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My 1996 Ford Ranger 4x4 (TRS-2) Re-Build


bobbywalter

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Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"















Time to get to work on the frame. Since it's all apart and accessible, I got out the grinder and a wire wheel and began cleaning it up. I think Bobby thought I was nuts.

that is a shit load of work.....you didnt even use the power washer!!!

of course i did not find out the guy down the street had the blaster until a few days earlier...


oshpho is some great stuff though. definitely buys time.
 


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bobbywalter

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woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
That's precisely why I built mine using all SS parts and tubing. I'll never go back to using traditional exhaust clamps after using these Torca style clamps. I can remove my entire (true dual) exhaust system in under 20 minutes easily, because the Torca clamps don't crimp the pipes together when tightening them.

Spend the $400 once and it will probably outlast the truck. Always looks nice and new as well.
x 1 million on the torca stuff....

those pipes will likely clean up nice with a wire wheel.....not sure if they are stainless....

my original exhaust system on my sbf was slated to outlast the truck by the builders of it...all stainless head pipes and mufflers with 14 ga aluminized extensions.... true duals.... out the side under the cab.


trucks like this actually rot stainless steel from the mud....now dont get me wrong...that system made it 600 plus k miles and 10 years. and when i took it to the shop where they did the exhaust they were shitting it was still alive.

and they remembered the job. and the no way this system wont outlast this truck bullshit story...

but it all rotted to hell....

i did not make them honor the guarantee. because i knew it was bullshit and i would have this thing for a looooong loooong time.
 

Bird76Mojo

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x 1 million on the torca stuff....

those pipes will likely clean up nice with a wire wheel.....not sure if they are stainless....

my original exhaust system on my sbf was slated to outlast the truck by the builders of it...all stainless head pipes and mufflers with 14 ga aluminized extensions.... true duals.... out the side under the cab.


trucks like this actually rot stainless steel from the mud....now dont get me wrong...that system made it 600 plus k miles and 10 years. and when i took it to the shop where they did the exhaust they were shitting it was still alive.

and they remembered the job. and the no way this system wont outlast this truck bullshit story...

but it all rotted to hell....

i did not make them honor the guarantee. because i knew it was bullshit and i would have this thing for a looooong loooong time.

The problem is usually the grade of stainless that's used in these systems, and of course the operating environment. I believe they use 304SS which will indeed rot out given enough time. Not all stainless systems are created equal..
 

Jim Oaks

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1996 / 2019
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Ford Ranger
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4.0 V6
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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
31704

I even cleaned up the gas tank skid plate (still working on it) and painted it with some black spray on bedliner I had left over.

The interior was cleaned up as best as I could get it with some foaming carpet cleaner and a vacuum, and I fixed the interior dome light (it was missing a mounting screw that made an electrical connection) and replaced the bulbs with LED bulbs. I also upgraded the map lights in the overhead Explorer console with LED bulbs.

I bolt was inserted on to the reclining bracket on the driver seat to keep it from falling back.

The front bumper was reinstalled after being stripped and repainted. The Smittybilt winch was installed and wired to a new battery mounted under the hood instead of in the bed.

The Ranger was running, cleaned up as best as I could get it, and ready for it's trip to Ohio. It looked better with the new TRS logo on the bed, a new windshield banner, and I touched up some rust spots with white paint to make it a little more presentable.

trs-2_complete-1.JPG


trs-2_complete-2.JPG


trs-2_complete-3.JPG


trs-2_complete-4.JPG

I installed the new Nilight Fog Lights and Driving Lights on a metal plate I had Bobby weld on to the bumper.

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After driving on dusty roads out west, and through a Texas dust storm, I thought these lights on the bumper would help other traffic see me in these types of conditions.

I use to have some halogen work lights on the back of the bed cage, and at the back of the bed. These were replaced with Nilight LED flood lights.

All of the lighting I've added were wired to toggle switches that were already in the console from previous lights. I plan to rewire all of the lights when I redo the interior in the future.

trs-2_complete-5.JPG

I would have really liked to have repainted this truck, and redone the interior. That will have to be future projects.

So Let's Recap:

The truck has:

  • New LED lighting
  • Light mount added to the front bumper
  • New Smittybilt Winch
  • New side gear in the Detroit Locker
  • 8.8-Inch Axle Truss
  • New Skyjacker M95 shocks
  • New rear brake lines and hoses
  • New parking brake cables
  • (5) New Cooper Discoverer STT PRO Mud Terrains
  • New axle pivot bushings
  • New balljoints
  • New tie rod ends
  • Driver axle beam and transmission cross member welded and repaired
  • New starter
  • New converter
  • New flexplate
  • Frame and axles cleaned up and painted
  • New TRS decals
  • Blood, sweat, and long hours
The TRS-2 Ranger was finally ready to load up on the U-Haul dolly and head to Ohio while being dragged by the 2019 Loan Ranger.

trs-2_loaded.JPG

Thanks again to @Will and @bobbywalter for helping me get TRS-2 back, and for Bobby's help getting it trail ready again.
 
