Like most car guys, when the pandemic hit in 2020 we decided to head into the garage and start cranking on a new project. For us it was a 1984 Ford Ranger. It’s a unique choice, but it was the truck of a late friend, and with the help of his family, we tracked down the current owner of the truck and bought it off them.
Our starting point was a single-owner rusted Ranger with a spare tire (and a spare engine). It even came with complimentary bed trash and a couple of .22 bullets on the floorboards. Our goal was to restore this old dog to its former glory and then take it a couple more steps beyond restoration.
It might not classify as a traditional restomod build, but we took many liberties to update it. We added some modern amenities and made sure it was more off-road capable than when it rolled off the assembly line in the mid eighties.
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The following is by no means an exhaustive list of what was done to the truck, but it covers the key features and repairs that make this build special.
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The interior looked about how you’d expect a 40 year old truck to look. We basically took everything out and refreshed or replaced it. That included custom leather reupholstery on the bench seat, brand new headliner, brand new blue carpet, and a repainted dashboard.
We also revamped the entertainment system with all new speakers and a 10-inch Kicker subwoofer. All this is controlled with a Kenwood head unit with a 6.8-inch infotainment screen.
- Custom Leather Upholstery
- Forever Sharp Billet and Leather Steering Wheel
- Customized Stock Dash w/Carbon Fiber Overlay
- 6.8-Inch Kenwood Monitor
- Light Switch Floor Panel-Rough Country
- Painted Dashboard-Blue to Match
- Kicker Speaker System + 10 Inch Subwoofer
- New Carpet
- New Headliner
- Tinted Windows-Premium FX Film
The exterior saw the most restoration and improvements. We completely removed the cab and bed from the frame in order to give them all the proper attention. Any rust that we discovered was removed and patched before paint. We acquired some donor doors and a tailgate locally to solve several rust issues.
The original truck had two gas tanks, and we removed the secondary tank. In its place we added an air compressor and provided hookup access through the fuel door. We also added a USB port to make outdoor device charging super convenient.
Fishbone Offroad and Trail FX tag teamed to make up the front and rear bumpers. Both were designed for the Jeep Wrangler and required custom modifications to fit the Ranger.
- Rust Removal/Repair
- New Windshield
- New Backglass
- Sport Side Mirrors
- Fishbone Offroad Front Bumper – Modified
- Trail FX Rear Bumper – Modified
- Go Rhino Chase Rack
- 2-Tone Stripe Decal
- Painted Front Grille
- Painted Badges
- Spray-In Bedliner
- Viair Air Compress and Hidden Powered USB Ports
- Go Rhino Drop Steps
- 6-Inch Lights-KC Hilites Apollo Pro
- LED Headlights
- LED Brake Lights
The truck arrived by trailer, and wouldn’t run so it needed quite a bit of help. We did a top end rebuild on the engine, including new gaskets, seals, and fuel lines. After dozens of test drives and tweaking we eventually landed on the right tuning and couldn’t ask any more of this Cologne V6.
- Refurbished Ford Cologne V6 Engine
- Multi-Light Controller-Rough Country (under engine hood)
- Refurbished Radiator
- Electric Fan
- New Power Steering
- New Alternator
- Rebuilt Carburetor
- AC Retrofit to R134
The aftermarket wheels this truck came with weren’t half bad, but we needed to give the whole lower half of the vehicle a new lease on life. We put a new 6-inch lift on the truck which included new painted leaf springs.
We upgraded to American Racing wheels and 32-inch all-terrain tires. We swapped the front axle to a Dana 35 and painted the shocks and struts. Basically all steering and brake components were replaced to ensure a long life ahead for this Ranger.
- 17×9 American Racing Rims-Black Iron Finish AR201
- 285/70/17 All-Terrain Tires-Nitto Terra Grappler
- 6-Inch Lift Kit-Rough Country + Leaf Springs
- Front Axle Swapped Upgrade – Dana 35
- Regeared for Larger Tires
- New Ball Joints
- New Brakes + Calipers
We’ve had our fun with this build, and now we’re looking towards the next one. Have a project of your own you want us to tackle?