The Ranger originally had a 125-inch wheelbase. It's now 114 inches. The black-and-orange
Rather than have C&D build another completely new truck, Steve decided to have his Ranger cross over instead. The '86 is now part desert truck, part short-course truck. Chris and Danny left the front of the Ranger alone, but lopped off the factory frame and the existing 'cage work behind the cab. They sliced the wheelbase down by over a foot. In place of the leaf springs, there's now a short-course-style four-link system. The Ranger's stance is low and aggressive: perfect for tight, twisty corners.
Even though it's nimble in the twisties, there's still a desert truck lurking inside. The 114-inch wheelbase is still stable enough to attack the whoops, and there's sufficient travel on tap to navigate the bumpy minefield better known as the Mojave. The back-halved frame lets the truck sit low and still benefit from generous bump travel. Many short-course trucks take to the track with shocks that aren't big enough to handle the heat generated by extended pounding. Showing his long-course desert roots, Steve uses 2.5-inch King coilovers and 3.0 King bypasses to make sure his suspension can take the heat without fading.
What's a short-course-style four-link? Generally speaking, the links are shorter and the s
What's it like inside the SuperCab? Yours truly had the chance to find out. The co-driver's seat is set back pretty far, allowing tall co-drivers comfortable leg room. I'm short, so the digs were extra-roomy. The ride isn't plush. Instead, it's controlled. This truck is a thoroughbred, not a marshmallow. Under the hood, the power produced by a mildly-built 5.0L small-block Ford V-8 is well-matched to the chassis. The abbreviated wheelbase felt just right on the fire roads above Steve's Hesperia, California hometown. Sweeping through turns and threading between trees happened without drama. We made our way over to Lucerne Valley, where Steve pinned the throttle through a half-mile section of whoops that are part of the racecourse used by MDR and M.O.R.E. Again, it felt controlled but not cushy. For good measure, Steve launched off of The Wall, a short, steep jolt that slams you into the whoops as soon as you land. It's a treacherous jump for a long desert-style wheelbase, but was second nature for the shortened Ranger.
The verdict? This is a perfect blueprint for anyone who needs one truck to do a lot of different things. If dreams become reality, we'll see Steve and his Ranger at Pike's Peak before long. When your truck is crossed over, anything's possible.
1986 Ford SuperCab Ranger
Steve Herrera/ Hesperia, California
331ci stroker small-block Ford V-8
Ford C-4 three speed automatic built by Kenny Walker.
Equal-length kingpin I-beams by C&D Fabworks. Pro-Am hubs and four-piston Wilwood calipers. Seventeen inches of travel controlled by King coilovers and bypass shocks.
Short-course four-link by C&D Fabworks. Speedway Engineering housing and hubs. King shocks mount directly to axle housing. Axle housing trussed by C&D Fabworks. Eighteen inches of travel.
Ring and Pinion:
Prerunning: 5.14:1 / Desert Racing 5.46:1 / Short Course 6.00:1
Spool for 100-percent locked-up durability and predictability.
35-inch BFG Baja T/As
15-inch KMC beadlocks
Driveshaft by High Desert Driveline. Momo steering wheel. PCI Roadmaster race radio and intercom. Fiberwerx front conversion clip. Glassworks Unlimited bedsides. Paint by Trent "181" Soresi.