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Vital Designs 1993 Regular Cab Prerunner


Joined
Jul 9, 2023
Messages
23
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Location
San Diego
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
How did I miss this thread?

@ChristianEwing:
What do you do in your spare time?
Work on trucks :ROFLMAO: I eat, sleep and breathe this. There is no other option when you're trying to start a business from nothing, on your own and self teaching yourself everything along the way. That being said though, I really enjoy what I do so I would be doing this regardless if it was paying me or not. There is something about the problem solving, skill building, creative nature of crafting these trucks from nothing that keeps me chasing the passion. Its a drug for sure, and ALOT more expensive than the ones you smoke, poke or swallow! 🤪
 


Joined
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Messages
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Location
San Diego
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Once the beam kit was on the truck, it was time to start thinking about engine and trans. I knew with having the beam kit bump out where I wanted it too, the factory engine crossmember was 100% gone, and then Ryan and I talked about the possibility of the firewall getting cut out as well if tire clearance at full lock/bump got bad. Once I got the kit on the truck, I knew right away the firewall was gone. I pushed the wheelbase 1.5-2” forward from factory in the front, enough to still look proper in the fiberglass, and at full bump/lock the tire was all in the firewall.

I knew as well from the previous kit that was running 33’s that it was rubbing the firewall and the computer wiring (typically ranger stuff) so I knew it was gonna need to be cut but the amount it needed for the new setup was more than just a little patch panel. Instead of having a fugly looking hagardly patched up factory firewall with a bunch of factory holes in it, I just ripped it all out. Which was a blessing in disguise for multiple reasons.

After I cut the whole firewall out, I bumped the truck out on both sides, and just roughly mocked up the engine and trans in the truck and realized the clearance I had for the oil pan to the top of the beam was really close to keep everything under the hood still. Sooooo, I built the most low profile, stout, engine crossmember I could between the beams and oil pan. I was originally thinking a plate work crossmember but once I saw what I was working with I opted for some 1.75” .120 tubing between the two. There is a main tube that runs from beam pivot to beam pivot, that is 1.75x.120 with 1.5x.120 inside of it to keep it as rigid as possible. And then there is two other 1.75x.120 tubes to create an “X” over the top of the beams at the same angle the beams sit at when at full compression. The structure that’s in there now is way stronger than anything I could have came up with out of platework while staying in the same packaging constraints.

Back to the blessing in disguise. After realizing the clearance to the beams/oil pan and there was no factory firewall from holding me back, I ended up pushing the engine and trans back 7” from factory location. At the same time, it mitigated the issue I was having with the trans output being right on the cusp of the driveshaft needing to be a two peice shaft with a carrier bearing or a single peice shaft. So pushing it back put the output of the trans right in the sweet spot for a single peice driveshaft setup which I’m pumped on. Also, when I mocked Ryan up in the truck originally with his new PRP seats and the engine and trans still in the factory spot, the shifter was a good reach away when full pinned in the seat while simulating having harnesses on. So now the shifter is in a super optimal position for really comfortable driving


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Joined
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Messages
23
Reaction score
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Points
13
Location
San Diego
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Once engine and trans were in place, I wanted to get a bearing on space in the engine bay area, so I mocked up a fender and the header panel. The radiator we got for this truck is a CBR 31x16”, which is 3” shorter in height than I’m used to using on full-size trucks and you can still see it stuck above the header panel by a decent amount. This resulted in me cutting the front of the frame off and bringing it down lower for the radiator to sit properly in the truck once I started on the engine cage structure. There was some time spent trying to figure out what I wanted to do for layout on the engine cage, my main things were I needed to build it around knowing it’s getting a bigger power plant later, so the center needed to be as open as possible and if I could I wanted it to look different than what I typically see on these I-beam trucks. The main structure comes out wide from the A pillars, instead of the center windshield tubes, giving a lot of space in the center of the truck and also giving it a more aggressive look diving into the front portion. The radiator tucks nicely into the engine cage, right in its little pocket in the frame rail. I didn’t want to have this thing sitting outside the main engine cage structure and have it possibly get unwanted damage if there was some sort of front end collision so this was the ticket.

Once the main structure was there, I started playing with shock layout as well as firewall layout and engine cage lacing tubes. These all need to be thought out together, at least in my opinion, to make sure everything works together properly and you aren’t shooting your self in the foot somewhere later. With this truck being so narrow in width, packaging shocks was kinda tricky at full compression/full lock situations. To add ontop of that, because this is running a conventional 3 peice clip and not some sickkkyyyyy raptor clip, the height constraints to the underside of the hood are a lot tighter as well so getting the bypass to clear at full bump took a little time moving mock up tabs around to get the angles correct. That is why this shock package has so much rake to it as well, it’s just to get everything to clear under the hood. You can also see my super custom shock supports I use too while I mount shocks 😂 another thing to note too, all the shock pivots are running dirtking weld washers making the bolt holes extra thiccc and simplifying the shock mounts to where I don’t need to run some crazy looking overlay. This is my go to setup now, sometimes more simple is better and in this case with shock mounts I think it’s the ticket

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Joined
Jul 9, 2023
Messages
23
Reaction score
46
Points
13
Location
San Diego
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
I got the upper and lower shock mounts buttoned up and burned onto the chassis. As well as getting the radiator fully mounted in the truck. The bottom side of the radiator I built a tray for it to sit into that bolts to each frame rail, that way it can get powdercoated so any water or coolant that gets down into the tray doesn’t start to make it rust over time. The top of the radiator is held in at 4 points with a removable crossbar that is also tying back to the shock mounts. The tubes that run back to the shock mounts will also be used to hold the air filter, overflows, and other accessories that will need to be mounted up front in the engine bay and all this stuff will be paneled in at the end as well. The last two photos are from when I was checking toe once more before I built the final tie rod that connects the pitman arm to the rest of the steering system. Just cool to see everything without a tire on it

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Josh B

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Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Yep! Reckon if I had a Million dollars I'd keep right on wrenchin till it was allll gone! :D
 

Jim Oaks

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Location
Nocona, Texas
Vehicle Year
1996 / 2021
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 / 2.3 Ecoboost
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
Joined
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Location
San Diego
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
I have spent the last couple weeks getting the cab sealed back up. A lot of tin work and a lot of silicon bronze welding but it came out rad. Cutting the back wall, floor and firewall out were pretty much a necessity to be able to get the most out of this regular cab platform and to optimize the final product. Exhaust is also done on this thing minus getting the tips done off the mufflers, but I’m waiting to get the panels built to be able to do them so they come out the panel work properly. Engine and trans were pulled back out as well to be able to build out the firewall and get it all welded in, it also allowed me to get the engine mounts boxed in and fully welded as well as weld the engine crossmember in that ties the two beam pivots together. Another item that I was able to get knocked out was the front bumpstops. With how tight the packaging is on the front of this truck, the bump had to land on the backside of the beam, so I had to get crafty with the bump pad coming off the beam

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Joined
Jul 9, 2023
Messages
23
Reaction score
46
Points
13
Location
San Diego
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Took the truck to Offroad Expo in Pomona Ca and got alot of great feedback on it. Was cool to be able to have people see the truck in person and truly get an idea of the detail and craftsmanship put into this thing. Photos and videos never do justice to what it looks like in real life

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Josh B

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
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Messages
3,886
Reaction score
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Points
113
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Man, that is an awesome build you are doing there
 

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