I bought a High Rider...


Shran

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... and y'all are just gonna have to wait for pics :thefinger:

That said, it's an '88, single cab, short box. 2.9, FM146, 1350 electric shift. Has a lot of options, including power windows, AC, and had the factory fog lights and possibly roll bar but those are long gone. It is also a GA truck so there is very little rust.

Unfortunately it got rear ended pretty hard and the frame was bent - this was my buddy's truck so several years ago we patched in the rear half of another frame and it's kinda straightened out now. The wiring is a mess - some previous owner hacked into everything under the dash and some things under the hood as well and it won't start.

So the real question is, what should I do with this thing? My gut instinct is to steal the high rider suspension stuff and put it in my Explorer... then put the body on another frame that I have, along with a 4" RC lift that I have, and 4.0 swap it with a complete '92 dash and wiring harness that I also have.

Is that sacrilege? :icon_bounceblue:
 
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adsm08

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I thought 88 was the first year of the 146.
 

Shran

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My bad, it is actually a 1988. Typo.
 

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If the VIN pans out to be a rare jewel... and it can be fixed... I would personally fix it and leave it complete. Probably not many of these things left.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Shran

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Alright... here it is, as you can see it's got the longer drop brackets that bolt onto the side of the frame and crossmember, drop radius arm crossmember brackets, fixed front output t-case, and a couple other neat items: the offroad lights switch panel (switches and lights are long gone) and the t-case buttons with map lights. Haven't seen one with map lights before.

From a cursory inspection the truck actually doesn't look half bad. I did the frame repairs and a lot of the body work so I know how bad it was... it got hit hard enough to buckle the box floor up about 6" and push the box into the cab. The frame is still bent enough that the body lines visibly don't line up - the funny part is that the receiver hitch took 99% of the impact and I think it would have been MUCH worse. We were actually able to straighten the box out just by jumping on the crease and about 6 hours with a hammer & dolly.

So the bottom line to me is that yes, it's a super cool rare truck, but a lot of the cool parts are gone. The frame is bent. Undesirable drivetrain all around. Body is just so-so. Wiring is a disaster. My replacement frame is from a '92 so the front bumper will have to be grafted on or just replaced with a custom one. Which leads me to think that building a "super high rider" with a 4.0, D35, Explorer 8.8, M5OD, and a 4" lift... and! a "high rider Explorer" would be the way to go.









 

Shran

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I also find it funny that the door tag suggests P215/75/15 tires... those would have been TINY on this thing. It has NO problem clearing the 31's that are on it now.
 

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pretty sure jim has been looking for a picture of that.


is that a 1210?
 

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I think so... I had to wade through a snow drift in nice clothes to get that shot, I will verify and get a few more pics when it warms up. These things are rare enough that it deserves documentation, fortunately for y'all I like documenting
 

Jim Oaks

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Which leads me to think that building a "super high rider" with a 4.0, D35, Explorer 8.8, M5OD, and a 4" lift..
But then it would just be another Ranger unless you keep the high rider brackets. You should be able to stick 4-inch coils in there and possibly still get it to align with those brackets.

pretty sure jim has been looking for a picture of that.

is that a 1210?
Correct
 

Shran

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But then it would just be another Ranger
Yeah... I get that. If the frame wasn't so bad I'd be more inclined to keep it intact. It's really almost a collector's item, maybe in a tiny niche market, but a collector's item nonetheless right? So with that in mind, everything I do to it more or less reduces its value there...especially putting it on a '92 frame.

I messed with it a little bit this past weekend. The fuse panel is a mess and wires have been clipped off and moved. That switch on the fog light panel actually runs the headlights and the factory headlight switch is dead. I am missing the inside door armrests, the door panels are junk, found some issues with the rear axle - 1/2" of lateral movement in the driver's side rear axle shaft. I think I'm supposed to have some sort of center console, which is gone, and both seats need the outside pads reupholstered.

