1981 Ranger XLT - HS DD - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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1981 Ranger XLT - HS DD

I probably should have started a build thread a long time ago, but better late than never...

This whole fiasco started about a year ago, I found the old girl on Craigslist, while I was looking for a project cheap enough to buy myself as a first car, for a grand total of 300 pesos. How could I argue with that sorta luck? Fast forward a few weeks later, moving day, me and my dad were tinkering with it in the PO's driveway to see if it could be moved onto the flatbed more easily, a no-spark diagnosis, and a quick trip to Autozone for a new DSII box, and she was up and running! The before pics are in my garage thingamawhatsit, but here are a few after some miscellaneous fix-ups...

After a few baths, scraping off the awful window stickers, some newer wheels (free from a family friend off his scrapped truck), and newer 31s (cheap from a buddy at school)





New SuperWinch hubs



New Duraspark module



After a tune-up (plugs/wires, cap/rotor, belts, air filter/oil change, fuel pump) and new PS pump
(sexy six cyl in background)



Rebuilt the carb myself



Cleaned up/derankified interior (new brake booster/master on seat)



New stereo (part I) (much more to come eventually)





Wiring mods for stereo



Not pictured: new plastic gas tank/filler neck, new e-brake cable, trans/t-case oils changed, new carpet to be put in (eventually)

As with every build, ya gotta have a To-Do List (that'll be changed a million times anyway)...

In no real order:
Put in new booster/master
Rebuild or Replace Rear Driveshaft
Swap in granny gear 4 speed (still up in the air)
EFI exhaust
NOS Edelbrock 1-barrel intake (?)
Duratracs (when the cash cow shows up)
Full rust repair/paint job (thinking of going with at least one of the orig colors)
Reupholstery or schmancy seat covers

I'll try to keep this thread as updated as possible
(hope this was enough to satisfy y'alls pic fetishes, I may be back with more later )
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Geez, tough crowd...lol

Does anyone have any recommendations on where to find one of the Edelbrock intakes? I've been scrounging through CL and come up dry

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by I6-Kid View Post
Geez, tough crowd...lol

Does anyone have any recommendations on where to find one of the Edelbrock intakes? I've been scrounging through CL and come up dry
Lol, I missed it yesterday. Looks very familiar! Great job bringing her back to life. Keep us posted on further progress.

As far as the Edelbrock, from what I understand they are pretty rare b/c they only made them in the 80s. I didn't know that until a guy at work offered me one for a great deal and I did some research. That doesn't mean you won't run into one though. Some on here said they are more of a novelty though, and don't really help much with performance.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Familiar indeed @SRWillis , I was worried I had made too boring of an opening lol. I'll keep combing through the big six sites for the manifold; your thread was the first I've heard of them also, and even if it is a novelty, IMO it would be much more interesting having one to shine up the engine compartment (no offense to those with Cliffords or Offys ).

I also bought a chromed OEM 240/300 valve cover at the Carlisle Bronco show with the "Powered by Ford' script, which I'll swap in eventually
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 09:40 PM
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Looks like youve been busy! As you know, i have an 81 Ranger as well. I was looking on craigslist for while trying to find a manual, never came accross one that was a good deal, very jealous actualy. Looks like its a nice speaker system you ahve in there, glad i upgraded as well, those standard speaker were crap! I need to start a build forum as well! Ill be subscribing, good luck on your bronco, it keeps me busy

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @CLBartholomew , and good luck to you as well, in all honesty, the speakers are only some cheapo Kenwoods for now, but I hope to get some Alpines, plus another amp/sub, even though what's in there now is a huge improvement I've become so used to shifting while I drive that when I move other people's cars, my left foot looks for the ghost-clutch

Thanks again for the response! Keep your 81 rolling

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Update:
Since everybody likes new shiny parts...



The truck idles so much smoother and lower now, also a bit more power down low, the booster must have been giving me a vacuum leak to the motor as well; I still have to bleed the brakes, but everything is hooked up. I broke a line in the process, so I used some of the ni-copp stuff to make up a new one
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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I've been looking for a replacement A/C bracket for my York compressor (the upper one is broken), but I've heard from another thread that it's more worthwhile to upgrade to the later (Sanden?) style compressor. My dad's pickup has all the later style compressor brackets for the 300 I could swap onto mine, but is there a complete R134 A/C kit I could buy?

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 10:25 PM
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The compressor kit (comes with new accumulator, its a little different than our 81s)
https://pitstopauto.com/1984-ford-br...FR62wAodw1oJrg
the hose connecting the the compressor with the accumulator
1983-1986 Ford F150 A/C Refrigerant Suction Hose - Climate Control - Four Seasons 83-86 F150 A/C Refrigerant Suction Hose - 5286-05512267 - PartsGeek

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot @CLBartholomew ! And that's all I'll need if I swap compressors?

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 05:12 PM
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I forgot you have a I6 intead of a v8
compressor
https://pitstopauto.com/1984-ford-br...FQiBaQodLDgOoA
The hoses
1983-1986 Ford F150 A/C Refrigerant Suction Hose - Climate Control - Four Seasons 83-86 F150 A/C Refrigerant Suction Hose - 5286-05512267 - PartsGeek
1983 Ford Bronco A/C Hose High Side - Discharge 4.9L Engine - Discharge Line 62-80195 N

I have not been able to find the brackets to attach the compressor to the engine, youd think it would be more common, ill let you know if i see anything

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 06:42 PM
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I think i Found one!!!!
https://www.partrequest.com/auto-par...t-152265561496

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the searching @CLBartholomew , I do have the compressor bracket already, but thank you for finding all the components!
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Before I proceed with my progress, a shout out, this time to SRWillis for sending some pics of his A/C bracket! I'm going to try repairing mine before spending mo' money...

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

See the shiny new booster in the pictures? Well, turns out it went bad after a couple days, so much for Cardone brand, but the blame's on me for not reading all their bad reviews. Nonetheless, I ate my words, the store I bought it from ate the bill, and I bought a Prior brand booster (made in ) from RockAuto. After re-bleeding the brakes, she stops like a dream and will easily lock the wheels.

With all this snow melting, I also took her for a puddle jump :)

In other news, I pulled the shifter to tighten up the bushings between it and the trans, it shifts like new again, but good/bad, I got in a groove so I forgot to take pictures of that :/

Next step, new driveshaft!
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:23 PM
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Great build thread and will be following. My newly acquired '81 Ranger XLT is still in the shop draining the bank account for things I can't do anymore ( or don't know how to do ) but hope to get some ideas ( and knowledge ) from here. Kudos
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @bargeahead ! My goal for this project is for a learning experience, as well as having fun with it when I can (most kids around here either have cars or new/reeeally expensive pickups). When I get to the driveshaft, I may have to take it to my mechanic to make sure it gets done right

EDIT: Does anybody know where to find a park brake return spring, or could possibly show a pic of how it hooks up? I ordered one from JBG a lil while ago but it looks waaay long; they don't carry it anymore either :/
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 05:39 PM
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Here is what mine looks like:

not sure where to get one though

Love it or hate it, its better than a jeep.

Last edited by CLBartholomew; 03-21-2017 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Cantt post a picture right to save my life
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that's just what I needed! @CLBartholomew I'll have to keep my eye out for a spring source

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:05 AM
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I'm missing the spring and the connector piece. Let me know if you find 2!

Nice work so far. Seems to be a number of 300 builds going on lately.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Very true @Scoop , glad to see the 300 bein represented Feel free to PM me about your needs

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