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MAB3L, the most reasonable truck on the road!


don4331

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Thank you very much my friend! As for the rear disks, it's mostly a make-work project for me, there would be some midling weight savings associated, but overall better braking which is important to me consider my high speed driving, it'd also improve stopping power under towing/weight.

A disk brake installation would only come when I get around to visiting the axle situation.
Does your MAB3L have 10" rear drums or just 9" (3.0/auto could swing either way). Going from 9" to 10" with Aerostar drums might add some weight but it would be the single easiest way to increase brake performance.
Note: For fuel economy - disc pads are always lightly in contact with the rotors, while drum shoes retract clear away from drum. So, advantage drums even if they weigh more.​
If you want to improve braking, machine the rotors off your front hubs, install Mustang/T-Bird front rotors and appropriate repostition (space) the caliper.* This will require at least 16" rims, perhaps 17s depending on the exact rotor you pick.
Going from 11" to 13" rotors adds a ton of whoa Nelly.​
*swapping from Ranger calipers (dual 46mm pistons) to Explorer Sport Trak ones (dual 48mm) is a way to add just under 10% more clamping too.​
 


don4331

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I've heard of the 4-cylinder Rangers getting 30. It will be interesting to see if you can do it with a V6.
'98 Ranger 3.0 / manual / 3.73s / fleetside RCSB / 4x2 / 235/60R15s / 100km/h had best of 32.5 mpg. And that was with 236,000 km on the dial.

'99 Ranger 4.0 / auto / 3.55s / fleetside RCSB / 4x2 / 225/70R15s / 100km/h has best of 28.6 mpg

'17 F-150 RCSB 4x4 with 5.0 has best of 29.5 mpg.

Disappointly, my '88 S-10 with 2.5 / manual / RCSB / 4x2 / 100km/h did significantly better than the Fords. (Actual number withheld to avoid embarassing)
 

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@don4331
Aerostar rear drums don't fit 98+ , the center hole is too small by about 1/4"
 

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Most folks have 4WD, and larger tires to do their offroad business, so I get the cynicism, but I think this little guy can surprise.
With double OE hp, 3" lift, a lot of extra weight from bigger/heavier powertrain, and overize AT tires I am within a couple mpg of the EPA rating.

If I had a fresh engine and maybe even swap the 4bbl for EFI I think I could meet if not exceed the 2.8's 21mpg rating. Right now 17-18mpg is pretty easy.
 

bhgl

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Does your MAB3L have 10" rear drums or just 9" (3.0/auto could swing either way). Going from 9" to 10" with Aerostar drums might add some weight but it would be the single easiest way to increase brake performance.
Note: For fuel economy - disc pads are always lightly in contact with the rotors, while drum shoes retract clear away from drum. So, advantage drums even if they weigh more.​
If you want to improve braking, machine the rotors off your front hubs, install Mustang/T-Bird front rotors and appropriate repostition (space) the caliper.* This will require at least 16" rims, perhaps 17s depending on the exact rotor you pick.
Going from 11" to 13" rotors adds a ton of whoa Nelly.​
*swapping from Ranger calipers (dual 46mm pistons) to Explorer Sport Trak ones (dual 48mm) is a way to add just under 10% more clamping too.​
Thank you for this!

I think this solidified the decision to not do this mod, or at least hold it off until I run out of things to do.

Fuel economy is more of a priority at the moment than stopping power and unsprung weight reduction.
 

bhgl

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With double OE hp, 3" lift, a lot of extra weight from bigger/heavier powertrain, and overize AT tires I am within a couple mpg of the EPA rating.

If I had a fresh engine and maybe even swap the 4bbl for EFI I think I could meet if not exceed the 2.8's 21mpg rating. Right now 17-18mpg is pretty easy.
Definitely impressive, 17-18 MPG is about 15-20% lower than 21 mpg EPA estimate, but considering the metal you've got on board it's definitely impressive. This actually gives me a lot more hope that with a lighter foot alone I can easily get closer to estimates.
 

Plasso

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I'll be following with interest. I have a 3.0 also and I've done a few mods to increase torque and MPG. When looking at the cost of an upgrade, I consider that I hope to get 100K more miles out of the truck, and then I amortize the cost of the upgrade vs the cost of gas at about $4.50 per gallon. Using this logic I was able to rationalize paying a little bit extra for lighter Michelin tires.

