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5.0L Solid Axle 1999 Ford Ranger

A Better Blue Oval

Ali MansourPhotographer, Writer

The off-road hobby is tremendously greener than people give it credit for. Need an example of this? Just check out your local Craigslist. Without a doubt, the pages will be full of used vehicles and parts, many for a fraction of what they originally cost new. The creativity and cost savings that the pre-owned market creates is something that is truly exceptional.

Take Jody Treadway’s ’99 Ford Ranger for example. After years of building an assortment of 4x4s, he was ready for his next project. Looking for a good deal, he did like most of us do and scoured the classifieds around the web. He landed on what looked like a very weathered, but overall well-built, Ford Ranger. Spending so many years building his own vehicles, he wasn’t sure how he felt about buying some else’s old wheeling rig.

After much thought, he decided the deal was too good to pass up, so he picked up the ’99 Ranger. However, it was not the gem that you see here today. Thankfully, Ranger body panels are easy to come by on the cheap, and a paint job was just a rattle-can away. So, for a fraction of what it would have cost to build the rig from scratch, he ended with one that really just needed some TLC.

We’re suckers for mini-trucks, so we were immediately drawn in when we saw it on the trail. Treadway says that he continues to find little things he wants to tweak and has since added a bit more Southern pinstriping and body damage, thanks to the tree-lined trails he likes to wheel. While buying an already-built rig isn’t for everyone, it is often a good way to get a good value and get on the trail quickly. Even if you are a reviving a once-beaten trail rig back to life, it can be just as rewarding.

At A Glance

Vehicle: ’99 Ford Ranger
Owner: Jody Treadway
Stomping grounds: Horse Shoe, North Carolina
Build Time: N/A

Engine: 5.0L Ford V-8
Transmission: C6 automatic
Transfer case(s): Flipped Dana 300
Low range ratio(s): 2.62:1
Crawl ratio(s): 33.06:1
Front axle/differential: Dana 44/chromoly axleshafts, ARB Air Locker, 5.13 gears
Rear axle/differential: Ford 8.8/Detroit Locker, 5.13 gears

Front: Custom 3-link, 2-in, 0.250-wall control arms, 14-in-travel 2.5 Fox air shocks
Rear: Custom triangulated 4-link, 14-in-travel 2.5 Fox air shocks, Currie Anti-Rock sway bar
Steering: Howe hydro-assist

Tires: 37x12.50-17LT Maxxis Trepador Bias
Wheels: 17x10 Allied beadlock

Armor: Custom tube bumpers and sliders
Cool stuff: 3-in body lift, 15-gal fuel cell, Optima YellowTop battery, Derale transmission cooler, Art Carr shifter, Oliver’s Custom Drive Shafts, Warn 9.5ti winch, Smittybilt synthetic winch rope, Auto Meter gauges, PRP seats