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WxNerd2015's Hot Pepper Red FX4

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WxNerd2015

WxNerd2015

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Just a few small Ranger updates from the last month or so! One, the pup definitely loves the truck! And every time I open the tailgate, she just has to get up on the tailgate and walk around and explore the bed! And she will stay up there until I make her get down! But she definitely loves it!

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I also helped the in-laws pull their boat out of the water for the season and the Ranger did great! It is a 1995 Aqua Patio 21'. Was a bit harder of a pull as there isn't exactly a boat ramp, more of just some soft ground that drops off quickly into the lake, so quite a good angle, but the Ranger didn't even spin a tire or break a sweat! I did lock the rear axle, since the ground was so soft, but she pulled it right out of the lake with no issue at all! I was very impressed!

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And lastly, I also passed 10000 miles this weekend on the truck! So that is 10000 miles in about 7 months, so she definitely gets driven! But 10000 miles and still going strong!

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WxNerd2015

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Also did get the first oil change back in September that I didn't get a chance to update on here! I got my service notification from FordPass and the Ranger that it was time to change it based on the oil life monitor, and I took it in for the change at 8846 miles on the odometer. Went to Uncle Ed's Oil Shoppe since I didn't have a lot of time to jump under there and do it myself this time, and oil needed to be changed for sure, but all looked good! Oil level was still full, so no oil loss, and no excessive oil usage of the engine. The shop even commented on how the filter drain pan built in was a nice touch! Only thing that causes a little concern was one metal shaving that came out by the oil filter when draining. There was only one, and this was the first oil change, so maybe some remnants of something that got stuck in the engine, but i will keep an eye on it at the next oil change.
 
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WxNerd2015

WxNerd2015

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Also picked up a dash cam a little while ago that I am running in both the Ranger and my Jeep. But since both are mine, I just switch the camera between the two vehicles depending on which I am driving. I am running the Garmin Dash Cam Mini and it has been a pretty great camera so far, and I love the small size of it! It tucks nicely behind the mirror to my view, but is still nicely within reach of me if I need to click the button to save anything.

I currently have the setup run using 12V Outlet power, but will eventually run a hard-wiring system into the truck and the Jeep to get rid of the dangling cord, but for now, that was the quickest way to get power. So this is where the camera is placed and the current setup:

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WxNerd2015

WxNerd2015

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Truck got it's first tire rotation yesterday at about 10450 miles. It was a bit past where I wanted to rotate em, but haven't had too much time lately, so finally got around to it yesterday! Everything looked good underneath, and the tires looked like they are wearing well too! Also got some nice suspension shots and stuff too while I was under there! Love seeing everything pretty nice and clean still!

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Also managed to get the matting face of the rotors cleaned up nicely too! If you see the rust in the pics about, check out the after below!

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I used the RWD/4WD Rotation Method with sending the rear tires straight forward and send the front tires backwards crossing the sides of the vehicle.

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And of coarse, I had my helper out there with me! Though all see wanted was for me to throw her toy again and again! Haha! Gotta love having the pup out there though! She had a good time too!

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WxNerd2015

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I just realized that I had never actually posted my comparison pictures form the drone of my Yellow LED Fog Light Install when i installed the SLF Diode Dynamics bulbs! So once again, thanks to @PandaMotorworks for a good deal on these bulbs! And below, please check out the comparison from above! Not the best captures, but gets the point across! And since the install, I am still completely loving these bulbs and very happy with the swap that i did!

Fogs Only (Front):
Before
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After
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Fogs and Headlights (Front):
Before
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After
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Fogs Only (Behind)
Before
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After
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Fogs and Headlights (Behind):
Before
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After
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WxNerd2015

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Took a good trip up to Ludington this past weekend with the Ranger and did some good hiking and enjoying the early winter conditions up there along lake Michigan, and got to play around in the mud with the Ranger a bit too! Round trip was just shy of 700 miles, and passed the 11,000 mark on my mileage, but still as happy as can be with the truck and no complaints!

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The main fun I had with the truck was at Tin Cup Springs ORV Route in Lake County (about 40 minutes inland from Ludington)!

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I took the Ranger off road for the first time, but I decided to still keep it pretty easy on the truck since, it is the daily driver, and for more of the harder stuff, I have a Jeep, but I did get the FX4 for a reason and want to have some fun with the truck too! So Tin Cup it is! The trail is about a 17 miles loop for ORVs and 20 miles for bike, but, due to very wet/muddy conditions, logging, and being out there with only one vehicle, I had to call it about 5 miles in and turn back, as we ran into some very deep mud that was like quicksand, and I couldn't even find the bottom with a stick, so not worth risking getting stuck! But the rest of the time was still great fun, even with how slick and muddy it was! i was very impressed with the truck and how well it did, and can't wait to give it another shot on a day it might be a bit dryer!

