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What is your Ford Ranger story...(For Ford)

Jim Oaks

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I received this as part of an email:

Hello! I work in the Ford PR dept in Dearborn. As I contribute to media stories and work with outlets to promote Ford products, the upcoming Ranger is a hot topic in their circles.

Ideally, I would love to speak with some of the biggest Ranger fans out there to help tell their third-party stories to the media. Why they love Ranger? How are they using it? What do they think of the one on the way?

I'm looking for positive stories about your experience and history over the years with the Ford Ranger. Please post your story here.
 
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kimcrwbr1

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In 2006 i bought my first truck a 1983 ford ranger 2wd auto for $200.00. Put in a bone yard engine for $750.00 used C-3 tranny for $75.00 duraspark conversion with motorcraft 1.08 2150 carb with #42 jets. Put in a L/S 3.73 third member 15 inch wheels and new shocks and brakes. Still driving it daily getting 19-20mpg. End of story
 

97fordrunner

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'91 Ranger STX reg cab 4.0 5spd was my 2nd vehicle 1st truck and since 1998 there has been no tone where I didn't own an RBV. For me it's because they are capable, reliable fun and easy to work on and they are always the under dog. My favorite was my '97 STX which I built all myself and always surprised the Jeep guys when I kept up or got past something they couldn't and still drive it home at the end of the day
 

TonkaMan

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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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1997
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2.3 (4 Cylinder)
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2.3 Liter
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Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My baby

Bought her as my first truck at 16. 97 Ranger fleet model, 4 cylinder, custom ordered with no options as an escort vehicle by a wide load transport company. No A/C, straight AM/FM radio, rubber floors, no cruise control. 5 speed tranny. Had 134k when I bought her, half of which were in neutral being towed behind a semi. 214k miles now.

A bit rough around the edges but a good father/son project and no rust other than the front of the hood. My dad and I spent many late nights in the garage over the years with this truck.

Senior year of high school we rebuilt the top half of the motor when the head cracked. Later we build a rear axle from an Explorer from the ground up all new components. 4:10 gear with disc brakes. Replaced the rear suspension, and recoated the back half of the frame.

Swapped the engine cooling fan with an electric fan from a Taurus SHO. New chrome bumpers and grill to replace the factory painted ones. When my friend totaled his Ranger, I had his truck towed to my house and I salvaged the complete A/C system from his truck over the course of a week, and ended up rewiring the entire dash in the process. Added Rostra cruise control, which I wired into the factory indicator light in the dash.

On the interior, I had the seat reupholstered and I changed the flooring. Overhead console and sunvisors from an Explorer. Added sound deadening and carpet from LMC truck. New stereo with Bluetooth, hands-free calling, Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Heated seats are planned for install this winter.

This truck has taught me everything I would ever need to know about a vehicle and how to work on them. Brought me so much closer to my dad after spending days at a time in the shop wrenching, just the two of us.

















 
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projectnitemare

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Back in 2002 or so I purchased my first vehicle, a very stock 1988 Ranger 4x4. I wasn't totally enthusiastic about it as I was set on a mustang. Time went on and I started making the truck my own with lift kits, tires and whatever else I could save money for. Like any other teenager I abused it and parts started breaking; axles, differentials, engines and the list goes on. When it was broke it sat until I could afford to get it fixed being most of the necessary repairs were outside anyone in my family's skill set. After a few expensive repairs, I bought tools, books and combed through the online forums so I could fix my own self inflicted mechanical failures. The repairs started small, but when the stock 6 cylinder gave up, my mind was set on bigger things. The 351w swap was the biggest project I had ever undertaken at the time. The truck was always a work in progress. The V8 needed more power, the transmission wasn't stong enough, the stock sheet metal was replaced with fiberglass; something to make it better than before. That truck was my expression and it always commanded attention. Some people had no idea who I was but they knew that truck. It was more than a truck though, it saw friends come and go, kept me out (and in) trouble and brought out the mechanical background in me that I never knew I had. The skills I learned wrenching, eventually put food on my tablet when times were tough. It made me interested in following a mechanical field, from education to a career. Sadly the very things that I learned from that old Ranger became it's demise. It sat in pieces for yet another round of improvements as my career took me across the country. The truck couldn't make that kind of move. I parted it out to a wide array of people, from old men to young kids. In many places it still lives on. I learned a lot from that 88 Ranger and without it I might now be where I am today.
 

