1. home
  2. features
  3. 1998 Ford Ranger - Dirt Every Day

1998 Ford Ranger - Dirt Every Day

This Ranger Is Daily Driven For Fun And Profit

Matt EmeryPhotographer, Writer

Brett Kobaly is an 18-year-old high school student and a busy guy. He finds time to not only go to school and is the owner of Trick_Trucks Instagram, but he makes sure he has time to enjoy his 1998 Ford Ranger.

It’s a truck that would be fun to drive, too. It’s been fully caged, so that the Blitzkrieg Motorsports Long Travel front suspension system is tied in with the rear Giant Motorsports Link Killer Kit and 8.8 rearend. Kobalys shock of choice is King, and he has 2.5 Bypass units backed up King 2.5 Bumpstops to soak up the trail.

With 16 inches of travel, the Blitzkrieg LT front system uses a trifecta of King Shocks 2.5 CoilOvers, 2.5 Bypass and 2.0 Bumps. This is a serious truck, and it has serious components. Kobaly kept with that theme and chose to go with Walker Evans Legends 501 wheels, and the just-right 35-inch General Grabber tires (35x12.50x17). Tough all over is just what this Ranger is.

That doesn’t mean the appearance has to have rough edges though. The pairing of McNeil Fiberglass front fenders and Trailer Products bedsides, the foundation was layed, but JS INC of Visalia, California wrapped the truck with stylish graphics too. A trio of KC HiLite’s round HID’s adorn the front bumper cage while a pair of Raptor taillights are used out back.

The Ford 3.0l V6 “Vulcan” EFI engine has remained stock while the rest of the truck was taking shape, but has seen the addition of a K&N intake and air cleaner. A CBR Performance trans cooler keeps the 5-speed transmission in good shape and further back, the 8.8 rearend utilizes 5:13 Yukon gears.

With the full interior cage, there was just enough room for the Beard TH1 seats and 5-point harnesses. The stock dash has been replaced with a full width carbon fiber unit, into which has been placed the stock cluster. A MOMO steering wheel and Lowrance HDS5 almost completes the scene. We say almost, as a Hula Girl wobbly stands (hula’s?) proudly on top of the dash.

This fully-done Ranger must be a joy to take off-road, but for Kobaly’s sake, we hope it’s a joy to drive all the time. Yes, it’s his daily driver. Kobaly says that he loves driving it, but that his last truck had air conditioning and a heater, two things he’s come to miss. We’ve had rides like that in our past (who hasn’t?), though we feel his pain about the loss of creature comforts. But like his truck, he’s tough and he’s motivated.

When not taking it off-road for fun, Brett Kobaly uses this Ranger for his daily driver getting him to school and back in style.

The Jaz fuel cell puts the fuel nearly center mass, which helps since the two spare 35’s weigh a lot in themselves. The cage work was done by Blitzkrieg. It also provides the upper mounts the King Rear shocks King 2.5 bypass shocks and the King 2.5 bumps.

A set of Beard TH1 seats dominates the interior. They are equipped with Beard 5-point harnesses.

The cage is a serious piece of work; not that Kobaly ever wants to put it to the test!

A MOMO steering wheel is right at home in this interior.

The carbon fiber dash has been fitted with the stock gauge cluster, various switches and a Lowrance GPS.

The Lowrance HDS5 provides pin-point course readings.

No hot rod should be without a Hula Girl.

Walker knows off-road, and the Walker Evans Legends 501 wheels and General Grabber tires (35x12.50x17) provide for a tough to beat combination.

A 3.0l V6 puts its power to the 8.8 rearend via a 5 speed transmission. The engine has a K&N air filter, the trans a CBR transmission cooler, and the rearend has 5:13 Yukon gears.

A close up of the Blitzkrieg long-travel front suspension and the King shocks shows that the King 2.5 Coilovers 2.5 Bypass and 2.0 Bumps provides the perfect dampening for the 16-inch travel system.

The rear suspension pairs together Giant Motorsports leaf springs and King 2.5 Bypass shocks and King 2.5 Bumps.

With its colorful wrap and impressive off-road capabilities, this Ranger is all that Kobaly needs to get him through high school with plenty of cool.