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Ranger Danger Build Thread

skumancer

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First Name
Ricardo
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Panama
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Ford Ranger PX 2015 (Global Ranger)
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I've been meaning to start a build thread, as I enjoy building up and documenting what I've worked on and how my truck has changed.

2015:

Bought the truck in November. Shortly after started offroading and tried to climb Panama's highest peak, Volcán Barú, but I was denied by the park rangers because they claimed I would not make it and they'd have to rescue me. This photo is from the bottom of the trail.

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2016:

Got the front bumper custom made, after being unable to get the one I wanted locally or imported at a reasonable price.

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Front bumper included a 10k Smittybilt X2O winch with synthetic line and front round LED lights

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Also installed a relay box, fuse panel and button panel to power the front lights and incoming accessories. Made a custom panel for all of the gear

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2017:

Next up is tires, got a set of BFG KM2s @ 285/70R17. They fit rather well, with no cutting necessary, but at full compression, they hit the guards, and at full droop and turn to a side, they slightly rubbed the stabilizer bar. This would require new rims, spacers or a lift.

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First trip testing out the new tires. They worked perfectly through muddy hills and rocks to get to this incredible, desolate beach

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For lift, I got a 3" Dobinsons MRR kit, with remote reservoir on the rear. I didn't go for new leafs as these ones were a year old and looked good, so I went with a simple 2.5" spacer. This gave the truck an even stance front-to-back.

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Got the bed lined and installed a Retrax hard cover, as my son was born and we needed to carry a bunch of shit 🤣

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A this point I realized I wanted to start fabricating my own stuff, so I got into welding classes to kick that off...

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skumancer

skumancer

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First Name
Ricardo
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Panama
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Ford Ranger PX 2015 (Global Ranger)
Vehicle Showcase
1
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
2018:

This year I started with a few good trips where I tested the capabilities of the truck and got to use the winch a whole lot.

While on our way to a river, there was a huge hole covered in grass that was not visible and I fell head-first into it. Got pulled back by a friend and then proceeded to move around the hole. The way back up required cutting part of a log and winching up.

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View from inside the cab:
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After a very very hard trip which required lots of river crossings and winching, I decided to get a snorkel...
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Same river as the video below, maybe 1 hour before the rain came down.
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Next up, a trip back to the the highest point in Panama, this time to climb it with my family and a prepared truck. We literally got to the peak, which is at 3475 M (11,400 Feet) above sea level

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Honestly, the snorkel installation was a HUGE PITA. I'll never do this myself again...

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After this, a road trip to Costa Rica, where I got IronMan 4x4 skid plates (1/4" thick plates) that cover radiator and intercooler, front axle and transmission

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I also bought a welder and started fabricating simple stuff to practice for what will come up for next year.
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For christmas I bought an ARB Dual air compressor and a second-battery setup. In preparation for this, I designed in CAD the whole system setup I wanted.

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skumancer

skumancer

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2019:

Big year for the truck and me. Lots of fabrication work including work on a custom bed rack that would include usage of the Retrax hard cover.

I was tired of taking 20 minutes filling out my 33" tires, and this would be terrible when switching to 35s...I started out with the electrical system and dual air compressor install.

CAD design for the second battery bracket.
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Bracket was changed to a two-part design, one part bolted to the truck's strapdown points, and another that slides in and out with electronics and the battery.
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First iteration had everything in one panel, but I quickly realized the CTEK D250SA was not going to provide enough power for the ARB Dual air compressor.
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I decided to create a 140A charging system for the second battery, using a D250SA (to increase voltage to a constant 13.7V as I have a smart alternator) and a Smartpass120 to provide up to 140A of power when the truck is running. These system also gives me solar charging capabilities, start assistance and, of course, battery isolation.

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Next up was the bed rack, largest project I've worked on and the one I had least experience in (welding). Needless to say, mistakes were made along the way, but I have a pretty useful rack where I can carry stuff and keep my bed dry and clean when I choose to.

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Maiden voyage after the rack was finished, testing out equipment location, lighting and general fit.
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Right after this trip, I switched to new tires a set of BF KM3s @ 315/70R17 on Method Race M702s in bronze. I waited for this for a long time, as I wanted to make sure the right wheel and tire combo were on the truck and I had all other essential mods in place.

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The tires required a slight bit of cutting the inner guard and trimming the bracket that holds the plastic. Other than that, the 3" lift I have is enough to clear the tires at full droop and compression.

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skumancer

skumancer

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Vehicle Showcase
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Next up, the roof console, which will host a few things like CB radio, microphone, lights and storage space.


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Some of the cables for lights had to be extended or rerouted to fit properly, but, in the end, it was worth it!

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Next up changing the Upper Control Arms to SPC UCAs, which gave me back the proper stance after the lift, proper spacing, let me move the wheels a bit forward to solve the last bit of rubbing I had under full droop and turn, and of course are WAY beefier than stock ones, as well as allowing the ball joint to be replaced and greased easily.

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Change to Factor55 Ultra Hook (which is fantastic) required a custom, larger flip-up license plate mount. I copied the one I had and made the sides longer to make sure it fit the hook. Also learned to use the Factor55 synthetic rope fast fid to get the rope setup properly.

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Fun trip we had to an amazing lagoon called "La Yeguada", which is an extinct volcano crater, now filled with water and used as a reservoir.

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Got in contact with BPT Motorsports in Australia to get the 3.2L Turbo Diesel engine and 6R80 transmission tuned. They sent over an nGuage and helped me tune it. Power is way up, specially counting considering I have NOT re-geared the axles after 35s. Truck should be pushing around 220-230 HP and 600 Lb-Ft of Torque.