DeathRanger

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My credo
This is my Ranger. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My Ranger Story

I've owned 4 Rangers and currently have 3. Growing up my dad had a Courier. When I was a teenager I decided I wanted a stick shift, square body ranger. I spotted the exact one I wanted one day at golf practice and bought my first Ranger when I was 16. A Manual 1992 2wd Ranger Red Single Cab Long bed. I drove this truck until it fell to pieces. There happen to be a car dealer across from my work and one day an automatic 2000 XL Trailhead edition in Mandarin Gold Metallic with matching tonneau cover showed up in the back of their lot not for sale. I convinced them to sell it to me. A girl I worked with starting dating me only because she wanted my truck. She's since became my wife and fueled even more my passion for Rangers. Since then I've bought an automatic Dark Shadow Gray 2004 XLT FX4 which is my current daily driver getting 100 miles of daily use. Because I can't stop buying rangers and Orange vehicles, I saw a 5 speed, extended cab, 2000 XLT 4x4 in Mandarin Gold Metallic for sale and flew to Denver the next day to buy it. I'm super excited for the new Ranger and really hope to get a 2019 Lariat FX4 in Saber Orange.
 
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HighMileage93

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1993
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Manual
Family Truck

It was 1994. My dad owned a 1988 Dodge Ram50 that was having electronic carb failure. My parents decided instead of spending BIG $ to fix it, the time had come to go shopping. Dad was at work and Mom went looking at used dealerships. She traded the Ram50 for a green 1993 Ranger XLT Longbed 2wd standard cab with a 2.3L 5-spd manual. She had the old Ram50 towed to the dealership and she drove the Ranger home to surprise dad. He drove it for years until his knee got bad enough (Army Vet) that the clutch pedal was too much for him. He bought a 2000 Ranger with an Auto Trans and I bought his old '93. The truck has 230,000 miles on the original 2.3L, is on it's third set of springs, frame repair, a 5-speed from a '97 (changed 100k miles ago) and the A/C removed. We have gotten 120,000 miles out of 60,000 mile Cooper Cobra tires with it and only had to change plugs I think four times. It's a trooper and it IS loved. The green meanie is semi-retired these days as it mostly just hauls me a 1/2 mile to work everyday. We still put some decent loads in it once in a great while, though. The future for our Ford family member includes a 5/4 suspension drop and some bodywork and new colors. It may eventually have some adventures on an autocross track somewhere. Time will tell because this '93 will never leave us.
 

ratdude747

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1995
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4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0L
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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
215/70R15
I obtained my first 1995 Ranger as a trade for a smashed up 1999 Dodge Durango that was nothing but trouble. A fresh tranny and some TLC later (it was hacked on quite a bit) and things were off to a good start. Drove nice and there was something about it that I just enjoyed. Several minor mods later and all was exactly as I wanted... until my wife wrecked it :(.

I still loved the truck so much that the only real replacement would be... another ranger! I went out of my way to find a near-twin (it's a long bed with a loaded interior, not a common combo), and a 5 hour drive and $1950 cash later I ended up with my second and current 1995 Ranger. I moved a bunch of better/modded parts over (which included about half the interior, the new one was torn up and faded), and a few other mods later, and I have a truck that honestly I can't really complain about much. Sure, the 4.0 OHV V6 eats gas a bit (but it's a 1990's V6, that's to be expected), but otherwise, it's my go-to vehicle for all uses... long trips, work trips (when I can get away with it), and just going to work. It's a very enjoyable truck. Even stock, I'd still be quite happy driving a ranger.

