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  #1  
Old 06-23-2014, 04:46 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

So, to start off, my name is Jeff and I'm in my 30's. I live in a quiet suburb of Sacramento, California called Fair Oaks. I've had this Ranger for about three or four years, give or take, and for the majority of that time I didn't care much for it and didn't do much to it other than routine oil changes. The only other thing I did was to switch out the stock stereo for a single-din JVC head unit that I could listen to an ipod through. Other than that, I thought of it as nothing more than a slightly beat-up way to get from point A to point B. Then one day, not too long ago, I somehow stumbled upon this site while researching a problem and was impressed with some of the things I saw people doing with their Rangers. So, I decided to start taking care of and fixing up my truck.

This will be the log of that journey.

The first part of it will consist of things I have already done to it over the past three months, until I get to current times.

Background: The Ranger is a 1995 XL 2WD 3.0L. I bought her with ~60,000 miles. She originally belonged to my Great Uncle, who tried as best as he could to take care of the truck while starting to suffer from dementia. As he got older and his health declined he put a few dents and scratches on it. I bought it for $2,000 from his estate after he passed away with the intention of it being a temporary ride until I could afford something better. Fast forward a few years and I was/am still driving it. Time to get rid of it or fix it up.

In high school I was big into classic VW's and rebuilt a 1965 Bug from the ground up into a lowered mean machine. From high school forward I had several other cars, none of which I bothered to tinker with though. But, because of my experience with the bug I bring some small but useful knowledge of cars to my work on the Ranger.

Here is the only photo I could find of the Ranger stock:


From here, I decided the place to start modifying &customizing it was to switch out the parking light/turn signal corners and tail lights. I went with clear corners and black/clear/chrome tail lights purchased off eBay. Also, I added a stubby short antenna with carbon fiber inlay, also from eBay.





Next I ordered up some LED 194 bulbs to see what it would look like in the interior. First I went with green but decided it looked too sickly and went with blue:


too be continued....
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-24-2014 at 01:15 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2014, 05:34 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Next I picked up a black Mustang dome light from eBay and installed it:

And then installed blue LEDs in the three positions (map lights on):

Next, I decided that the stereo system needed an upgrade. I have never had a good stereo system in my life and now that I'm in my thirties and making a little money I decided to treat myself to low-mid level system (I don't need to blow my ears out I figured, getting older & just wanted something that sounded decent.) So, I went to Best Buy and got the following, which they installed, along with a backup camera. I know little-to-nothing about stereo installation and because of work, I was short on time, and hence I elected to have it "professionally" installed. It cost an arm and a leg, but I'm happy with it. They actually did a good job. I'm going to upgrade the components as I go along and will learn to install them on my own in the future.

I decided to go with a HU without navigation as it cost significantly less and I figured I could use my phone for GPS navigation. Turns out I ended up getting a Garmin unit, which in the end was still cheaper than an HU with navigation.
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1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-24-2014 at 01:17 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2014, 05:58 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

At first I didn't think the sound of the new speakers was all that much better than the stock. Turns out I had the premium speakers in the truck to begin with. I love the headunit however, but was a little ticked off when Pioneer unveiled their NEX-series of HU's shortly after I bought mine.
Next up I decided the speakers needed more power to differentiate them from the premium stock speakers. And it needed some bass. I decided to go with an amplified 150 watt Bazooka tube for it's relatively small price tag-to-sound ratio. I also got a Clarion equalizer and a Pioneer center channel speaker, which I thought might make the sound more "surround". The lot of it would be run through a Kenwood KAC-8405 amp.

For this install I located a guy on Craigslist claiming to have long years of installing stereos for car stereo companies before striking out on his own. I knew this would be a gamble as there are a lot of shysters on CL, but this guy turned out to be fantastic. He did the job of installing everything in a clean and professional manner, but for a fraction of the cost I'd pay at a shop or Best Buy.
Also got a Pioneer remote and Mustang HVAC knobs:

The Bazooka speaker pushed the passenger seat forward a bit, but luckily my girlfriend doesn't seem to mind it. Amp installed next to it:

For what I paid I think the sound is amazing. I have said it before on the threads and will say it again; the center speaker is AMAZING! I would recommend this fifth speaker to any Ranger owner to bring the soundstage up and blast it in your face for total surround immersion.
The speakers, as I thought, sounded much much better when powered through the amp. Cleaner and crisper and louder. The Bazooka pushes enough bass to more than meet my needs. And the Clarion EQ (mounted in the glove box) keeps the sound perfectly suited to my ears:
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-23-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-23-2014, 06:40 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Next up I got Blugflector II bug shield by AVS, which I think works well with the tinted Leer shell windows:



----------

So, the original Ranger I saw that first made me go "wow" when I visted the site was this one (see photo below). I don't know whose it is, but something about the look really struck me and that's when I decided to start investing in my truck.

There have been many other trucks on here that have really impressed me, but that one was the first and it was because of the rims and tires. Unfortunately, as of this writing I can't afford to invest in a nice wheelset, but I like the look so I ordered some chrome lugnut caps off eBay to replace my silver ones and went about plasti-dipping my rims:

Picked up a 3 1/2 ton floor jack off Craigslist for $60. Got some jack stands from ole' wallyworld.



