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Outside Magazine Ranger Project

SandBaja

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Here's some background on why I chose the Ranger as the platform for this build: https://www.outsideonline.com/2398608/2019-ford-ranger-full-review
I love the K02's. I ran 17x9 black rhino wheels with 35 K02's on my Rubicon. How much of an impact did the tire weight and wheel change make with the shift points, speedo and acceleration. I had to program the Jeep for larger size and assume the same was needed for the Ranger. The GFC camper is right. Smart American build!



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Ranger305

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I wanted to share some initial images of my project Ranger, and share details of it. Hopefully this thread can serve as a home for discussion and suggestions, separate from our coverage of the vehicle.



Base vehicle: 2019 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat FX4

Suspension: Icon Stage 2 w/billet upper control arms

Wheels: Fifteen52 Traverse HD 17x8.5 0 offset

Tires: 34x10.5-17 BFG K02s (fifth fits in stock location on factory spare rim)

Camper: Go Fast Campers

I'm also planning bumpers, sliders, lights, and a winch. I'll detail my solar/fridge/battery setup in another post in this thread. It gives me the ability have a large fridge/freezer running constantly, without cutting up the trucks' wiring harness, or relying on it for power at all.

The general idea here is to create the ultimate practical adventure vehicle. I wanted to start with a vehicle that balanced off-road capability with on-road manners, then take that capability to the next level without sacrificing either those manners, or its day to day practicality as a truck. I'm not an overlander who wants to build a truck just for car camping, I'm someone who needs a truck that can support a diverse array of outdoor activities and video shoots, and also just mundane tasks like hauling a thousand pounds of mulch home from Lowe's.

What say you so far?
Beautiful ride man! Many of us are dying to know how you fit 34" tires in the front wheel openings. Just the ICON kit? Crash bars removed, cut, replaced? - inquiring minds want to know. :like:
 

MrRisk

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I love the K02's. I ran 17x9 black rhino wheels with 35 K02's on my Rubicon. How much of an impact did the tire weight and wheel change make with the shift points, speedo and acceleration. I had to program the Jeep for larger size and assume the same was needed for the Ranger. The GFC camper is right. Smart American build!
I have a tool at work to program tire sizes which works great, unless you have the new ranger. Only way I’ve found to program the size is if I buy a tuner which I wanted to avoid due to my truck being a lease. I was hoping to have for do it for me but thats not an option. Please let me know if you guys find a work around.
 

MrRisk

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Dude I really like the progress you’ve made on this thing. I just had my wedding so it’s time to start modding again! Cant wait to see what’s in store with your builds future.
 
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Wes Siler

Wes Siler

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I love the K02's. I ran 17x9 black rhino wheels with 35 K02's on my Rubicon. How much of an impact did the tire weight and wheel change make with the shift points, speedo and acceleration. I had to program the Jeep for larger size and assume the same was needed for the Ranger. The GFC camper is right. Smart American build!
My speedo's still out, just something I'll have done next time it's in the shop.

Really no big impact on performance. Acceleration is blunted a tiny bit, but you have to go looking for it to feel it.
 
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Wes Siler

Wes Siler

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Beautiful ride man! Many of us are dying to know how you fit 34" tires in the front wheel openings. Just the ICON kit? Crash bars removed, cut, replaced? - inquiring minds want to know. :like:
Yeah, had to cut those silly crash bars off with a grinding wheel. Other than that, it's just Icon Stage 2, plus the wheels with more offset. Rubs a tiny bit on the felt arch liners at full lock while reversing, but nothing to worry about at all.
 

DavidR

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There's about two more inches of height between cab top and tent bottom than there should be. Mine was the first unit GFC made for the Ranger and there was a small error. It'll be corrected for production units. Honestly, I'm not mad at it either. Wind noise is there if you listen for it, but by no means intrusive. The awning we put on last night creates way more noise, and even that's not bad. Plus, I'm 6'2", and the extra height in the shell means I don't bump my head on the open panels or have to duck to stand under the awning. And that gap isn't really noticeable in person.
That gap is actually pretty tame! I'm in the process of adapting a 4WC camper that was made for our old Ranger to the new one. There are some small issues, like the tailgate catches have to come off for it to fit, but the biggest issue so far is that the new Ranger's box sides are so freakin' high compared to the old Ranger. Unlike the GFC, the 4WC overhangs the bed sides, and I've had to build a 4" high platform for the camper to sit on for the overhangs to clear the top of the bed sides.