As for the new one, I can't really comment as I'm not in the market for one.
 
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Bird76Mojo

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My mother gave me my first Ranger back in 1994. A beautiful red 1986 standard cab short bed, 2 wheel drive with the 2.0L 4 cylinder and 4 speed with overdrive. I customized it with directional wheels and low profile tires and a stereo system. The girls wouldn't leave me alone. lol Many very fond memories were made in that truck. From fishing, to my first love, first dates, camping in the bed, and playing in the mud and trail riding. I later sold it due to an issue that I couldn't figure out. It ended up being a clogged catalytic converter that the next owner finally figured out. That truck always broke down on me due to the Duraspark system, but it taught me a TON about working on vehicles and helped to build my character and teach me about patience. Many lessons were learned the hard way while owning that truck. I still regret selling mom's old truck to this day.. but it gets better...

Around 1997 I bought a 2nd Ranger. A 1988 extended cab 4x4 with the 2.9L V6. After driving it 3 miles home, the oil looked like chocolate milk. Cracked head/s or bad head gasket.. I paid $700 for it and it sold about a year later to a mechanic shop that already had a drivetrain for it. I sold it for $1500 so the delay selling it was totally worth it. I never even licensed it for the road, but I did manage to go mudding in dads field for several hours, much to his dismay..

In 1999 I purchased a 1989 standard cab long-bed 4x4 with the 2.9L V6 (you'd think I learned my lesson on the junk 88 model but nooooo), and manual transmission and manual transfer case. My life was never the same. That truck opened up so much more in the offroad world to me, and many more very fond memories were created while owning that truck. Again, from first dates, one night stands, lots of partying, fishing, hiking, mudding, service work, hauling wood, performing farm duties... I beat the tar out of it. It cracked 2 drivers side heads on me, and I finally installed a Jasper rebuilt engine and it cracked both heads. Installed two new heads and they cracked within a year. The truck now resides at the back of our farm among my parts-vehicle collection. It still runs, just not that well. It's going to give it's life so that other Rangers may live on...

This photo was taken shortly after purchasing and adding new wheels/tires.
001 (3).jpg


Several years later I purchased a 2001 standard cab, 4.0sohc automatic (I couldn't locate a manual transmission 4x4 model in a standard cab) 4x4 which seems to be a rare truck to find. I still own it and drive it almost daily. It's been a VERY SOLID truck. I stopped beating my trucks to death in mud pits years ago, but I've asked this truck to do work for me that it had no business doing, and it performed far better than I could ever ask. I've dropped it off and down river banks that no truck should have to traverse, and it takes it with no complaints. I've installed a Superlift lift kit, 33" tires and wheels, rebuilt the limited slip rear axle, converted to rear disc brakes, installed 1/4" plate bumpers front/rear along with a 9000lb Superwinch up front, and a custom 1/4" steel skidplate. #1 Explorer torsion bars, and Skyjacker FR34 rear leaf springs. I'm still deeply in love with this truck, but I've also found and perfected a new girl. . . . .

The 2001 as it currently sits..
19894576_10212373329461279_1784894604983001870_n.jpg


Still desperately missing my first 86 standard cab, I had to have another that was identical, and with my higher income these days, I could finally afford to build the dream truck I always wanted to turn my 86 Ranger in to.. I set out to do that last winter. I started in August and was on the road by March. All done in a non-heated garage.

