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1991 Trail Ranger

'84 Bronco II

El Chingón
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
293
Messages
1,005
Location
NM
The Ranger is pretty killer! It is funny because I hadn't looked at your videos in a long time until you started posting here and I didn't realize how much you had done to the Ranger recently :eek:

I know you were at Chile Challenge once a while back and I never got the chance to stop by and say hello, but do you do much wheeling down south like Socorro or Caballo?
 

ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
The Ranger is pretty killer! It is funny because I hadn't looked at your videos in a long time until you started posting here and I didn't realize how much you had done to the Ranger recently :eek:

I know you were at Chile Challenge once a while back and I never got the chance to stop by and say hello, but do you do much wheeling down south like Socorro or Caballo?

When I first moved to New Mexico in 2013 I met people from a forum down at Gordys Hill and I went back to Gordys last year when I finished my front 3 link. I ran squeeze, then broke my driveshaft in half on Coyote :rolleyes:. Other than the Chile Challenge I haven't had a chance to get back down to Caballo, but I want to! I really want to go up to Choke Cherry in Farmington and check those trails out as well.
 

ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I have always enjoyed filming and editing videos since way before YouTube was ever a thing and social media existed. I used to make short films and skits with my friends (think like Jackass) just for fun and to have a good laugh over. I truly enjoy film making, photography, and editing as a hobby, so when I decided I wanted to start a YouTube channel based around me and my friend Kris building our crawlers in the driveway, it made sense to everyone that knew us. I am the type of person that believes anything worth doing, is worth putting your maximum effort into, and I have poured thousands of hours into learning better filming and editing techniques and spent way more money on camera gear than I care to admit. When I look back to the early videos that I made, I laugh at the quality that I was able to churn out, but people still enjoyed them, and we saw success much quicker than we anticipated. Do not get me wrong, we are still a very small channel and while we do make some money for our videos, it is not enough to even pay for the camera gear I have purchased. Also, we have never accepted money from a company to use or pimp their product out. We have been offered, but we only accept sponsors from companies/parts of items that we were planning to purchase ourselves. With all that being said I will share some of my favorite videos that I have made about the buildup of my Ranger.

This is from 2018 when I made the 4 link on my truck. It went viral and is really what launched our channel and helped us grow.

The next video is covering my 3 link build and install I did last year. This is my personal favorite video that I have made because I feel like I was able to tell the story of all the work that went into it and I maximized all of my editing skills in this video.

The trailing arms were extremely fun to build and weld up. It was the most welding I have done in years and helped build up and improve my mediocre welding skills.

And this is the last video I made focusing on the Ranger. I invested quite a bit of time and money into shock tuning and the improvements were astounding! For those on limited time, start from 12:30.
 

'84 Bronco II

El Chingón
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
293
Messages
1,005
Location
NM
When I first moved to New Mexico in 2013 I met people from a forum down at Gordys Hill and I went back to Gordys last year when I finished my front 3 link. I ran squeeze, then broke my driveshaft in half on Coyote :rolleyes:. Other than the Chile Challenge I haven't had a chance to get back down to Caballo, but I want to! I really want to go up to Choke Cherry in Farmington and check those trails out as well.

Let me know the next time you want to go south, I know everything down there pretty well. I still need to haul my pile up to Farmington and see what's up over there. I've hiked some of the stuff in Choke Cherry, bit never actually run any of the trails in a rig.
 

ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Let me know the next time you want to go south, I know everything down there pretty well. I still need to haul my pile up to Farmington and see what's up over there. I've hiked some of the stuff in Choke Cherry, bit never actually run any of the trails in a rig.

Yeah definitely, I always seem to get lost down in Gordy's so someone that knows the area to go with would be awesome. I filmed the WE Rock event in farmington a couple years back and I only walked some trails as well but I have been dying to get back out there
 

ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Time for the current status update. Towards the end of last year after I got the suspension dialed, I noticed how bad my body bushings had deteriorated and my body was moving around under the exo. No bueno. I wish I had thought this through when I did my exo several years ago and did solid mounts then, but live and learn.
When I built my exo I never thought that I would be pushing my truck to 70+mph in the dirt and really only thought it would be taking slow flops or rock protection. At this stage in my build I want a much better designed cage that I would feel comfortable pushing the truck at higher speeds. So my current plan is cut the exo off, delete the 1.5 body lift, build solid mounts, then do an internal cage with much better triangulation, more tubes and 2 inch primaries. I am also going to cut the frame off behind the cab and build off of something more suitable. When I redo the cage and delete the small body lift, I want to look into cutting into the firewall some and pushing the motor back a little bit to get more uptravel up front and a bit better weight bias. I am deciding to go to an internal cage for aesthetics and ease of triangulation/welding to the body pillars.

