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Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/29/20 6:20 p.m.

Only a parts update today. Still in Phoenix sweating my nether regions off in the sunny sky only choked out by the Cali wildfires...

Everytime I see one, I buy it. I bought yet another manual steering box because you can't buy the pitman arm anywhere, nor the coupler at the steering shaft, unless you spend money for aftermarket stuff that can't be done on a challenge budget. UNLESS.... you buy some ZJ Grand Cherokees steering shafts! This only works with a power steering column, manual column is too long even with the shaft completely compressed or cut it apart. I checked.

So for $88 netted this:

Until next time minitrucks rule!!

Edit: I may go back for this:

Yes it's a demo derby Crown Vic wagon with a Northern aluminum radiator. I didn't look very hard at it, well because derby car. Looked twisted and maybe a leak in the one corner...

And how about another SHO? lol 

Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/15/20 4:49 p.m.

Just a stupid parts update...

Picked up a not cracked to pieces drivers taillight and the PROPER screws... Took forever to find a decent one cheap , as it's a 2 model year only light. Thanks Ford.


Now if anyone wants to help, I'm looking for a 92-94 Ranger/Mustang(?) 2.3 alternator bracket. I've got a 91, it doesn't work with the earlier style head, and I looked at a 95 bracket and it bolts up funky, I think it requires a drill and tap of the head, with extra needed parts.

My goal is to have this ready for Rocky Mountain Race Week the end of September '21 and still be under challenge money.

Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/18/20 6:24 p.m.

So, I ventured out to the yard that had a old ranger with the 2.0 in hopes of scoring an elusive manual brake setup... 0-1, of course, it was power. Can't win them all.

So drove down to the "south" yard of the same company. I went on pulling a 2.0 DOHC neon intake then said berkeley it because I don't have a neon nor a 2.4 that could use it. But I did score the k&n out of that car for $4. wink

I then went into the "premium" area where an 86 turbo coupe still sat. I robbed a bunch of potential brackets for the alternator and the EEC, because it's low-z injector capable. Oh and walked out with the cool shift knob too. wink

This wraps up the Arizona parts procurement for D2D. Now it's just another chance to go back to Michigan and install a bunch of this stuff, fix upcoming problems, and generally get it running...

Until then, minitrucks rule!!!

Ranger50 UltimaDork
12/13/20 10:48 p.m.

So, it's time for a winter-ish update since my last update nearly 2 months ago...

Snow is here, enough to piss you off but not enough to cause many problems. I cranked on the pellet stove and ran it overnight and everything was nice and warm. Without it, I'd be doing nothing. Burned about 40# of pellets to make it workable....

Gratuitous helper so far picture:


So back to the patient/project... 

If you read above, I had picked up some brackets from my foray in Phoenix from a turbo coupe to use on this project... Oy vey....

Top bracket is the one that came on the motor. Next one is from Phoenix. The last one is from the original motor that was in the truck. I lucked out in the bracket from Phoenix works. Plus I'm pretty sure I can run a "one wire" gm alternator with it. Oh yeah, thanks Ford for making me play your stupid games 30 yrs later.

Anyways back to really working on it, I hope I can make a bracket to eliminate the cumbersome power steering bracket that I bought with just some twisted metal and a turnbuckle. It's so close...

Now comes the really "fun" part so far... Let's pull the dash! Now, I've pulled my fair share already but this one takes the cake with all the schmutz in behind it. indecision

Now I had to pull it because well... Simplify and add lightness. Who really needs heat on a challenge car/truck?

And it's together again!

But not without finding all this E36 M3 in, behind, or in the general vicinity of the glovebox...

Last registration says 05...

So I had to clean it because of hanta virus or some other E36 M3 disease...

Much better now although not perfect. Brake cleaner can only go so far...

Pulled out the EEC harness as it's days are probably numbered....

Just have to pull the rest of the headlight/ turn signal harness out and decide how to wire the rest of this project up... might have to pull the dash again just to go standalone.... Time will tell.

Until next time dudes and dudettes, minitrucks rule!

Ranger50 UltimaDork
12/14/20 1:19 p.m.



Less than $2/#... now what to make with it all..... hmmmmm

Ranger50 UltimaDork
12/14/20 9:50 p.m.

So, I had some aluminum sheet.... I'm poor. I broke out CAD, cardboard aided design! This is the result:

Few tweaks and tada "final" product depending on keeping the grommet for the eec hole or not.

I haven't decided on leaving it as is or putting a twist connector right behind the motor.

Of course, to locate the heater box, Ford used a slight step up around the blower motor and air intake. So break out the grinder to smooth it out.

Of course, it's primed now to avoid any stupid flash rust, as the heat will be off until spring...

Tune in much later for an episode of "This bozo's slow garage"... until then: minitrucks rule!

