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Improving ride quality and handling via lowering? '03 B3000, Std Cab+Short Bed.


bhgl

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Just to ask the dumb question. You are using the VIN on the dash right?

I wouldn't waste your money and time buying an edge to lower it. Even if the truck isn't what you thought, it sounds solid and you have the better suspension for lowering.
Oh yeah I'm definitely not going to buy it, more of a joke since everyone on the forum was so kind and gave tons of useful advice, I feel like I kinda owe it to you folks to post some results!

I am using the vin on the dash, as well as the door sticker, which do match.

Overall, these VIN lookup services aren't super reliable, I've seen variations on specs when looking up my truck, and other vehicles. However most of them seem to list the VIN as being associated with a Dual Sport.

This truck is a Frankenstein as I showed on the main thread, the truck the frame came from was apparently blue!
 
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don4331

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All the dual sports i see in marketplace seemed to gave flares like that. There is a nice one in austin for sale and njce on in mcallen or brownsville, also for sale.

I see ranger prices are dropping back to normal, so thats nice. I might get another just for fun
'98-'08 Mazda's have the 'semi' flareside box.

I've a Ranger I just got ready to sell, so little disappoint that prices have dropped :cool:
 

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'98-'08 Mazda's have the 'semi' flareside box.
The later Ranger STX used that same box as well. IIRC some other more generic Rangers used them towards the end as well.
 

JoshT

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The later Ranger STX used that same box as well. IIRC some other more generic Rangers used them towards the end as well.
I knew that Mazdas and STX used that bed, didn't know that they put it in others towards the end. Might be wrong, but it seemed like they also dropped the flare side bed towards the end.

I'm highly considering putting the Mazda bed on my '99. Maybe the front fenders too just for a little more flare, but I'd keep the Ranger hood, grill and bumpers. I don't see a lot of the Mazdas around here. I like the bed, but the slight mismatch in body lines between it and the Ranger fenders is something that stands out to me.
 

bhgl

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I knew that Mazdas and STX used that bed, didn't know that they put it in others towards the end. Might be wrong, but it seemed like they also dropped the flare side bed towards the end.

I'm highly considering putting the Mazda bed on my '99. Maybe the front fenders too just for a little more flare, but I'd keep the Ranger hood, grill and bumpers. I don't see a lot of the Mazdas around here. I like the bed, but the slight mismatch in body lines between it and the Ranger fenders is something that stands out to me.
I really do love that these trucks in particular kind of work like a lego set.

I really want to put either a ranger STX bumper, or one of those smoother plastic bumpers with fog lights from latter year rangers on my Mazda, but there's a grill divot that won't line up with the otherwise straight bottom grill line of my truck.
 

don4331

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I knew that Mazdas and STX used that bed, didn't know that they put it in others towards the end. Might be wrong, but it seemed like they also dropped the flare side bed towards the end.

I'm highly considering putting the Mazda bed on my '99. Maybe the front fenders too just for a little more flare, but I'd keep the Ranger hood, grill and bumpers. I don't see a lot of the Mazdas around here. I like the bed, but the slight mismatch in body lines between it and the Ranger fenders is something that stands out to me.
In for a penny, in for a pound...

The Mazda front fenders, need the Mazda headlight/headlight trim, which needs the Mazda grill. In turn that necessitates Mazda hood and bumper. I thought about it too - it all bolts together, but you need the whole front clip.

Then I think there were lighting issue - Mazda is closer to '01 up than '99.

So, I'm just on the hunt for the STX front bumper/valance
 

bhgl

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In for a penny, in for a pound...

The Mazda front fenders, need the Mazda headlight/headlight trim, which needs the Mazda grill. In turn that necessitates Mazda hood and bumper. I thought about it too - it all bolts together, but you need the whole front clip.

Then I think there were lighting issue - Mazda is closer to '01 up than '99.

So, I'm just on the hunt for the STX front bumper/valance
I just saw that you're Canadian, a Ranger STX is going to a Toronto pick n pull soon.

If you're desperate to get your hands on one maybe you can figure it out, but I've asked the folks on the Ontario Ranger facebook page to snatch it for me in exchange for a profit but no luck.

1712352094427.png


Here's the post: https://www.facebook.com/StandardAutoWreckers/posts/pfbid0xVDBauiFQMCFXmQuftGykuX4EKB338pG6wqgbNu2FVzeotVcHJ5yveVJB9di4tuyl
 

JoshT

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Yeah, I thought about doing the full on STX treatment. Problem is I don't want that hood, I want (& have) the 01-03 powerdome. Without that style hood, you can't use that style grill. That grill is the only one that really matches the STX bumper.

If I could find a matching billet insert for the STX bumper and a 01-03 grill I'd probably do it.

