down tight on the larger bushings: not very pretty, but it works.
 
Last edited:

superj

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ranger edge
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183 ci of tire shredding power
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2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
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235s
My credo
drives a stick shift ranger
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
  • Cobra replica wheels from LMR on 207s
View attachment 96281
super cool!!! welcome to the group!

i was so glad when they changed time attack rules to allow trucks. i think a ranger would be a blast for autocross and if mine didn't have that dang torsion bar front end, i would have tried it out. its too tall to meet the height/width requirement with the torsion front end though.

yours looks great
 

Lefty

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Make / Model
Ranger Edge
Transmission
Automatic
It bolts up just fine. It may be different, but the distance from hole to hole is the same. The problem is the two bushings that hold the sway bar to the frame. They are much larger than the originals so i just kept cranking them down tighter and tighter.

View attachment 96391
Note the old stock bracket has been wrenched down tight on the larger bushings: not very pretty, but it works.
20230804_121820.jpg


Mine is an Edge which is sprung with a torsion bar. There is still plenty of clearance should you have coil springs. Also, I purchased new uprated stronger link pins with polyurethane bushings.
 
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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
We are on a similar journey. I put in a larger '97 Ford Explorer Sway Bar (thanks to the advice of some of the older members). It did wonders for the front. I've been looking for something similar to replace the rear, but no such luck so far. I stiffened up the stock bar by adding a set of leaf spring clamps, putting each clamp about 6" in front of the axle. You can get the clamps for about $17.00 at Summit Racing or Auto Zone: a very noticeable improvement. They will improve what you have already done. I am one of those who likes the James Duff traction bars which minimize axle wrap and make shifting smoother.
View attachment 96361
James Duff traction bar and leaf spring clamp mounted 6" in front of the axle.
View attachment 96362
Some '97 Explorer sway bars are thicker than the stock Ranger bar.


Keep us posted!
I feel your issues with the rear swaybars; nobody really makes any aftermarket rear swaybars besides Hellwig and they are kind of overpriced in my opinion. Your best bet is to grab the rear swaybar off of a Bronco II, they have the thickest swaybars in the ranger/explorer family tree, and they should bolt right up. I believe there is an article on this website about all of the compatible rear swaybars. The rear swaybar in mine is out of a Mazda B3000, but I would love to get my hands on a set of Bronco II swaybars.
 

Lefty

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Transmission
Automatic
Thank you. As you mentioned, the tech section does provide lots of good information about sway bars. https://www.therangerstation.com/tech/sway-bar-options-for-your-ford-ranger

An Explorer bar will work in the rear, but with some modifications. It must be mounted just behind the rear axle. Not all Bronco IIs came with a 1" bar, only the 2WD version. This requires no modification and mounts in front of the axle, a far more elegant solution.

I might just settle for the Explorer, but not yet. It's just too hot to pull this week.
 
Last edited:
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2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
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.
With the mustang 5spd, what S-10 part will I need to move the shifter forward?
 

Ranger850

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Born with a 3.0, looking for a donor V8
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2WD
Total Lift
Stock 2"
Tire Size
Stock
My credo
Doing things wrong, until I get it right.
With the mustang 5spd, what S-10 part will I need to move the shifter forward?
I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's the tail shaft housing
 
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Location
Virginia
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1999
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's the tail shaft housing
Hmm. Do I need this to keep the stock shifter location or can I use the mustang tailshaft and move the location backwards some?
 

Ranger850

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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.
Hmm. Do I need this to keep the stock shifter location or can I use the mustang tailshaft and move the location backwards some?
I have not done this swap. From what I understand the S-10 tail housing puts the shifter in the same general location as a stock Ranger, whereas the Mustang tail puts the shifter farther away from the firewall.
For what it's worth, the F-150 4.2 V6 manual transmission will bolt right up and the shifter is in the stock Ranger location. Straight swap

My plan was to run the AWD system with the automatic transmission. But I have all but abandoned my project.
 
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2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
I have not done this swap. From what I understand the S-10 tail housing puts the shifter in the same general location as a stock Ranger, whereas the Mustang tail puts the shifter farther away from the firewall.
For what it's worth, the F-150 4.2 V6 manual transmission will bolt right up and the shifter is in the stock Ranger location. Straight swap

My plan was to run the AWD system with the automatic transmission. But I have all but abandoned my project.
Hmm. Depending on the feel, I may just use the mustang tail housing and have the shifter further back.
 
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2WD
Total Drop
3 Front, 5 Back
View attachment 96395

Mine is an Edge which is sprung with a torsion bar. There is still plenty of clearance should you have coil springs. Also, I purchased new uprated stronger link pins with polyurethane bushings.
Hey so it has been a while, but it turns out the exploder swaybars do not seem to have the clearance for coil springs. The swaybar on my coil spring ranger is 41.5 inches hole to hole, and the explorer swaybar I picked up is 39.5 inches hole to hole. It also doesn't clear the frame. It was $10 at the salvage yard so I don't care too much. Were there any coil sprung SLA explorers? Can't seem to find any info.
 

Lefty

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Ranger Edge
Transmission
Automatic
Hey so it has been a while, but it turns out the exploder swaybars do not seem to have the clearance for coil springs. The swaybar on my coil spring ranger is 41.5 inches hole to hole, and the explorer swaybar I picked up is 39.5 inches hole to hole. It also doesn't clear the frame. It was $10 at the salvage yard so I don't care too much. Were there any coil sprung SLA explorers? Can't seem to find any info.
I seem to have read somewhere here on the Forum that a front sway bar from an Explorer will swap with a Ranger, provided both are from the same year. That's what I did and it worked. Note that Explorers offered 2 different sizes; one about 5/8" like the Ranger, the other about 1" which is stiffer.

My '03 Ranger Edge has a torsion bar of course, but I remember looking twice and noticing that the new bar would have easily cleared a coil spring.

Link Pin.jpg


20230715_094917.jpg


The smaller Ranger bar and the Explorer. The holes are the same distance apart. The Explorer has plenty of room to clear the coild springs.
 
Joined
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79
Reaction score
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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
I seem to have read somewhere here on the Forum that a front sway bar from an Explorer will swap with a Ranger, provided both are from the same year. That's what I did and it worked. Note that Explorers offered 2 different sizes; one about 5/8" like the Ranger, the other about 1" which is stiffer.

My '03 Ranger Edge has a torsion bar of course, but I remember looking twice and noticing that the new bar would have easily cleared a coil spring.

View attachment 111190

View attachment 111191

The smaller Ranger bar and the Explorer. The holes are the same distance apart. The Explorer has plenty of room to clear the coild springs.
Hmm. Didn't clear mine and it was off of a 99 explorer. It clears the coil springs fine, but not the part of the frame that holds the coil springs. It also did not line up with my end links. It was too short.
 

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