Ranger50 UltimaDork
12/29/20 7:01 p.m.

So today was another parts procurement day after a few text alerts last week from the pull-a-part...

I start this merry adventure finding a "blue" 92 in the first row. More on that later... Next up is a white 88 in the row behind and just a spot over....

I didn't have time to really screw around today on rusty junk. May the JY gods forgive me...

I did obtain a very elusive manual brake pedal tho!


I left the master behind because I am probably going to use the Mopar one I have already. I did get the pedal and block off plate tho.

Now, back to the previous "blue" 92, horrible rattle can job over what was there. Windshield showed an inspection sticker from WV that expired in 14. This model too was another 2.3 4 cylinder but this time there was the "stand alone" alternator bracket that bolts to the passenger side of the block. So now, I can forget about everything else on the drivers side from the previous post. Yay me. Easier parts store finding now. What did suck, I had mentioned WV... well the whole front end was a rusted up mess. It took some ingenuity to get the bottom bracket bolts loose as there is not any real room to get a socket on them, only a wrench. Pry bar, hammer, additional double-overed wrenches... Lots of brute strength, it all came apart. I left the alternator behind because new is just too cheap to ignore.

But sadly, I've done some budget shenanigans/mathmeticing to arrive at a total..... It's over budget without much recoup available and many parts left to get. sad Oh well. Time to just crank out a finished running, driving, and very boosted fun project.

Until next time: Minitrucks rule!!

GCrites80s HalfDork
12/29/20 8:44 p.m.
Ranger50 said:

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


That's a '96 or '97. It's why the interior looks weird. One of those cars designed in the late '80s that got an all new dash due to passenger airbag requirements that kicked in for '96 I think it was. It's also why Olds Cutlass Supremes got new dashes for only two years and Rangers got all-new dashes after only 2 model years.

Remember to only budget what goes on to the car. We have bitten ourselves hard by leaving an engine on our budget that was purchased but never used. 

Ranger50 UltimaDork
12/29/20 10:13 p.m.

In reply to QuasiMofo (John Brown) Forum Supporter :

Problem is most of what I have was "free", but was a not public sale offering. That's eating up a big chunk of the budget. EFI is the next big chunk along with some hi-z injectors just to make "more" operable. Biggest hit was the ibeams, $430(?), I'd have to check back on my Summit receipts. Plus there is a bunch of stuff that just isn't usable from the truck, but is needed to make it work which costs more budget.... Never ending spiral.

ClemSparks UltimaDork
12/30/20 10:44 p.m.

Whatever the end use is...it looks like a fun project that will be even more fun to flog!

Ranger50 UltimaDork
12/30/20 11:32 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

I was just talking about the god awful blue...

GCrites80s HalfDork
12/31/20 9:14 a.m.

My folks had a '97 Thunderbird like that when I was in high school. Same color interior and similar loud pattern on the sears.

Ranger50 MegaDork
6/9/21 8:26 a.m.

It's been nearly forever plus a few days since the last update, but life gets in the way, along with many miles...

Anyways, I decided to pull the trigger on some make it prettier parts and generally make it less ugly, imo. Through a combination of purchases from RockAuto, LMC Truck, and the "local" aftermarket body part store, National Auto Parts in Albuquerque, I was able to get new door sill plates, mirrors, gas tank straps, black grille and headlight trim, painted bumper, air dam, and some plastic screw inserts for the taillights. I even had a chance to run to the closest u-pull-n-pay. Was able to procure the elusive water pump pulley I failed to get from the truck I got the alternator bracket from earlier. D'oh!

Anyways, a few photos of "progress"...

Water pump pulley... it's aluminum. Should I just polish it??? laugh

Sill plates and mirrors... Sill plates are not OEM original but better than the ones I cut out.

Front bumper... I swear I must have the only one left in existence based on the box... There is dust that can't be easily wiped away.... Or the multiple dated stickers..

Only the finest Taiwan plastic for a grille and head light trim... lol

Now to pack all this up, head back to TN for some repacking and R&R, hopefully to Mi for the next job assignment and finishing this pain in my a$$....

Until next time, minitrucks rule!

6/10/21 7:18 a.m.

30 some years ago I bought a Ford Courier with a Mustang turbo motor in it. What a sleeper!  Thanks for the memories!  

slefain PowerDork
6/11/21 11:20 a.m.

I love that this truck is finally getting the love it deserves after lingering in the back of my garage for years. I seem to be a great resting spot for project cars. Acquiring them, sheltering them, then dispensing them back into the world at the right time.

Ranger50 MegaDork
7/28/21 12:32 a.m.

So mini update...

I wasn't able to spin any wrenches, but I did do a thing....

