1999 Ford Ranger: Big Fun In A Little Package

    This Ranger Is What Its All About

    Matt EmeryPhotographer, Writer

    While most of us need the pros to help build our rides, Richie Meyer is one of those guys who can seemingly do it all. Myer is a fabricator and welder for the Department of Defense, but he also spends a lot of time at Apple Valley, CA-based RM Motorsports where he helps out when he can. He did just that when it came to building his 1999 Ford Ranger.

    He’s owned the Ranger for quite a while, and living in Apple Valley CA he’s well acquainted with the desert and all that it offers the adventure minded, so he knew what he wanted. To make the Ranger capable of hitting big bumps, Meyer and RM Motorsports heavily modified the stock frame. The first step was to cage the entire truck and do a back half, so the frame rails are now gone from the cab back. They then installed the LSK Suspension Double Wishbone front suspension system that included LSK 4130 front spindles. King Shocks coil-overs and bump stops. Front brakes are 13-inch Ford units.

    The fully caged rear half is anchored by a LSK Suspension 3-link system that suspends a Currie Enterprises housing that itself houses 4:56 gears. Shocks are again King units, although this time there is a coil-over, a bypass as well as a hydraulic bumpstop to soak up the nasties. With the Currie unit comes Wilwood brakes, and 14-inch Wilwood discs and calipers slow the Ranger down when needed.

    That all equals a track width of a 87.5, and with the 16x7-inch Pro Comp wheels and BFGoodrich KO2 tires (315/75R16), that all adds up to plenty of footprint to keep the Ranger planted in the rough.

    A set of fiberglass fenders and bed panels provides the room for the BFG’s to articulate up to while the standard cab is what came from Ford. A pair of 30-inch LED light bars provides illumination. Inside that standard cab things to get a little tight with the full cage, but there’s room for the MasterCraft seats and a cool aluminum dash. That dash holds the stock Ranger gauge cluster and a JVC stereo while the center console is home to all electrical switches. A MOMO steering wheel and Crow Enterprises 5 point harnesses complete the look.

    Which leads us to the engine. That’s one area where Meyer would like to make some major changes. Right now, the Ranger is powered (and we use that term loosely) with the 2.5-liter Duratec engine with its only modification being a K&N air cleaner and Borla mufflers used in the exhaust system. Meyer says he has plans to install a bigger engine because even with the 4:56 gears, the Ranger has way too much suspension and handling prowess for such a low power engine.

    This Ranger is a great little vehicle. Sure, it’s a little tight inside the cab and we’re sure that Meyer and his RM Motorsports have the ability to wedge a 4.6 in the engine bay, but even at it stands this Ford Ranger has just about everything it needs to be a ton of fun to drive around off-road.