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Thread: kishy's 1985 Ranger

  1. #1
    formerly blkpnthr
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    Default kishy's 1985 Ranger

    Finally, I can stop spamming this subforum with new threads as I pull them out of My Rides:

    This is my 1985 Ford Ranger, purchased with 123,768km in May 2015 for $600, which in retrospect was too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    ...In May of 2015 I bought a 1985 Ranger, total rustbucket, as a winter beater. Carb 2.0, TK5 manual, manual steering, basest of the base everything. I dragged my heels finishing the work on it, by November 2015 it was pretty much ready to rock. I've taken to slathering it in obnoxious ironic stickers, and made a "Pizza Planet" sign for the roof. Check it out here on Ford Ranger Forum if you like: http://www.fordrangerforum.com/proje...85-beater.html

    However, between extreme blowby (black and dripping "oil-air separator" air filter after just a season, lol) and a carb which I'm hopeless with, I've kinda shelved the Ranger for now. I want to do some obnoxious powertrain swap into it, but I also kinda like how crappy it is with 72 crank horsepower. Conflicted. It currently gets pulled out when I need do to truck things, or when it's the most accessible vehicle and the one I'd prefer to drive is broken.

    Attachment 46551 Attachment 46552 Attachment 46553
    Summarized from the Ford Ranger Forum thread:

    The second day owning it, the gas tank started leaking. Drained the tank into gas cans via the fuel line (truck was given to me with a full tank). Replaced fuel tank with new.

    June through November 2015:
    • Replaced timing belt
    • Flushed coolant with old rad (which had a seeping leak). After flushing out, replaced radiator/cap, hoses, thermostat, coolant.
    • 100% new brakes and lines, both hard and soft, all around, except for the drums themselves
    • new parking brake cables
    • engine oil (first time in 7 years, but not past mileage interval yet), differential oil, trans gear oil (Redline MT-90)
    • pulled out the axle shafts to verify bearing riding surface is good and replaced axle seals
    • Air filter & fuel filter
    • license plate lights (corroded wiring due to botched trailer connector install)
    • new tail lamps (old were cracked)
    • new shocks all around (crappy yellow Monroes)
    • headlamps
    • blower motor resistor
    • New floor pans screwed in (yes, screwed)
    • Added 12V sockets, as truck wasn't optioned with a lighter socket
    • outer tie rod ends
    • Carb removal and rebuild
    • patched passenger cab corner (really half-assed)
    • Received Ontario Safety Standards Certificate. Drove it to work that day.
    • Checked compression, looked good at the time, haven't checked it since
    • ran wiring for radio and installed one
    • Installed newer Bronco II mirrors
    • replaced ignition coil (new) and Duraspark II module with good used
    • Converted all 11xx style bulb sockets to 31xx style bulb sockets
    • Converted front side markers to signals which alternate with the actual turn signal (a la Panther Blinker Mod)
    • plugs/wires/cap/rotor
    • Changed trans output shaft seal and installed obnoxious lights, because truck


    Drove it all through winter into 2016 when it was seasonally retired to drive my '91 Grand Marquis for the warm months.

    In October 2016 a junkyard Ranger showed up with a TK4 transmission, which received a more durable and much more fun to use metal ball shift lever instead of the plastic one of the TK5. I swapped the shifter and the truck became a lot easier to drive, with shorter throw due to less slop.

    As of today the toe is still out by a lot, so I don't put tires I care about a lot on this for dry weather and only run the winter tires when weather is appropriate. I still want to put a better alternator on it, I'm thinking one of the small 3Gs from a Tempo might work with some alterations for mounting.

    Here are a bunch of pics:

















    Last edited by kishy; 10-02-2017 at 11:23 AM.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM | Junkyards

  2. #2
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Eh, you've still got it and it's still serving you well so money well spent I guess. Looks decent. When did they put the black paddle mirrors on those? I've never liked the swing away ones, hate them on our truck.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  3. #3
    formerly blkpnthr
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Eh, you've still got it and it's still serving you well so money well spent I guess. Looks decent. When did they put the black paddle mirrors on those? I've never liked the swing away ones, hate them on our truck.
    The tiny useless mirrors (when you have a camper shell on the bed...) were the factory stock base model mirrors. The passenger mirror is not convex either. The paddle-looking ones (plastic body, unlike the ones I had which were metal) came later I believe.