So to recap... 15x10 with 6.5" of backspacing for the rear. The tires have 8" across the beads so the theory is the wider the wheel the greater the overall tire bulge shrinks. I have maybe 1/4" until actually touching the leaf. The fender lip will require a tuck and roll as it's 11" wide and requires the suspension to droop far enough down to squeeze it all in.

Now comes the question, black or polished?

Until next time: minitrucks rule!

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/18/21 6:23 a.m.

Today is time to tackle the fuel system as simply and cost effective as possible.

I dropped the tank a few days ago. angry

15 pounds of flexible bullE36 M3. angry

It's out after a few choice cuss words, sawsall, and a face full of old grass clippings. Sawsall was used on the filler tube because none of it wanted to split apart. 

If a picture had a smell, this is it. Yes, the old fuel pump completely fell apart while in the tank plus the rust.... Sigh. That sure puts a crimp in the plans of installing a new high flow pump I had just bought. I quickly priced out a new cell/pump/filters/lines combo against keeping it "stock", ended up at $1700 vs $700. Stock tank wins for now just to get it rolling and running sooner.

More updates to follow soon. Until then, minitrucks rule!

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/18/21 3:39 p.m.

Teaser pics...

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/20/21 9:00 a.m.

So I teased some photos of "progress"... Now comes the take two steps back...

I went to install the tank back in and the feed line fitting needs to occupy a rather large space of the overhead crossmember. Been cutting and cutting some more and still doesn't fit. Got fed up and now it'll wait until cooler heads prevail on Friday. Probably end up having a buddy come over and help lift the bed off for greater cutting access and not inhaling metal laying under it. Oh well.

Back to the beginning, I have to replace most everything in the fuel system besides the tank. I did "Super Clean" foaming spray the outside to remove years off sticky black "stuff" and grass clippings. The results speak for themselves. Especially since you can't buy a replacement. End result before putting things in it:

Now, I needed a fuel pump since the original wasn't usable. Behold, the cheapest Chinese pump I could find, an Oreilly's version for $70. 

Now, this pump barely will keep up with a stock motor, much less something with boost. Enter the Aeromotive 340lph pump.

Time to remove the "old" and install the "new"...

Start with removal...


Installation, which is just largely plug and play.


Disassembled a $55 fuel pump connector since I broke it getting the tank out.


Of course, everything was going to smoothly. Had to cut the front bed bolts to be able to just have some more room underneath to work.

Reason for needing to have more access? The $160 fuel filler neck didn't want to slide into the tank without some help.

The help:

I did get the new fuel filter fitted to the old bracket too. New filter is from an 05 Colorado.

Until next time: minitrucks rule!

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/23/21 4:50 p.m.

I hate doing things twice, but....

(nevermind the dishes they came with the house. laugh)

Didnt like how the summit hose and fittings were going together so I rebought in fragola.

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/24/21 1:48 p.m.

A buddy helped but wtf am I doing????

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/24/21 7:05 p.m.

Mini update:

Finished the needed butchery for the crossmember. Plus had to buy a $20 45^ fitting for the return line to clear.

Now, to just make the lines and put the heavyass bed back on.... That sounds like a good job for tomorrow.

Until then, minitrucks rule!

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/26/21 10:30 p.m.

One step forward.... maybe 3 steps back...

I got fed up with running fuel lines (shocker). I have them started but I had up front to work to make fuel lines possible. Upper intake had to come off to get to the rail, as it has the original tbird lines still attached... That then lead to removing the lower intake to gain access to multiple other openings that are getting deleted. That lead to removing to turbo, intercooler, and manifold as I wasn't going to run the E36 M3ty IHI turbo anyways...

End result:

Where I ended up making the fuel system hoses...

Now it just time to delete the turbo off the manifold, plug coolant holes and hoses, and run a new oil feed....

This small infusion of new tools did help... 

I sold a bunch of car parts and instead of cash, I worked a deal for Snap-on tools instead... It is working out well. smiley

Until next time, minitrucks rule!!!

Ranger50 MegaDork
9/28/21 3:42 p.m.

Short update:

I had to pull out the Michigan wrench to get the turbo off the manifold. I cut offending stud ends off manifold bolts. I even cleaned up the gasket surfaces for the gaskets coming in Thursday. Swapped out the old FP regulator for an Aeromotive one I had on my Mustang years ago. Given my luck, it'll probably leak.

Photos from today:

Removing the egr tube from the manifold without any heat applied. But you can clearly see the turbo nuts are a pita to remove, which is why the elbow disappeared.

Turbo removed. I haven't found a crack yet in it either... surprise


Such a dumb design but oh well...


I made an "x" with my cutoff wheel then used a hammer and screwdriver to break it all away.

Now to get some parts washed at a buddy's workplace then maybe I can put something back on! LOL.

Until next time, minitrucks rule!!


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