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James O'Day
James O'Day New Reader
2/23/20 10:48 a.m.

Hi, First post here. I'm a semi retired engineer with a shop and a little time. I'm building a Ford Ranger Cam-T and rallycross truck. The  chassis is custom designed and drivetrain is from a 15 Mustang.  In the mid 80's the SCCA sanctioned mini truck racing and this build is a tribute to that era.

 The racing tires are a bit wider. 

The goal weight is 2650lbs + ballast to required weight.

I'm using a 3.7 cyclone engine. 


Trent PowerDork
2/23/20 10:53 a.m.

Allow me to be the first to tip my hat to this beautiful build


bluej GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/23/20 11:18 a.m.

uh, yeah. we're gonna need a lot more info. laugh Looks great!

noddaz GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/23/20 11:37 a.m.

Looking GREAT!

James O'Day
James O'Day New Reader
2/23/20 11:51 a.m.

In reply to Trent :

Thanks, it has been a labor of love, lol.

James O'Day
James O'Day New Reader
2/23/20 11:52 a.m.

In reply to bluej :

Thanks, I will post as the project progresses!

slowbird Dork
2/23/20 1:57 p.m.

Heck yeah! More Ranger content is always welcome!

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/23/20 2:32 p.m.


What's your plan for switching between autocross and rallycross? I'm struggling with that myself.

gumby GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/23/20 6:23 p.m.

I see the majority of the rear cradle. Is the front geometry based on the s550 Mustang at all?

James O'Day
James O'Day New Reader
2/23/20 7:34 p.m.

To go Rallycrossing,  I'll remove the ballast, front air dam and add  softer springs, off road tires, and a skid plate .

The rear cradle was used to hold the Mustang differential, but the front and rear suspension geometry are both unique to this chassis. Both are double a-arms. The roll center, anti-lift and anti-dive geometry are also designed for this chassis.

I have plans to build customs knuckles/spindles at some point.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/23/20 7:46 p.m.

Gorgeous work.  How is it going using the 3.7; what are you using for engine management, any changes from stock, assuming stock manual trans?

jr02518 HalfDork
2/23/20 9:16 p.m.

How will you be mounting the front sway bar and will it be attached to the lower a-arm?  It's size?

irish44j MegaDork
2/23/20 9:24 p.m.

I feel like you probably have, but I assume you've read up on the rules concerning rallycross classing - figure you're going for constructors class. Anyhow, keep a close eye on the rules there - there's some discussion of changes possible in the future (what they will be, I don't know). I assume you're putting a cage in it?


Anyhow, looking forward to the build. What's your location?

gumby GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/24/20 10:12 a.m.

Are you going to use early first gen sheetmetal(83-88) or the facelifted 89-92 stuff?

Mine is an '89 and I have the whole black/white/yellow thing going on because I intend on eventually painting it like the later Saleen Sportruck livery from the SCCA Race Truck Challenge Series

James O'Day
James O'Day New Reader
2/24/20 10:25 a.m.

Hi, Thanks for the questions; I'm located in Boise, ID. This build was designed primarily for autocross and street driving. Rallycross will be an occasional fun weekend, but the truck won't fit well into the constructors class(too many compromises).

I chose the 3.7 because of it's size (60 degree v6, weight and smooth torque curve).

 I'm using the stock PCM and Ron Francis is building a harness for stock PCM. The 3.7 and 5.0 have very similar PCM's, the pin out mostly the same, so there will be stock PCM options in the future through Ron Francis Wiring. 

The engine will get the usual add ons, headers, intake, throttle body, and a tune.

The stock manual transmission and stock differential gearing give 72+ MPH in second gear, perfect for autocross.

The front sway bar will be installed when the front clip is installed. The current thought is 32mm hollow bar(the front geometry is similar to an S2000), but will be determined with tuning. The front bar will attach to the lower arm. I'll post pictures.

Thanks again for the encouragement. 


Jim O'Day
Jim O'Day New Reader
2/24/20 11:53 a.m.

In reply to gumby :

Wow, I love that color scheme, so cool. Mines an 87, I'm going with the Gulf blue/orange paint. 

Jim O'Day
Jim O'Day New Reader
2/24/20 11:54 a.m.

In reply to gumby :

Are you going to autocross it?

OjaiM5 Reader
2/24/20 12:23 p.m.

That chassis is so bitchin! 

gumby GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/24/20 12:30 p.m.

In reply to Jim O'Day :

2020 will be the fourth season autocrossing my Ranger.

Gulf livery is classic and will look badass on your truck!

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/24/20 12:34 p.m.

This is awesome.  Yet another bitchin minitruck build to follow.

Jim O'Day
Jim O'Day New Reader
2/24/20 1:01 p.m.

The chassis design was a combination of two space frame sections and a center modified ladder frame. 

MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/24/20 2:47 p.m.

Clicked on this expecting to see a beater truck for dirt shenanigans. This is way more awesome.

Jim O'Day
Jim O'Day New Reader
2/24/20 5:35 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Thanks, I'll post up some pictures as the project progresses.

Jim O'Day
Jim O'Day New Reader
2/26/20 9:33 a.m.

Chassis front.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/26/20 10:40 a.m.

That is truly a thing of beauty.

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