I found a company making race spec cages for Rangers (TE Designs) that sell the cab cage already bent and notched and I wanted to go this route since I dont have a 2 inch die and the quotes I was getting for DOM have been insane compared to the cost of this. I worked a deal out with them to do some install videos for their product and I bought a cage (yes I still paid for it with my money).

Unfortunately in February right before I started cutting and putting in the cage, my storage shed that I had the cage in spontaneously caught on fire and torched everything. The fire got hot enough to melt my aluminum ladder, so the cage tubing definitely got turned to scrap. I have finally got everything that I could from insurance and I'm ready to try and do this again.

Once I get the tube work done I am planning to make some bedsides finally from some Bronco 2 panels I cut out at the junkyard. I have done some rough fit up, but I really want to open and extend the factory wheel arch and then make a fiberglass negative from them and try my hand at making my own fiberglass bedsides. This will be a bit later down the road but I am pretty excited to get into the bedsides at some point.
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'84 Bronco II

El Chingón
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
293
Messages
1,005
Location
NM
This should be interesting! I understand the functionality of exo-cages, but I think the interior cage will look a lot cleaner and the one you bough looks like a good design.

Crazy about the fire, good thing it didn't spread to any other structures :eek: Any idea what might have caused it?
 
Last edited:

ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
This should be interesting! I understand the functionality of exo-cages, but I think the interior cage will look a lot cleaner and the one you bough looks like a good design.

Crazy about the fire, good thing it didn't spread to any other structures :eek: Any idea what might have caused it?

Unfortunately no. I was at work when my neighbor called and told me my backyard was on fire. When I got home everything was torched. It also torched my neighbors shed on the other side of the wall from me. Fire dept. said it's inconclusive. I had nothing flammable in the shed either. My guess is since it was a windy day some kids shooting fireworks launched something in my yard and started it.

​​​​​
 

ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Got to cutting this weekend. Cut off the cab portion of the exo and the sliders. I need to finish cutting off the tubes on the frame for the sliders and clean up the frame rails, then I am going to make some solid body mounts and prep for the interior cage.
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ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I finally made some progress and things should be happening quicker here shortly.

I gutted the interior out of the cab and began prepping for the cage. I deleted the entire factory HVAC setup, it was big, bulky and didn't function very well. I had to cut a large portion of the heater box up years ago to squeeze the V8 in, so I'm pretty happy to remove all of this. I plan to just get a cheap hot rod heater kit and run a couple ducts.
The TE Designs cage allows for a factory dash and heater to be kept, but I do not plan to reinstall the factory dash either. I am wanting try my hand with some sheet metal and making a dash that fits my needs better. The cage is tight fit to the body, and the sheet metal across the top of the roof needs to be removed and clearenced on the sides to make room for the 2 inch primaries. I added some dynamat to the roof to keep the sheet metal from being a giant gong, seemed to help with noise significantly. I'll add more dynamat as I go, I just knew it was easier to do the roof before any tubes were added.
Next I finally got rid of the 2 inch body lift that has been on the truck for 12 years. I made some solid mounts out of plate to replace my rotten factory bushings. The front cab bushings lost about 30% of their intended thickness and allowed the cab to float around under the exo.
The height of the solid mounts are 3x1.120 for the front cab bushings and 3x2.120 for the rear cab bushings.
I had to clearence the floor a little more around the ZF5 transmission the atlas, and the passenger collector. Now that the cab is pretty much ready, I can cut some more holes and start dropping tubes in.
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GGRR 4555

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Member Number
2815
Messages
95
Super cool build and thread!! Way to keep pushing the truck to higher heights!
 

ChrisRWG

Build & Film
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Member Number
3447
Messages
53
Location
Albuquerque, NM
The cage is coming together quickly! I'm at the point now where I am ready to cut the tacks on the tubes connecting to the frame and drop the cage down to weld the top. Once that is done I can add the smaller supporting tubes for the harness bar and gussets and the two lower tubes connecting the back to the frame 🤘

I made cover plates to seal the cab back up once I get everything 360 welded. I just used 14 gauge sheet metal and cut and bent as required. Of course the first tube I put in I forgot to slip the cover plate on first and had to cut the tacks and redo it :homer:

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Honestly, this kit has been dang amazing. If I cut and bent all this myself it would have taken me probably close to two months to get here. I for sure would have messed up some tubing in the process and wasted money too. All the notches are tight and great to weld up. I am still trying to figure out exactly how I want to do my dash. I am debating between adding some of my own tube work and sheet metal, or springing for a fiberglass dash.
 
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rattle_snake

Fuckwits
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Member Number
2156
Messages
436
Location
Chandler, AZ
Looks great nice work. kit or not, still a lot of time and effort to get the results you need to be safe and look good.
 
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