Ranger X – Build Update #1
One week in and the build team is diving in head first to tear this truck back down and start laying out the plan of attack. At this point we haven’t had much seat time in the 2019 Ford Ranger, just a short 2hr drive back from Dearborn to Coldwater and some driving around the BDS test course.Despite the limited seat time up to this point we can already tell its going to be a contender going toe-to-toe with the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado once it hits the market early next year. We like the styling inside and out and the 2.3L EcoBoost backed by the 10-speed automatic transmissions has some pep. While our tight 5 week build timeline is keeping us from doing a full review on this truck it seems to have the right recipe to be comfortable and capable on and offroad.
Last year if you watched the buildup of Project SD126, our bright orange Raptor Super Duty, we took a standard cab Ford Super Duty and chopped the frame to take 18” out for a short bed conversion because Ford doesn’t offer a standard cab-short bed configuration. The end result was a super short 126” wheel base Super Duty what was agile on the trail and tear through the desert at high speeds with a long travel suspension on 42s. This year we’re doing the opposite, starting with a crew cab for 2019 Ford Ranger so we have more room to haul people and gear around. The plan is to fit this Knapheide service box to haul tons of gear on the back to build an ultra capable adventure rig. The problem with that is the crew cab Ranger is only offered in a (5ft) short bed configuration whereas the service box is only offered for the extended cab Ranger that use the (6ft) long bed. The solution, we brought out the cutting tools and welder to extend the frame on this brand new truck by roughly 10” to accommodate the Knapheide box. This will give us the best of both, optimal cabin space and more bed storage.
Up front the engineers has been hard at work using a mix of CAD we received from Ford as well as measurements taken off the truck to develop a number of suspension upgrades for this new Ranger. With the plan to outfit the entire fleet of 2019 Ford Rangers in Ford’s booth at SEMA our team has been working closely with Ford and FOX to get these options dialed in. We’ll have more on the other trucks beign showcased at SEMA when showtime rolls around, but on our particular truck we’re designing a full IFS lift system to include the crossmembers, taller steering knuckles, differential relocation, FOX coilovers, upper control arms and more. The team is in the process of designing and test fitting components so we’ll check back on the progress later on. The longer rear section of frame is also requiring a change to the rear suspension with new leaf springs, shackles, shock mounts and more. Check out the progress and stay tuned for more…