Ford Truck and SUV Questions, Answers and Comments

Aug. 01, 2002 By Fidel Gonzales

Similar to other sections here at, due to the slew of emails we receive and respond to on a daily basis, we've decided to post some of the ones we've had a chance to respond to right here on the pages of our Ford section. The 300-plus emails per day that I receive are tough to get around to, but it makes for a great exchange of information, especially when some of you Ford aficionados dig down deep and share some great technical, historical and even inside information.

Being heavily into the off-road race scene, and with Ford Trucks and SUVs kicking ass as the they tend to do, there is an abundance of information that many other publications just can't get their hands on. You were right there with us when David Ashley and Dan Smith crossed the finish line to the epic Baja 2000 in their Ford Duralast F-150. We didn't stop there. With no sleep and a sat phone bill that broke the bank, we hung around at that Cabo San Lucas finish line to meet and greet the master of the SCORE 7s class, MacRae "Doc" Glass in his Ford Ranger. And among many others, you were right there with us at the recent Nevada 1000 when Damen Jefferies broke the hearts of the competition with another Ford win in the Herman Motorsports Ford F-150. The list of victories goes on beyond that of Ford's Rob MacCachren's legendary career and onto the streets and into the deserts of places like Southern California, where the Ford prerunner crowd is kicking as over what other lesser trucks have to offer.

We'll do our best to bring that raw information right here to you in the near future. If there's something you believe you can contribute, feel free to contact us.

Ford Forever!

Fidel Gonzales

Two Wheel Drive Conversion Crazy
'99 Ford Ranger 2WD

FORD READER - Need help on my ranger I have a 1999 Ford ranger 4 cylinder 2wd wanting to go to 4x4 and more power need to get to out of reach places and pull boat, trailer, etc don't know can you email me suggestions on parts and prices mainly engine upgrades with specs and est. prices also all the parts needed to make it a 4x4 ie,axles, shocks,etc. if possible pictures of parts and trucks with those parts any help would be greatly appreciated

One Love,

ORC - For me, I'd simply trade your rig in for an older solid axle ford with a 351C or better. That's going to cost you some time and money that, personally, I dump the cash into a tank of gas for a road trip down south of the border to catch some Baja racing action or maybe just stick around town for a local Mojave Desert Racing (MDR) race at one of my favorite places like Barstow or Lucerne. You can't beat Barstow for the Slash X and Lucerne for the excellent desert running through Cougar Buttes, which happens to be a great place to camp and bust out with the trials bikes, if you're into that.

First off, unless you're looking to make a prerunner out of a truck or are just too darn cheap to fork over the cash, which is one good reason to get a prerunner, NEVER buy a 2WD unit. 4x4 is freedom.

If you're looking to buy yourself a 4x4, go for a straight axle Ford. If you're going big, go Power Stroke Diesel. If you're looking for something small, go for the Ranger with the 4.0 Liter.

Now, if you're going for a two-wheel drive, go for the Twin I-Beam Ranger or F-Series trucks. Big travel and tough stuff. A '94 Ranger is probably my next project.

If you're still trying to kill time and empty your wallet, I'd start looking around for goodies at a good truck junk yard. Go for Dana 44's for the front and rear. It's almost over kill for that puny motor you have in front of the firewall right now, but you'll probably end up throwing something fierce in there like an SVO motor or something.

Warning: The Davis Motor Sports clan of Ford Ranger desert racer Kevin Davis has a regular cab Ranger with a 5.0 Liter in it, and I'll tell you what; that thing is just too damn fast for the short wheelbase of that Ranger. There just isn't enough wheelbase to allow the thing to get up to its speed in the desert.

Ford-Driving Dirt Biker
'78 Ford F350


Great article on the radiator!!

I called 1-800radiator looking for this type of radiator to fit my 1978 ford F250 4x4 with a 400cid engine.

All they offered me over the phone is an OEM replacement radiator, not the
high performance one in your article.

Can you offer any help, this sounds like just what I need for my "HOT" old

I appreciate any help!!

Also, you have a great website. I ride Dirt bike too, and love your articles!!!!