I know at this point I am trying to convince myself that putting the high rider stuff in my Explorer is the best idea... because it seems that tracking down all the correct high rider parts is going to be virtually impossible, plus the existing damage.

Rather than focus on a restoration project on this I'd rather just make a bunch of changes using better parts and end up with a solid truck to drive.
 

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Too bad you can't find a first gen frame. 4wd SWB trucks are pretty scarce though.

If I understand it correctly, the rollbar, grille guard and bumpers were optional, the highrider didn't have to have them.
 

Jim Oaks

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Yeah... I get that. If the frame wasn't so bad I'd be more inclined to keep it intact. It's really almost a collector's item, maybe in a tiny niche market, but a collector's item nonetheless right? So with that in mind, everything I do to it more or less reduces its value there...especially putting it on a '92 frame.

I messed with it a little bit this past weekend. The fuse panel is a mess and wires have been clipped off and moved. That switch on the fog light panel actually runs the headlights and the factory headlight switch is dead. I am missing the inside door armrests, the door panels are junk, found some issues with the rear axle - 1/2" of lateral movement in the driver's side rear axle shaft. I think I'm supposed to have some sort of center console, which is gone, and both seats need the outside pads reupholstered.

I know at this point I am trying to convince myself that putting the high rider stuff in my Explorer is the best idea... because it seems that tracking down all the correct high rider parts is going to be virtually impossible, plus the existing damage.

Rather than focus on a restoration project on this I'd rather just make a bunch of changes using better parts and end up with a solid truck to drive.
Autofab makes 'high rider' brackets they call 'STX' brackets.

Honestly, I don't think there's any collectible value in a 'High Rider' The only thing people are interested in are those brackets. If you want to restomod something else and call it a High Rider, I say go or it. If you do that, post a bunch of photos of the brackets. Especially if you take the stock brackets off of something else. Can never have to many comparison photos.

Just don't ditch or modify the brackets. I myself, and I'm sure some others, wouldn't mind having a set of these factory brackets.
 

Shran

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Too bad you can't find a first gen frame. 4wd SWB trucks are pretty scarce though.

If I understand it correctly, the rollbar, grille guard and bumpers were optional, the highrider didn't have to have them.
The irony in that is that I DO have a 1st gen 4x4 SWB frame... it's just under my daily driver... lol. I do have a 4x4 engine crossmember too, I could convert a 2wd frame. But even those are hard to find.

As far as I can tell this truck DID come with the roll bar, bumpers, etc...it's got holes in the bed, my buddy said it had a roll bar at some point, and he may still have one of the tube bumpers but the rear was destroyed in the wreck IIRC.

Autofab makes 'high rider' brackets they call 'STX' brackets.

Honestly, I don't think there's any collectible value in a 'High Rider' The only thing people are interested in are those brackets. If you want to restomod something else and call it a High Rider, I say go or it. If you do that, post a bunch of photos of the brackets. Especially if you take the stock brackets off of something else. Can never have to many comparison photos.

Just don't ditch or modify the brackets. I myself, and I'm sure some others, wouldn't mind having a set of these factory brackets.
Yeah the Autofab brackets are $500 for the pair and don't include springs, pitman arm, shocks, or the drop radius arm stuff... after buying all those extras you might as well buy a Skyjacker or Duff lift. I'd be all over them if they were cheaper.

In any case the high rider lift parts are NOT leaving my possession unless someone shows up with a huge pile of cash - it took me 2 years of convincing to get a chance to buy this truck. So it's either getting put back together correctly on the '92 frame, or a 1st gen frame if by some miracle I come across one, or I'll build a stock height truck with springs and brackets I already have and put the high rider lift in my Explorer, or do a 4" lift on the Ranger.

I will just officially declare at this point that I am starting a build thread right here. This is not something that is going to sit around for years and sink into the ground. Pics incoming as I progress on it :icon_thumby:
 


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