I found the perfect donor truck in Indianapolis. A beautiful red 1987 standard cab shortbed with the 2.0 and 5 speed, so although it's identical to my very first truck, it's still one year newer. It's otherwise IDENTICAL in every way to my first truck with all of the same options. Manual everything, just how I like them. I then located a wrecked 1992 Ford Thunderbird with the 5.0 V8 and an automatic transmission that only had 30,000 original miles. I installed that engine and transmission in the 87 Ranger, but I had a couple complications.. I had to switch to a new Tremec T5Z from Modern Driveline due to the AOD transmission having the OD band burnt up, and I was wanting a 5 speed in the first place. Now that the truck is built, I couldn't love it any more than I do. It's exactly what I wanted at 19 years old. A small, lightweight V8 powered menace to society. Every time I jump in the truck it transports me back to a time when life was far more simple for me, and all was right with the world.. It makes every day that much more exciting. Acceleration is out of this world, and she's got my heart for good.

When I first purchased the 87 for the V8 swap..
01111_cuDc7onNjtx_1200x900.jpg

The 19 year old version of me finally got his dream truck after waiting 22 years to build it just right...


thumbnail (62).jpg

Build list on the 87 swap truck: 92 Thunderbird 5.0 H.O., Tremec T5Z with the front shift/rear socket option from Modern Driveline, shortened custom length aluminum Explorer limited driveshaft, 31 spline 8.8 rear axle with the Torsen locker and 4.10 gearing from a 2003 FX4 LVLII model Ranger, Ron Francis Telorvek EFI wiring system using a Mustang A9P EEC, braided steel fuel line from front to back with an Earl's billet fuel filter and Foxbody Mustang high flow fuel pump in the stock Ranger pick-up assembly. Hedman 88400 headers mating to a fully custom built (by me) 2.5" exhaust system with a Magnaflow internal x-pipe muffler. She sounds nasty and frequently scares people upon start-up.

I'll own the "Red Rocket" as people are calling it (lol) for the rest of my life as a work-in-progress hotrod/daily driver.. The 2001 I'll likely keep pieced together for decades and eventually perform a V8 swap. A solid axle conversion will happen eventually as well.

I love my Rangers. They've changed who I am as a person, and they've improved my life. Anyone in the county I live in, or nearby towns, if they have a Ranger problem, they often come looking for me. I'm well known in these parts as "The Ranger Guy" and I've convinced a few friends to purchase their own Ranger trucks over the years. I've also performed maintenance on their trucks free of charge because I know what I'm doing on these trucks and they know it.

I still own many other Rangers and Bronco II's for parts. I'll never purchase any other make or model of vehicle. I've owned Rangers this long, so why change it? I know them so well at this point, buying anything else would be foolish. This love affair has been burning for over 25 years and there's no sign of it being extinguished any time soon..


As for the new Ranger, I'll probably own one eventually, but at their current pricing I'll probably wait to pick up a nice used model. I'd like to give Ford a few years to get them ironed out for the U.S. market and for them to expand the engine and transmission options. I'm telling ya, I'll literally be buried in a Ranger when I die. ;)




GB :)
 
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donaldcon

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At 14 yo I went with dad to a police impound auction where he purchased a totally beat 86 2.3 5 speed. For $60 He tossed a battery in and drove it home where it sat until I was 16.

I put some junkyard body parts on it and then wrecked it and refixed it. Drove it till I was 18. Concieved my first child in it sold it. Bought it back 3 years later. Drove it for 2 more years resold it and then it got converted to 4x4 with a bobbed bed and ran the trec races at badlands a few years with Tom Campbell behind the wheel.

It cant be killed.

Thus started my love of rbv

Sent from my LM-X410(FG) using Tapatalk
 

Connor1156

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A passion that quickly grew!

So I bought my first Ford Ranger when i was 17 (now 23) it was a Red 2000 XLT 4x4 automatic with the offroad package. I had wanted a truck forever and when i found this one with low miles (58k in 2014) for a good price i had to had it. As i started to take the ranger offroading i began to break things which is when my passion for working on all cars began, with a niche for rangers. From there the modifications began. body lift kit, offroad lights, cb radio to start with. Once i began working in the summers during college i saved up enough for a superlift and some brand new 35in BFG KM2s. The truck looked amazing.

