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1996 Ford Ranger Supercab 2WD - The Ranger Formula

Posted in Features on June 1, 2010
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We showcase a lot of supertrucks in our pages. You know the ones: able to leap multiple whoops in a single bound, more powerful than the Space Shuttle on steroids...

The dirty little secret behind most of those supertrucks is that they're rarely, if ever, driven on the street. Why? Competition-style rollcages make ingress and egress an exercise in body contortion, not to mention the way they amplify noise into the cab. Add competition-style five-point harnesses to the picture and you can see why supertrucks aren't practical or fun for everyday use.

If your envisioned supertruck needs a dash of Clark Kent in the mixture, we'd suggest following the Ranger formula on these pages. Tim Giles of Whittier, California, needed just such a mixture in his '96 Ford Ranger.

Tim originally started working on a '92 Ranger, but slammed into a proverbial brick wall mid-way through his build. Burned out and frustrated, but not wanting to give up completely, he decided a different truck and a different approach were in order. He scanned the classified ads for an unmolested stock truck and happened upon a clean '96 Supercab Ranger with the 4.0 pushrod-style V-6. The truck hadn't been modified or abused. It was a perfect blank canvas.

To paint that blank canvas, Tim turned to Tom McKenzie of S.I. Motorsports. Tom has built several supertrucks, but developed a formula for building dual-purpose Rangers along the way. What is the formula? It's a bolt-on bed cage with an integrated spare tire carrier, a bolt-on engine cage, long-travel front I-beams, and long-travel rear leaf springs. To keep this truck streetable, a full rollcage wasn't part of the equation. Comparing Tom's work to art on a canvas isn't a stretch. Tom's a perfectionist and does things either a hundred percent or not at all.

We love looking at and riding in supertrucks, but we still know there's a definite place for Clark Kent. That place may be in your driveway.

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Vehicle: 1996 Ford Ranger Supercab 2WD
Owner/Hometown: Tim Giles/Whittier, CA
Engine: Ford 4.0 OHV/pushrod V-6
Induction: Stock EFI
Transmission: Stock 5-speed

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Front Suspension:
S.I. Motorsports Unequal-length I-beams, 4 inches wider per side, custom spindle that's pressed, welded, and bolted to the steering knuckle, S.I. Motorsports bolt-on engine cage, King coilovers, Fox bump stops, 20 inches of travel

Rear Suspension:
S.I. Motorsports leaf spring system using Deaver spring packs, flipped shackles, S.I. spring plates, S.I. bed cage, King bypass shocks, Drivelines Unlimited driveshaft, 16 inches of travel

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Ring and Pinion:
4.88 gears with full spool, Currie Ford 9-inch rearend. Note: While a spool isn't street-friendly, it's extremely reliable and provides ultimate traction in the dirt

35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2

Pro Comp 15x8

Glassworks Unlimited fenders and bedsides, Autofab hood

Other details:
Fenderwells deleted, custom S.I. mounts for battery, EVAP canister, air cleaner, and windshield washer bottle

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