We showcase a lot of supertrucks in our pages. You know the ones: able to leap multiple whoops in a single bound, more powerful than the Space Shuttle on steroids...
The dirty little secret behind most of those supertrucks is that they're rarely, if ever, driven on the street. Why? Competition-style rollcages make ingress and egress an exercise in body contortion, not to mention the way they amplify noise into the cab. Add competition-style five-point harnesses to the picture and you can see why supertrucks aren't practical or fun for everyday use.
If your envisioned supertruck needs a dash of Clark Kent in the mixture, we'd suggest following the Ranger formula on these pages. Tim Giles of Whittier, California, needed just such a mixture in his '96 Ford Ranger.
Tim originally started working on a '92 Ranger, but slammed into a proverbial brick wall mid-way through his build. Burned out and frustrated, but not wanting to give up completely, he decided a different truck and a different approach were in order. He scanned the classified ads for an unmolested stock truck and happened upon a clean '96 Supercab Ranger with the 4.0 pushrod-style V-6. The truck hadn't been modified or abused. It was a perfect blank canvas.
To paint that blank canvas, Tim turned to Tom McKenzie of S.I. Motorsports. Tom has built several supertrucks, but developed a formula for building dual-purpose Rangers along the way. What is the formula? It's a bolt-on bed cage with an integrated spare tire carrier, a bolt-on engine cage, long-travel front I-beams, and long-travel rear leaf springs. To keep this truck streetable, a full rollcage wasn't part of the equation. Comparing Tom's work to art on a canvas isn't a stretch. Tom's a perfectionist and does things either a hundred percent or not at all.
We love looking at and riding in supertrucks, but we still know there's a definite place for Clark Kent. That place may be in your driveway.
S.I. Motorsports built Tim's engine cage from 1.5-inch, 0.120-wall 4130 chromoly tubing an
Like the engine cage, the S.I. I-beam front end combines chromoly tubing and plate, melded
Stock 2WD Ranger spindle snouts have a habit of pulling out of the steering knuckles that
Tom re-welded the factory seams on the I-beam crossmember. He also added reinforcing washe
Clean enough to eat off of. It was important to take the photos the first time back in th
Here is a worm's-eye view of the King coilover and the Fox bumpstop. Note the bolt-on bump
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Ranger Supercab 2WD
Owner/Hometown: Tim Giles/Whittier, CA
Engine: Ford 4.0 OHV/pushrod V-6
Induction: Stock EFI
Transmission: Stock 5-speed
The bed cage is made from 1.75-inch, 0.120-wall chromoly tubing, and provides a home to a
The underside of the spare tire carrier is no less impressive. S.I. integrated a hitch jus
S.I. Motorsports Unequal-length I-beams, 4 inches wider per side, custom spindle that's pressed, welded, and bolted to the steering knuckle, S.I. Motorsports bolt-on engine cage, King coilovers, Fox bump stops, 20 inches of travel
S.I. Motorsports leaf spring system using Deaver spring packs, flipped shackles, S.I. spring plates, S.I. bed cage, King bypass shocks, Drivelines Unlimited driveshaft, 16 inches of travel
Reinforced factory spring plates were initially part of the build, but they bent while the
A bolt-on S.I. front bumper leads the way. The screened vent holes keep large chunks out o
The factory fenderwells were deleted in favor of open air and tubing. There wasn't room fo
Ring and Pinion:
4.88 gears with full spool, Currie Ford 9-inch rearend. Note: While a spool isn't street-friendly, it's extremely reliable and provides ultimate traction in the dirt
35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
Pro Comp 15x8
Glassworks Unlimited fenders and bedsides, Autofab hood
Fenderwells deleted, custom S.I. mounts for battery, EVAP canister, air cleaner, and windshield washer bottle
Deaver leaf packs are part of the S.I. ranger formula. The spring-over configuration was r
This is one spare tire carrier you won't want to nerf. The spare is held down by a nut th
Getting the coilovers to mount at the correct angle was no easy task. The HVAC blower moto