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Old 07-01-2015, 12:38 PM   #1
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Project transplant

Hopefully no one minds that I start a build thread of this nature here. It seems fitting since 75% of it is or will be mustang in nature. I need to get motivated to get this project of mine back in motion. I feel like a mustang forum is the better place for this build as most of my questions will be centered around a pushrod 5.0, t5, sn95 wiring, sn95 interior.

So now your like okay dude what the hell are you building. Well it's a 96 ford ranger. Here are some pics of where it's been and where it is.

Here is what a hunk of turd looks like. Day I bought it for 650 bucks. It is a regular cab short bed and had a running 3.0 v6 auto. Drove it home about 75 miles

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Immediately started taking it apart. Sold the motor and trans to a guy for 650 bucks that means truck is now free
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Went to a junkyard and got an entire front clip for 200 bucks. That's hood, fenders, header panel, grille, and front bumper. This is it mocked up.

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That's about where the ranger parts stop. Now enter mustang seats. Got these for 100 bucks WITH power seat tracks that I couldn't use. Sold them on eBay for 150. So seats paid me 50 to own them I will eventually re upholster them. I also ditched the headrests

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Here is a pic of it with some mustang wheels I picked up from a co worker for 200 bucks. These will be what it rolls around on at first until I figure out where to go with the wheels. Also note the different door. Old door was dented up badly, new door was 75 bucks. I also started to shave the handles in this pic

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Here is where it starts to get fun. I pulled this Lincoln mark VIII IRS out of a car in a junk yard for 150 bucks. Benefits are the aluminum 8.8, obvious IRS vs straight axle, disc brakes. Please don't criticize the welds or how it's currently mounted. This will change and improve. This was just to figure out where and how to mount it. Plus decide ride height (will use bags but normal drive ride height)

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Here is how low it sits at full drop in the rear.

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Now some of you who know your stuff about the Lincoln IRS know that the bolt pattern is 5x 4.25 and not 5x 4.5 like a mustang. Luckily a mustang cobra IRS hub can be used in the Lincoln set up. I have already swapped that out. I will just need to get an adapter to run a cobra IRS rotor.

So I already have plans to chop out the front of the frame and build my own using a mustang II set up. I already have the subframe for that. That's kind of the next step.

Now I did score a great deal on a 1996 Ford Explorer with a 5.0 it was FREE. One day I was looking at craigslist and come across this ad, no pictures. Just says 1996 Ford Explorer v8 come get it. So I email and to my surprise it's still there. The lady tells me she is the original owner, truck has 116k on it. She parked it one day because the fuel pump stopped back in 2004 and she never got it fixed because it was a gas hog. So I rented a uhaul trailer, borrowed a truck and hauled butt down where it was (2.5 hours away) and to my surprise it was legit. Truck was an Eddie Bauer 2wd 96 5.0. Ugly as hell, dirty as hell. But the motor looked amazing. Not even an oil leak. So I ask her why she was giving it away? Well she lost the title (no it wasn't stolen she showed me the original sale receipt with her name on it!) and she lost the keys! So I had to bust the lock out of the column to be able to steer it and get it on the trailer. Bam. Free motor. I got it home and in a weeks time I had it running. Fuel pump from eBay for 30 bucks, plugs and wires for 50 and cleaned all the fuel injectors and tank out. Also changed the fuel filter. Put. Battery in it, and swapped the steering column out with the one from the ranger! Lol started and ran great. Drove it around a few days in my neighborhood and made sure everything was good with the motor. No check engine lights. Hell the ac even worked! Ice cold I might add. The down side was the brakes were terrible. Anyway I only wanted to make sure it ran properly. It was a great deal. So I pulled the motor. Sold the trans and the rear end (was a 3.73 tracloc 8.8 with disc brakes) made over 2500 on the part I sold from that thing. I even cut the explorer up and took the metal to scrap. Lol

The awesome thing is this motor has the GT40 heads, and the explorer intake already. So I then picked up a complete wire harness from a 95 cobra. Everything. Also have a T4M0 computer to run it. Then I picked up a T5 that I will rebuild. So I'm on my way. I have a ton of parts for this thing. The goal is to basically build a mustang inspired mini truck. I even have a dash from a sn95 and yes it will fit. Have a center console also.

I'm hoping by starting this thread I will get motivated to get this thing back on the road to getting finished. I literally moved this project to the side to make room to park my 14 mustang in the garage. That's kinda why the work stopped. I will have to move the mustang out to start working again.

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So any help you guys can offer on getting the motor ready and wiring ect will be helpful. I will update as I go, but this is a project that will take a few years to complete.


