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Stanger2000 New Reader
1/25/18 9:29 a.m.

No ABS on my truck.  I put in a Trak-loc and I was surprised to see the ABS ring on the diff carrier.  

EDIT:  I'm now wondering if the ABS just never functioned in my truck.  After looking at the ABS controller, I recognize that it is much smaller than the ABS pump I was expecting.  Hmmm...I'm okay with a lack of ABS. 

Prob the case there but I'd suspect a fault would've triggered the light in the dash.  I got well acquainted with the braking system on a Ranger after having to run all new lines in the front of mine, and that's after the fact that the old lines were replaced at some point already.  

Stanger2000 New Reader
1/25/18 9:36 a.m.
grover said:

I think 4wd extended cab rangers are really good looking trucks.  Nice buy! 

I would agree, although not crazy about ext cabs w/ the flareside.  Not to mention the flareside are pretty useless when it comes to hauling.  I'd take a reg cab/flareside Splash edition with a slight drop any day though.  

RevRico UltraDork
1/25/18 5:46 p.m.

Good: not a turn signal out, but some little Amber bulb under the drivers headlight in the housing. Not really sure the point of it at all as it's not even very visible. 

Did all rangers have halo/angel eye headlights? I'm guessing these are aftermarket replacements. I still haven't actually driven it at night, but it casts some pretty good light across my field. Although I think it's stupid that the headlights have to be on to turn on the fog lights. Much like the key release lever on the ignition, I'll give it a month to get used to before I start hacking things apart. 


Good: it's the muffler that's leaking and not the catalytic converter assembly. Also good, full catback exhausts are available for under 200, so if I really berkeley up the tail pipe welding on a new muffler, it's not a big deal. In PA, can I terminate the exhaust in front of the rear wheel? Or just a point down in front of the axle? I'm going to go dig through the inspection rule book but thought I'd ask here too. Just seems to me it could breathe a lot better without the U bend the pipe makes over the rear axle.

The gas gauge works too, so that's a bonus. It said empty, took 16.something gallons and is a 19 gallon tank. Good enough for me.  

rslifkin SuperDork
1/25/18 5:49 p.m.

Do the fogs not turn on with just parking lights?  If not, that's kinda surprising. 

snailmont5oh HalfDork
1/25/18 6:01 p.m.
rslifkin said:

Do the fogs not turn on with just parking lights?  If not, that's kinda surprising. 

Fords used to be berkeleyed up like that. The fogs only came on with the low beams. 

RevRico UltraDork
1/25/18 6:03 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

I just went outside to look and they do. Truck actually looks pretty cool with the parking lights on. Although it looks like all the lights on the drivers side are brighter than the passenger side, from the seat and looking head on at it. 

There was also a lot of condensation in the passenger side housing just now, so I guess I'll be polishing and sealing housings soon. 

It's supposed to be pretty nice this weekend, and I'm going to have extra hands over to get the Vic back on the road, so we'll go over everything with a fine tooth comb, clean contacts, double check all the grounds, all the fun simple stuff. 


Edit: it's not one side bright then the other, they're aimed high left, like 10o clock. Whoever owned this before was an shiny happy person it seems.

snailmont5oh HalfDork
1/25/18 6:05 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

*Technically*, any modification to the exhaust in PA is illegal. You're way more likely to get away with it if it gets out from under the body. Early '97 F-150s had stock exhaust exiting in front of the wheel. People complained that their right rear wheel got dirty. 

Be careful reducing back pressure. My buddy had a '99 Ranger with a 4.0/5-speed, and when he "upgraded" the exhaust to 2.5" with a Flowmaster, it lost bottom end and mileage. 

Hal UltraDork
1/25/18 6:23 p.m.
RevRico said:Although I think it's stupid that the headlights have to be on to turn on the fog lights.   

If you can get a wiring diagram, check to se if there is a relay for the fog lights.  On my 2001 Focus there was a relay that provided power to the fog light that was activated by the low beams being on.  All you had to do was replace the relay with a jumper wire and then the fog lights would work any time you used the switch.  You may want to Google "Focus Fog Light Mod".

Stanger2000 New Reader
1/26/18 8:46 a.m.

If you're on a budget for a catback, check out RA.  They sell the Dynomax super turbo kit for around 150, granted it's aluminized but with a s/s muffler and 2-1/4" dia.  I had to replace the entire exhaust system on mine and went with all Walker replacement stuff inc. their eco Sound FX muffler.  Has a slight burble on idle and putting around town but quiet when cruising.  Granted it's a 2.3 which aren't known for good sounds to begin with but the 4.0 should sound pretty decent with a good muffler.  

If I were you, I'd stick to 2-1/4" dia, muffler of choice depending on what your sound requirements are(check youtube).  

