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Is there any hope for my current ranger?


BreadPigeon

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2005
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First off: Hopefully not another dream thread!
2005 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0
Automatic - Torsion Bar
Extended Cab
210,000

Mechanical Experiance: Rebuilt 4 stroke dirtbike motors - Moderate to High on cars - Done just about everything but a motor swap.

Tools and workspace - good to go!



Side note - Painting the rims black did improve HP's substantially, 10/10 would recommend.

It has taken me a few years to get to the point of having enough money and time to take on a project such as building a daily driving prerunner style truck. Pretty sure the torque converter is going out on it, been shuddering for a while at mid speeds. So that leads me to thinking I might want to turn it into a project truck. I like the look, but everything else seems wrong to turn into a prerunner. So, I am here for advice.

My concerns:
- It has torsion bar suspension
- Weak 3.0L (V8 conversion after 97 is harder from what I read)
- Not 4WD (Not a huge concern, I don't currently get stuck much in Florida sand and mud)

Should these deter me from starting this project?

For instance there is a 97 2.3L 5 Speed Single Cab for $300 on Craigslist right now. Missing a timing belt, but everything else is solid it seems. I am just not a fan of single cab, I haul tools and such for work. Is a different ranger a better option or screw it and tackle this one????

Anyone an advocate for TTB Rangers? Seems cheap and strong. 4WD. Downside - weird tire wear. Are they able to take a 302 usually?

Honestly I pretty much think I know the answer to this question and it is fix my current ranger and get another pile of junk as a project truck that is better suited for the application.

TL;DR - Wanting to start a project truck, use mine or something else.
 


RonD

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Welcome to TRS :)

Good page to bookmark here: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/index.shtml

Look in Engines or Conversions for V8 info.
The 1998 and up conversion issues are mostly do to electronics(dash board and PATS) and fuel system differences, which just requires extra steps not needed in pre-'98, but not a deal breaker.

Suspension tech is there as well

2WD is fine, limited slip 8.8" axle will help
 

Desertrunner33

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Here is my opinion on your situation although this is an old thread. As far as torsion bars go don't worry about that. There are plenty of kits out there that get rid of your torsion bars when you put in long travel suspension. Now the motor. The 3.0 is notoriously under powered so it looks like an engine swap may be in your future to an explorer 5.0. Although this is a big undertaking there is a lot of documentation on the swap on the Internet and there is help available. Even if you had the 4.0 SOHC you would still want to swap to the 5.0 at some point anyways. The 4.0 is a decent motor but doesn't have nearly the potential that the 5.0 has. Now for your 2wd question. Prerunners are meant to be 2wd. 4wd adds lots of extra weight up front which is an issue. Prerunners are all about getting the weight back which is why mid engine trucks exist. The 4wd only adds weight and if you are cruising at 50 or 60+ through the desert like prerunners are designed to do you will never need 4wd. 4wd is meant for when you are going slow and need traction. You don't need 4wd in prerunners which is why most race trucks are 2wd. Now you asked about the I beam Rangers. I beam Rangers are great prerunners and have potential for well over 20" of travel for a reasonable price. A arm Rangers don't get near the amount of travel that the I beam Rangers get for the same price. The tire wear issue should not be a factor you're going to burn through tires on either set up. If you're I beams are set up correctly the amount of tire wear won't be that much worse than an a arm ranger. I beam Rangers also can get way more travel in 4wd than a arms can although yes I did just say 2wd will work fine for you. There is lots to think about but if you have a truck you like the main thing I would ask before you begin your build is if the frame is rust free? If the answer is yes then go ahead and build. Anything can be done if you are willing to spend money and time on it. Just about everything will be replaced eventually so don't worry about it too much

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
 

pjtoledo

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by northern rust belt standards, that is a damn nice looking truck.
we never seem to get to the point of needing to rebuild the drivetrain, all too often there isn't much left of the frame or body by then.
 

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