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Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/23/20 10:29 p.m.

So after much time being wasted because of life, here is my new build thread geared towards the upcoming challenge. 
 

As some or many know, years ago, I purchased a 1991 Ford Ranger with a blown up 4 cylinder from slefain, Brian M, for $400. I clearly overpaid as you will shortly see. After dragging this pile back to my home in KY with my dads help, it sat up until recently neglected in the yard. But when I was attempting to make the 2017 challenge, I was able to do a complete lowering kit of I-beams and axle flip, fresh front brakes per the rules, and swapped in an 8.8 that I originally had swapped into my old 96 ranger. Then the rest is unwritten history as unloved yard art.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago. The home where this sat is now sold and needs moved. So I hook up the trailer and move it. I have no place here at home to store it besides on the trailer. But.... I do have my dads house in Michigan with one last space for a project. So, off to Michigan I go after moving the immovable.



Then that nasty interior.... frown


Finally got it to its current home:


So, I unloaded the junk from the interior and started to start disassemble the interior to know what I'm working with...


Removed the front seats and I swear I had flashbacks to some of dusterbd13's build threads...

Removed the nasty, nasty, did I mention nasty? carpet... only had to cut some slots in 2 of the sill plate screws that love to rust into place and get those out.


I did find some recoup though..


 

Continued into another post below...

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/23/20 10:46 p.m.

So, as I was diligently was cleaning out the interior, a freak thunderstorm rolls through packing 70mph winds. Power goes out... (It doesn't come back on until 4 days, 3 hours, and 23 minutes later.) Anyways, I still plug away at stuff generally cleaning up the nastiness I've uncovered. But in the end, I sit for another 2 days watching the road commission clean up the mess blocking the road in front of the house.




 

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/23/20 11:16 p.m.

So, I was able to work a bit more on it last week, given it's a 9.5hr trek one way to work on it.

Cleaned out the bed,cut off the worthless exhaust, and removed the spare tire and holder..


Was able to finally remove the stupid inner fenders because they're damaged and of course the u-clips all broke requiring some unique methods to keep them from spinning.


 

So, if you've made it this far, you're probably wondering what's the game plan?

You've already seen the E36 M3box wrapper. 
 

This is the planned E36 M3box powerplant:


Backed by a transmission requiring this:


and this:


 

Goal is run a 14sec 1/4 and not have the door handles scrape during the autocross.

Now, why "Project D2D"? Really simple, dedicated to dad. Without his help, parts hoarding, and subsequent passing, this project was stillborn. So the best thing I can do is try to duplicate something he would have wanted from what he had collected.

More to follow when I can work on it again....

warpedredneck
warpedredneck Reader
6/24/20 4:36 a.m.

Love it!

 

Keep picking away at it, you will get it done!

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/24/20 9:46 p.m.

Nothing big today except for $8 saved using the trans shop parts store vs the performance shop.

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
6/24/20 10:00 p.m.

2.3T Ranger is one of my favorite combos. Do carry on!

bonylad
bonylad Reader
6/26/20 7:06 a.m.

Awesome!  Was very nearly goin to do the same thing before the S10 fell in my lap. Awesome and keep it up! Cant wait to see this finished.

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/26/20 7:53 a.m.

I have a soft spot for nasty interior projects. And for lowered mini trucks.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/26/20 8:03 a.m.

Want for a mini truck is real! Watching. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/26/20 5:31 p.m.

So, today I decided to hit up the local pick-n-pull and just gander at what they had and the general yard layout and condition...

All I can say is the door handles should not scrape during the autocross now. One Ranger gave up its front and rear sway bars for this cause. Now the back story is the 8.8 rear I had swapped in, did have a rear swaybar, but someone decided they needed it more than I did. Can't win them all. You should also have a small history lesson in that, Ford didn't even put swaybars on some of these little trucks. Of course, Project D2D has nothing. My 96 Ranger with the added rear bar handled way better than any pickup should have handled and that was on crap tires at stock height!

I also picked up a newer starter that ain't nowhere near as crusty as the one I have already. The floor needed a new piece covering the tunnel hole that someone, *cough* Brian M. *cough*, damaged removing the old powerplant.

Not too bad of a haul for under a C-note.


Now to just install it all. 
 

Of course when you go there is ALWAYS something more... So how about a Taurus SHO?


Or the 82 Escort wagon in the parking lot?


 

Or the really really odd interior in this cougar???


 

Now time to make some time and drive to install this crap..

Until next time, minitrucks still rule!

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/30/20 9:50 p.m.

Order from McMaster-Carr came today...


Why 4 sizes/styles of rivnuts? Because I can and couldn't decide on one vs the other. Basically can go from about 2mm to almost 10mm of "panel" thickness. Now, I can have a front swaybar once I have these puppies installed.