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To finish up the year, I made brackets for fog/amber lights that go on the hood, attached using the hood bolts.

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skumancer

skumancer

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2020:

This year has seen a lot of mods and very little wheeling, because of the global pandemic.

I used to remove the HAM/CB antenna each time I got home, because there was no place to store it, so I decided to make a clip mount for it to sit in. CAD design and then 3d printed a few prototypes, it works like a charm.

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skumancer

skumancer

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Not wanting to have to lock and unlock the tailgate manually, I had done this mod originally in 2018 by adding an actuator to the locking mechanism in the tailgate, and hooking the electrical connections to the fuel filler door circuit (which locks in global Rangers). It worked, but the brackets that come with the actuators are not ideal, and don't provide a stiff enough surface, so I made my own.

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Link to video
 
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skumancer

skumancer

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After my dual battery setup started to present some problems, I decided to rewire it and fix some things that were bothering me. I also powder coated all of the brackets, redid a bunch of the wiring with higher gauge wire, better connectors, and added quick connectors to the accessory loom.

System includes:
  • 100Ah AGM battery
  • CTEK D250SA (step up voltage to 13.7 V constant, plus MPPT solar charging)
  • CTEK Smartpass 120 (Up to 140 A from alternator)
  • 300A Fuse from alternator to Smartpass
  • 300A Fuse from Smartpass to second battery
  • ARB Dual air compressor
  • 5 accessory switches with relays, fuses and a loom with quick connectors
  • Connections for the backup camera setup
  • Voltmeter, dual USB ports and

Accessories:
  • Truck bed LED lighting
  • Rear light bar

Distribution block provides power for accessories only when the secondary battery has enough charge or the alternator is running. There's also an IG+ (ignition) distribution block, in case that's necessary for an accessory.

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I love how this wiring loom turned out, with a 3-pin connector for accessory power.

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During setup, upgraded all power wires to 1 Gauge.
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Final setup, that space under the Retrax canister was never used, so I love that it's not going to waste now.
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GregM

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After my dual battery setup started to present some problems, I decided to rewire it and fix some things that were bothering me. I also powder coated all of the brackets, redid a bunch of the wiring with higher gauge wire, better connectors, and added quick connectors to the accessory loom.

System includes:
  • 100Ah AGM battery
  • CTEK D250SA (step up voltage to 13.7 V constant, plus MPPT solar charging)
  • CTEK Smartpass 120 (Up to 140 A from alternator)
  • 300A Fuse from alternator to Smartpass
  • 300A Fuse from Smartpass to second battery
  • ARB Dual air compressor
  • 5 accessory switches with relays, fuses and a loom with quick connectors
  • Connections for the backup camera setup
  • Voltmeter, dual USB ports and

Accessories:
  • Truck bed LED lighting
  • Rear light bar

Distribution block provides power for accessories only when the secondary battery has enough charge or the alternator is running. There's also an IG+ (ignition) distribution block, in case that's necessary for an accessory.

IMG_4295.png
IMG_4294.png
IMG_4404.png
IMG_4406.png


I love how this wiring loom turned out, with a 3-pin connector for accessory power.

IMG_4407.png


During setup, upgraded all power wires to 1 Gauge.
IMG_4643.png


Final setup, that space under the Retrax canister was never used, so I love that it's not going to waste now.
IMG_4645.png
IMG_4646.png
IMG_4648.png
All I can say is WOW Sir you have a vision like none other :idea::like::clap:
 

P. A. Schilke

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After my dual battery setup started to present some problems, I decided to rewire it and fix some things that were bothering me. I also powder coated all of the brackets, redid a bunch of the wiring with higher gauge wire, better connectors, and added quick connectors to the accessory loom.

System includes:
  • 100Ah AGM battery
  • CTEK D250SA (step up voltage to 13.7 V constant, plus MPPT solar charging)
  • CTEK Smartpass 120 (Up to 140 A from alternator)
  • 300A Fuse from alternator to Smartpass
  • 300A Fuse from Smartpass to second battery
  • ARB Dual air compressor
  • 5 accessory switches with relays, fuses and a loom with quick connectors
  • Connections for the backup camera setup
  • Voltmeter, dual USB ports and

Accessories:
  • Truck bed LED lighting
  • Rear light bar

Distribution block provides power for accessories only when the secondary battery has enough charge or the alternator is running. There's also an IG+ (ignition) distribution block, in case that's necessary for an accessory.

IMG_4295.png
IMG_4294.png
IMG_4404.png
IMG_4406.png


I love how this wiring loom turned out, with a 3-pin connector for accessory power.

IMG_4407.png


During setup, upgraded all power wires to 1 Gauge.
IMG_4643.png


Final setup, that space under the Retrax canister was never used, so I love that it's not going to waste now.
IMG_4645.png
IMG_4646.png
IMG_4648.png
Hi Racardo,

Very nicely done! Excellent fabrication and install!

Best,
Phil Schilke
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
 
OP
skumancer

skumancer

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First Name
Ricardo
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Location
Panama
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Ford Ranger PX 2015 (Global Ranger)
Vehicle Showcase
1
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Hi Racardo,

Very nicely done! Excellent fabrication and install!

Best,
Phil Schilke
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
Thank you sir! Extra special coming from a former Ford Ranger Engineer 🙌🏻
 
OP
skumancer

skumancer

Active Member
First Name
Ricardo
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Location
Panama
Vehicle(s)
Ford Ranger PX 2015 (Global Ranger)
Vehicle Showcase
1
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
All I can say is WOW Sir you have a vision like none other :idea::like::clap:
Thanks Greg! I enjoy the planning and build process very much!!
 

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