So about nine months ago, I moved to the Los Angeles area. This brought some good things and some bad things. One of the bad things was that my dear old truck became illegal.
My truck and I have been together since summer of 2003. Kinda crazy to think that it's been ten years... In 2004, I turbocharged my 2.3 liter 4 cylinder engine. Over the coming years, I modified or reworked nearly every system on that truck. I learned a lot (usually the hard way) and spent a lot of money. I'm not sure I have enough fingers to count the number of times I've had the engine out. This was my only vehicle besides my bike through all of college. I rode my bike a lot.
|In all it's resplendent Glory, the 1988 Ford Ranger.|
Not wanting to be banished to the far reaches of San Bernadino County, I decided I needed to do something about this truck. I had rebuilt the engine not more than a month before moving to California so I didn't want to just get rid of it. In retrospect, rebuilding the engine was probably a bad idea, but that's a long story for another time.
|5th time's the charm?|
My grandpa was a Ford salesman, so there were always a lot of old Fords around. There was a mid 60s Fairlane, my dad's '60 F100, and so on. I always had a soft spot for the 62 Falcon sitting in the weeds though. I thought it would be tons of fun to stick a 2.3 Turbo and 5 speed in an old unassuming Falcon and blow some doors off. Well here was my chance.
|Gramps's 1962 Ford Falcon taught me to love patina|
|Can ya smell that? It's LIBERTY!|
This brings us almost to the present day. I decided that this would need some suspension updating to handle the power output of the 2.3 Turbo. I started by buying an 8.8" limited slip 31 spline axle from a 97 Explorer. The Explorer axle has a reputation for being indestructible in the off road world, and Mustang guys looking to upgrade to 31 spline axles from the stock 28 spline axles will pirate Explorer stuff. The one small issue with the Explorer axle is that is is quite wide at 59.5", and also has an offset pinion. The driver side axle is 3" wider to clear the fuel tank in the Explorer. I went to a salvage yard and pulled a passenger side axle and after cutting off the spring pads and shock mounts, took the axle housing to Sutton Enterprises in La Habra to have the tube shortened by 3".
|HERE'S VAUGHN, WORKIN' LIKE GOD INTENDED!|
A week and a half ago, I took a trip up to Ontario, California to visit Total Cost Involved. They are a suspension shop that specializes in Pro-Touring suspensions for Muscle Cars and Hot Rods. I sat down with one of their salesmen and configured a suspension package for the Falcon. At the end of our visit, I closed my eyes and wrote large check. I was told it would be ready in 7-10 business days. Well, I got a phone call this morning and now I'm taking Friday off...