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-   -   "Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread (http://www.fordrangerforum.com/project-logs/131168-vincent-2003-fx4-lii-dual-sticks-4-0-sohc-build-thread.html)

RayZorback 09-22-2015 11:07 AM

"Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hey everyone. It has been a while since I have been active on the forum. I purchased my truck in the spring of 2013 and did a lot of research on here initially. Props to TheBearJeweler for the help.
I have only had basic maintenance done while my wife and I finished paying off all of our debt. Now that we are debt free, it is time to do a little work on the truck!

I am NEW to working on vehicles. Pretty sure I just heard several of you say, "This should be good." Yea. I know. We all have to start somewhere. Haha. My dad was not into cars and I never grew up working on cars. We knew some great mechanics and always took our cars to them. So now I'm 33 and want to figure out how to work on cars. I'm a late starter, but at least I am starting!

What did you drive before this?
  • 1999 first car was a 1980 Nissan Datsun 280 ZX GL model straight 6. It was so fast.
  • 2000 the little Datsun kept stalling, so we got a new 2000 Toyota Celica turbo four cylinder that I drove into the dirt.
  • Then I got a new 2012 Subaru WRX who was pearl black and appropriately named Black Betty. She was sooo sleek and sooo fast. I loved that all wheel drive beauty. I sold it to help pay down the debt.
  • Now, 2003 Ford Ranger XLT, FX4 Level II, 4.0 SOHC, dual stick.

Where did I get it?
I purchased the truck from a broker in the north so there is more rust under the truck than I am used to. It had about 156K on it and I paid about $5500 for it after taxes and shipping.

Was there anything wrong with it?
I discovered it wasn't as good as it looked in the photos. :deal: But it would get the job done.
  • The truck bed had a cover over it and they had spray painted some sort of gray/black inside of the truck to cover up rust and some small holes in the bed and 4 weird bolts sticking up from the tailgate. No real definitive answer on what those were for.
  • Those small rust holes have increased significantly in size.
  • They also coated all the plastic with something that kept it black for a short time. Those pieces are now all gray.
  • The tires looked OK when I got them, but were significantly worn.
  • The emergency break needs to be adjusted as it will not release once it is put on
  • The driver seat adjusting thing is broken. If I stop fast or put too much pressure on the back of my seat, it falls back. Embarrassing in traffic. :dong:
  • The AC went out last summer. Mechanic said "evaporator coil"? He wanted $800 for it. I drove with the windows down for 2 summers.
  • The battery died and took the radio with it. I don't think the radio is completely dead, but I don't have the security code to get it to work again and the local ford dealer here won't help. They just tell me to bring it in and they will charge me $150 to "see" if they can fix it plus additional $$ to actually fix it. Huge rip off.
  • The console arm rest cracked not he bottom side. I didn't noticed until I had to stop suddenly and the whole thing disintegrated. That stunk, but I was thinking about putting in a new console anyway. I would love to have a Ram Mount type of console and be able to mount a CB radio, ham radios and some other electronics with drinks, change, and some switches for lights and such.
  • There is some significant rust on some parts. I might have to replace?? Mechanic said they will last for several years. My plan is to clean them, stop the rust, and hopefully maximize their life until I am ready to do a mod around it that I would have to change them out anyway.

What do you want to do to it?
Number 1, I need to fix most of the above. Then I can do some other stuff.
I am a Realtor by trade and this project truck will also be a very recognizable work vehicle around town, so I will have to keep it a little proper, very clean, but I want it to be off road capable. The full list is yet to come. The goal is for the truck to look nice, clean, black, and aggressive and have some accent LEDs. More on the full mod list later.

Did you name it?
Yea. I got the truck shortly after Vince Flynn passed away and the name Vincent just seemed to fit. I realize it is a guys name, but after driving Black Betty, this truck just doesn't feel very lady like.

What have you done so far?
Basic maintenance.
I removed the broken console.
I recently bought some tires. It rains a lot here so that is important. I stuck those on there, but realize that I am rubbing slightly on the back of the front when I turn slowly in a parking lot, so I will be removing the mud flaps in the front today. I might remove the back too if I don't like how it looks with the front off. I have to order a roof rack so I have a better place for the full size spare. I don't want to stick that beautiful tire under my truck. haha. I am shopping for the right rack and that is probably the most urgent purchase. The wife doesn't like to have a big tire by the door in our living room. I think it is nice addition and a great air freshener.
I removed the bed cover right when I got it. I didn't like the look and it was a cloth cover.
That is about it.