Driving this monster of a ranger quickly turned into a hassle due to faster wearing suspension components and single digit gas mileage. This is when i bought my second Ford Ranger, a 1999 2wd short bed, short cab with the 5 speed. This truck was awesome and got me 28mpg average. This truck i decided to lower 2in (because no one likes a stock truck) and painted black and green. I kept this truck for almost 2 years when i sold it to buy something that could tow my red ranger. I got a 2005 F150 that barely had the power to tow my ranger.

This is when things got crazy. With a new daily driver i had the ability to get creative with my red ranger, after some searching i found a new set of axles, the front being a Dana 44 from a 1978 F150 and the back being a Ford 8.8 from a 2000 Ford Explorer. I had someone mount these axles under my truck after ripping out the stock independent front suspension. I now had a solid axle swapped beast of a truck sitting on 37in BFG KM tires.

Since then i have sold the 2005 F150 for a 2015 F150 with twice the tow capacity and am currently looking for a nice clean 5 speed ranger to lower and hopefully put on air bag suspension (i like lifted and lowered trucks). As far as my opinion of the new Ranger is concerned i am definitely excited to see it and test drive it. I will be curious to see what the aftermarket support is for parts and accessories. Like many others, i am disappointed to not see a manual transmission or transfer case option or maybe even a diesel engine variant. But i am looking forward to seeing more of the iconic truck on the streets. I am definitely a Ford enthusiast but above all else i am a Ford Ranger enthusiast!
 

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BLOODBANE

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I bought my '84 from my parents in 1991. It wasd agreat truck to begin with (stock) so I choose it as my base project vehicle. It has gone through a few cahnges over the years, but currently I am runnng a 425hp, 347 stroker with a C-6 and a Dana 20 combinaton. I have Explorer D35 and 8.8 with 4:56's. lock-Right in the front and a detroit in the rear. Running 36x13.5x15 IROCs on AR rims.

I liked my Ranger so well I built an Explorer as well. Its a 1994 with a 4" suspension, 3" body lift. I put 4:88's in for gears, and Lock-Rights front and rear. Home made snorkel. I have had it in places I font think FORD ever intended them to go. I built it so the family could all come with me.
 

97RangerXLT

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The story on my 1997 Ranger Supercab with 4.0 and 4wd

Back in 1997, my Mom worked for the US Postal service as a rural letter carrier. not bad pay, but you had to use your own car/ truck for delivery. at the time she was using a 1988 Oldsmobile for delivery, and in the summer or nice weather it was fine. when the winter came the east central Illinois country roads are quite a mess, and the front wheel drive Olds could not get to many places, so Dad decided to buy her a 4wd truck for the bad weather days. so he bought a fairly well decked out brand new 1997 Ranger Supercab with the 4.0 and 4wd, with factory 31 inch tires and 2 inch suspension lift, with Billstein shocks as well. This definitely did well on the unplowed roads. Since the rural mail route is very hard on vehicles, Mom only used the brand new Ranger when the roads were bad, which definitely saved the truck from getting beat to death.

Mom retired from the Post office in late 1999 when my first son was born and the Ranger was relegated to a life of the extra vehicle. in 2005, Dad decided he didn't need a truck anymore and asked if I wanted the Ranger. (HELL yes!) So I now had me a 8 year old truck with just a little over 106,000 miles on it, and it looked great and drove great. I have owned the truck for almost 14 years now, but only put on about 80,000 miles in those years. it currently has 187k on it, still runs and drives great although I have a little bit of clear coat peel on the hood and passenger fender.

My second son (7 years old) has told me that he wants my Ranger when he gets old enough to drive. He enjoys the truck more than the wifes Dodge Charger or my Buick Lucerne. the truck can haul things and has 4wd and we go camping and fishing with it, so definitly much cooler than the cars. The first born son is now almost 19 and has bought himself a Chevy pickup. I pray for him daily.

