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1993 Ford Ranger - Nuts & Bolts

Nuts And Bolts
David Kennedy
| Contributor
Posted November 1, 2003

Manual Gear Swaps
I have a '93 Ford Ranger short wheelbase with a 2.3L four-popper, a five-speed manual transmission, 4.10 gears, and a Borg-Warner transfer case. I could use some lower gearing for off-road travel. Since the transfer case is probably pretty hopeless and I don't have the know-how to change the front differential gearing, is it possible to have a granny gear put in the transmission?

I've read about automatic gearing changes, but I don't remember anything about getting lower gears in a manual. I think it would be great to have the granny gear for off road and still have overdrive for the highway. Is it possible?Mac

We aren't aware of any optional gearsets with lower ratios for your manual transmission. Typically, an OEM will use the lowest gears available in a transmission destined to be used behind its four-cylinder engine. We have to believe Ford would have given the engine as much leverage on the tires as it could; that's why your truck has 4.10 gears. To get lower gearing, your options are to swap the axle gears, add an auxiliary underdrive like a Klune-V (, or swap in a whole new transmission with better ratios. Our advice is to go with the axle gear swap. If you're convinced it's too scary to do yourself (and it could be), find a reputable differential shop to do the work.

More Rubbing Tires
I have a '97 V-8 Dodge Ram 4x4 single cab. I was wondering what size engine is in it. I also have a problem with my Mud King XT steel radials (LT285/75-16) mounted on the stock rims. The tires rub on the back side when you turn it real sharp to the left or right. I talked to a guy at a local tire shop and he said the only way to fix it was to move the wheels out so the tire sits away from the frame, or to get a smaller tire. I have been wanting to put a lift kit on it. Would this fix the problem? I like the size and the tread of the tires, so which is the best route to go? Or is there another route that would work better?Blake

Your truck could have the 5.2L (318ci) or a 5.9L (360ci) V-8. Look at the top left-hand corner of the emissions information sticker on the inside of the hood, on the radiator support, or on a sticker in the glovebox to find out which.

You didn't say where the tires were rubbing, but it's either on the inside of the fenders or on part of the frame or suspension. A lift could keep the tires from rubbing in all three places, but so could sheetmetal trimming/hammering and some wheel spacers. On our trucks we like trimming first, then lifting the truck if need be to clear the tires we want to run.

Big Spender
After drooling over a new Suburban, I have decided that for about the same money ($38,000), I can build a better truck to match my own twisted sense of need. I can turn a mean wrench and remove and install an engine or transmission, but this project is beyond my skills so I am looking for input.

I was thinking about an early '70s Suburban conversion (mainly because in Oregon I can thumb my nose at DEQ and smog with one this old). I am not a mud bogger or a rockcrawler but I like to play off road when work will let me. Realistically this truck will be driven on road about 70 percent of the time. I have a few questions for the experts about how to build this truck.

The only thing I know for certain is that I want about 6 inches of lift, 38-inch tires, and a Ramjet 502 V-8. But what do you recommend for the rest of the powertrain-lockers, brakes, steering, interior treatment, and frame modifications? Any idea where I might find a shop that would be able to do the work for me?Joseph

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