    Comparison...
    Before, https://i.imgur.com/p9DzqOd.jpg
    After, https://i.imgur.com/lmbvnSm.jpg
    Last edited by kishy; 10-02-2017 at 03:36 PM.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM | Junkyards

  4. #4
    Full of Greenhouse Gas Tiggie's Avatar
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    Loving the sticker on the bed. I don't do stickers but I may have to get one of those.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - yard ornament (save me please)
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  5. #5
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    You call the cap a camper shell? I like the look of the old mirror. There were other black ones that came on the later years, like '89-'92. Starting in '93 with the roundier body they got bigger paddle mirrors which looked OK but they never stayed adjusted, especially in parking lots where people bump into them. If the bottom of the mirror isn't parallel with the ground, the OCD in me gets irritated...
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  6. #6
    formerly blkpnthr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    Loving the sticker on the bed. I don't do stickers but I may have to get one of those.
    It's got a lot more stickers than that now...it's in rough shape so I don't mind it sticking out like a sore thumb. You won't find stickers on the paint of any of my others, though the wagon is probably going to get something.

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    You call the cap a camper shell? I like the look of the old mirror. There were other black ones that came on the later years, like '89-'92. Starting in '93 with the roundier body they got bigger paddle mirrors which looked OK but they never stayed adjusted, especially in parking lots where people bump into them. If the bottom of the mirror isn't parallel with the ground, the OCD in me gets irritated...
    Well, I don't, but it seems like the manufacturers of such things call them camper shells. I like "cap" or "bed cap" or similar, personally.

    From an aesthetic perspective I like the mirrors it came with, which have similar if not bigger glass area to the flappy paddle looking ones you mention, but the lack of convex glass on the passenger side is a problem and overall they're undersized when you have no shoulder-check visibility out of the cab.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM | Junkyards

  7. #7
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    It's all about the aesthetics lol. The mirrors on my '94 were pretty large. The PO put those convex stick on bubble things that I wanted to take off but my brother convinced me to keep on. Would have rather had power mirrors.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  8. #8
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    but the lack of convex glass on the passenger side is a problem
    Wish I had that problem! Instead I got a convex passenger-side glass: "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" - well how much closer is that, when I'm trying to back an 8ft wide trailer into a 9ft wide spot I need to know EXACTLY where things are and "closer than they appear doesn't really cut it for that. Anyone know where one can get a flat (not-convex) glass for OBS passenger-side mirror? Other than importing one from the UK that is.
    The ones who accomplish true greatness, are the foolish who keep pressing onward.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by His Royal Ghostliness View Post
    Wish I had that problem! Instead I got a convex passenger-side glass: "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" - well how much closer is that, when I'm trying to back an 8ft wide trailer into a 9ft wide spot I need to know EXACTLY where things are and "closer than they appear doesn't really cut it for that. Anyone know where one can get a flat (not-convex) glass for OBS passenger-side mirror? Other than importing one from the UK that is.
    OBS as in the aero-ish wing mirror or the ones like on my Ranger now from the Bronco II?

    In the case of the latter, they can be flipped from side to side, so just find a junkyard driver side mirror and put it on the passenger side.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM | Junkyards

  10. #10
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
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    Aero-ish, I got the power model (fuck manual small mirrors, talk about useless for offroading), funny shaped glass that cannot be flipped.
    The ones who accomplish true greatness, are the foolish who keep pressing onward.
    The ones who accomplish nothing, are the wise who know when to quit.

  11. #11
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    I like that Ranger. Looks to be in better condition than mine; save for the floors. And you have 3 pedals! I had a lot of fun with my '92 with the 3.0L/T5 combo. I hope that truck lasts quite a bit for you.

  12. #12
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I drove a '94 with a 5 speed and a 3.0. Felt that was a decent combination of power for the truck. Was certainly leagues better than my 2.3 powered five speed 94.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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    My 3.0L was a dog, but still fun to drive. I learned how to drive a manual shift with that truck Perfect commuter/work truck. I'd still have that truck if it wasn't fatally t-boned. Would totally have attempted the 5.0L swap by now.

  14. #14
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    I can assure anyone without any hesitation, if you think a 3.0/auto is a dog, you might actually have a heart attack trying to get on the expressway with the 2.0.

