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1987 Ford Ranger XLT Frame-On Restoratio       #: 665
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Sat Mar 3rd, 2018 03:36 am
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1qaz
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Bought this survivor out of Tucson, AZ in Jul 14...sight unseen.  No rust, no rot but sun baked and mechanically neglected. The goal is simple: Return her to 1987 showroom quality using genuine Ford and Motorcraft parts.  With only a few exceptions, all parts were an option from Ford in 1987.  Here are her vitals as reported by Marti in 2017.



Born on Date: 4 Feb 87 in Louisville, KY w/Pre-Inspection Delivery on 26 Feb 87 in Tucson, AZ



Here's what she looked like the day I bought her.



















Have been at this for 3.5 years now with the last half year much more focused.  This thread will initially lag the current status...I'll update it when I can and add a How To: here and there along the way.

Last edited on Sat Mar 3rd, 2018 03:38 am by 1qaz

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 Posted: Sat Mar 3rd, 2018 12:23 pm
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JAMMAN

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That is in better shape than a lot of later Rangers here where I live, good catch!



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Truth sounds like hate for those who hate truth.
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin (now a parts truck)
00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 G2 (For Sale)
00 XLT 4WD RCSB 3.GO! Jalapeño (will keep till death)
99 XL 4WD RCSB 3.0 PJ (Plain Jane) For Sale
00 XLT 2WD RC Steppie 2.5 Dee Dee For Sale
01 XLT 2WD RC Steppie 3.0 auto SIlver

NOT ALL Amazon Green Metallic
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 Posted: Sat Mar 3rd, 2018 10:19 pm
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black06xlt
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JAMMAN wrote:
That is in better shape than a lot of later Rangers here where I live, good catch!
Jamman you should on the ranger station and look at his thread on this truck its amazing the amount of hours he spent researching the interwebs for NOS parts



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2006 ranger xlt ext cab 4x4 4.0 auto
1992 ranger xlt reg cab 2wd 2.3 5 spd (SOLD)
1996 explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0 AWD sold
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2001 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0 4x4 auto
1998 Ranger XLT ext cab 4x4 4.0 auto
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 Posted: Sun Mar 4th, 2018 01:42 am
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JAMMAN wrote:
That is in better shape than a lot of later Rangers here where I live, good catch!
Thank you!  Though she is certainly solid, she hid a lot of flaws. 

I first addressed the immediate mechanical needs. She started rough. She idled rough. She leaked at both the valve cover and oil pan. Shocks were shot. Exhaust system had more tape than metal. Fluids worn and nasty. Brakes shot. Power steering growled. Tires bald. Suspension ok but squeaked and creaked at every bump and corner. I changed all the fluids minus the transmission and differential. Replaced the timing belt, water pump, valve cover gasket, shocks on all four corners, plugs, wires, rotor, cap, filters, wiper blades, removed and cleaned the throttle body, replaced the heater core, exhaust from the catalytic converter back, pads, rotors, and bearings up front, wheel cylinders and shoes in the back.

View from underneath with new exhaust in place.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 4th, 2018 05:12 pm
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what are some of your future plans for this truck?



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2006 ranger xlt ext cab 4x4 4.0 auto
1992 ranger xlt reg cab 2wd 2.3 5 spd (SOLD)
1996 explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0 AWD sold
1995 ranger splash reg cab 2wd 2.3 5 spd
2001 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0 4x4 auto
1998 Ranger XLT ext cab 4x4 4.0 auto
2000 Ranger XLT ext cab 4x4 4.0 5 speed
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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 01:49 am
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black06xlt wrote:
what are some of your future plans for this truck?
Just trying to bring her back to showroom quality.  I'm currently up to my elbows in Grimeaggedon.  They say 80% of a restoration is cleaning parts...I can certainly relate to that to this point.

=======================

In order to make some sense of what's been done so far I will group my progress into the same categories as the forum...Engine, Interior, Exterior, Drivetrain, Suspension, and Wheels and Tires.

I've always used this ad as a guide.



And these for my How Tos.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 7th, 2018 02:07 am
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Wheels and Tires

As part of the initial effort to make her drivable I addressed the wheels and tires.  I really wanted Firestone white raised letter Firehawks like they had back in the day. Unfortunately, Firestone no longer makes 14" Firehawks with or without white raised letters. So I went with closest to original equipment...Goodyears.  I settled on Viva 2s and they most certainly look and feel period correct.



New tires on old wheels with sun roached center caps only made slight improvement.




Found a set of aluminum 10 bullet hole style rims at a Pull A Part in Montgomery, AL.  Though they first came out in the 1988 Ranger model year they were an option in calendar year 1987 so I went with them.



They needed a ton of work.  I cleaned up as much crud and baked on brake dust that I could, stripped the clearcoat, sanded, etched, polished, and buffed.  Not perfect but better.  The back sides were still caked with ceramic hard brake dust but better.