I am taking the day to plan the truck build and do a little organizing around the house. I will post many more photos as soon as I figure out the best way to do that. Might have to link back to my website or something.

Anyway, thanks for checking out the thread! Any tips or advice is appreciated!

Q: Am I supposed to update this top post with photos, etc? Or just keep posted in the thread?

SB03Ranger 09-22-2015 11:25 AM

Re: "Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread
 
All of what you mentioned is easily replaced. Keep an eye out on craigslist and junkyards.

Shayzar7 09-22-2015 01:48 PM

I know for the e brake, just replace all the cables, they are more likely than not rusted and not going to function properly I had the same problem.

RayZorback 09-22-2015 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shayzar7 (Post 2536160)
I know for the e brake, just replace all the cables, they are more likely than not rusted and not going to function properly I had the same problem.

I THINK I found the e-brake cable while I was under there today removing the mud flaps. I need to verify to be sure but it looked rusted in one spot and somewhat frayed. If that's it, I'm betting that frayed part is the problem and replacing it would be an easier fix than I was expecting.

Question: just installed new tires. Should I have my disc or drum brakes adjusted for them (285/75/R16E)?

Tyler46 09-22-2015 11:45 PM

I'm subscribed. I like where this thread is going!

The e-brake cable is under the driver side of the truck and runs between the frame and the edge of the truck. Shouldn't be any other wires near by it. Hangs pretty low.

No you do not need to adjust the brakes when you get new tires, your Anti-lock may be a little sensitive from going from "bald bald" to fresh tread. But nothing to be concerned of.

And if I may add, you stuffed 285/75/16 on a stock 4wd truck? Those measure out to 32.8 x 11.22 x 16 so those are pretty big.
Need some pics.

And welcome to the Forum! You can learn so much information from this site. Here's a good place to start:

http://www.fordrangerforum.com/gener...s-threads.html

Logan03CO 09-23-2015 03:57 AM

Re: "Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyler46 (Post 2536445)
And if I may add, you stuffed 285/75/16 on a stock 4wd truck? Those measure out to 32.8 x 11.22 x 16 so those are pretty big.
Need some pics.

It was very common for guys to run 285/75/16's on stock pre-08 4WD's once you crank the torsion bars. I did.

It's right off the "Chart of maximum tire size" thread.

dangerranger01NJ 09-23-2015 04:20 AM

Nice truck man, jealous on the 285s though haha I have an add a leaf and maxed the torsion bars on my 06 and the tire place said the 285s were catching the mudflaps. Anyway sharp truck man, always liked the level 2s.

Shayzar7 09-23-2015 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayZorback (Post 2536443)
I THINK I found the e-brake cable while I was under there today removing the mud flaps. I need to verify to be sure but it looked rusted in one spot and somewhat frayed. If that's it, I'm betting that frayed part is the problem and replacing it would be an easier fix than I was expecting. Question: just installed new tires. Should I have my disc or drum brakes adjusted for them (285/75/R16E)?

Top of you replace the cable, don't wreck and connector pieces or parts that you don't for sure buy. I went to replace a connector and couldn't find it at a parts store store or online. Don't trust them when they say they have it either, they tried to sell me a universal one, for Chevys...

02RangerFX4 09-23-2015 06:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayZorback (Post 2536443)
I THINK I found the e-brake cable while I was under there today removing the mud flaps. I need to verify to be sure but it looked rusted in one spot and somewhat frayed. If that's it, I'm betting that frayed part is the problem and replacing it would be an easier fix than I was expecting. Question: just installed new tires. Should I have my disc or drum brakes adjusted for them (285/75/R16E)?

Did you change the rims too?

RayZorback 09-23-2015 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 02RangerFX4 (Post 2536525)
Did you change the rims too?

Yes I did

RayZorback 09-23-2015 02:47 PM

Re: "Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyler46 (Post 2536445)
I'm subscribed. I like where this thread is going!