Kevin L Jackson

ORC - Ride on! We'll have to meet up for a ride in the desert then. We'll be heading out to the Johnson Valley rock crawling event later in September and have a big blowout. Stay tuned for more info.

As for the radiator, I understand that you were taken care of and got a hold of that aluminum beauty from 1-800-Radiator after all. I guess it was just a mix up of some sorts.

Anyway, send in a shot of your Ford for the rest of us to check out. That's one of the best years the F-250 came in. Got to love it.

Hauling The Heavy
F450 and F550

FORD READER - I have a trucking business that's uses F450 and F550, and I find this interesting because I find my trucks hauling up to a cargo load up to 25,000 lbs. That brings my total GVWR to approx. 45,000 lbs. My transmissions seem to have a problem hauling this weight and the talk about a new tranny makes me smile, and a new smaller liter engine that doesn't guzzle the fuel like 7.3 makes my pocket book smile too. Tell the guys at Ford to email me to come ride in my trucks, to get some more good ideas. Thanks for the info

Matt / MTH TRUCKING Bakersfield, Ca

ORC - Keep on trucking! That grade going up toward Gorman has got to be killing you, especially in the summer with the heat and hauling load. It's murder.

You're going to get much better fuel economy with the new Power Stroke with the 7.3 Liter that you and I have. According to the Ford Engineer I spoke to recently, that was the whole idea for the switch.

As for the tranny though, it may take some time to bulletproof it and get all the bugs ironed out, but nevertheless it has got to be an improvement. We're already seeing the new tranny in racing applications, but then again they're still developing the old one as well.

Anyway, stay in touch.

Tranny Visions
'02 Super Duty

FORD READER - If I have to replace my 2002 Ford transmission could an upgrade to the TorqShift 5 speed transmission take it's place?

Rodger Worthen
Syracuse, UT

ORC - I've been playing phone tag to find out the details as to what it will take to make the conversion. We'll keep you posted.

Swapping In The 7.3 Liter
Ford F250

FORD READER - Will the new 6.0 psd be available in F250

ORC - Yes. You got it. It'll be an option for the Super Duty line. I just talked to a Ford Engineer at the Nevada 1000. He said the new motor is being introduced to meet future emissions regulations and is designed for better fuel effieciency than the previous 7.3 Liter PSD.

Boat Anchor For A Brain - Deranged Chevy Owner
POS Chevy

Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 9:02 AM
Subject: June2002_NewPSD6Liter

CHEVY CRACK HEAD - Yeah, like most other fords, it'll make a great anchor.

ORC - This Chevy Crack Head was referring to the new 6.0 LIter Power Stroke Diesel. This must have been the guy that we passed on our way to Utah. When I find the story I wrote, I'll post it. It's pretty damn funny what a Chevy owner, pulling a lesser load and having the a better run on the hill, looks like when he gets passed by a Power Stroke that is lugging a bigger load and backed up in traffic on the grade heading up into Cedar City, Utah from Las Vegas. It was good for a laugh that still gets a chuckle out of me when a see some chump driving around in an IFS Chevy DuraCracks.

Tires That Fit
Ford 4x4

I just want to ask you guys, what would be the best tire & wheel size for me.
My truck is 4X4 off road. I'm going to put a three-inch lift on it. I don't really what wide tires. I like taller and narrower I what to put Super Swampers on it
Thanks for you time.

Without rubbing, you should be able to easily fit a set of 33-inch tires. A set of 35-inch tires may rub unless you do further modifications. It's tough to tell judging by the F-150 we have in the garage. The truck has suffered many abuses and many modifications. Fiberglass fenders were immediately attached, which can be found at in Las Vegas, Nevada, in Azusa or in San Dimas, California. This gave us greater clearance to stuff the 35-inch Goodyear MTR's and the Currie-built 9-inch rear end.

Anyway, I'd go for the longevity and reliability of the BFGoodrich All Terrains or Mud Terrains but the Goodyear MTR's are also a very good choice for a mud-type tire. I also prefer taller tires over wider, especially when considering U-joints and other drive train components. For me, Swampers are usually just foo-foo tires that simply wear out faster than you can replenish the green in your wallet. I say usually because the Swampers is an excellent rock crawling tire.

Take Care and Good Luck,
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