Shitbox 1996 Ranger


New member
Feb 23, 2024
I finally decided to make a post about my truck, some of the story from before i got it and the shit that we have done to it.
I bought this thing august last year, needed some work and it was a little sketchy but i didnt know just how bad it was...IMG_0831.jpg

Turns out, this truck has been to hell and back. Went through some sort of DUI accident, ended up in mexico, got beat on a bit and then i got it. After talking to four of the last owners i got some older pictures and a ton of info and stories.
Here are some pics of the progression, from being crashed to getting fixed up in mexico.


After i got it, i started fixing a bunch of mechanical issues that popped up and slowly fixed up a bunch of cosmetic stuff.

Ended up getting a marketplace deal on a set of camburg beams and a camburg built bumper for a price i couldn't say no to, and the part collecting started.

Camburg 4.5" over beams.
14" Sway a way Race-Runners, im running 250lbs springs over 350lbs.
Custom double shear steering outers (at the spindle).
Off the shelf camburg engine cage.
Amazon special rubber bumps.
Tig welded camburg bumper.
VisionX 6500 HIDs.
33" BFG K02s and 15" Outlaw wheels.
Im sure there's some stuff im forgetting.


The original plan was to get it all done in a weekend but it ended up being done over a couple months in smaller chunks.

Here we put on the beams and radius arms but kept the stock coil bucket and shocks.




  • 1712289225566.png
    609.9 KB · Views: 13
  • 1712289289975.png
    505 KB · Views: 11
  • 1712289306082.png
    522.8 KB · Views: 14
  • 1712289318341.png
    802.9 KB · Views: 13
We took out a weekend to put the bumper on.



After that, the only thing left was to put the engine cage and coilovers on, also that turned into an ABS delete.


The goal with this thing is to build a high school truck thats straight out of 2005, id say its getting there...

Going to take this thing out this weekend for the Leduc Swap Meet, fingers crossed everything goes well!


  • 1712289661124.png
    2.8 MB · Views: 19
I know it was done and it has to just be the photos… but every photo looks like that thing needs a serious alignment.
I know it was done and it has to just be the photos… but every photo looks like that thing needs a serious alignment.
Tires are straight at ride height. That’s as good as it’s gonna get unless the truck gets swingers.
It’s crazy that I can remember when Matt Helton didn’t even have kids. And now he has a teenager that is building and driving trucks. Fuck I’m old 😭

Cool truck though dude. I had a ranger with the same beam kit probably before you were born!
Pretty good weekend, all things considered. The front end worked 10 times better than the stock garbage i had, there were some times where i tried to push it a little but the rear end just cant keep up. Front shocks definetly will need a re valve and the rubber bumps need some adjustment but im super happy with the set up.
Leading up to the trip i was already having some engine issues and this confirmed that i indeed have a blown headgasket and now some rod knock, it was reading temps around 220 all the way down the Cajon Pass, turns out its just burning all the coolant away. Anyways, already found an engine on LKQ out of an explorer just waiting for it to arrive so we can do the swap on @86.yoda 's driveway.

View attachment
View attachment
Ended up going with a LQK 4.0 out of a 96 explorer. Decent amount of miles and a pretty good price (without shipping).
Started the swap on monday, we got it running thursday night and just had to button up some things the next day, all things considered it wasnt too bad for our first time doing something like this, definitely learned a lot.
The new engine runs x10 times smoother than that old POS, definitely super happy to be driving this thing again.

Thanks to @86.yoda for all the help!