RevRico UltraDork
1/26/18 9:30 a.m.

In reply to Stanger2000 :

Oo that's less than summit wants for it. I think I'm going to attempt to weld in just a muffler. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places on the websites, but it looks like pepvancereillyzone doesn't carry cherry bombs anymore? So I've been looking at flowmaster 40s, the dynamax 50, and even the walker mufflers. Living in the age of YouTube is pretty nice for exhaust shopping. 

I'm just going to take my calipers to the exhaust pipe, I've seen everything from "all 96 and up rangers used the same 2.5" exhaust regardless of motor" to "it's 2.5 at the cat, 2.25 at the muffler, exits at 2" on certain v6, 2.5 on others" 

Looking at napa, I can put together an intermediate pipe, muffler, and exit for under $120, if I can do 2.5" from the cat back, and I'm right in calling the section from the cat to the muffler the "intermediate pipe". The flange looks right, I'm just not big on terminology. 


Once it breaks 40 today, I'm going to be going out to get all the pictures I can, figure out the tonneau, and swap over the audio. Maybe try cleaning the headlight housings up too. And sometime this afternoon, I'll be starting a tire thread, although this seems to be the weird in between seasons time on tire rack.

1kris06 HalfDork
1/26/18 9:53 a.m.

A Ranger with halo headlights are almost certainly eBay special headlights. As long as there isn't an HID kit in there they should be pretty decent.

RevRico UltraDork
1/26/18 12:03 p.m.

Well, since I was just met with another positive surprise and now have to wait for UPS, might as well do a picture dump. I actually didn't take a pic of this surprise, oops, but there are already 350 watt Pioneer "custom fit for ford or mazda" speakers in all the doors. So before I go swapping the 150 watt kenwoods from the vic, I might as well see how they sound with a real stereo. Hence the waiting for UPS. 

The amber bulb under the ring on the right is the bulb that is burned out. Still, in the dark, these look pretty cool. 

This ^^ is the only bad spot on the whole truck. Bottom of the passenger suicide door. Seems to be a common area, but there's lots of rangers. If it becomes an inspection problem I'm sure I can find another door cheap, but I suspect I'll be rid of the truck before it's an inspection worthy problem. 

Twin sticks because real truck.  That 3 wire molex connector has a giant pint on the other side of the shifters. I'm thinking there was a CB at one point, but I did find a cover plate for an old Fosgate Punch bass controller, so maybe it was a small amp. 

Missing the passenger jump seat. Oh well, no one will ride back there anyway, even my daughters car seat will go in the front seat like the miata, airbag off of course. I do want to put together a toolbox for this though, and it's the perfect size place to keep one. Maybe a sub too...

driver side

[assenger side. 

^^Passenger side leaf shackles.

Drivers side, pointing forward. Couldn't get a good angle on the back, but as you can see, CLEAN. 

And I did manage to figure out the cover. I'm happy to see it's the fold up kind, but it can also come completely off very quickly if I need it to, and not take up a lot of space. I'm also happy to see the bed rails look good, I didn't get to check them out prepurchase. 

Overall, I'm very happy, and mildly concerned with everything so far. I'm concerned because of how nice it looks, I feel like it's hiding something, but I always was a pessimist. I need to adjust my driving style a bit though, I stalled like 4 times today at stop signs because I wasn't giving it enough gas to go in first. It's much bigger and heavier than the miata, and I need to get used to that. 

I plugged torq in as well just to have. I changed phones since I used it last, forgot how much setup work I had into it before and need to do again. 

I also got up and jumped in the bed. It went down, up, down up. I was standing in between the 2 wheel humps when I did it. I noticed it dipped more towards the cab on the drivers side.  The rear shocks don't look great, and are cheap enough I'll probably just replace them in the spring, but they also don't require immediate attention. 

If you see anything in any of the pictures I should be concerned with, please circle it and post it up again, or if there are pictures of anything specific that should be looked over or focused on, let me know, and I'll do my best to get them. 

RevRico UltraDork
1/27/18 9:31 a.m.

berkeley. berkeley berkeley berkeley berkeley berkeley.

Guess I'll be scouring Craigslist for appliances to fix this

fasted58 MegaDork
1/27/18 9:53 a.m.

Try Raybuck, they used to sell bed floor patch sections (not entire floor). 

RevRico UltraDork
1/27/18 10:36 a.m.

Raybuck, Craigslist, and there's a place in new Ken that makes panels cheap too. 

Im just going to put the bed liner back in and pretend everything is fine until April or May, then deal with it when I don't have to worry about salt ruining a fresh fix right away. 

It's still better than a lot I've seen. Some angle iron or a couple sheets of 1/8"steel could fix it up no problem, but I'll be calling around for the panels first. 