Until next time, minitrucks rule.

barefootskater
barefootskater UltraDork
6/30/20 10:53 p.m.

I'm late, but I approve highly. And you are right about rear bars helping these trucks immensely. Limited slip and a rear bar and even if you never win a race you'll be having more fun than most. Plus at the end of the day you can still do truck things. Dammit I miss my s10. And also.
2.3 is so good. 

so. Good. 
 

boost it to the sky!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/1/20 6:15 a.m.

If you find yourself in need of challenge priced 2.3T parts, I have a whole lot of Merkur/Thunderbird/SVO bits so feel free to shoot me a PM with what you might need.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/1/20 6:47 a.m.

The SHO reminds me of why I don't go to pick-n-pulls... While I have no idea what I'd do with it, that engine would probably come home with me for some reason.

Why are you replacing the manual trans already on the 2.3T with an automatic?

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/1/20 8:45 a.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

The SHO reminds me of why I don't go to pick-n-pulls... While I have no idea what I'd do with it, that engine would probably come home with me for some reason.

Why are you replacing the manual trans already on the 2.3T with an automatic?

The SHO I'd pull for the motor is stuff into another Ranger that has a 3.0 and 5spd. The engine block is the same for all varieties. wink

The T5 that's pictured it's a horrible ratio box, like a 4.07 first gear. I have a T5WC box I could use but then I have to find a S10 T5 to rob for the cover plate with shift forks and the tailshaft and then install. Then I'd have to make a pilot bushing since the input shafts are different. Then it's the clutch hydraulics that need worked out on a system that doesn't work after it's been cracked open. Trust me I'd love to keep it but the auto while a smidge more budget is a way easier option at the moment for challenge reasons.

barefootskater
barefootskater UltraDork
7/1/20 10:27 a.m.
Ranger50 said:
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

The SHO reminds me of why I don't go to pick-n-pulls... While I have no idea what I'd do with it, that engine would probably come home with me for some reason.

Why are you replacing the manual trans already on the 2.3T with an automatic?

The SHO I'd pull for the motor is stuff into another Ranger that has a 3.0 and 5spd. The engine block is the same for all varieties. wink

The T5 that's pictured it's a horrible ratio box, like a 4.07 first gear. I have a T5WC box I could use but then I have to find a S10 T5 to rob for the cover plate with shift forks and the tailshaft and then install. Then I'd have to make a pilot bushing since the input shafts are different. Then it's the clutch hydraulics that need worked out on a system that doesn't work after it's been cracked open. Trust me I'd love to keep it but the auto while a smidge more budget is a way easier option at the moment for challenge reasons.

Plus an auto will help keep that snail spooled all the way down the 1/4. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/3/20 4:12 p.m.

So in today's episode, I went back to the local pull-a-part for some additional goodies....

If you don't have this:


Get one. A 5" wheel sliced through a steering linkage tierod like buttah.

This was a completely random run up one of the rows looking for an intercooler, I found this gem.


Yep, a SBC swapped Toyota ext cab. So, this gem had an awesome score hiding inside. It was so precious, I didn't even think of snapping a picture until the end. So hang on. wink

Now, I went back for a steering box, namely a manual steering box. Now, I have to decide if I'm maschocistic to actually run one on the autocross.... Which I've driven manual steering box rangers before so it's only slow speed that it really sucks ass.

Additionally, if you followed the above post, my plan is to swap to an auto given all the needed parts to make a T5 fit without absolute butchery. Last time I was there, I did find a S10 T5 disassembled in the bed of the same truck. I wrote it off as day late and a dollar short. Anyway, I ventured into the GM section to find a new on the lot S10, which turned into a bust. I walked passed the same truck and paused to pay my respects to the transmission that was lost. I don't know how I missed it, but peeking out was the needed tailshaft extension housing. Oook.... I start to pilfer through the rest of the junk and find the shift fork top plate. Bonus! I didn't find the actual shifter detent block, but oh well. Definitely can't win them all.

So above, I said that Toyota held a surprise.. How about a, now $320, ratchet shifter! All for $11! cheeky

Parts haul still in the wheelbarrow:


Receipt as proof:


 

That's all for now, as I now have to install everything I've accumulated and that's 650 miles and 9 hrs away. But it does give me something's to think about. wink

Until then, minitrucks rule!

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/10/20 3:26 p.m.

Update 7/10/2020:

I was able to work on the project truck. Cleaned up nasty looking steering box and separate the coupler from old shaft. Installed rear swaybar. Need spacers for the front swaybar as there is an offending rivet in the way.

