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Thread: Ranger - Bronco OR build current truck, opinions or advice???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Lower Mainland BC, Canada

    Default Ranger - Bronco OR build current truck, opinions or advice???

    Alright guys & Gals please let me know what you think.. I currently own an 88 f250 4x4 ext long box 460 BB 5spd truck Mint condition with really low KMS. The gas mileage is roughly 8 mpg. My Girlfriend likes my truck. We bought it to tow a Jayco Baja (7500 lbs) trailer with quad/dirtbikes and for general 4x4 exploring & be my DD.

    I live in British Columbia where trails can be tight/technical but the main idea is to have an all around-do all truck/rig. This isnt my 1st 4x4 but was wondering a couple things and just wanted to get some opinions/advice

    Should I

    A- Build current truck into DD/trail and tow rig with mild lift 35"/37" tires and call it done(gas mileage would really blow with 460 and 35's)

    B - Buy a Bronco when funds permit and Build it into same as Its smaller for trails in BC and still would be able to tow trailer

    C- Buy a Ranger when funds permit and Build it into same as Its smaller for trails in BC, would a 5.0 swap be able to make a Ranger a decent tow vehicle??

    I love Rangers as they would be the perfect platform just unsure of tow rating..


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    If towing is a major part of you plan, you need to stick with a fullsize, preferably 3/4 ton. Your current truck fits the bill, but I can see why it's low mileage when it returns 8~ MPG! Seriously consider a Cummins swap for your truck if it's in that nice of shape. Leave the tight/technical trails to the quads/bikes.

    A (fullsize) Bronco could probably tow your trailer, but it won't be ideal. They were pretty short on power, even with the 351.

    I wouldn't be planning on pulling 7500 lbs with a Ranger in any configuration. That's about 2000 lbs more than the max tow rating of any Ranger.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Ventura County
    Neither the bronco, nor the ranger will be happy towing a 7500 pound trailer. I have towed about 5500 pounds(fj40 on car trailer) before and I think that was about the safe limit with a 87 bronco, 5.0, automatic. If the trailer is a must, then build the f250. Custom short flatbed, cab width and it won't be too bad on the trails. Save money on other stuff to pay for the gas!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Lower Mainland BC, Canada
    Thanks for the advice guys... still deciding on right route to take, My truck is mint. i guess $$$ is the biggest factor of them all


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Rifle, Colorado, United States
    ranger body swap onto fullsize frame, might be an option.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    option1: Keep your truck. Put on mild tires, say 285/75 r17.

    option2: Pull your trucks engine and install a small block Ford.

    option3: diesel swap

    option4: buy a more modern F250 with a Diesel or 5.4L

    Options 2 and 3 will most likely cost more than any fuel saving they'll ever offer. Poor fuel mileage stinks, but 9/10 people that swap vehicles for fuel economy, never actually save a dime.

    Towing with a Bronco or Ranger with agressiveish tires and suspension? Bwaw hahahaha. Thanks for the laugh.
    Last edited by Buliwyf; 12-01-2012 at 09:37 PM.
    '08 Ford F250 XL
    '02 Honda CRF450r,
    '04 Ford Mach1
    '12 Suzuki DRZ400S
    '12 Ducati Panigale 1199S

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    East Bay,CA
    The issue with the bronco is the wheelbase. It's a very stout vehicle and with the 351 would probably be able to do it. Will it last long doing it? Probably not and you'd probably end up with worse mileage than the F250. The Ranger isn't even in towing ball park as mentioned earlier. I'd say run 33's on the F250. Regear to 4.10 or even 4.56 if it sees more trail than highway, and then hop up the 460. It's very restricted in the intake and exhaust from the factory and there are plenty of other things you can do to it. It might get you into the teens mileage wise but still be able to do everything it does now. If you're worried about the body being too nice you need to save up and get a trail toy, otherwise bob the bed to the rear leaf spring hangers, boatside the cab and get some steel bumpers front and rear and have an awesome all around rig that can run trails without major damage and still be a dd/tow pig.
    1993 Ford Explorer- Factory 3.73s and limited slip, 31x10.5 General Grabber AT2 on 15*7 ATX Slot

    2002 Expedition 4wd- 5.4L, 285/75/16 Falken Wildpeak AT, factory limited slip
    2000 F-150 2wd 4.2L, 5.5" front 3" rear lift, Bilstein 5100s all around, 33" General Grabber AT2, 130w KC Daylighters, Dual 4' Firestiks
    1997 F-150 2wd 5.4L, coil spacers 265/75/16 BFG AT's
    1968 Camaro convertible, 350,th350, white top, Corvette red with white racing stripes(still have).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Northern Delware
    First off... I'd like to see a pick of your F250...

    Secondly, the heaviest I'd tow with my Bronco for more than just around town is 5000 even though I think the rating is 6800. My current trailer is right around 3500 loaded while it does that weight pretty well, I think I would feel like I was beating up the truck with much more than that. With my config, 35s, SAS, 351, MAF, 4.56:1, I get about 14-15 not towing and 9-11 towing. Hills will KILL any kind of gas mileage while towing because I have to keep out of overdrive keep the engine trans happy.

    Are you able to downsize the trailer at all? If not, my suggestion would be in line with everyone else. Keep the truck, especially if it's in good shape. Maybe buy a beater car to drive around as a DD. That's what I do anyway and it works well for me. My buddy just bought a 2001 civic w/ a manual and 150k miles with a small dent down one side for $2k... Gets 36mpg and will drive at 80 all day long and the gas savings will pay for the car in 2 years over his truck, not to mention wear and tear.



    Last edited by elmo_4_vt; 12-05-2012 at 12:33 AM.
    '96 Bronco (SOLD) and Custom Toy-Hauler Trailer ( SOLD )
    '03 F250 w/ 7.3 ltr and FWC Hawk Flatbed (Still building)
    '14 Yamaha Super Tenere and a DRZ for 2-wheeled fun

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I love my Rangers - I just put a 5.0L in my '93. They are great as DD trucks - small and nimble. They do great on the trails - the long wheelbase requires multiple point turns occasionally, but no big deal.

    However, my trucks only weigh about 4300 pounds. Even though the chassis is rated to tow 5000 pounds, the most I've towed was about 3000 - locally. True, that was with no trailer brakes, but I wouldn't want to go very far with that much weight back there.

    If your F250 is really mint, do you want to tarnish it off road?

    Keep the F250, build a nice Ranger for DD and off road, and either tent camp or build a camping trailer - perhaps a teardrop or a trailer with a RTT?

    I know it's easy to spend someone else's money but at lease it is food for thought.

    NRA Life Member
    EMT - I

    2015 Tacoma AC SR5 - Build
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Katy, TX
    Keep the truck and bob the bed. I really don't think you are going to deal well with downsizing in the towing category.

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