Scott Hatfield
Scott Hatfield Dork
1/27/18 1:52 p.m.

Tell me more about the place in New Kensington for patch panels. 

RevRico UltraDork
1/27/18 2:14 p.m.

In reply to Scott Hatfield :

Parker metal products I see them advertising all the time on CL, Tarentum, not New Ken. 

Scott Hatfield
Scott Hatfield Dork
1/27/18 7:30 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

Sweet. Thanks. 

Oh and nice truck. Always loved that era of Ranger. 

RevRico UltraDork
1/27/18 11:47 p.m.


Had to save this link somewhere. Andy's Auto sports, the only place online I've found with bedfloor at all so far. While not an 80-96 F series, I think it's close enough. Unfortunatly, all the repair panels they have are much longer and narrower than I need. Fortunately,  I could buy one panel, cut it into thirds, weld those into one, then put it into place. if the corrugation lines up anyway, I'm not really sure how to measure that. 

I know, I said I was going to ignore this for now, but I'm still exploring options. 


Also, WD40 fixed the door ajar problem. I sprayed all 4 doors, so not sure which it was, but I've opened and closed them all probably a dozen times already and it's working fine. 

Didn't want to make a new post so edit:

EBay bed floor repair panels

Oh, turns out this is Parker metal products. Sweet, so I can just take the truck there, measure in the parking lot and be good. 

I was starting to think about buying 2 4x8 sheets of 16 gauge and cutting and welding an entire new floor and back panel. So I started searching the best way to do that and found these panels. 2 will be enough for me to repair the width of the bed floor AND screw up a couple times dialing in the welder. I might just get a 2x6 piece of 16 gauge, or maybe even 1/8"for the vertical end piece of the bed, something nice and thick that will take a good long time to rust. 

That leaves a bed support and a bolt set. Bolts are surprisingly expensive, bed support expectantly moderate priced. Unless I happen to have an I beam or some square tubing the right size, which I might. 

Again, summer project, but I'd really like to have a plan of attack to get started on it as early as I can. Already planning on putting POR 15 on EVERYTHING when the bed is off, as well as all the new metal and repairs inside and out. 

I also priced roll bars. I thought they were expensive for cars, saw several over a grand by the time you had both hoops, wheel well supports, and a light bracket. Maybe DOM tubing would work, I have an angle cutting jig, I could probably get access to a bender, just build my own. Truck needs to prove itself reliable and Rally Cross worthy before it gets anything like that. I won't lie though, I'm thinking about casting or printing truck nuts. 


Edit:  proper way to do this with pictures.

Before you start a new thread asking, here's the link you're going to want to find

just making a note for myself in the future. 

RevRico UltraDork
2/5/18 11:48 a.m.

I got some new summer wheels. Just need to find some tires. I'm expecting sales sometime in April or May, but I'm keeping an eye on cl in the meantime.

2 black, wearing really good condition Pirelli p zeros.

2 anthracite, I had to take the plastic off of to take the picture. 

They're 17x8. I'm thinking 265/70s should go on very nicely. 

Thanks TDRRally. 

In other news, I continue searching and researching the bed repairs. I've been adding to the post above this one when I find relevant stuff. Only thing I can't seem to find so far are the bed supports. Most everywhere I've searched just brings back super duty results, while very detailed, the dimensions are off, I suspect.

I think I'm going to use angle iron or C channel, and I'll just measure to fit when the bed is off.

I think I'm actually going to keep this truck pretty close to stock. When I take the bed off for repairs, I'm going to POR 15 and paint the frame, the underside of the bed, and the inside where I did my repairs. Also, while the bed is off, I'm going to replace the exhaust from the cat back, replace the rear shocks, and do any other necessary maintenance that pops up, and wire the bed with a switch for led strip lights on the inside of the rails.  I already have the strips, so a switch off the trailer light circuit and some 2 sides tape will make for a cheap and helpful upgrade. 

Other than that, I want to replace the front tow hooks and try to add a rear around the hitch. I'm still debating replacing both front hubs for $100, o or one for $130. Centric vs timken.

Oh, and find a good floor mat. The one that was in the truck got stuck with the pedals and I threw it away, but the carpet is to nice to want to wreck. 

STM317 Dork
2/5/18 6:04 p.m.

So, catching back up with this:

That rust on the bed floor is common with drop in bed liners. Once you get it repaired, I'd avoid putting the liner back.

Within the last couple of years, I know that the bed floor panel was available through Ford, but I have no idea if that's still the case, or what pricing might be.

The sag on the driver's side may be "ranger lean".  It's very common since the fuel tank, battery, and driver are all on the driver's side. It's not easy to get rid of, but new shocks can't hurt.

Twin sticks are awesome!