The e-brake cable is under the driver side of the truck and runs between the frame and the edge of the truck. Shouldn't be any other wires near by it. Hangs pretty low.

No you do not need to adjust the brakes when you get new tires, your Anti-lock may be a little sensitive from going from "bald bald" to fresh tread. But nothing to be concerned of.

And if I may add, you stuffed 285/75/16 on a stock 4wd truck? Those measure out to 32.8 x 11.22 x 16 so those are pretty big.
Need some pics.

And welcome to the Forum! You can learn so much information from this site. Here's a good place to start:

http://www.fordrangerforum.com/gener...s-threads.html


Thanks for the tips and the beginner mod list is really helpful.

On Tires:
I did get them in. I think the previous owner has some kind of lift on it. Maybe a TBar? I'm trying to figure out exactly what was done to it. (Like I said, I'm completely new to the working on cars thing).
It did rub on the mud flaps in the front so I removed those today. Now it only rubs slightly on the front left lip of the fender when I turn a very specific way. I'm curious as to why it doesn't rub slightly on the other side? It may be the additional weight of the driver (I'm no small fry) ... or maybe the TBar lift is not quite even? I'd like to figure that out before I trimming the plastic.

I will be replacing the bumper soon anyway. I was cleaning it up yesterday and my finger went straight through due to rust. I don't have much protection in the front. I moved that mod up on the list of "to dos" and am figuring out what type of bumper/winch combo I want that fits the ranger and still gives access to the tow hooks.

List of stuff I got done yesterday:
I also have to figure out what to do with this stack of 4 + 1 spare tires and rims.

More to come.

Tyler46 09-23-2015 03:53 PM

You know - those wheels can sell for a pretty penny. Very exclusive and very rare wheels you have on your hands there.

And I sure hope your "lift" isn't some leveling keys. I would double check to see if the factory keys are in there.

As far as the tires rubbing, I had that issue with my 35's rubbing my inner plastic fender liner on the drivers side, but not the passenger side. It's was just barely hitting them. I weigh 140 lbs so no matter what the truck will do that. A full tank of gas weighs probably 120 lbs. new torsion bars and new leaf springs may correct that.

RayZorback 09-24-2015 10:36 PM

Re: "Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread
 
ORIGINAL PHOTOS

Here are some photos that I took the first week I had the truck. I am probably going a bit overboard, but I thought it would be the most interesting for me if I cataloged as much of the before/after as I can.

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...1/IMG_0798.jpg https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...5/IMG_0799.jpg https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000whttps://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...0/IMG_0814.jpg
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000whttps://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

Yes, they left the spray paint can lid in the bed of the truck. ... This stuff came off QUICK.
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...7/IMG_0820.jpg


After I got the cover off, the unevenness of the spray paint and the rusted holes were evident. Nothing I could do about them at the time. I knew they would grow and multiply ... and they have!
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

4 Odd Bolts that Stick up from the back passengers side of the bed of the truck. They are bracketed and attached on the bottom. More on this later.
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...3/IMG_0819.jpg

Under the Truck
Keep in mind, I don't know what is normal/stock and what is not normal/mod, so I took photos of almost everything ...
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...pg?format=500w

Like ... is this a lift or is this stock??
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...pg?format=500w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...pg?format=500w

Under side of the 4 bolts that stick out of the top of the truck bed

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000whttps://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...pg?format=500w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

I thought it was weird that this rusted metal had some clean pink chalk on it. I'm guessing it was for shipping or the dealer? Incase it is important... here is a photo! haha
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w

Patch job on the exhaust.
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...pg?format=500w

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000whttps://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w


The Engine/Motor
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...pg?format=500w
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...g?format=1000w


As you can see, rust is an issue here. I will be wire brushing it soon and we will see what we have left. Ha.

If you see anything in these photos that a n00b wouldn't know (like mods or problems), please tell me!! Thanks!

SB03Ranger 09-25-2015 05:51 AM

Re: "Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread
 
looks pretty good, mostly surface rust underneath from what I can tell.

vista4.0 09-25-2015 06:58 AM

Re: "Vincent" the 2003 FX4 LII, Dual Sticks, 4.0 SOHC - Build Thread
 
Everything looks to be stock for the trim. Looks like she needs a little love. Good looking truck though.


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