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Old 12-24-2019, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Quinte West, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 20

Dimples - '07 Ford Ranger Sport
90 day: 18.28 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by gmguy64 View Post
Hey all,

I am new to the forum and I am in the process of making some different modifications to my truck to make it more aerodynamic.

Some top things on my list are:

- Lowering truck using DJM 4/5 kit - so expensive
- Lower profile side mirrors
- Flush Door handles
- Radio Antenna delete/relocation
- Front Air dam or lower valence panel
- Windshield wiper blade cowl or possible delete

If anyone maybe has a similar year Ranger or has made some of these modifications before, are there any other suggestions that you might have?

Mines not precisely what yours is. Mines quite a bit newer, but aside from some cosmetic and suspension differences, they are almost the same truck.

Lowering the truck and adding the air dam should help some, but I dont think it will be as big of an improvement vs the cost. The rear axle (assuming you have the 8.8" rear end) is as easy as getting a shackle kit, or doing a U bolt flip. That might save you a bit of money. Or some people remove the rear suspension blocks. Depending on your trim level, this might be super cheap. I think mine had the 2 1/2" blocks, pulling those out lowered it 2" 1/2" before even doing an axle flip.

For the front, it depends on what suspension setup you have, ford made 3 throughout the ranger history and some of them both at the same time.

If you have the torsion bar suspension like I do, easy, you can turn down the adjuster key drops and net about 2" of front end drop easily, or inexpensive replacement drop keys can bring you down to 4" front drop.

If you have the coil suspension, drop spindles or a lower control arm spring kit can do that easily.

If you have the Twin I-beam suspension (doubtful) then its a nightmare to lower. You essentially have to replace the I-beams. Thats not fun.

Moving along to the ranger.. Modern trucks have a tailgate lip to smooth the air over the tailgate. Rangers dont. A tonneau cover works, but that's debatable, and you can build an aerocover like a few guys have here. Or a cap -MAY- help. Often the added weight cancels out the aero benefit of the cap. In my case, it improved slightly on highway and worsened in town.

Other mods can be the front air dam. The front of the ranger is not smooth in any way shape or form. Same with grill blocks, and filling in the millions of cracks in the front of the ranger. I havent been able to test this myself just yet.

Also, the engine your ranger has along with its drivetrain is something to consider. Mine is the 2nd worst for fuel economy to begin with. I have the 3.0 Vulcan and the 5 speed manual. The only other worse one is the 3.0 Vulcan and the Automatic. Your ranger could have the 2.5, or 2.3L engines which were better on fuel. Expecially for the manual transmission ones. So perhaps swapping to that would better. The 4.0 Is a little better on fuel because it has a ton more power, but it still isn't great.

Also consider your rear end. If youre like me with the 4.10 rear end- that isn't made for efficiency. Its made for power. The ratio means that the driveshaft turns 4.10 times per revolution of tire. On the highway my truck runs at around 2500-3000rpm. If I swapped to a 3.73 or lower, it would reduce my RPM considerably. The question Is, would the engine make sufficient power to scoot the truck along at that speed in the highest gear? Well. You get the idea.

4x4 is another issue. If you have the 4x4- even if it's off, it still puts a loss on the engines power. Maybe swap down to a 2wd. Less weight, less parts running. You can go down, but you cannot go up on rangers. Frames are different.
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