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Custom 1998 Ford Ranger - 9 Finger Wonder

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

Ernie Macias
Oct 1, 2007
Photographers: Ernie Macias
Photo 2/13   |   Owner: Timothy Garza Ride: '98 Ford Ranger Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
While talking to Tim on the phone about his truck and reading his tech sheet, there were two things that we were certain about. One is Tim really wishes he would have planned out his build ahead of time and stuck with it. (We say that every month, and just about every feature has the same message.) The other thing is that safety is very important, especially when working around your vehicle. Unfortunately, Tim had to learn this firsthand.
Photo 3/13   |   1998 Ford Ranger page Layout
But before we discuss the hand incident, we have to talk about the hard road Tim took to get to the pages of this magazine. Like most of us, Tim was so excited to build his truck, he didn't lay out a real plan. Tim just started cutting away. He began by body-dropping his truck himself, along with the help of his friends. While he was doing the suspension, though, he jumped over to some bodywork, then back to the suspension, then moved onto some interior. In the process, Tim also decided to blow the top on his daily driven Ranger, only to realize later that he would probably never drive it daily again. "Not having a plan was a costly venture, and I really learned my lesson," exclaimed Tim. So, what advice can Tim share with us? "It's always better to plan your work, and work your plan," he said.
Photo 4/13   |   1998 Ford Ranger owner
Planning was only the first part of Tim's message to us. The second part Tim will never forget, especially when he looks down at his hand holding a beer. Here, Tim has the worst kind of reminder for safety.
You see, one night while Tim and his buddies were working on his truck, they decided to rush a bit. While painting his frame, Tim got a little ahead of himself and pulled the jackstands out from under his truck. What happened next was everybody's worst nightmare: The truck came down hard. Unfortunately for Tim, he didn't get out in time and two of his fingers were smashed severely. "It wasn't my proudest moment," said Tim. "But, it's something I tell people to hopefully help them realize the importance of safety around your truck." Tim ended up losing his pinky, but luckily had one finger saved. Being the trooper he is, Tim finished his truck, but he will always be more cautious while working on it from now on. Let's hope we can all learn from Tim's experience and think twice about safety around our trucks.
Rolling Attire
Wheels (Front/Rear): 18-inch Limited
Tires (Front/Rear): 215/35ZR18 Wanli
Photo 8/13   |   1998 Ford Ranger suspension Setup
Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Air
Suspension (Front): 2600 Firestone
Doetsch Tech Shocks
Suspension (Rear): Two-link
Airbag/cylinder type and size: 2600
Firestone Shocks: Doetsch Tech on all four corners
Valves: 3/8 SMC
Compressors: Two Viair 380s
Air line: 3/8 steel-braided
Frame mods: Two 3-gallon tanks molded into the frame
Frame material: 2x3 box tubing
Brakes: Steel-braided lines
Detail work: Shaved and smoothed over all the welds and painted to match
Misc.: Nitrogen bottle behind the standard cab seat
Performed by: Owner Tim Garza and Victor Gallegos
City/state: San Antonio, TX
Photo 9/13   |   1998 Ford Ranger wheel
Body Modifications
Shaved: Handles, keyholes, wiper cowl, upper body line, mud-flap holes, A-pillars, molded cowl to stock hood, shaved gas door, tailgate handle, and emblems
Body-dropped: "'Till the rockers hit the floor," said Tim Garza
Chopped: Took the windshield down 6-inches
Front end: Trenz billet grille, clear corners, and painted the bumper to match
Back end: Grant Kustoms roll pan
Taillights: '01 Ranger lights flipped upside down, reverse lights are now turn signals
Exterior bolt-ons: Street Scene mirrors
Misc.: Chrome side-step plates, the bed was shaved and Line-X was sprayed
Performed by: Tim Garza, Victor Gallegos
City/state: San Antonio, TX
Brand and colors: DuPont Metallic Silver, all materials where DuPont
Style: Solid
Performed by: Alamo City Kustomz
City/state: San Antonio, TX
Photo 10/13   |   1998 Ford Ranger custom Interior Steering Wheel
Seats: Stock 60/40 bench seat was chopped up
Material: Black vinyl and tweed
Dash: Fiberglassed smooth
Door panels: Wrapped in black vinyl and tweed
Center console: Fiberglassed, added two cup holders, and three switches
Flooring: Black carpet
Headliner: Ha ha ha, that's funny!
Misc.: BAD billet steering wheel, a custom-built rollcage to keep the body from flexing
Performed by: ABC Upholstery, Alamo City Kustomz, and Tim Garza
City/state: San Antonio, TX
Special Thanks From Owner: Victor and Greg Gallegos, my girlfriend Erica, and my family for their support throughout the build.


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