My other hesitation with the STX front clip is aftermarket replacement support. Neither the grill nor the bumper are supported with replacement parts. Have a minor fenderbender or hit a deer and it's all over. I have the same issue with the 01-03 powerdome hood, but they are a little easier to find on the used market.

I'll probably stick with the 01-03 grill and a 06-11 bumper. Having trouble piecing the latter together too. Can;t find a good one in the salvage yards, and can't get a clear picture/list of all the parts needed to piece together a new one.

The Mazda front fenders, need the Mazda headlight/headlight trim, which needs the Mazda grill. In turn that necessitates Mazda hood and bumper. I thought about it too - it all bolts together, but you need the whole front clip.
I'm not so sure about that. I've seen pictures of Mazda fenders with Ranger grill and headlights installed. Don't know what was involved with doing it, and didn't look that close at the fitment since I wasn't considering it at the time.

Y'all can can go for the STX, I think I'd be asking them to rescue KITT's little brother. That is a nice STX though, lot of goods parts there. Need it or not, I'd probably pick it up and fix it or part it if I could afford it.

EDIT: Actually did some research on one of the ones I've seen. The front edge of a ranger fender was attached to the mazda fender so the headlights would match. Since the truck is going to need paint anyway, I'm not above doing the same.
 
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Lefty

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Not sure about the VIN situation, but as far as I know, the Dual Sports all had fender flares (kind of like the Edge model Rangers did. Here's a DS:
It's looking good, buddy!
 

bhgl

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Gentleman, need your knowledge of sway bars.

There is a 4WD 2004 Sport Trac at the local pick n' pull. Is it worth harvesting the front and/or rear sway bars to install in my 03ish B3000?

The torsion bars should be the same between 2WD, and 4WD vehicles if I recall, I'm mostly just looking for something a little beefier. Bronco ii sway bars are just not happening, they just straight up don't exist up here anymore, and the ones that are left aren't going to the junkyard.
 

Lefty

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Gentleman, need your knowledge of sway bars.

There is a 4WD 2004 Sport Trac at the local pick n' pull. Is it worth harvesting the front and/or rear sway bars to install in my 03ish B3000?

The torsion bars should be the same between 2WD, and 4WD vehicles if I recall, I'm mostly just looking for something a little beefier. Bronco ii sway bars are just not happening, they just straight up don't exist up here anymore, and the ones that are left aren't going to the junkyard.
Sway bar or torsion bar? They both operate on the same principle, but a torsion bar is sometimes used instead of coil springs on the front of a Ranger. You have coil springs, so I would assume you mean sway bar.

I'm one of the few here who took the advice of some of our more August members and went one step further. I picked up a larger Explorer 1" sway bar for the front (some may be actually smaller than 1"). The thicker bars were from V8 models. The Tech section talks about this, recommending that you pull one from an Explorer of the same year.

You will probably break the link pins when you remove the bars. You want new ones anyway.

The same is true for the rear, but the Explorer bar would need to fit behind the rear axle. I did not really like this. Since I had a stock Ranger sway bar already mounted (in front of the axle), I added a set of leaf spring clamps to the rear which cost less than $20.00. The handling is greatly improved. The back end stays level on turns.

It is just my opinion, but sway bars greatly improve handling for all applications on the road. They become critical should you need to stop or swerve in a highway emergency.
20230715_094917.jpg

The stock Ranger sway bar for the front end and the Explorer.
 
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bhgl

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Sway bar or torsion bar? They both operate on the same principle, but a torsion bar is sometimes used instead of coil springs on the front of a Ranger.

Rangers use sway bars to hold the truck level while turning, reducing body roll and improving the handling. If you don't already have these, then get a set, by all means.

I'm one of the few here who took the advice of some of our more August members and went one step further. I picked up a larger Explorer 1" sway bar for the front (some may be actually smaller than 1"). The Tech section talks about this, recommending that you pull one from an Explorer of the same year.

The same is true for the rear, but the Explorer bar would need to fit behind the rear axle. I did not really like this. I had a sway bar anyway, so I added a set of leaf spring clamps to the rear which cost less than $20.00. The handling is greatly improved.
Indeed away bars. I don't know exactly how big the sway bars are in my truck, and the ones on the 04 Sport trac I mentioned.

I did take a look in the tech library but wasn't quite able to find the info I needed, are all explorer away bars of 1st and 2nd gen 1 inch or more?
 

Lefty

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Indeed away bars. I don't know exactly how big the sway bars are in my truck, and the ones on the 04 Sport trac I mentioned.

I did take a look in the tech library but wasn't quite able to find the info I needed, are all explorer away bars of 1st and 2nd gen 1 inch or more?
No, some bars are different. I just added a photo which might explain.
 

Lefty

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Here's a very bad photo of the Explorer bar mounted in the Ranger front end. I used the old brackets but squeezed them down tight around the thicker bar. Note also the new link pin with the white polyurethane bushing.
20230804_121838.jpg
 

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