What year Mustang are the wheels designed to fit? 94-04 Mustang wheels usually fit better than 05+. It might just be the pics, but those Bullits look like the wrong offset. They'll probably work, but you'll likely want some thick wheel adapters to space them out away from the frame to avoid rubbing and for looks. 

RevRico UltraDork
2/5/18 6:50 p.m.
STM317 said:

So, catching back up with this:

That rust on the bed floor is common with drop in bed liners. Once you get it repaired, I'd avoid putting the liner back.


The sag on the driver's side may be "ranger lean".  It's very common since the fuel tank, battery, and driver are all on the driver's side. It's not easy to get rid of, but new shocks can't hurt.

Twin sticks are awesome!

What year Mustang are the wheels designed to fit? 94-04 Mustang wheels usually fit better than 05+. It might just be the pics, but those Bullits look like the wrong offset. They'll probably work, but you'll likely want some thick wheel adapters to space them out away from the frame to avoid rubbing and for looks. 

Since I'm on my phone and multi quote is hard I numbered it. 

1: I agree about the plastic bed liner. I'm most likely going to use roll in or spray in bed liner to cover up all the repairs because it can be messy, but I also think it will do a better job than paint keeping everything protected. I might just do the outside myself and get a professional bed liner installed, if I can find a good deal. I'm only keeping the plastic liner in now so putting stuff in the bed doesn't do any more damage, it's coming out come May when all the salt is washed off the roads.

2: I didn't think about that part with everything being on that side. What I didn't get a good picture of is the front bed support, that holds the bed to the frame. It's totally rusted out the whole way across, and there really is no support on that corner of the bed at all  from underneath currently. 

3: I'm not sure the offset. I'll measure it tomorrow, but I won't have a chance to do a test fit for a while yet. If it turns out they're the wrong offset, spacers would be a good option, but I also know someone who might want those wheels so I can keep playing the barter game. The more important part of getting those wheels was the floor space that got cleared up in the trade. I got rid of 8 wheels and 4 tires to get 4 wheels with 2 tires. It's not much, but it's floor space back. 

edit: I found the Amazon link. Made for 94-04 mustang, 29.5 mmm offset, 5.66" back spacing. So 94-04 should be alright. 


Looking at my unknown rally cross schedule, and my known project/birthday party schedule, it's going to be the second week of June before I even think about pulling the bed off to start any repairs. That gives me plenty of time to change my mind about things, research other ways of doing things, and get all the parts together that I'm going to need, possibly including some helpers. I also need to sell a car or two to make room to do all this work. 

In all my searching so far, I've seen one person replace the entire center section of the bed floor, but for what that panel cost at the dealership, I'm good using the $30 patch panels I found. It may wind up being a lot more work, and not looking as nice, but I'm willing to risk it to save the money and learn how to stick metal together better. Just take my time, follow NoHomes welding method, and stock up on flap discs. 

RevRico UltraDork
2/6/18 11:07 a.m.

Out of curiosity, I did some comparison shopping last night. 

The only place Amazon wins on price is the rear shocks, for the OE bilsteins they're $5 cheaper than everywhere else. 

I wrote down part numbers for air filter, plugs, wires, and front hubs, included shipping and 5% rock auto discount in my pricing. 

Total, Amazon won by $24. BUT, that was with some bizarre off brand set of hubs I never heard of at a ridiculously low price. Everything else was at least 3 times more expensive, ngk plugs and wires, air filter, etc. Even with the same part number from rock auto. 

So rock auto will definitely be getting my tuneup and front end business.

I did come up with $300ish from Amazon for por 15, top coat, the rear shocks, and a 10 pack of flap wheels though. 

I guess what I'm getting at is there are really cheap ways to do this, and I'm glad I have the time to comparison shop.

RevRico UltraDork
3/10/18 2:00 p.m.

So I'm still not through my first tank of gas yet, about 150 miles on since I bought it. 

That said, I can't tell if I'm crazy or if it's an old Ford being quirky.

First gear is a real birch to get into sometimes, especially when inching forward in traffic or a parking lot. Synchro wouldn't surprise me at this point.

I feel like the clutch releases at a different point depending on the gear. Maybe in still not used to the pedal feel, but it's strange. Like if i let the pedal halfway up going into second and it drives fine, just feels like the pedal is kicking back or staying down further. I'm not really sure how to describe it. 

I'm having evil thoughts about adding bass. I don't need or want 1500 watts behind the seat again, but is cheaper to do that than put together something of lower wattage, oddly enough. But that will then begin the act of chasing rattles and vibrations which could keep me busy for months until I get frustrated and light it on fire. 

RevRico UltraDork
4/13/18 3:15 p.m.

13.2 mpg. I should have just bought a full-size. 

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