I really like the black and chrome look on the wheels.
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-23-2014 at 08:57 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2014, 07:35 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Throughout this time I was assembling a steady assortment of cleaning & detailing supplies and cleaning my truck on a regular basis, which I hadn't done before.
Next up, I decided to try my hand at hydro-dipping, which is a method of ink transfer using water and chemicals. I found a site called http://www.mydipkit.com/index.html which sells kits for doing this at home. You can also have it done on a professional scale, but I wanted to try it on my own. Decided to do the radio bezel in a carbon fiber look. The radio bezel out:

Priming it, and then painting it with a base coat of silver (all included in the kit):



After dipping, applying a clear coat:

Installed:

Also installed (see above photo) a cigarette lighter splitter and velcroed it to the ash tray. Got it from Walmart (ouch) matches the 'stang knobs nice enough. Also pictured is a Kenu phone holder which slides into the vent. I rarely use it, but it's powerful enough to hold my iphone in place while going over bumps, etc. without falling off. Neat little phone holder.

----------

Also, questions, comments, constructive criticism are encouraged. Anybody out there?
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-24-2014 at 01:23 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2014, 07:59 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Next up was the throttle-cable mod, where I put three ziplocks on the throttle cable to lessen the slack. Much more responsive now. Not the best photo:

Then I went on decided to complete the interior in blue LEDs. Looked up a "How-To" on getting to the instrument cluster bulbs and went to it:

Finished product. Looks better in total darkness; very bright when turned up all the way. Surprised at how inexpensive the bulbs are:

Along the way I got a Garmin 2597 GPS for a song from eBay. While I had the dash apart I ran the charging cable in between the radio bezel and kick panel and out the top of the defrost vent, for a clean look.

Before:

After:

__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-23-2014 at 08:20 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2014, 08:27 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Somewhere along the way I put on a FRF sticker hoping to convert some folks or meet some members (haven't met anyone yet). But it looks good. The other sticker is from a solo trip I took to Joshua Tree for some camping out of the Ranger.

Oh, also added the tow bar to haul my road bike around when I was into riding bikes. Now looking to get a utility trailer or pop-up camper.
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2014, 08:49 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Then added some in-channel window visors also by AVS. Keeps the water out when I have the window open and use the window washer:

__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2014, 10:31 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)



So that's how she stands today. Plans I have for the immediate future: add a stainless steel gauge overlay (already ordered and waiting for it to arrive), add white LED daytime running lights (sitting in my garage waiting to be installed), paint the trim black including windshield wipers. Air box mod. Add blue LED strips to the foot wells. Install smoked headlight covers. Install fog light valance and fog lights (valance sitting in my garage).
Plans for the near future: New wheelset with 31" or 32" tires and 16x8 or 17x8 rims; not sure which ones. Tint the front two windows (illegal but willing to risk the fix-it ticket), replace heater core which has gone bad. Replace entire AC system which is not working (Sacramento summers are brutal without AC). Install OHC (sitting in my garage). Switch out 6x8/5x7 speakers for upgraded ones. Switch out grille for all chrome one. Paint bumpers black or get new chrome ones. Possibly install bull bar and side step bars. Replace all exterior lights with LEDs. Get new Flowmaster 40 with dual pipes. Possible switch out side view mirrors for ones with built in turn signals. Get dents repaired or replace fenders/door. Repaint Leer shell or remove and install tonneau cover. Switch out Bazooka bass tube for shallow mount sub. The list goes on...
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-23-2014 at 10:49 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2014, 12:40 AM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Forgot a few minor things: got a Dash Design black dash mat to tone down the tan interior:

Got a ratcheting cargo bar for the bed to keep things in place, mainly my detailing & cleaning supplies.

Plus found NOS blank keys on eBay and had one made to replace the original I had lost. It's the little things...
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-24-2014 at 12:52 AM.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2014, 01:00 AM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Few more items: put on a chrome exhaust tip to cover up the rusty stock one

Installed a spinner knob which makes taking corners such a joy now

Installed a MagLite onto the cupholder console in case I need to see something at night or beat someone down:

Put on carbon fiber pattern license plate frames and plasti-dipped the valance and rubber deal under it black.
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-24-2014 at 05:12 AM.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2014, 02:01 AM
DanTheMan16 DanTheMan16 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Nice work. I like the HU that you put in, maybe I'll get around to something like that one day.

I've also ordered some ratcheting bars for my bed but they have yet to ship out...

You ever consider dipping the knobs to make them match the bezel?
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2014, 02:10 AM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTheMan16 View Post
Nice work. I like the HU that you put in, maybe I'll get around to something like that one day.

I've also ordered some ratcheting bars for my bed but they have yet to ship out...

You ever consider dipping the knobs to make them match the bezel?
Thanks. Yeah it's amazing how handy those cargo bars are, especially when you have a top on the truck and things tend to slide forward out of reach.
I hadn't really given any thought to dipping the knobs, but I might. We'll see. I still have some of the ink paper left to dip some things, so maybe I'll try it out. Thanks again.
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2014, 04:28 AM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Coming from the VW world, emblems were a big deal and adding them was one way one way to make your car unique and stand out. Decided to carry that over and add some emblems to my truck to make it mine:





Up next I have some more bulbs on order and will be doing the HVAC blue as well. Also installing brushed aluminum gauge overlay soon...
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

BUILD THREAD

Last edited by jabbo88; 06-24-2014 at 04:31 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2014, 05:52 AM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Jeff's 1995 Gold Ranger Build Thread (jabbo88)

Recently checked out a couple books from the library to teach myself more about Detailing and Wiring--two areas I could use more knowledge on, especially wiring. Can anyone recommend some good automotive wiring books and/or internet resources?



Also, I'm thinking about getting a CB as it seems to be the thing to do. Can someone explain to me what the deal is with CB's? What are the benefits to having one?
__________________
1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

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