So far, I've converted to an electric fan, installed an underdrive pulley from Summit Racing, installed some nice spark plugs, and I think the MPG and responsiveness of the truck have improved significantly. My truck is a 4x4 extended cab with some extra lift as part of the factory trim package, and it now gets a bit more than 20mpg on the freeway. However, the truck was headed to the scrap yard just before these modifications, so I don't know the what it got before this modifications. The previous owner told me it was never close to 20.

Also, I currently have a misfire at idle and really bad compression in two of my cylinders (one is only 30psi).

You have some interesting ideas, I've never heard of an electric water pump before. My short list of upcoming modifications is going to be installing a Gibson Cat-Back exhaust that supposedly adds horsepower, and probably Moreno roller rockers.

Because I have to install new cylinder heads in my engine soon, I'm seriously considering installing JBA headers, a 60mm intake with a Taurus throttle body, and then getting the engine custom tuned. But I don't know how much that helps me with low-end torque since I'm not really after high RPM speed; I only want low-end acceleration and good fuel economy, not speed.

I've also been thinking about weight reduction and how much removing 20lbs of weight from the vehicle improves performance vs adding 8 more HP. For example, the 4x4 solenoid switch on my truck has a 10lb anti-vibration weight that seems deletable. So, I'm going to remove it and see what happens, and I'm no the lookout for other opportunties. This got me thinking about the gallon jug of water and anti-freeze that I keep in the back, plus my toolbox, etc. That got me thinking about how much a good weight-loss diet might improve overall MPG.

Good luck with your venture.
 

bhgl

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I'll be following with interest. I have a 3.0 also and I've done a few mods to increase torque and MPG. When looking at the cost of an upgrade, I consider that I hope to get 100K more miles out of the truck, and then I amortize the cost of the upgrade vs the cost of gas at about $4.50 per gallon. Using this logic I was able to rationalize paying a little bit extra for lighter Michelin tires.

So far, I've converted to an electric fan, installed an underdrive pulley from Summit Racing, installed some nice spark plugs, and I think the MPG and responsiveness of the truck have improved significantly. My truck is a 4x4 extended cab with some extra lift as part of the factory trim package, and it now gets a bit more than 20mpg on the freeway. However, the truck was headed to the scrap yard just before these modifications, so I don't know the what it got before this modifications. The previous owner told me it was never close to 20.

Also, I currently have a misfire at idle and really bad compression in two of my cylinders (one is only 30psi).

You have some interesting ideas, I've never heard of an electric water pump before. My short list of upcoming modifications is going to be installing a Gibson Cat-Back exhaust that supposedly adds horsepower, and probably Moreno roller rockers.

Because I have to install new cylinder heads in my engine soon, I'm seriously considering installing JBA headers, a 60mm intake with a Taurus throttle body, and then getting the engine custom tuned. But I don't know how much that helps me with low-end torque since I'm not really after high RPM speed; I only want low-end acceleration and good fuel economy, not speed.

I've also been thinking about weight reduction and how much removing 20lbs of weight from the vehicle improves performance vs adding 8 more HP. For example, the 4x4 solenoid switch on my truck has a 10lb anti-vibration weight that seems deletable. So, I'm going to remove it and see what happens, and I'm no the lookout for other opportunties. This got me thinking about the gallon jug of water and anti-freeze that I keep in the back, plus my toolbox, etc. That got me thinking about how much a good weight-loss diet might improve overall MPG.

Good luck with your venture.
Happy to find another 3.0 comrade looking to make their reasonable motor more efficient.

I don't expect to make a return on a lot of these mods, it's mostly about seeing what can be done, and learning along the way, but I like that you've got a cost-benefit analysis going here!

When it comes to "sprung" weight, as in stuff being carried by the suspension like your tool box or that anti-vibration weight, you'll struggle to see a difference from 10-20lbs of weight savings, but finding reasonable things to remove adds up over time! I took almost 100lbs out of my old Kia Rio just by cleaning out the trunk and storage pockets. Saving weight at the wheels is overall more important and you've done just that with tire choice.

You'll want to get the misfire and compression sorted before you'll be able to really consistently measure benefits from mods.