 

Also found four NOS center caps on eBay.  Here's the progression from steel rims, new tires to steel rims, new tires, and new center caps to new tires, new center caps, on reconditioned aluminum wheels.







I've since had each wheel professionally remanufactured.

 

And learned there is actually a Ford part for the nylon nuts used to secure the center cap...three smallest holes in the center.



Wheels sorted.  Will swap out the tires if I ever find period correct ones with white raised letters.  Firehawks preferred.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 7th, 2018 04:00 am
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Progress looks good.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 7th, 2018 10:11 am
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Attention to detail makes a difference between good and excellent :)



____________________
Truth sounds like hate for those who hate truth.
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin (now a parts truck)
00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 G2 (For Sale)
00 XLT 4WD RCSB 3.GO! Jalapeño (will keep till death)
99 XL 4WD RCSB 3.0 PJ (Plain Jane) For Sale
00 XLT 2WD RC Steppie 2.5 Dee Dee For Sale
01 XLT 2WD RC Steppie 3.0 auto SIlver

NOT ALL Amazon Green Metallic
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 Posted: Wed Mar 7th, 2018 10:08 pm
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Try Coker Tires, They specialize in vintage reproduction tires.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 8th, 2018 02:25 am
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Dusten wrote:
Progress looks good.
Thank you!  Doing my best to catch the thread up to where I'm actually at in the restoration.


JAMMAN wrote:
Attention to detail makes a difference between good and excellent  :)
And sane and crazy! 


NoPower wrote:
Try Coker Tires, They specialize in vintage reproduction tires.
Thanks for the tip!  I'll check them out.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 03:11 am
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Exterior

I had originally budgeted for paint work and had planned to spend a good amount of time sanding and prepping.  After some research, visiting several body shops, and a ton of YouTube videos I decided to first try to save to old paint via a cut and polish.  The body shops just thought I was crazy and wondered why I wanted to restore a Ranger.  I thought saving the 'petina' would be cool but instead opted for a clay bar kit followed by McGuire's 105 ultra cut compound with an orange pad and then McGuire's 205 ultra finishing polish with a blue pad.

       

The best part of the clay bar kit was the Showtime detailing spray...I used it liberally and had at least 2/3 of a bottle left. The clay bar was easy to use and did what it was intended...smooth as silk with a couple of passes over the entire truck. Time spent on this step pays off huge dividends and it's not hard. Just follow the directions on the box. 

After the cut and polish with a variable speed polisher the results speak for themselves.









Saving the original paint is probably the best part of this entire restoration.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 02:40 pm
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Exterior (continued)

With the paint sorted I started after the rest of the exterior.

Fixed the tailgate trim (referenced as brushed aluminum applique by Ford) and added a tonneau cover.



Replaced both windshield wiper arms with NOS ones.  Had to cut them off as they were rusted in place.





Replaced both side mirrors with NOS ones.





Replaced the flexible chrome trim in the rear window.





Replaced the front grille emblem...again with NOS.



Next up will be a NOS stripe kit once I wrap up my other winter projects.



This is how she looked last fall just before I put her away for the winter.



I've since tore into her to get after a leaking oil pan gasket and rear main seal.  Of course that snowballed into a ton of other projects.  Taking advantage of warmer weather when I can to get her back together.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 03:20 pm
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I'd be afraid to drive it at this point! Someone hits me I'd go to jail for assault.



____________________
Truth sounds like hate for those who hate truth.
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin (now a parts truck)
00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 G2 (For Sale)
00 XLT 4WD RCSB 3.GO! Jalapeño (will keep till death)
99 XL 4WD RCSB 3.0 PJ (Plain Jane) For Sale
00 XLT 2WD RC Steppie 2.5 Dee Dee For Sale
01 XLT 2WD RC Steppie 3.0 auto SIlver

NOT ALL Amazon Green Metallic
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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 04:07 pm
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1qaz, your Ranger is looking good. In the first pic you posted today, it looks like a 69/70 Mustang Fastback you are parked next to.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 12th, 2018 02:45 am
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JAMMAN wrote:
I'd be afraid to drive it at this point! Someone hits me I'd go to jail for assault.
It is insured with an agreed upon value.  After the work that's gone into her this winter I would certainly hate to have anything happen at this point. 


Mike69 wrote:
1qaz, your Ranger is looking good. In the first pic you posted today, it looks like a 69/70 Mustang Fastback you are parked next to.

Thanks Mike!  I believe it was a '69...and in my favorite Ford color. That was at the Hot Rod Power Tour stop in St Louis back in 2015.  If you ever get a chance to go to one I highly recommend it.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 14th, 2018 01:55 am
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Drivetrain:

The transmission has been one of the bigger projects this winter.  Completely tore her down and put her back together...found a good shop that gave me access, let me chase my own parts, and learn about my transmission.  Overall she was in good shape.

Everything started with those two infamous top bolts...got mine out with a 1/4" ratchet from the top of the engine bay.



Here's how she looked coming out...what a mess!