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Old 07-01-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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First off that is really awesome. Second... I would recommend an a9l and a repin of the sn95 harness (easy) vs the t4m0. The t4m0 has terrible stock tune is difficult to program and pulls timing between shifts. Third, the explorer valve springs are WEAK and the truck cam is crap. Simple. Cheap tfs valve spring swap and a stock gt cam so you dont need a tune or if you are going to tune it throw a tfs1 or letter cam or steeda19 cam in. Good luck.

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Old 07-01-2015, 12:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydsntknow View Post
First off that is really awesome. Second... I would recommend an a9l and a repin of the sn95 harness (easy) vs the t4m0. The t4m0 has terrible stock tune is difficult to program and pulls timing between shifts. Third, the explorer valve springs are WEAK and the truck cam is crap. Simple. Cheap tfs valve spring swap and a stock gt cam so you dont need a tune or if you are going to tune it throw a tfs1 or letter cam or steeda19 cam in. Good luck.

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Yeah you were going to help me with that repin one of these days. I will do the a9l based on your feedback.

I planned on doing a cam, hadn't thought about the valve springs but that makes sense. I was looking at an E cam, is that no Bueno? Will o have to tune it with that cam? I think right off the bat I would rather run a stock tune just to get me rolling.


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Old 07-01-2015, 06:32 PM   #4
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That cam of all the letter cams will require a tune.

Damn I keep forgetting about that re-pin. I have to go dig up the diagrams.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:16 PM   #5
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That cam of all the letter cams will require a tune.

Damn I keep forgetting about that re-pin. I have to go dig up the diagrams.

What cam do you recommend? I want it to sound nasty but it doesn't need to be hardcore.

I also have a question about the fuel rails. I pulled the cam synchronizer and got a 94-95 mustang MSD pro billet distributor. It seems to hit the fuel rail when you turn it. So I guess I need to change that?




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Old 07-01-2015, 09:17 PM   #6
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It shouldn't hit... MSD is kinda crap anyway. I like Crane for a product that doesn't suck.

For a cam... anything besides the stock cam is going to need a tune. Really no way around it. Which means you might want to see if there is anyone near you who can tune the 94/95 computers near you. I was under the impression you were just going to swap the motor in and go. Which you can do still... The GT cam is actually a pretty decent cam.

If you want it to sound nasty, the B cam works GREAT with GT40s and has a nice bump to it.

As for the A9L repin... This should be what you need. You need a BAP and a fan controller, you need an ignition box and you will need #19 injectors if you don't have them already. If you decide to swap to the A9L these should be what you need.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:42 PM   #7
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Hmm okay well maybe I will just get a regular GT cam then. I'm not trying to break any land speed records with this beast. But here is what I'm talking about with the distributor.

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And just because I know this will make you bring Scotty. Your hate for BBK. I got these on eBay shipped for 20 bucks. I just wanted something to get me going.

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And the head three bars of course.

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Old 07-01-2015, 09:43 PM   #8
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And thank you for the re pin info!!


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Old 07-01-2015, 09:48 PM   #9
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Lol, my Steeda actually has BBK headers on it from the previous owner... of course they are already rusting. I'm going to have them blasted/coated tho.


And if you just want to get it going, re-pinning for an A9L and using the GT cam with some TFS springs is going to be THE most budget way to go and still have a motor that is pretty powerful. You will have a LOT of torque with that thing I will say that. Add some 1.7 roller rockers for a little more lift on the GT cam.


And unsure about the rails hitting... are those Mustang rails? If not that is probably why.


Great you got the regular GT40 heads too! You can tell they are not the Ps by the bars obviously and also I can see the "GT" plain as day on the head. If it was a P head it would say "GTP".
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:54 PM   #10
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Yeah I plan to blast the headers also. Just need to clean my garage so I can get to my blaster. I'm literally in the garage now

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As for the fuel rails, they are still from the explorer. I really haven't changed anything on the motor yet except the distributor just because I sold the cam synchronizer. So I guess I need 87-95 fuel rails.

I got super lucky with this motor, they stopped putting the three bar GT heads in explorers in early 97 from what I understand.

Okay so I will hunt for a GT cam, fuel rail, and figure out the springs and rockers.




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Old 07-01-2015, 10:00 PM   #11
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I mean that is what I would do just to get it back on the road. If you really want to cam it then by all means, just realize it won't run right until you tune it.


But yeah the exploder fuel rails are what your problem is and I'd just see about finding a set of used Crane Gold 1.7 pedestal rockers for $100 and then the TFS springs/locks/retainers are going to probably be your best bang for the buck. Maybe do valve stem seals while you are at it? Cheap insurance.


