Prerunner Features

Ranger Prerunner Built Like a Trophy Truck

We first saw this truck out in the desert in Boulder City. After I got a closer look I couldn’t believe this still had the stock cab of a Ford Ranger. Like the title reads, it’s built like a Trophy Truck.

Las Vegas is a “small town”. The owner of this prerunner is a friend of a friend of mine, so I got his number and said, “We have got to get your prerunner in our magazine”. We set up a time and place to meet so I could show you this “Dream Prerunner”.

This prerunner started life as a 97 Ford Ranger, once all the useless stuff was removed on it, the work began on the cage that was meticulously built by Scott Chambers in Arizona. With 90% of the interior cage and light bar done the Ranger was sent to California to JD Fabrication. After it arrived JD Fab worked their magic on this one.

The front suspension is made up of J-Beams with cross-over steering, King 3.0 triple bypass, 2.5 coilovers and 2.5 bump stops. The entire front half of the frame has been boxed for strength.

Covering the wide front end is a Fiberwerx one-piece front clip. Under this you see some good ‘ol V8 goodness. Yes this little prerunner is packin’ heat in the form of an LS2 with a cam in it. It was dyno’d at about 400 HP at the wheels. Keeping this motor cool in the desert heat is a Ron Davis radiator, and the custom headers and exhaust were built by RPM in Cali.

Power is sent from the motor back to a TH400 tranny with 2 Fluidyne trans coolers. Power is then sent to the trussed Speedway full-floating 9in. read end stuffed with 5.0 gears and Speedway billet hubs.

When you go this fast you have to be able to stop, so the owner slapped on a set of Wilwood brake calipers squeezing giant 14in. discs on each corner.

Keeping the rear in check is a 4-link set up again with King 3.0 triple bypass, 2.5 coilovers and 2.5 bump stops on each side. Making room for all this travel in the back is a set of 10in. bulge trophy truck style bedsides from Fiberwerx. To help curb the lean while turning a Speedway rear sway bar was used.

So far you can see no expense was spared in creating this prerunner, and when you have a suspension like this and a motor that will get you there quickly, you need a wheel and tire combo that can keep up. At each corner with 2 spares are Walker Evans beadlocks, with a 5×5.5 Trophy Truck lug pattern and huge studs wrapped in 37×12.5 R17 Baja Projects. I am sure you will see in the video, bald Projects and the dunes don’t mix. Lucky this prerunner had the power to get up to the top.

The owner of this Ranger loves to hit Dumont, and if he wants to take it out at night he has 2 6” Baja Designs HID driving lights up front and 5 Vision X HIDs mounted in the custom light bar.

Inside you will notice the custom aluminum dash with AutoMeter gauges keeping track of this beast’s vitals. A Momo steering wheel with quick release gives the owner control, and to control the gears a Winters shifter is in close reach of the driver. Keeping the occupants comfy and safe are a set of Sparco EVO 2 seats, and Crow harnesses. Talking over the roar of the motor is made easy with a race radio with intercom, and iPod jack. PCI supplied the headsets. This prerunner still has all its glass on it and the owner is trying to fit a Vintage Air A/C unit under the hood so he can cruise in comfort when the temp. gets over 90 degrees.

The owner is still dialing in the suspension so we didn’t get any jumping action, but we plan on a second shoot of this prerunner once the weather cools down and we can hit Dumont and really see this thing fly.

JD Fabrication J-Beams, and King Shocks 3.0 triple bypass shocks, 2.5 coil-overs and 2.5 bump stops give this prerunner tons of travel. JD Fab also boxed the entire front of the frame to give the suspension a solid foundation.

The trussed Speedway full-floating 9in. read end stuffed with 5.0 gears and Speedway billet hubs gets the power of the LS2 motor to the ground and is strong enough to hold up when this thing flies.

The rear 4-link is controlled by King Shocks 3.0 triple bypass shocks, 2.5 coil-overs and the 2.5 bump stops slow the last few inches of travel. Below is the closer view. Here is a close up view. You can see the attention to detail by the dimple-dies on the top shock mount. No prerunner is complete without a little dimple-die.

Here is an overview of the entire rear. Note the double mounted Baja Projects. Along with the fire extiguishers you see there is an extra driveshaft mounted to the inside of the driver side bedside.

Custom aluminum dash holding AutoMeter gauges, Sparco Evo2 seats, and soon a Vintage Air A/C unit.

No matter how well built your cage is, if you don’t also weld it to the cab you are going to hate every bump you hit because the cab will squeek like you won’t believe. No Worries Here.

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