Slave cylinder just as crusty.

 

Found a NOS slave cylinder.

 

Completely tore her down.







Old parts that came out...1-2 and 3-4 shift forks, several bearings, synchros, and, of course, the soft parts.



New parts that went in.



Everything back together.



Bellhousing cleaned and prepped.



 

Transmission prepped.





First couple coats of Eastwood's AlumaBlast.



Ready for slave cylinder and bell housing to go back on.





Restoration complete...ready to go back to work!









Here's the Ford part # for a 1987 Toyo Kogyo bell housing



And finally, the serial number for this particular transmission.



She'll go back in after Grimeaggedon from the back of cab forward and the weather warms up.  Right side complete...progressing on the left.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2018 02:13 am
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Interior:

The condition of the interior was one of the selling points for me. The dash pad is in good shape with only a few small cracks in front of the cubby hole...if I ever find a NOS one I will replace it. The seat, carpet, and headliner are well preserved as are the door panels and trim pieces. The problem areas were the instrument cluster, bezel, and high use plastic pieces (ie hood latch handle) that were brittle from age and the southwest greenhouse effect. The bezel buckled under the intense temperatures. The hood latch handle came off in my hand after only a few pulls.  PO installed an aftermarket radio which, of course, was replaced back to stock.

The instrument cluster was faded and the oil pressure gauge and ammeter did not work.  I pulled a cluster from a salvage yard to practice restoring it, both gauges worked so I kept them.

Oil Pressure Gauge Before




Ammeter Before



Cleaned up and painted



Ready to go back in



Speedo faded and worn...PO in reflection.  Yes, those are original miles.



Bezel cooked from the AZ heat



Used a heat gun to bring it back





Ready to go back in



Back in



PO radio

 

Back to stock as listed on the Marti Report...took me two tries to get the right radio.



Full view...first stock radio I found did not have the fade option.



The rest only required elbow grease.

  

  



Yep, the interior was a selling point for me.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2018 02:47 am
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I am diggin the wood burl dash.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2018 12:11 pm
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Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Im so glad you came back to make your 1st post. Awesome & beautiful Ranger and great job for detail. Did Coker Tire have the tires you need?



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 Posted: Sat Mar 24th, 2018 03:09 am
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Tsquare wrote:
I am diggin the wood burl dash.
Was one of the upgrade options in the 1st gens.  The 1985 and earlier version have a clearly segmented indicator and warning light area...1986-1988 the same area is open.

NoPower wrote:
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Im so glad you came back to make your 1st post. Awesome & beautiful Ranger and great job for detail. Did Coker Tire have the tires you need?

You are more than welcome!  I enjoy sharing for sure.  Coker has some BF Goodrich 14" white raised letter radials...may be an option.

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 Posted: Sun Apr 1st, 2018 11:46 pm
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Suspension - Front:

One of the first major projects on this restoration was the front suspension.  I replaced all the soft parts (ball joints, bushings, insulators, coil springs, tie rods, drag link) with either Ford NOS or Motorcraft replacement parts.  The hard parts (axles, radius arms) were removed, cleaned, and restored.  Here's some pics to show the progress...covers the original work back in Oct 16 to present.

Left Side before.



Right Side before.



Left spindle removed.



Old parts out.



New parts going in.

Right outer tie rod...w/old one for comparison.



Coil spring and insulators...left side...ride side identical.



Drag link (inner right tie rod).



Left side tie rods.



Ball joints...left side...right side identical.



Axle (left) cleaned, restored, with new ball joints and axle bushing pressed.



Radius arm (left) cleaned, restored, ready to go back in.



Everything back in place on the left.



And how she looks today as I'm waiting for warm enough weather to paint the frame rail...Grimeaggedon continues...



Right side axle in and prior to ball joint pressings...much easier with axle attached.



And how she sits today after right side restoration from the back of the cab forward.



Front shield restored.



Views of the finished work shortly after suspension work completed.

Left side.



Right side.



Full front view.



More to follow as the warmer weather slowly reappears.

Last edited on Mon Apr 2nd, 2018 01:04 am by 1qaz

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 Posted: Mon Apr 2nd, 2018 03:14 am
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I just did the ball joint/control arm R&R with my '04. The parts are a lot different.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 2nd, 2018 03:08 pm
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Nice Truck, I like the 1st Gen., I also had an '88 STX, 4x, with 5.0L in her.   I hated to let her go but it is what it is !

Nice work !



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 Posted: Wed Apr 4th, 2018 01:28 am
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Tsquare wrote:
I just did the ball joint/control arm R&R with my '04. The parts are a lot different.
They certainly are.  I do enjoy the TIB suspension, though.

Scrambler82 wrote:
Nice Truck, I like the 1st Gen., I also had an '88 STX, 4x, with 5.0L in her.   I hated to let her go but it is what it is !

Nice work !

Thank you!  I would love to get my hands on an '88 STX high rider.  Maybe someday.

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