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Definitive Ranger/Explorer Frame Swap Vehicle List

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Abomination, Aug 18, 2008.

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  1. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    THE S-10 and Dakota threads have been closed. Please carry on the discussion for those, and for the Ranger/Explorer in the Definitive Chassis Swap Social Group.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Over all the 'net, I've yet to see a thread or post of a list of all the vehicles that have had Ford Ranger or Explorer frame swaps done (it seems like they're far overshadowed by the prevalence of S-10 stuff). I'd love to start one, if only for reference purposes, so it'll come up in searches and has the potential to help a lot of people decide if they really want to do it or not.

    This is the second in my series of chassis swap technical posts. Check out the identical, and highly successful (and informative) sister thread on S-10 chassis swaps here (closed 12/24/10):
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=274702

    For Dakota chassis swaps, see this thread:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=307020

    If'n ya would, everybody post a few vehicles, year/make/model that they've either done or have heard of... maybe rate the difficulty from 1 - 5 (where "1" is easiest, and "5" is hardest). If the mood strikes, feel free to add a pic or link.

    Edit:
    For people looking for dimensions and measurements, you may want so check out this link: https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckBBAS/topics/bodybuild.html Pick a year, and download a .PDF of measurements! These "books" are for aftermarket companies that convert Ford vehicles into ambulances, etc, but you can get your own copy of these and more by checking the following out:

    FORD TRUCK BODY BUILDERS LAYOUT PUBLICATION
    To obtain a CD copy of this publication disk (first CD copy at no charge), please FAX a written request to "Body Builder Coordinator" and include the desired model year along with your street address (NO. P.O. BOX ADDRESS PLEASE). Dealers - Please print or type clearly and include parts account code. U.S. Orders: FAX to (734) 414 - 2971. Canadian Orders: FAX to (905) 670 - 1798.

    THE S-10 and Dakota threads have been closed. Please carry on the discussion for those, and for the Ranger/Explorer in the Definitive Chassis Swap Social Group

    ~Jason
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2011
  2. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Here's what stragedy posted in the S-10 sister thread:

  3. stragedy
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    stragedy Member

    Here is a picture of mine after I stripped the 2000 Limited Explorer off of it.

    This is a great chassis and has huge potential for swaps.

    8.8 Leaf spring rear end, with drum brakes or disc depending on year, available gear sets from 3.25 through 4.55 with LSD on some models.

    Engines from the factory range from 3.0 and 4.0 V6 through the 5.0 V8, these were the last passenger vehicle to come with the 5.0 and they have the good GT40 heads as stock.

    The front end is strong and rated from everything from a light Ranger to a heavy and fully loaded explorer like mine.
    Torsion bar front end givees easy lowering or (eeeek) raising. Just run the adjuster bolts in or out. If you need more about 3 inches either height from stock is available by flipping the torsion keys.
    Torsion bars are available in several different strengths depending on the vehicle - mine was a fully loaded luxo barge and probably weight close to 5000 pounds, so the torsion bars will be almighty stiff with the bare bones F1 sheet metal on there.

    Two wheel base versions are out there 101.7 inches (short cab Ranger and Explorer 2 door)
    and 111.6 inches (Super cab Ranger and 4 door Explorers)
    Mine being a 4 door has the 111.6 wheelbase, which means it's about 2 inches short of the stock F1. Instead of dicking about with lengthening the chassis, I am just going to drill off the stake pockets cut off two inches from the front of the bed sides and the weld it back together. Since it's chopped and will sit low, the slight shortening will barely be noticeable.

    1995 through 2001 have a 59.5 track width.

    2002 and later IRS version have a 113.7 inch wheelbase.

    [​IMG]

    Side shit

    [​IMG]


    Cab mounted and sheet metal hung, this shot is with the stock Explorer torsion bars removed and the suspension on the bump stops. It sat with the back of the front fenders about 2 1/2 inches off the ground. I know the wheel is not centered right in this picture, I am remaking the cab mounts to fix this. Those are 16x7 police interceptor wheels from a 2000 Crown Vic.
    [​IMG]

    Spooky how well the rad support and everything fitted in there. Roof chop credit goes to Ben Price here in Atlanta, he did the original cab mount too, but I'm redoing those.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  4. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Sweet!

    Any easier than an S-10?

    Anybody else running a Ranger chassis?

    ~Jason

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  5. Horsepower67
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    Horsepower67 Member



    Digging the idea of an AWD F1. Anyone have pics of this project?
  6. Frank02L
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    Frank02L Member

    Interesting. My in laws have an older exploder 4wd that would be neat under a F1.
  7. hotrod1940
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    hotrod1940 Member
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club
    2. Lacquer lovers unite!

    I have a 51 Ford Pickup and we have a 2003 Mountaineer with the newer suspension. Can't get anything on trade in so we bought a new car and still have the Mountaineer. I wonder???
  8. stragedy
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    stragedy Member

    The newer Expo/Mounty chassis is a good one also, but has a few things that make it harder to use.
    It's a lot wider for one, this makes it tough to get an old truck cab to sit around it, the 51/52 F1 for example would have issues around the front cab mounts.
    They are a bit lower than the Gen2 chassis, swapped right over the ride height would end up about 5-6 inches, whereas mine, with stock height explorer suspension and 29 inch diameter tires would sit at 8 inches. That is without altering the floor of the F1 and without messing with the suspension on the chassis which could obviously be lowered.

