Ranger Rick. 1987 Ranger


OkayKafka

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This is the 1987 Ranger that I just picked up from Craigslist for $1100 dollars a couple weeks ago. I was told that it has a motor from a 1985 Mustang SVO that had the turbo taken off: but, I'm pretty sure after looking around that it is the original 2.3L 4 cylinder engine and the guy I bought it from got lied to, or lied to me. The engine works pretty well right now. Maybe running lean and needs a couple new pulleys in there.
The shifter is sloppy so I have a rebuild kit on the way.

So far I've just been just been doing some of the stuff that should have been done a while ago. I found out pretty quickly that pretty much all of the seals around the glass and doors are shot (not sure about the windshield) and were letting in water. Lots of water. Ive been cleaning up a fair amount of rust in the cab but there are only two spots so far that I have had to cut and weld new metal into. After that theres only some welding on transmission tunnel and firewall (which I may not need to do. Ill get to that.)

I replaced most of the bad seals. I tore the old ones out and I'm pretty sure that there are fossils younger than those seals. I need the rear window seal but I hacked something together that I hope will work until I have a new one.

As I alluded to Ive been doing a lot of body work so far. I welded the new panels into the floor and am filling holes along the bed where I think a canopy used to be. I really enjoy working on auto body (had plans to do it as a living at one point but life changed) so its been fun to clean up the surface rust and get the little dents out before it eventually gets painted.


Ive been working on the brakes so far since they felt mushy. Looked at and have new pads rotors and calipers on the way for the front. I tore into the rear drums yesterday and found a nice surprise. The wheel cylinder is trashed. It actually shot nasty fluid out all over the place. I have new pads and hardware along with two wheel cylinders on the way. After I get all that in I plan to do a full flush of the system.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7uEDsK01PQ


Someone ghetto dropped the front by cutting the coils. It doesn't work and seems pretty damn dangerous to me. That and it looks damn goofy as the ride looks weird and the suspension bounces.

After that Ill just be working on cleaning things up and doing a full and regular tune since I don't know when the last time that happened.

Eventually Ill be getting better interior parts. The bench seat looks like it was fed up with being sat on about a decade ago.
I need to figure out a wiring issue on the firewall. Looks like instead of putting connectors on the wires for the fuse box someone just cut a bigger hole :huh::dunno: So I have to fix that at some point.


I'd like to build up a 2.3L turbo motor but I have enough to work on so far so thats far into the future.
 

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OkayKafka

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More pictures.
 

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OkayKafka

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I've been looking at fixing the front suspension and making it level. Im looking at getting the DJM dream beams and getting new springs and shocks.
My main question comes from what kind of compatibility they have with upgraded dual piston brake calipers. I'd like to upgrade the brakes to dual pistons from a newer ranger. I know that on my 87 I will need to get I-beams along with spindles/ knuckles. My question is if the beams are able to stand in as that upgrade or if I need different beams. I'd like to be able to have the lowering beams in there done can upgrade the brakes: but at the cost I only want to do it once.
 

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I just finished up the brakes. The pads were absolutely haggard and crumbled in my hands. I bled the system and the pedal feels so much better. I'm shocked to think that past owner thought that was okay and never looked at the rear drums. The cylinders had probably leaked for a really long time. So much grime!

I'm at a road block trying to get my lowering beams in since I can't get the bolts undone from the radius arms. They are just stuck and not going anywhere. Eventually I'll be able to get them undone but for now my beams, knuckles and new ball joints are going to have to wait.


I've mostly been working on the body and patching the floor. I still have some welding on the transmission tunnel to do And I'm debating if I want to cut it out and put make a new tunnel whenever I can. Figure that I just need to seal it up from water for the time being.


It's likely that I'll be going to tech school for auto body so it's exciting to possibly be able to get a lot of the work done that I need to and do it right. The truck will be looking really good after that for sure.
 

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Hey, that brake pad is no good.

I'm excited to see body work getting done on this thing.
 

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Hey, that brake pad is no good.

I'm excited to see body work getting done on this thing.
Those are actually the new pads ----

On both the front and rear I just took off the drivers side brakes and after having a couple moments of shock I decided to replace all the hardware except the drums which seemed pretty okay.

I'm pretty excited to be doing the body work on this. It'll be pretty simple but doing this project has made me remember why I wanted to do it for a living and sparked me going back to school for auto body.