Last edited:

bobbywalter

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woodhaven mi
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1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
i was sad to see it go......
 

Jim Oaks

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Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15

fuel_stop_sheets-1.JPG

I wasn't sure what to expect towing TRS-2 with the Loan Ranger. I knew the new Ranger would have the power to tow it, but I wasn't sure how well it was going to do stopping. I know that TRS-2 weighs over 4,000 lbs, plus the Loan Ranger was loaded with tools and camping gear. The U-Haul dolly doesn't have any brakes, so every time I stopped, I had all that weight pushing me.

When I left for Ohio, I wasn't on the road very long before the GPS took me down a hilly gravel road. I made sure I didn't go in to any curves to quick and have the weight of TRS-2 push the Loan Ranger around and jack knife it. I was leaving northeast Pennsylvania, and this is hilly country.

It was nice to finally get on the interstate and get some smooth straight roads. The Loan Ranger did a great job towing TRS-2, and actually did a really good job stopping all of the rolling weight behind it.

fuel_stop_sheets-2.JPG

The Loan Ranger was getting around 11.4 to 11.6 MPG, so I had to make a couple fuel stops.

fuel_stop_sheets-3.JPG

I finally made it to my mothers in Ohio at 4:00 AM on Friday September 6th.

at_moms.JPG

I had enough time to visit with my mom, get some sleep, get cleaned up, visit a little more, and then head to the Southington Offroad Park for the 20th Anniversary Trail Ride.

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I dropped off TRS-2 at Southington Offroad's campground, and headed to The Happy Moose to meet up with other TRS members.

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After getting back from The Happy Moose, I set up the tent on the Loan Ranger.

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Click HERE to see photos from the 20th Anniversary Trail Ride.
 

Craig0320

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Break it right the first time. Fix it better the next time.
Man I wish I could have been there.
 

Jim Oaks

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Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15

Here's a video of me wheeling TRS-2 at the 20th Anniversary Trail Ride.

Turn up the volume! :cool:(y)
 

Jim Oaks

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Engine Type
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
More Photos:

More photo's of TRS-2 from Southington Offroad.....

trs-2_at_southington-4.JPG


trs-2_at_southington-5.JPG


trs-2_at_southington-6.JPG


trs-2_at_southington-7.JPG


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85_Ranger4x4

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Here's a video of me wheeling TRS-2 at the 20th Anniversary Trail Ride.

Turn up the volume! :cool:(y)
Sorry, I didn't know you had your action cam going when I was filming your climb...
 

Jim Oaks

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4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
Are you kidding? I used your video in my video. Thank YOU!

My footage is from my phone.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Are you kidding? I used your video in my video. Thank YOU!

My footage is from my phone.
Ok, I am glad I didn't bumble into your video.
 

Jim Oaks

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Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
Finally Heading To Texas:

On September 11th I finally started the two day drive towing the TRS-2 Ranger back to Texas with the 2019 Loan Ranger. I pulled through a self serve car wash and washed off both trucks before departing.

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The yellow strap is hooked to the frame of the Ranger and tightened so the suspension doesn't bounce up and down going down the road.

31761

Some Shocking Problems:

I find (2) problems with my new Skyjacker shocks.

The right front shock body appears to be hitting the radius arms during suspension up travel.

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31794

This may be my fault. When I first installed the front shocks, I didn't put a washer between the shock and the radius arm. I went back and added one, but I'm thinking I may add a second just to space them out a little further.

I also noticed that the right rear shock appears to be leaking oil. I ordered these through Amazon, so I got a return label to return and replace it.

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Last edited:

alwaysFlOoReD

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What's wrong with the suspension bouncing? It handles way worse driving down a rutted road. And if you hit a bad enough bump you will break the strap, possibly sending pieces into oncoming or following traffic.

Same applies to anyone strapping a vehicle to a car trailer. NEVER strap to sprung weight like the frame or bumpers. Always strap to unsprung suspension like axles or tires. If I was on my regular computer I would post a pic of how I strap down as an example of one way to strap safely.
 

Jim Oaks

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Vehicle Year
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Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
Gas And Water Cans:

31797

Since I no longer have dual batteries mounted in the bed, I discovered that my Scepter water and gas can fit in the metal tray that the battery boxes were in. A large eye bolt was welded on both sides of the tray so that the can could be secured with a ratchet strap.

31798
 


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