    The 03 Mounty will also have independent rear suspension, which will either be a plus or a negative for you,I wanted a solid rear axle.

  9. stragedy
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    stragedy Member

    Since it's mine, I have a shitload of them. When I get a bit of time I'll post some, the cab is on it at the moment and has been mocked up with full sheet metal before, but I decided I wanted it lower :rolleyes: so I'm channeling it a little.

  10. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Dude - TOTALLY post more pics!

    ~Jason

  11. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Exactly... I find myself staring at easy-to-get, cheap/free Rangers that no one's using for a chassis swap and wondering...

    ~Jason

  12. draggin breath
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    draggin breath Member

    I have a '41 IHC K-1 on a '87 ranger;sits too high,tread width is too narrow;going to remount it on a S-10.
  13. stragedy
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    stragedy Member

    True, pre 1992 Ranger use an older chassis which is not as suitable.
    1992 thru 1997 use the same chassis as a first generation Explorer, which while OK isn't ideal, but at leasst has the right track width.

    The later chassis (easy to spot because of the torsion bar front suspension) is wider and lower.



  14. stragedy
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    stragedy Member

    Done, scroll back up to my first post this thread. I can take pictures of any part of the chassis someone wants to see, as well as any part of how it's mounted up.

  15. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    And THAT is the reason for this thread: so reveal and sort out details such as this, which would normally prevent a guy from using a Ranger chassis, when having someone point out that he should've looked at the post-'92 ones initially would've saved him a lot of grief.

    Perhaps one of the reasons the Ranger/Mountaineer chassis isn't used as prevalently as the S-10 is because of situations like this, and one guy tells another guy, and he tells another guy, and pretty soon, before you know it the Ranger is the worst chassis on the planet to use. :)

    Food for thought, man... food for thought. ;)

    ~Jason

  16. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Body mounts would be awesome to see... for starters.

    ~Jason


  17. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Bump for the night time folks!

    ~Jason
  18. speedtool
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    speedtool BANNED

    It's not a real swap, but back in the 90's some southern company made a '36 Ford pickup body kit to fit Ranger frames. They looked great!
  19. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Not to get too far off topic, but just out of curiosity, do you remember the name?

    ~Jason

  20. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    stradegy, I love your wheels. :)

    ~Jason
  21. pprather
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    pprather Member

    The '36 pickup body and bed for Ranger chassis was produced and sold by:

    Thoroughbred Coach Builders, Inc.
    Gil Longnecker
    Box 171
    Mount Dora, FL 32756
    or--
    21340 S.R. 46
    Mount Dora, FL 32757
    352-735-4607
    www.tbccoach.com

    Looks like web site is no longer available.

    I bought their information packet, but never proceeded. What I'd like to build is a '56 chev pickup, on a factory chassis. Just waiting for someone to release that cab in 'glass.
  22. fast Ed
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    fast Ed Member

    Here is some more info for guys looking at this swap ...

    All of the Rangers are rear drum. The V6 and SuperCab models generally have 10" drums vs. 9" for a 4-cyl or small V6 reg. cab truck. All 95 - up Explorers (except some of the 2001 - 2002 Sport Trac with the small pickup bed) have rear discs.

    Rangers started with the torsion bar front end on 4WD in 1998 model year, the Explorers got that in 1995 with the body style update, 2WD and 4WD. Ranger 2WD had a double A-arm / coil spring front end starting in 1998, except for the "Edge" model from 2001, and the "Sport" model starting in 2006.


    cheers
    Ed N.
  23. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    FYI, here's some of the differences:

    [​IMG]

    ~Jason
  24. fast Ed
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    fast Ed Member

    And a correction on your WB listings, the SuperCab Ranger is 126" from 98-present. 112" would be a Ranger regular cab longbox (all Ranger SuperCabs are short box). Sport Trac is also 126".


    cheers
    Ed N.
  25. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    Hey, thanks, Ed! :D

    That's just the stuff we're looking for!

    ~Jason

  26. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    FYI for the curious:
    http://www.gullwingfactory.com/links.htm

    [​IMG]

    ~Jason


  27. southpaw-customs
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    southpaw-customs
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think Thoroughbred Coach may have changed their name. I had this address saved in my favorites, it is in the same town as Thoroughbred.

    http://www.classic36pickup.com/

    I was thinking of ordering their packet, but maybe not if they are that unreliable.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  28. stragedy
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    stragedy Member

    Good point, should have known the Super Cabs were longer since I have one !

  29. stragedy
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    stragedy Member

    These are Gen 3 chassis, from 2001 up, they have IRS and the frame shape is significantly different. They use all aluminium suspension arms on the front and have a lower ride height, trade off is a wider frame.

  30. Abomination
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    Abomination Member

    How much wider, compared to an S-10?

    Just curious...

    ~Jason

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