    72 horsepower when it was new and between carb tuning issues and what I suspect is a leaky head gasket I wouldn't be surprised if it's hovering around 40 available. I beat the snot out of it to get it up to speed.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM | Junkyards

  15. #15
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Anything with <150HP/200ftlbs of torque coupled to a 4sp auto will feel like a turd. My 4cyl ranger wasn't too bad, but then that's probably cause I got used to it. I do remember when the A/C was on it was terrible. Then one day I was riding around with a total of four people in the truck and 300lbs of sand in the back during the winter. I got so pissed off with it I had to redneck dump the sand in the back. The '93 3.0/5sp was what I'd go with should I do another ranger, or no more than a reg cab shortbox with 4.11's if it's another 2.3.

    You probably really aren't "Beating the snot out of it" since it's a low compression turd with a peanut cam. Keep the oil clean and it'll probably put up with that type of abuse until you're sick of it. That's one thing I noticed about the 4 banger rangers I've seen in the yards, all the stick shift ones were clean, never saw a sludgy one.
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    Slowest thing I've ever driven was a '94 2.3l 5sp Ranger. My buddy was borrowing it to move large-ish things that wouldn't easily fit in the Colony Park. That truck topped out at about 60mph, in 4th, trying to shift into 5th resulted in it slowing down to 55 and forget about a slight incline in the road. On the return trip with it empty, we managed to hit 65 once, but that might have been slightly downhill. That truck did have nearly 275k on it tho, the guy he was borrowing it from got it from his granddad who owned it from new and drove it all over the place. I'm sure it was down on power from new, but good lord was that thing slow. Even the Volvo 240 my buddy's Mom had could do 70mph, it took it 5 miles to get there, but it could.
    -Steve

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    A 229 V6 with a 3 speed auto in a Chevy Malibu is probably on par in the terribleness area. Drove a '78 one time while a friend had it, and I recall doing 50 MPH in 3rd, got on a mild hill, it started slowing down, so I got into it and continued losing speed, even after it shifted back into 2nd. Sounded good, but that was about it.

    Sure is nice to see an early Ranger still kicking around. Most Rangers around here are usually thrashed into the ground, regardless of age. Given they usually fall into the small, cheap truck category, it makes them easy choices for people needing basic transportation that can have maintenance deferred until they fall apart and are replaced by another. Obviously this doesn't apply to all of them, but it is much easier to find a clapped out one over a good one.

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  18. #18
    formerly blkpnthr
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    All my clutch stuff including flywheel is here now, so it's just a matter of finishing cleaning the garage and getting it done.

    The Tempo 2.3L (HSC engine, not the Pinto-derived one) 3G alternator, which at first glance looked like a good fit, is a no-go. 180 degree ears at the right spacing, but the bottom ear is made up of two ears, one at the front and one at the back, and the spacing makes it so it can't fit on the Ranger engine. No good way to hack it to fit either.

    Sucks because the 130A 3G is a good bit bigger than than this 95A, and there are clearance issues if I recall correctly with the fuel line so a bigger alt is not a great idea. I just want it to be able to keep the blower motor at a respectable speed at idle with lights and wipers on, which the 40A 1G does not do a great job of.

    Newer Ranger and other Pinto/Lima 2.3 vehicles do have a 3G, but they have the side mounting bolts instead of the more traditional setup, so they're useless to me. I'll have to explore RockAuto's catalog, maybe if I check out every Ford for m/y 1994ish I'll find a 95A 3G that will fit like I need.

    Edit: I just did that, picking a variety of vehicles from 91 to 94 and their various engines. There's only one that looks like it might be what I want and I'm not sure because it doesn't look like the 3Gs we know and love...it has 5 holes where we expect to see 2 on a 130A and 4 on a 95A. T-Bird 3.8 SC.



    But this looks fairly chunky so 130A 3G might be the fallback I have to go with anyway. Nevermind the fact that I'll never find a Supercoupe in the junkyard anyway.
    Last edited by kishy; 10-09-2017 at 04:55 PM.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM | Junkyards

  19. #19
    I post a lot... turbo2256b's Avatar
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    About the same as my 85 ranger same engine but a 5 speed. Dumped the engine and installed my old 170 HP 2.3 in it. Spent 2500 building the engine for my pinto back in the mid 80s only had 3000 mi on it. truck cost me 250.00. Gave it to my son it was totaled about 4 months later
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  20. #20
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect a mid 90s Ranger with a 5 speed to be all that bad. They responded decently to EFI. The carb ones kind of sucked, the carb automatic ones were flat out horrible. The 4 plug variant they had out in the mid 90s ran pretty good. Not sure if that was a 2.3 or a 2.5 but I knew someone who had a Ranger with that motor and the 5 speed. It went pretty well.

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