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Old 12-23-2019, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1999 Ford Ranger - Aerodynamic Improvements

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?

Thanks!

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Old 12-23-2019, 09:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I made a front air dam on my truck mostly because the factory chin spoiler had been destroyed by hitting snowbanks, and also because I really wanted to build an air dam. It did not affect the gas mileage.

I did none of the other things on your list because of cost (lowering kit), side effects (smaller rear view mirrors, lowering), or lack of effectiveness (everything on your list except possibly rear view mirrors).

Here is the list of what I tried, and the results: https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthre...yon-17070.html. You have a smaller truck and live in a warmer climate, so should be able to get better results than I got with my truck.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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?

Thanks!
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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Old 12-26-2019, 10:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ranger mods

Quote:
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?

Thanks!
* we know that some vehicles aero drag does not respond to lowering.Not a sure thing.
*SCCA racing mirrors cut mirror drag by more than half on my T-100.I'd recommend pursuing this mod.
*While Subaru did measure a drag reduction for flush,aircraft-style door handles on their 1985 XT,and Tesla uses nothing but flush handles,you might as well do this,however I'm unsure that you'll see anything at the gas pump.
*the antenna delete will cit drag,albeit by quite a small amount.I unscrewed mine from the base,and used Alex-35-year caulk to streamline the base (I wasn't willing to remove the fender).
*The front airdam could help or hurt.It's not a sure thing.
*I did a cowl valence and it was good for delta - Cd 0.005.Not a great reduction.
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Some links in my signature tag below on a 1998 S10 Chevy pickup truck.
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Chin Spoiler:
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Rear Spoiler Pick Up Truck
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...xperiment.html

Roof Wing
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...1-a-19525.html
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The manager of the pizza parlor knew that this vehicle got better gas mileage (around town) but he didn't know by how much. This is similar to a half-tonneau or a Camper World race truck spoiler. Something like a virtual aerocap. I think it could be improved by nipping the ends at a 45 angle.
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Old 12-27-2019, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great suggestions by everyone! I think the garden-edging lower chin is interesting! I have some of that leftover in the garage from a landscaping project

I should say, the truck is a 2.5L 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual, 2WD with 7.5" rear end and 3.73 gearing I believe, whatever came stock. Coil spring/control arm set-up with shocks in the front.

For a cheaper lowering option, I have looked into Belltech 3" drop springs up front (with camber bolts to try and correct alignment) and an axle flip in the back which would hopefully give me 5" drop in the rear. I would need to modify the bump stops, but I think I can avoid notching the frame for now.
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My lawn edging lasted a year or two before idiots parking by braille took it's toll.

Conveyor belt material is much more robust FYI.
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Architect, Artist and Designer of Objects

1977 Porsche 911s Targa
1998 Chevy S-10 Pick-Up truck
1989 Scat II HP Hovercraft

Chin Spoiler:
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...effective.html

Rear Spoiler Pick Up Truck
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...xperiment.html

Roof Wing
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...1-a-19525.html
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kach22i View Post
My lawn edging lasted a year or two before idiots parking by braille took it's toll.

Conveyor belt material is much more robust FYI.
Where is the best place to order conveyor belt material for cheap?

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