The welded parts aren't great but are better than before. I just don't have the tools (I will take full advantage of the tools at school when I start going) I need to make it look pretty. The patches I did so far are a bit lacking but they work. Welded a bit and then sealed it off with fiberglass filler.
 

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hopefully you can see just how bad the rotors are in the photo. Really deep groove in them both. It's just time
 

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OkayKafka

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My bench seat. Think that'll buff out?

I took the seat out when I realized there was a good amount of rust on the floor pans. I've been able to grind and paint away without worrying about setting the seat on fire (only way I could possibly make it worse). Eventually I think that I'll replace it.

Updated pictures to come soon. I've done a lot of body work whenever I've had time. There's been a good amount of rain every time I start so it's been slow. It also looks nasty right now since I haven't really gotten all the paint smooth before putting primer on to cover up any bare metal
 

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Here's some of the progress I've made in the body work lately. Right now I've been using the Krylon Rust Tough primer whenever I'm done for the day. I still have a fair amount of dent smashing to do.

My plan right now is that when I get into school I'll be using Por 15 primer on this. Not sure sure what color it will be in the long run. I'm thinking either a semi gloss black or a dark olive drab

 

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I changed out the oil, filter, and plugs today. It was the first time I had gotten a view of what the inside of the engine is looking like. The plugs looked like they weren't too old. No real discoloration or imploded anything. There was a bit of what I think is broken down anti seize. Was kinda oily and only on the threads. Not thinking it's much since it's not on the diode or anything.

Was similar story with the oil. It was really grimy but it was smooth with no sludge or derby. Just dirty.

Think I'll be trying to do the transmission fluid. Pretty sure it's leaking from somewhere but not exactly sure where. I had to clean it up a lot when I got the truck since there was fluid of some variety (wasn't red) on the transmission. Think it may be from the shifter seal or the speedometer cable. More to be seen.


Oh yeah, my wiring is a rats nest. Not sure where a lot of it goes but I'm sure it'll be fun [emoji15]




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The engine starts and runs better. Just have a couple things i need to hunt down. First it kind of surges a little bit while at idle. Not much but just a little. I can also hear a light pop out the exhaust from time to time. From the looks of it and from really quick research (not a mechanic here) I suspect it may be running rich and that the throttle body needs to be cleaned out. Am I wrong in thinking that's going to get both issues?


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Some more work done yesterday. Mostly just sent smashing and filling.

Here are some pictures inside the cab. You can see my lovely patches. Those may get pulled out at some point but I was going for functionality. I just put some basic sheet metal in and used fiberglass filler to cover.

I'm not sure what to do with the transmission tunnel still. For whatever reason someone decided that it'd be grand to cut lines along it so those may either be getting patched or I'll replace parts of the tunnel itself.


Been thinking lately that I'm going to try and get a motor and transmission from an 88ish turbocoupe and transplant it in after doing a rebuild: or getting a long block (this hard work this debating with myself.)




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Decided yesterday to tear out the patch one of the previous owners had done. It was a pretty poor job. Not welded all the way around and to seal it they used liberal amounts of crappy household caulking.



Started fabricating a patch (the old metal was trash. Someone thought burning through metal while welding was acceptable. Didn't get much past making up a cardboard template.



Was raining today so I made a trip up north to the pick-n-pull. Was hoping to find a new shifter but all of the rangers were too new and have the wrong ones. I'm in need of one for my mk5 and I'm so far tricking out.
Instead I ended up pulling camshaft followers and lifters from a 96 ranger that had been t-boned. Really hoping that it'll solve my issues/ fit. Read that it'd work.


I also ordered some Por-15. I got the rust starter kit and a can of bed liner. My plan is to use both in the cab. I think that the bed liner will look really nice and be a lot better over the long term than trying to get some new carpet in there. This is more in my budget and will work better.

I also confirmed that the previous owner lowered the rear by taking a leaf out of the pack. Eventually I will have to fix that since it would be nice to carry more than 150 pounds without hitting the bump stops
 
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OkayKafka

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I finally managed to eek out a day to cut and form the patch. I'm pretty happy with it considering I don't have the proper tools and experience. Much better than my first patches and welding.

I'll go back and finish up the welding. There's still a couple holes to fill up and smooth out.




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My idle has been really rough lately so I pulled off my IAC and cleaned it. The fluid that came out was so black that I'm fairly certain that I could have painted with it. I didn't have time to wait for it to dry so I'll have to wait until tomorrow or Friday to see if that'll make a difference or not. Feeling like it will at least do something


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