Overall, I'm avoiding modification to the engine and transmission itself to ensure longevity and reliability. Fuel economy benefits have been mostly blissful rumours from what my research is telling me about upgrading intake, exhaust and internal engine parts. The belt driven accessory deletes are going to be a PROCESS to work out and get working well, but overall it'll reduce drag on the engine, and allow me to do use things like power steering and AC without the engine running, ideal for hypermiling and roadtrippin'.
 

don4331

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@don4331
Aerostar rear drums don't fit 98+ , the center hole is too small by about 1/4"
Aerostar drums fit just fine after couple minutes on the mill. (Or swap in '93-7 axles).

If I have tools to turn rotors off hubs; and machine the caliper adapters, drum center holes are child's play. :)
 

Lefty

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I've been on this site for about 2 years now. I remember reading and rereading those tech articles with great enthusiasm. I found that it is best to read some of them with a grain of salt. Some are just not worth the time or the money. No doubt those Aerostar brakes are better. But just exactly how much has never really been quantified.

You may also find that it is difficult to find them. And if you do, you just might never notice the difference in performance or handling after you are done.
 

bhgl

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Howdy folks! A quick update

Reference links:
POWER DOOR LOCKS INSTALLED! [part seven] 2002 Ford Ranger EDGE
How to Install Power Door Locks (Keyless Entry) in Your Vehicle [Part 2 of 2]
2001-2003 Ford Ranger Fuse Box Diagrams


While the interior is torn apart, and I'm waiting to pull some replacement seat belt components to HOPEFULLY clear the last of my airbag codes, I thought it best to get around to some little upgrades. Today that was power door locks!

I bought THIS Universal kit on Amazon, it was dirt cheap, and there were a few videos online for it being installed in Ford Rangers. The videos which I'll also link helped give me an idea of where to mount the actuators, and a few other things. Unfortunately those videos didn't tell me how to do a few things very clearly.

One, how to get wires through into the door specifically on the driver's side, given that at the exit of wire pass through, the emergency brake pedal mechanism is in the way. Two, where to find an easy, constant, 12 volt power source. Short of passing a wire through the firewall. Which is annoying.

The first problem was easily solved by my favorite tool, the wire coat hanger. I bent it into this shape:
PXL_20240324_233148592.jpg


Removed the speaker, and started shoving it through here carefully:

PXL_20240324_233136116.MP.jpg


This is approximately where it will come out:

PXL_20240324_233251490.NIGHT (1).jpg


From there I just wrapped the wires up, added some extra tape to make sure the coat hanger wouldn't rip the rubber through, or damage other wires on the way back.

PXL_20240324_234008112.jpg

Voila! Wires!

The second issue was also a surprisingly easy fix with a little research. Thankfully MAB3L and most other Rangers who don't have power locks, also don't have options like power mirrors. So after a checking out the fuse diagrams in the tech library, a poke and a prod with the voltmeter Fuse slot #1 was there for me, with constant power!

Check the fuse diagram for your year, and you should be able to find a fuse slot that's hopefully constant, and not being used.

I pulled the fuse box out by removing the 3 bolts holding it in, pulled the whole fuse box out as much as possible. I made sure to route the power wire from the unit over and out of the way of the parking brake mechanism.

I then stuffed power wire into the back of the slot, sorta did a crimp to hold it down, and slotted in a 10 Amp fuse I know it's supposed to be 5 amp fuse for the power mirror switch, but there is already a 10 amp in line fuse from the kit, and I doubt it's gonna matter. I used the OBD2 port bolts to ground the unit.
as-l1600.jpg


Bingo Bango Bongo, route some wires here, a zip tie there. The thing's in!

The locks now work very well! I'll post some pictures or a video soon of the whole thing working, but I'm just waiting for my sound deadening material to come in to quiet down the doors before I put em all back together. In total, this quick and easy mod cost a very very REASONABLE, 37.90$.
 

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bhgl

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Hey folks, another quick update!

PXL_20240329_214818952.jpg

Today I went for a 640 KM drive round trip through some beautiful Northern country to pick up a set of half gently used, half new Firestone Destination LE3s, in 205/70R16 for a very very REASONABLE 250$ CAD, saving me almost 140$ a tire compared to purchasing them brand new.

