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1989 Ford Ranger - The Railed Ranger

Galen Armenta
Nov 1, 2008
Photographers: Ernie Macias
Owner: Chris Maurer
Ride: '89 Ford Ranger
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Club: No Regrets
Photo 2/14   |   1989 Ford Ranger front Left View
Every once in a while, we happen upon a truck that totally blows us away. Chris Maurer's '89 Ford Ranger is one of those trucks. It might be due to the fact that it's not the most popular truck to build, or maybe it's the rocker-laying body-drop. It could be all the cool frame modifications, or even the smooth body, interior, and paint. More than likely, it's probably a combination of the aforementioned modifications and the attention to detail that went into the buildup of Chris' rig. It is not everyday that you see a second-generation Ranger laying hard on 20-inch wheels.
Photo 3/14   |   1989 Ford Ranger steering Wheel
Let's go through some of the more interesting steps of this five-year buildup. First off, when Chris started building his ride, there were no custom shops in New Mexico to drop his truck off, and a month or two later have it roll out 'bagged, bodied, and on a big set of wheels. Therefore, when Chris wanted to perform these mods to his Ranger, he found out he was on his own. With advice from reputable fabricators in our industry, Chris chose to ditch the factory I-Beams up front, then got the suspension from a Toyota. Once centered and welded in, he turned his attention to making it lay out with custom airbag mounts to house the 'bags. With the frontend handled, Chris broke out the Sawzall and made two cuts, right behind the front suspension. The bulky factory rails were replaced with 2x4-inch box tube that allowed the cab of the truck to sit 6 inches closer to Earth. But it didn't stop there, the back half sports custom tube work for the four-link, another set of Firestone 'bags, and to house the fuel cell, air tanks, and other gadgets under the bed. The truck now tucks all kinds of lugs on the 20-inch Centerline wheels. You have to see this truck to appreciate the kind of detail that went into the suspension and frame.
Photo 4/14   |   1989 Ford Ranger centerline Sniper Wheels
Chris continued the chore by shaving the emblems, mirrors, gas door, handles, and inside of the bed smooth. He also molded the license plate into the tailgate. When all the bodywork was complete, Chris sprayed the entire truck with PPG Prowler Orange. Next, a shaved and painted Corolla dash replaced the factory unit. Meanwhile, a billet steering wheel, a custom center console, Hyundai bucket seats, and a whole lot of paint, tweed, and suede put the interior in check with the rest of this beauty.
Chris' Ranger has no problem breaking the rear tires loose, thanks to a 350ci V-8 Chevy motor, backed by a TH350 transmission. The engine has been fully rebuilt from top to bottom, before receiving several coats of paint from the gun and dressed with numerous chrome items. Once the motor was ready to be dropped in, Chris found that clearing the stock hood was going to be an issue. However, after a few key mods, the stock hood shut like a dream.
Most of us hope we have what it takes to finish one custom in our lifetime. However, it's people like Chris who drive us all to know that it's possible. A lot of people would have sold the truck after its first or second build. But becoming attached to a vehicle is nothing new, if you put your heart and soul into it. When building your own vehicle, just remember Chris' motto: have a little patience.
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 20x9-inch Centerline Sniper
Backspace: 5 inches
Tires: 255/35R20 Nitto 555
Photo 8/14   |   1989 Ford Ranger engine
Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Air
Suspension (Front/Rear): Toyota front clip and parallel four-link with Panhard bar
Airbag type and size: (Front): Firestone 2500 (Rear): Firestone 2600
Control arms: Toyota
Spindles: Toyota
Shocks: Heim joint race car shocks
Valves: Eight 1/2-inch GC Extreme
Airline: 1/2-inch DOT
Air accessories: Compressed nitrogen cylinder, AVS nine-switch box
Frame mods: 3/4 frame
Frame material: 2x4x1/4-inch tubing
Gas tank: Summit fuel cell
Brakes: Toyota disc in front and Lincoln Towncar disc out back
Detail work: Painted frame
Performed by: Owner Chris Maurer
City/state: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Photo 9/14   |   1989 Ford Ranger custom Paint
Body Modifications
Shaved: Door handles, third brake light, rear cab seams, gas door, stake pockets, tailgate handle, tailgate, and taillights
Body-dropped: Stock-floor
Back end: Sir Michael's roll pan
Taillights: 4-foot LED
Exterior bolt-ons: Trendz billet grille
Misc.: Inside was all skinned
Performed by: Owner Chris Maurer
City/state: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Brand and colors: Glasurit Ford White, Jolley Ranger Green Pearl, BMW Silver Strip,
Style: Two-tone
Pinstriping: Glasurit Green and Yellow
Airbrushing: Glasurit Black
Misc.: Two-tone continues throughout the doorjambs
Performed by: Owner Chris Maurer
City/state: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Photo 10/14   |   1989 Ford Ranger controls
Seats: Hyundai bucket seats
Material: Synthetic suede with green piping
Dash: '92 Toyota Tercel shaved, smoothed and painted
Door panels: Stock with black inserts, green piping, and embossed graphics
Center console: '92 Toyota Tercel smoothed and painted
Flooring: Custom-formed black carpet
Headliner: Black tweed
Gauges: Auto Meter
Misc.: Billet Specialties
Performed by: Owner Chris Maurer and Gotcha Covered Upholstery
City/state: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Photo 11/14   |   1989 Ford Ranger left Side View
Head unit: Pioneer CD
Mids and highs: One set Pioneer 5-inch coaxiles
Wiring/accessories: Summit universal wiring kit
Performed by: Owner Chris Maurer
City/state: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Displacement: 350ci
Model/year: '85 Chevy small-block engine
Number of cylinders: Eight
Transmission: TH350
Intake: Edelbrock
Header/exhaust: Stock angle-milled to fit around Toyota front clip
Ignition: Mallory
Driveshaft: Custom-made
Rearend type: Lincoln Towncar, narrowed 12-inches overall
Battery: Optima RedTop
Location: Rear framerails
Inner fenders: Trailer tubs
Detail work: Painted engine block and lots of chrome goodies
Performed by: Owner Chris Maurer
City/state: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Special Thanks By Owner:
Most importantly my dad for helping me finish up all the odds and ends, Paul at T.J.'s Welding for taking care of the rear end, Fred at Car Guys for the exhaust at the last minute. Special thanks to No Regrets, my club that gave me the drive to be as low as I could be, and to Rick Casaus at Intermountain Glass.


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