I ran with the truck in 4 High, Rear Axle locked (due to a bunch of ruts I didn't want to get stuck in), and Mud/Ruts mode in the terrain management. Now, I could have easily made it in 4 High without out all the other goodies, but i got em, so might as well use em, right? Everything performed exactly how I expected or even better, and the Mud/Ruts mode was actually interesting to see how the mapping in the the engine and trans held lower gears and kept the RPMs up so that you did not have to go far for boost, and it kept throttle response really fast if you needed it in the mud! I gave 4 Low a try, but for what I was running, the crawl ratio was too low, I was running a bit faster, but if crawling would be needed, man, that felt great for it!

Anyways, here's some pics of the adventure, and you can see that ceramic coat did a pretty good job considering how muddy it was! And i will also have a video from some outside shots and dash cam coming soon!

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I also took a few shots once the Ranger was back home, and definitely have some cleaning to do, it it looks like we had some fun this weekend!

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WxNerd2015

WxNerd2015

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I also through together a video of the Tin Cup adventure that I had and this is it! Enjoy!


Shot on an iPhone and a Garmin Dash Cam Mini. And a thanks to my mom for getting out and getting a few shots as well!
 
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WxNerd2015

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Ranger got a bit chilly here and Michigan yesterday and today and I got to try out snow mode! We got about 8" here in my area of SE Michigan yesterday! The truck did great and really hooked up well! Looking forward to this winter for sure! Lots of snowy adventures to come!

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WxNerd2015

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Got the ranger all cleaned up after the crazy blast of winter we had last week here in the mitten! Have a few nice dry days lined up and warmed back up to the mid-40s, so I ran the truck through the touchless car wash! And man, gotta love that ceramic coating! Just a good spray off through there and and she is looking spotless!

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WxNerd2015

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Just got this sucker in the mail yesterday! Will be all set for winter now and all the skiing adventure! Got it from Moosejaw with their 20% off sale!

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This is the FatCat Evo 6! It will carry up to 6 sets of skies or 4 boards, or a combo of those! Looks like it will fit about 3" or so to the inside of each tower brace if I center it on the bars! Did a quick test fit just holding it up, however I will do a full test fit of them soon with some pics! These also came with the SKS keys, so will get that all set up on the mounts as well! These are good too because i can also use them on the wife's Escape depending on which vehicle we decide to take!
 
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I was able to test fit the Yakima ski rack this weekend on the truck, and I am very happy with the fit and the results! This again is the Yakima FatCat Evo 6 which will hold up to 6 pairs of skies or 4 snowboards.

The installation was a bit of a headache to start, as installing the towers onto the clamps themselves was not as straight forward as I thought. But once I got that figured out, the rest of the installation went quickly and I will definitely be using this a lot this winter between thw truck and my wife's Escape! Here's the finished results of ski rack installed:

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Here's some shots with opening the rack and with a pair of skies installed as well:

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The racks themselves feel very securely attached to the bars, and the skies also are very well held in place in the rack! I was actually able to shake the whole truck by grabbing and pulling the mounts and the skies themselves with no movement or slippage! So very secure! If you have this rack, you could probably shift the towers together a bit more to make the span that the skies have to cross a bit less, but it still works nicely and solidly! Additionally, I have been driving around with them on this weekend and I hear no extra noise from these at all!

A few of the other nice features that these mounts have are the ability to raise one side of the mount up to give more space for binding (this may be needed on the wife's Escape), lockable, and there is a space inside the rack itself for the allen wrench used on the mount to keep the needed tools handy!

My only gripe with this kit was the poor instructions. I spent way too long trying to get the tower mounted to the clamp towards the pivot point of the clamp (in this case, the side opposite the decal and currently on the passenger side of the vehicle. The instructions show to mount the clamps in a specific orientation, and so does the start of the instructional video online, but the mounts are supposed to be mounted 180 degrees in the other direction. If you look on the bottom of the clamps, there is a small triangle notch that lines up with a locator on the tower, but I spent probably 30-40 minutes trying to figure out how to get the clamp mounted the other way, and no where in the instructions is the locator pointed out. If you don't get it the right way, you cannot get the screw far enough through the hole to put the tightening handle on. Once you get it the right way though, the rest of the installation is a breeze!

Instructions:

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Now the mount of the tower to the clamp:

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In the last image, you can see the tightening handle attached on the inside of the mount. This is twisted until tight and then fold 90 degrees to lock down.

Here is the installation video from Yakima as well:


Overall, I am very happy with the mount, you just have to read the directions carefully, and know what to pay attention to and what to disregard and you will be good to go! Let me know if you have any other questions on this mount and i will be happy to answer!
 
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WxNerd2015

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Just received a new Ranger yesterday! A mini one! I want to thank @Lmood for doing a great job on this model, and even the packaging he shipped it in blew me away! I love having a mini version of my truck for the desk at work! And it is just awesome!

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WxNerd2015

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WxNerd2015

WxNerd2015

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Just flew by mileage 12345 a few days ago and counting!

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Also, the truck got to invade our Jeep club Christmas party a week or so ago as the Jeep was still down getting worked on!

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