Also do the Fox TB setup vs the SN95. The Exploder intake is already setup for it, you'll just need a fox throttle cable and cruise cable if you want cruise. And a fox TB and a few other things... I have not even messed with that in a loooooooooooong time you probably should just search "fox tb conversion" on google for a metric assload of threads on that topic.

Better throttle response, cleaner engine bay, ability to run a BIG throttle body if you so choose.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:14 PM   #12
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Yeah I think your right.

I have held off on getting the throttle body stuff because I wasn't sure if I should go the fox route or the sn95 route.

This truck is going to be a no frills type vehicle. I'm going for clean and less is more. No clutter. No ac, no cruise, maybe no radio. Not sure yet. If I decided to do ac I might look into a stealth setup that keeps the fire wall clean. Hot rod style.

I appreciate all the help I can get on this. I haven't had a fox or a mustang since the coyote in about 9-10 years. So I am rusty as hell. Plus I never got crazy with any of my motors. It was always suspension and appearance.

Garage is getting cleaned out and truck is getting back in play. I'm sure this isn't everyone's idea of a project they would want but I have always had a soft spot for a mini truck. Plus parts are so cheap. I've really kept this project under a few thousand and honestly the explorer profits paid for most all the parts I already have


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Old 07-08-2015, 08:39 PM   #13
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Wow, this is awesome. I always wanted to swap an Explorer motor into a Ranger, only with a 4x4 Ranger. Love the updated front clip, that's an improvement. I hope you continue to find great deals on your parts, it's neat to see what you can really do with a little creativity and a budget.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:49 PM   #14
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Thanks DW

I need to cut the front of the frame up next and get the mustang II suspension on and I will start to mess with the bags and stuff. It's one of those projects where it's really never going to be worth a ton but it keeps me busy and I enjoy it. I thought about getting a 4x4 and building a monster at one point but I really love mini trucks. These little rangers are so cheap too. Worst part is that it takes up a parking spot in the garage until I get it running and can park it outside.

I think I forgot to mention the new front end is from a 2006. It's not a direct swap, the core support had to be swapped and I had to massage some of the mounting areas but the body lines do line up so that makes for a great swap. The 96 front end is terrible looking. Lol.


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Old 07-09-2015, 06:35 AM   #15
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I'd leave it a 4x2 and do something like a mini tub out back if it was me... I'd love to have a shop like that where I actually had room... someday...

And I forget if you are going to rebuild the T-5 trans with stock parts or what. If you are sending it somewhere... I dunno how much $$$ you have for a trans but if you are not planning on a power adder I know you can get a brand new T-5 on your doorstep for $750 from a really good builder and no core.

If you are going to power adder the thing or you want the best, get an A5 gearset.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:48 AM   #16
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Yeah this is def staying a 4x2

Before I bought this I was thinking about a 4x4 platform to start with if I went the 4x4 route. But that's just not my thing at the end of the day.

I am building the T5 with the rebuild kit for a t5z (I believe that's what it's called). So it will have the best parts inside. I got 2 used transmissions, the bell housing, a B&m short shifter and the full (oe ford) rebuild kit for about 175. Lots of killer eBay deals and a craigslist deal. Can't beat it. And when I have one good one all together, I might rebuild the other and sell it or part it out. Selling the case and gears separate will easily net me 200 bucks. So I can't lose. 😎

I don't plan to out power that t5 for now anyway. So I should be good.




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Old 07-09-2015, 06:50 AM   #17
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Yeah you should be good. The Z spec stuff is the best as far as stock gears go but the actual best gearset is the Astro stuff. Its not cheap but definitely look into them if you are going to go with a lot of power at some point.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:11 AM   #18
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I want to keep it EFI and reliable so nothing too crazy. If this thing sees 300hp in this light little truck I think I will be okay. Maybe after its all together and I get board, I can look into a different trans all together.

The one thing that's going to cost me some coin is a gear swap in that Lincoln pumpkin. Wanna say it's got a crappy ratio. I forgot since I've had it over a year. But those IRS 8.8's are different than a regular 8.8 of course. And anyone looking for gears on these typically has a cobra, so people put cobra prices on it.


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Old 07-15-2015, 11:02 PM   #19
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Very interesting project.................I like it.
About 15 years ago a friend did pretty much what you are doing except he took the drive train out of a wrecked 1998 cobra and at the same time I was working on S10 with Lt1. It took almost 3 years to put the Ranger together and when you eased into the throttle it was hard to keep in a straight line.....................a real handful.
You've got to love those little trucks..............I do!
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