Custom 1998 Ford Ranger Truck - Freerangin'

Not a Sport, a Lifestyle

Joe Greeves –
Sep 1, 2006
Photographers: Joe Greeves
Photo 2/9   |   OWNER: Ronnie AmburnRIDE: '98 Ford Ranger LOCATION: Eden, North Carolina CLUB: Acrophobia
Ronnie Amburn, from Eden, North Carolina, bought his '98 Ford Ranger brand new. It was his first vehicle and he drove it stock for almost six years before joining a small truck club. The camaraderie of the group soon led to some basic upgrades for the Ranger, and the truck began taking on a new personality. Before long, the truck progressed until it was finally unique enough to become active on the show circuit. That's where Ronnie met some "really great people" and decided to get even more involved in the show scene. Now he's a member of Acrophobia and the truck has come a long way from its original look.
Like most folks, the first thing Ronnie did was tint the windows and add new wheels (in this case, American Racing 18-inch chrome Casinos wrapped in Nanking 35 series rubber). While that was a great start, the changes quickly escalated. Billy Ward at Concept Auto Works created the new lowered profile, dropping the body by 4-1/2 inches, and then added a C-notch, Godfather four-link rear suspension, and new lower DJM forward control arms.
Photo 3/9   |   "Some people call it a sport. I call it a lifestyle."
Collecting show points, the air suspension components were neatly arranged inside the Speedliner bed with the twin tanks, valves, and compressors on display. Additions like the Sir Michael's roll pan and Checkmate tonneau cover keep the lines in the rear as slick as those in front. Lighting the way are Diamond Back projector beam units; and carbon fiber, euro-style replacements bring up the rear. The Dupont Vermillion Red and black are separated with Gun Metal Gray and Orion Hyper Silver tribal graphics thanks to Ken Surmons of Collision Center in Thomasville, NC, who handled the spray gun.
What's in store for Ronnie's future? He has done about all he's going to do on this truck and plans to keep it for quite awhile but there is already a new truck in the garage, a box-style Ranger that will become the next project truck in the family.

Wheels: 18x7.5-inch chrome American Racing Casino's
Tires: 215/35ZR18 Nankang

Suspension type: Air
Rear suspension: Four-link
Airbag type and size: Front: Firestone 2,600lb
Rear: Firestone 2,500lb
Control arms: DJM lowered control arms
Valves: GC 250s
Compressors: Two Viair compressors
Air/hydro accessories: 5-gallon reserve tank
Frame mods: C-notch
Gas Tank: 16-gallon fuel tank
Detail work: Painted frame
Misc: Frame painted by the owner and Ken Surmon
Performed by: Concepts Autoworks
City/state: Burlington, NC

Shaved: Tailgate, cowl, emblems, mud flap holes, antenna, third brake light, stake bed pockets
Frenched: License plate
Body dropped: 4-1/2 inches
Front end: '00 Ford Ranger bumper and a Ranger Edge Hood
Back end: Tailgate welded shut
Taillights: Carbon-fiber euro taillights
Misc: Raised bed floor to avoid cutting hole
Performed by: Concept Autoworks
City/state: Burlington, NC

Brand and colors: Dupont Vermillion Red, Orion Silver, Gunmetal Gray
Style: Tribal
Performed by: Ken Surmon
City/state: Thomasville, NC

Seats: Stock
Material: Red and gray tweed
Dash: Gray tweed
Door panels: Red and gray tweed
Center console: Custom built by the owner in red and gray tweed
Headliner: Gray tweed
Performed by: Owner and Bobby Campbell
City/state: Eden, NC

Head unit: Sony Xplod
Mids & highs: Pioneer 6x9-inch
Performed by: Owner

Intake: AEM cold air intake
Exhaust: Flowmaster
Battery: Duralast
Detail work: Powdercoated intake valve cover, and throttle bracket
Misc: Chrome radiator and overflow tank
Performed by: Owner

Ronnie's loving and understanding wife, his mom and dad for their support, John Jackson of Acrophobia, Danny Scott, Bobby Campbell, Ken Surmon, Chris Barger, and Billy Ward of Concept Waterworks



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