1983-1988 Ford Ranger Door Panel – Top (Generation-I)

1989-1992 Ford Ranger Door Panel – Bottom (Generation-II)

By: Darksyne

Ever wanted to replace the doors on your 1983-1988 Ford Ranger with some from a 1989-1992 Ford Ranger?

I swapped the dented and beat up driver-side door on the Generation-I this weekend and thought I would detail the differences I found for anyone doing this in the future.

The exterior of the door is the same and bolts to the hinges in the same way.

The differences are primarily the trim mounting holes on the inside of the door. I’ll compare the differences I found below.


Generation-I: Armrest mounts with three plastic clips that fit into square holes on the inner door frame. The Generation-II door has these square holes, so no problem using a Generation-II door with a Gen1 armrest there.

Generation-II: Armrest mounts on a bracket that is affixed to the door with two screws. On my 1988 door, the location of these holes were marked with an X but were not drilled. You’ll need to drill these two holes to mount the Generation-II armrest on a Generation-I door.

Door Panel:

Generation-I: Door panel mounts to the door with an excessive number of Christmas Tree clips. All of the holes are present on the Generation-II door. However, the Generation-I door panel does not cover the painted area at the top of the door and uses a separate inside window felt molding with clips that secure the molding into holes in the inside top of the door on the window-side. The Generation-II door does not have the holes to attach the inside window felt molding. You can fit the molding fine but it will pull out whenever you put up the window. Glue may be an option.

Generation-II: Door panel mounts with an excessive number of Christmas Tree clips. It will mount up fine on the Generation-I door after you remove the inside window felt molding.

Manual Window Crank:

Generation-I: The splined shaft that the window crank attaches to is slightly longer on Generation-II doors. There will be a half-inch gap when you install your Generation-I window crank on the Generation-II door. You may* be able to use the Generation-II window crank to resolve this minor cosmetic problem.

Generation-II: The splined shaft that the window crank attaches to is shorter on Generation-I doors. I didn’t test a Generation-II crank on the Generation-I shorter shaft so it may* work fine. My concern is that the crank would rub excessively against the door panel since the crank won’t seat fully against the end of the shaft.

These were all of the differences I encountered while replacing a 1988 manual window, manual lock door with a 1991 manual window, manual lock door. There may be additional electrical work not mentioned here when swapping doors with power accessories.

If anyone posts information related to specific electrical issues when swapping doors between the generations I’ll update this post with that information.

* = Not Tested


The door panels and dashes are different between the Generation-I and Generation-II Ford Ranger, this means that the door panels on the 1989-1992 Ranger door may not line up properly with the 1983-1988 Ford Ranger dash. Plus, they may not even be the same color. This is why people swap the door panels.


See the original forum submission ‘Gen1 Gen2 Door Interchange Guide

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