Previous witness marks of old swaybar:


New bar installed:


 

Steering box cleaned up:


Coupler separated or the box swap doesn't work...


Plan for is to take the power steering coupler off the current shaft and bolt the other one on as I did for my last ranger.

Tomorrow is to install front bar and bolt in engine choice. smiley

Until then, minitrucks rule!

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/11/20 11:19 a.m.

Update 7/11/2020:

This morning was able to get front swaybar mounted but not as I originally thought. No spacers were needed as the blocks have excess height above the bracket. Bracket needed to be modified as the front bolts are not M10, as they are on 93-ups. They are M12, bastards. Unibit fixed that. Needed longer rear bolts than I originally thought but the stockers from the donor will have to do being marginally longer. Drivers front spring needs to be rotated as it attempts to occupy the same space as the swaybar end. All in all, success for about 1hr and 30min of work.

Brackets before and after:


 

Installed:


Further update tonight after some more wrenching. smiley

Until then, minitrucks rule!

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/11/20 7:38 p.m.

Update #2 for 7/11/2020:

It took some figuring out but there is a motor back between the fenders, kinda.

But first this is what I'm starting with. It seems the 86 turbo coupe I remember with an intercooler turned out to be a complete 87-88 swap over. More in why in a minute.


Attempt #1:


I then realized that can't do this one piece on just a chain. Rats. Take the trans off the block plus the clutch. Facepalm. I'm glad I did but damn.

It might be just a bit smoked.



 

But it's in! Once I have the passenger side motor mount bolted up properly.

Now, given this is a Ford that's been lowered, it never ends on the stupidity...


Yes, I have a jack under the passenger side frame rail to give just enough room to get the engine hoist leg in under the i-beam.

Now here is my tech tip. It only works for the 3" long 1/2" wheel studs. But you can scrounge up 96-up ranger and explorer lug nuts for the acorn style wheels. Ford switched to a wheel cap that snapped into the lugs themselves. Well, that made the lug nut be well over an inch tall plus be open on the middle thereby meeting NHRA specs about stud grip length. They easily go on with a std deep well socket. Works with steel or aluminum wheels.

Case in point:


 

So that's all for now, time to run back to the covid house and wait on the court system before I can do more here on this project.

Until then: minitrucks rule!

PS- nearly forgot the previous thought on the swap. It has to be a swap out as the clutch is setup for the 87-88 hydraulic slave on the bellhousing instead of the previous push-pull bellcrank. Things that make you go "hmmmmm"....

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/12/20 12:48 p.m.

Mini update 7/12/2020:

I couldn't leave this part unfinished. So yesterday I said I "kinda" had the motor installed. "Kinda" meant the drivers side was in just fine, but the passenger side is a nightmare to assemble. Ford, in their wisdom, has a double studded (insert Beavis and Butthead  joke here) rubber mount that then bolts into a captured but removable frame mount and the engine mount. Problem here is there is a locating stud that need to be placed just perfectly into the engine mount. So, you can't just slap it together. This morning meant so good cussing to get it all fixed, plus some long pry bars, a hammer and the engine hoist again, but it is fixed!

Precarious positioning:


 

Until next time: minitrucks rule!

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon Dork
7/12/20 2:41 p.m.

Missed this previously, following for more 2.3T minitruck awesomesauce.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/28/20 11:04 p.m.

No real update for project progress, but had to disembowel my storage shed at the old now burned down house before embarking on a 13 week tour of Phoenix.

Rented yet another U-Haul and filled it to the brim.


2.5 hrs to load up in miserable heat and humidity. Only 1.5hrs to unload into yet another storage unit but this one has shelving!!!




I found lots of the parts I need for the challenge that don't really hit the budget as hard as buying "new"... wink

Like these $50 seats...

Not challenge legal but these will make an appearance on D2D...


Nearly 20 yrs ago, I bought them from a buddy needing a change for $800. They are Bogart Drag On Star 3's, standard 15x3.5 fronts and 15x8 with 5.5"BS rear. Now you're probably thinking "wtf" and "$800!?!?", but when you have a wheel that weighs under 10# for the 8's... Less weight, especially rotational weight, you go faster.

Until next time: minitrucks rule!

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/1/20 4:58 p.m.

Marginal update 9/1/2020...

Went to one of the 4 diy jy's out here in Phoenix. Weather was ok, it was a cloudless sunny 100F. But I did score a complete minus shifter T5 from yet another S10. It's a grimy nasty looking thing but it's complete. Much better than my previous collection of T5 parts.

More days off out here in the devils buttcrack are approaching, so more time to gather more "stuff". wink

Until next time, minitrucks rule!

 

Edit: picture of said purchase.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/2/20 6:19 a.m.

That's a grubby trans. Also means it probably works. 

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