When Justin Rantzow was younger, his dad had a prerunner. Still only 21, Rantszow says he was inspired by the old Toyota prerunner his father had when he was a boy. “I wanted a desert capable, street legal daily driver–capable truck of my own.”
He bought this ’11 Ranger XLT brand new in 2012 and used the truck to commute to his first job (at In-N-Out Burger, our personal favorite) and began saving the money he’d need to build the stock Ford in to his dream prerunner.
With shops like Wide Open Customz of Victorville, California, he soon had the Ranger well on its way. The ’cage was installed, and it ties in the front and rear suspensions. Up front is a Camburg XLT Long Travel system that includes Camburg front spindles. The shocks are King 2.5 (x 10) reservoir-equipped coilovers that are backed up with King 2.0 bumpstops.
The front brakes are the OEM Ford units, but out back things are different—let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The stock rearend was replaced with an 8.8 from an F-150. It has 5.13 gears and is held in place with a set of Deaver F31 Prerunner leaf springs. A set of King 2.5 (x 14) smooth body shocks run from it, up through the bed, and tie into the rear ’cage. This time a set of Wilwood four-piston Dynalite disc brakes put whoa into the Ranger.
Thanks to the wide Glassworks Unlimited fiberglass front and rear fenders, Rantzow was able to wedge a set of 35-inch 35x12.5x15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO tires under the Ranger. They are mounted to 15x7 Method Standard wheels and two more sets are mounted to the bed cage.
The Glassworks Unlimited fiberglass front and rear fenders were color matched to the steel cab by Mr. D’s Custom Paint of Brea, California, while the cage was painted black. The front bumper has been equipped with a trio of Hella 4000 Rallye lights.
Thanks to the intricate cage, there’s not much room inside the standard cab Ranger but Rantzow managed to include a set of custom PRP seats and harnesses along with an MPI steering wheel (and we didn’t even know Max Papis made steering wheels) and a sweet center console. The very nicely covered console holds a Winters shifter, a PCI Race Radios Ultimate 2 communication system (Kenwood 50-Watt radio, 4-Link Pro intercom system) along with some toggles for the lights, a couple of cupholders, and an electrical cutoff switch.
The 2.3L Ford Duratec engine is much as it was when it rolled off the showroom floor save for the Flowmaster 40 series muffler. Still Steve at Powertrain Dynamics was able to get 150 hp out of it.
Now a shock builder, Rantzow has loved seeing the truck progress. He says that it has snowballed into much more than he could have ever originally dreamed of, and even with the large amount of work, money, and energy that he put into the truck he says that if he had a chance to start over, he’d do it all again exactly the same.