Today's drive was more sedate, and the roads were less freeway and more rural route. MAB3L got to stretch her legs still and we learned some things:

  • This truck hates uneven/rough pavement, at any speed. I really got a feel for the lateral shifting through corners, and even in a straight line as a result of a light rear-end and a highly sprung axle. For safety purposes, traction bars and a better rear sway bar are in order.
  • The "highway" we took was much narrower, lower speed, and with a lot of steep curves, turns and inclines. It was just below freezing at -1 Celsius. We managed to achieve 10.52L/100KM, which is around 22.40 MpG. Not too bad.
  • The wind noise issue has been resolved! (thank Christ) It was as easy as adjusting the cab's door latch inward on both sides.

As for the work that's been done:

The locking system, new airbags, and newish dash cluster are buttoned up and working great! I didn't end up installing the sound deadening in the doors due to the weather being simply too cold, I really don't want to have to crack open my doors again because some Kilmat detached and is now sticking to my window.
PXL_20240320_015940581.MP.jpg

I swapped my odometer, and two side gauge units onto a cluster that was in better condition (someone ripped the airbag light out of the original one damaging the traces, I wonder why...) I went for this mix and match approach mainly because it's unique, and the new cluster was from a 4x4 equipped vehicle. So the lettering on the sides for Low Range and 4x4 would have just been out of place.

I meant to grab some more pictures of the interior, but after 8 hours of driving, I forgot. Plus, the interior's just kinda gross and stained from farm life.

As soon as the weather warms up, I'll be posting some info and findings on how the new tires, and wheels are performing, and MAB3L's summer diet.

PXL_20240329_214805895.MP.jpg

(Don't mind the right turn signal)

Happy Easter everybody!
 

bhgl

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Howdy folks, I'm looking for some advice on lowering this truck's torsion bar front end.

Here's the quoted section from a different thread, that isn't quite relevant to the thread's original goal:

(removed member @s so as to not tag them twice)

So my Dual Sport has the same front suspension as your Edge's. I know Lefty's been able to lower his by cranking down his Keys and switching out blocks in the rear.

I'm mostly looking for 2" in the front, 3" in the rear, which seems to be the max before serious issues with ball joints and other things start happening.

I may just post my questions in a new or in the main thread for the truck but thought I'd start here.

Front Torsion Keys:
I've read that in 2009+ Ford started installing Keys that lowered the truck by about 1.5 or so inches from the factory to improve fuel economy, but it's hard to find any information on people swapping them in order to LOWER their trucks. I've read that some folks used to do a ReKey Mod where they'd find older keys to swap in. Would anyone here have some info on the keys?

I've read quite a bit about key flips, but I don't want to risk them failing or otherwise not doing their jobs well, I could also back out the adjustment bolt, but I'm worried that at a 1.5-2inch drop I'll have basically nothing threaded in at all.

Rear Blocks:
Things seem as easy as just pulling the stock 2 Inch lift blocks from the leafs/axle, but looking at it and from what other folks have mentioned, I may need new U-Bolts to actually hold the thing together safely. I imagine I could just grab typical 2WD U-Bolts and be good from there. But if there's something I should be looking out for. Let me know.

Shocks/struts:
I'm imagining I would need shorter struts for both the front and rear but I'm not sure. I need new struts regardless so I'm happy to be replacing them.

If shorter struts are necessary, what Ranger/B-Series models would I be looking to purchase them from, most 2WD without Torsion bars still have standalone struts, but does anyone know if they will work for a torsion bar application?

Bump Stops:
Shorter Bump stops will be necessary at the front, they can be found on the aftermarket, but I may try to make my own using some high density poly material I have on hand. Some folks have mentioned that they've had to cut out the area that mounts the bump stop, but I think that may only be for those doing full coilover conversions.

As for the rear I've got no clue.
 

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Someone like @lil_Blue_Ford will have to chime in. There really isn't a lot out there for torsion bar Rangers. The suspension design doesn't lend itself well to lifting or dropping.
 

bhgl

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Someone like @lil_Blue_Ford will have to chime in. There really isn't a lot out there for torsion bar Rangers. The suspension design doesn't lend itself well to lifting or dropping.
Thankfully I'm not going for a huge drop, seems like folks have had success by changing/adjusting their Torsion keys, but it's sort of everything else around it that I'm unsure of, things like strut length, supporting mods to make sure I'm not roasting ball joints e.t.c.
 
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