While most of us had afterschool jobs, they usually consisted of asking if someone wanted fries with that, 17 years old Derek Coffman on the other hand has one that is actually helping round out his education; he works summers at R3 Performance Products. It was there that he did a lot of work on his latest assignment, this 2003 Ford Ranger.
One place where this Ranger differs from others is that this one has a GM V8 engine rather than 6 that came stock. Built by the crew at R3 Performance Products, where Coffman has an afterschool job, did the work on putting an LM7 inside the Ford. The engine has been upgraded with a host of small yet performance enhancing touches to get the most out of the 5.3-liter. They include Accel 309cc Injectors, a K&N air cleaner, as well as some choice LS1 parts such as the ignition, cam and heads. Put together, the engine no produces 360hp.
The use of Chevy parts didn’t end there though as a Chevy Turbo 400 transmission send those ponies off to the Yukon 4:56 gear-equipped Ford 9-inch rearend.
That rearend is cradled with a link rear end that features long trailing arms and a pair of King shocks. There are bypass and coilovers, but Coffman used Eibach springs on the coil-overs and an anti-sway bar has been added as well.
The front suspension is a Camburg Race Long Travel system that produces over 18-inches of wheel travel, all of which is controlled again by King bypass and coilover shocks, again with an Eibach spring for each. The front spindles and hubs are also Camburg units while Wilwood disc brake assemblies put the stop on the Ranger with 4-piston calipers and rotors. Identical Wilwood brake assemblies are used front and rear.
Also found on all 4 corners are the very desert-capable combination of tough 35-inch General Grabber tires mounted on 15-inch Method Double Standard wheels.
The stock steel cab and doors, as well as the fiberglass fenders, bedsides and hood, has been painted black with paint that Coffman got from R3, but he ponied up for the pair of VisionX LED lightbars. A 50-inch unit spans the windshield while another 18-inch has been fitted into the front bumper.
The full cage encases the interior while a set of Twisted Stitch seats and Crow harnesses encase Coffman and passenger. Coffman keeps control with a Grant steering wheel. A Fiberwerx dash has been installed, and now holds a Winter’s shifter, a host of Auto Meter gauges, all necessary electrical switches and an Alpine AM/FM/CD stereo system.
Coffman got the truck and spent 4-5 months on and off fixing it up, replacing little stuff and getting it painted. He says, “It's a great, fun vehicle that is "street legal" and can take a whole lot of desert abuse.”