Crawler, Desert Racer, or Expedition Rig?
Most “expedition” vehicles put some skinny tires on steel wheels and add a freezer/fridge and call it good. Greg Muhsemann wanted more though. Sure, his Ranger has the stereotypical overlander rooftop tent, but it also has desert racing–inspired suspension and a lower crawl ratio than a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, which allow his Ranger to tackle just about anything in its path.
“It isn’t the best choice for any one task,” Greg concedes. As the owner of Flexible Fabrication, he has constructed plenty of purpose-built buggies for the rocks or the sand, but those vehicles come with their own set of compromises. Greg and his wife Pam can go out in their park ranger–themed Ford Ranger for days at a time with the cruise control on and the A/C blowing.
Should they encounter washboard roads and whoops, the high-end Bilstein coilovers and rear Deaver leaf springs soak up the bumps with ease. Rocks in their path? An Advance Adapters Atlas II transfer case with 5:1 low range and ARB Air Lockers allow the Ranger to crawl with ease. And if there isn’t a Hyatt at their destination, the Tepui rooftop tent and full complement of gear on the custom bed make for a comfortable home.
1993 Ford Ranger
Engine: 4.0L V-6
Transmission: A4LD four speed automatic
Transfer case: Advance Adapters Atlas II with 5:1 low range
Front Axle: Dana 44 with 4.56 gears, ARB Air Locker, Sierra Gear chromoly axleshafts, Warn Premium hubs, and Ballistic Fab diff cover
Rear Axle: Ford 8.8 with 4.56 gears, ARB Air Locker, Sierra Gear chromoly axleshafts, and Ballistic Fab diff cover
Springs & Such: Bilstein 12-inch-travel 9100 coilovers and air bumpers with Flexible Fabrication radius arms (front); Deaver leaf springs and Bilstein14-inch travel 5150 shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 315/70R17 Pro Comp Xtreme M/Ts on 17x8 American Eagle Type 137 rims
Other Stuff: Smittybilt XRC10 winch with synthetic cable, Hannemann fiberglass front fenders, Flexible Fabrication bed and tire carrier, Tepui tent, 12-gal. auxiliary fuel tank, Trasharoo