The Ranger and my first son in 2005 (almost 6 years old) Look at that shiny paint


Second son earlier this year (7 years old) Truck still looks good 13 years later


The truck does come in handy for house and garden projects.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Shortly after my 16th birthday in 2000 I came to my dad's shop and saw a neat little green Ranger with a for sale sign in the back window. Dad talked to the guy a little about it and arranged a test drive. I thought it was fun to drive and really liked it, dad thought it had a funny miss but figured a tune up would probably fix it. Dad told the guy he will think about it which is usually a nice way of saying no.

I went on a Boy Scout trip and kept thinking about it. I kept an eye out on our trip to Colorado and didn't see another like it.

After I got back out of the blue we loaded up in the family Explorer to pick it up.

I have a set of wheels! :yahoo:

It looked just like this but with a black grille and no grille guard:



If you can find it on a waybackmachine type thing in February of 2002 you can find a post by a 85_Ranger4x4 with a post count of 1 hoping to find a quick fix for a A4LD with sparkly black fluid that smelled like burnt popcorn. Dad and I got another trans snuck into it right before Junior Prom.

My brother put in the bodylift in 2006 and durasparked the 2.8 in 2007. Dunlop Mud Rovers came along from a fellow TRSer and I snagged the sawblade aluminum wheels at the Lincoln Swap Meet around 2008.



Engine swap was in early 2011, 8.8 rear axle swap was in that summer.









Mustang E7 head, HO cam and Explorer FEAD swap happened in 2012.





In 2014 my girlfriend got her first ride in the my noble steed for the first time on our way to celebrate our three month anniversary. I would later propose to her beside that truck and it was the get away vehicle from our wedding.

I turned the fuel pump off as we went out to supper, the truck performed spectacularly in front of our house, coughing and bucking as the carb bowls ran dry. She bought it hook line and sinker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Ne7joNd-s&index=20&list=UUPsEQoFNDYaLWZ33HUvYCVw







I just finished upgrading transmissions and am going to be upgrading the front axle as soon as I get done fixing the floor pan.

Over the last 18 years we have been thru a lot. Two Homecomings, one prom and one wedding.
 
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Ranger850

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My Ranger Love Story -

When I was 15 I got a job at the new Taco Hell in my town. Worked all year and got a tax return. Spent that money on a '72 Ford Maverick from a friend of my dad. He taught me about car care and aesthetics. We worked on that car all summer, removing the peeling vinyl from the top and painting it a rust color, because the Maverick was tan. Anyway, right before school started back he offered a trade. My 1972 Ford Maverick, straight six, auto, floor dimmer and all, for his doo doo brown 83 Ford Ranger that my grand dad salvaged from a boneyard and rebuilt himself. At first I was apprehensive, we had worked so hard on the maverick, but it had a long way to go, and the Ranger was road ready. A single cab 2wd with a carbed 2.0 and a 4spd manual tranny, No A/C. I took the deal. When I got her, the bed was so scratched up you could see bare metal in some spots, not inside the bed, the outside, from the top rails to the fender wells, hardly any paint at all. So I drove it for the next few years, making improvements as the years went by. When I was done she had the brown paint of a newer year model and the aluminum " bullet hole" wheels from a 95, re-upholstered bench seat, with velour, no more sticky plastic. I spent my high school years in that truck. Getting it stuck in the woods, or doing donuts in the grass parking lot at the old football field. One day after a long week or two of working on the transmission I was driving to work and the fly wheel sheered the pins and I left it on the side of the road. I told my dad that if he wanted it , he had to get it. He did. Fixed it and traded it off eventually. I still kind of regret leaving her like that, but I had enough.
Now here I am 20+ years later with a 2001 single cab 2wd Ranger Edge, 3.0 v6. Driving and wrenching on it reminds me of my old '83. Just a truck for doing truck stuff.
 
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