It's all working so far, but the bed-to-cab-top distance didn't change much compared to the old Ranger, so now the cab-over is in the clouds! It's not on right now but the gap is probably 6-8" or so. Not sure yet what to do about it. I might try to build some sort of extension below the cab-over that could fill that gap and double as storage for lightweight items, but it would be a big project to make it look good. I'll probably just be putting up with it for a while. The only silver lining is that there is now room below the camper to build a modest gray water tank, and I might even be able to have the antenna on the truck, but I didn't actually try yet.
 
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zknezo

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Hey @Wes Siler ,
Just saw your article on the accident. Glad everybody's ok.

Earlier in the thread, you said you cut your front intrusion bars to fit the 34"-ers.
In the article you speak to the IIHS crash test results quite a bit, which obviously include those bars.
In hindsight, would you still make the call to cut the crash structure to fit the tires, avoid cutting them altogether, or would you compromise with one of the aftermarket offset intrusion bars?

I'm big-tire-curious, but don't know if I want to do anything to lessen the Ranger's safety.
 
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Wes Siler

Wes Siler

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Hey @Wes Siler ,
Just saw your article on the accident. Glad everybody's ok.

Earlier in the thread, you said you cut your front intrusion bars to fit the 34"-ers.
In the article you speak to the IIHS crash test results quite a bit, which obviously include those bars.
In hindsight, would you still make the call to cut the crash structure to fit the tires, avoid cutting them altogether, or would you compromise with one of the aftermarket offset intrusion bars?

I'm big-tire-curious, but don't know if I want to do anything to lessen the Ranger's safety.
I'm not terribly worried about the marginal impact on safety removing those bars brings. Yes, it's a factor to consider, but everyone needs to make their own risk assessments.
 

DavidR

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Just read the article - great write-up as usual. I haven't gotten in an accident yet, but I have had the automatic braking system engage and quite possibly avoided one. There's no telling for sure that I wouldn't have been able to slow down enough on my own, but the system unquestionably increased the safety margin. We kept our previous Ranger for 25 years and 260,000 miles, as we have with most other vehicles, so we've definitely been in the keep-them-as-long-as-possible camp, but IDK, with the fast pace of automation and safety improvements these days, maybe that's becoming penny-wise and dollar-foolish and not very smart anymore.

Hey @Wes Siler ,
Just saw your article on the accident. Glad everybody's ok.

Earlier in the thread, you said you cut your front intrusion bars to fit the 34"-ers.
In the article you speak to the IIHS crash test results quite a bit, which obviously include those bars.
In hindsight, would you still make the call to cut the crash structure to fit the tires, avoid cutting them altogether, or would you compromise with one of the aftermarket offset intrusion bars?

I'm big-tire-curious, but don't know if I want to do anything to lessen the Ranger's safety.
 
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Wes Siler

Wes Siler

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Just read the article - great write-up as usual. I haven't gotten in an accident yet, but I have had the automatic braking system engage and quite possibly avoided one. There's no telling for sure that I wouldn't have been able to slow down enough on my own, but the system unquestionably increased the safety margin. We kept our previous Ranger for 25 years and 260,000 miles, as we have with most other vehicles, so we've definitely been in the keep-them-as-long-as-possible camp, but IDK, with the fast pace of automation and safety improvements these days, maybe that's becoming penny-wise and dollar-foolish and not very smart anymore.
Yeah, that was sort of the point. Trying to save money by cheaping out on vehicles doesn't really make sense. Obviously everyone has a budget, but making sure you have a vehicle that can server your needs and keep you safe should be one of the top considerations within that number.
 

DavidR

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Yeah, that was sort of the point. Trying to save money by cheaping out on vehicles doesn't really make sense. Obviously everyone has a budget, but making sure you have a vehicle that can server your needs and keep you safe should be one of the top considerations within that number.
Agreed. I kept them so long mainly for the challenge of keeping them running well for 250-300K miles, without thinking much about the progress in safety technology we were passing up. We could have afforded to change them more often than every 26 years, but I had sort of a weird pride in keeping them running and driving around an older truck with 260,000 miles. All the safety tech in this new one is changing my mind about that though.

I think the biggest miss we had was actually the '93 Ranger. It missed out on airbags by two years even though most other cars already had them. Because of the bad timing, for 26 years we were driving around without airbags when virtually every other vehicle on the road (or off) had them. At least we're back on track now..
 
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Wes Siler

Wes Siler

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Well, after four months in the body shop after a 10mph colission, I'm finally making progress on this thing again.

Will get this phase of things wrapped up this week, then get nice photos and share details.

IMG_20200209_115016~2.jpg
 
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Wes Siler

Wes Siler

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I'm looking forward hearing about this Baja trip!
We'll be down there for a little over a month, getting married, then camping on the way there and back with the dogs for our honeymoon. I'll be doing a bunch of travel stories and gear reviews from the road. You can follow along on Outside, but my Instagram is probably the best place to get live updates.
 

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