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Getting Started With PreRunners

Big Hoss

Member
I'm quite new to all of this, I know some things but not a whole lot. I'm looking at building a low budget or a beginner prerunner. I was thinking of buying a Ranger and doing mostly bolt on kits or simple things. I wouldn't say that I'm quite mechanically inclined, but a lot of determination. I have seen a couple forums, if anybody knows any threads to get me started instead of relaying information feel free to share the link with me. What I'm looking for is something that looks the part, like Fiberglass Bedsides and Fenders. As well as some function-ability too. So suspension work would need to get done too. It wont be a serious build but one that I can hit some bumps with and have fun with besides. Like I said I haven't bought a Ranger yet but very seriously looking into it just to do a build like this. So if it would be easier or better to buy a 2wd instead of 4x4 that would be the route I would pursue. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks yall.
 

Turbonick

Member
That's a fantastic question. To be honest it's all preference what chassis you start with. A beamed ranger or a beamed f150 is probably the easiest chassis to begin with. I chose an f150 because I wanted a fullsize.

Regardless of what you choose, you need to decide a realistic budget. Because these can be done cheaply or very expensive. Then you need to decide on suspension work and wheel and tire combination and then dress it with some fenders to finish it off. However othere will have a different process. Also do you want a caged truck? You should consider getting a cage.
 

Big Hoss

Member
I've been looking on the forum and I appreciate you showing me it, overall it would be best for me to say that I have quite a few questions and I just don't know much about vehicles. I live up in Minnesota, so I won't (or not that I believe) need a cage. I don't have any plans of taking it seriously off-roading. Maybe in a year or two, I would go that route when I'm more financially stable for it. Maybe its just me but there doesn't seem to be much information or instructions, so to say, on how to build one except for Fabrication work. Budget wise I would like to have it be a project, so adding some things to it little by little is fine with me. But overall budget excluding vehicle would be around 5-7k this number is off the top of my head as a total investment. Sorry for making these long drawn out posts but I just want to be able to get my thoughts out in the open. Would you guys be able to answer some of those questions that I'd mentioned before for me?
 

Big Hoss

Member
I'm gonna go ahead and list the couple questions I have currently, I've been looking on Camburg at their products and I was wondering what would be considered more necessary than pointless and waste of money investments. I'm just gonna rattle these questions off.
Is it easier to work on the earlier, beamed trucks?
If I was looking at doing leafs in the back (which I've been looking at Deaver 10's or 7's) how do I figure out what size shocks I would need?
And the Deaver leafs say that you should invert the shackle mount. If I don't, is there any serious downside, and how would I even go about doing that?
Should I look into getting a bolt in bed cage?
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
bolt in bed cage is a Waste of space if its only for 2 shocks, save your money, u dont need That much metal for a simple shock mount., but, they can be a good starting platform for a chase set up, , racks, spare tire mounts ect.also, land of 10k lakes?, lottsa muddd??, go for the 4x4 ranger, you can still get good travel number up front
 

Big Hoss

Member
Do you know of any bolt-on kits for 4x4 front long travel suspension, I would like something simple that I can do at home. I don't have a welder so I can't weld anything together, and I appreciate the info towards a bolt-on bed cage. I'd be interested in a 4x4 but I don't have the facilities to build one from what I've seen. I just don't have the stuff to do serious fabrications.
 

Big Hoss

Member
That's the thing though, I can't do the welding or fabrication. So I'm looking for a bolt on kit. I will try to be more active on here due to the responses I'm getting. I appreciate the help and suggestions guys keep em coming.
 

michael.gonzalez

Well-Known Member
3300k (standard)

6000k (baller upgrade)
 

Big Hoss

Member
I've decided to get a 2wd ranger for this project, I'm thinking about the camburg 5.5 kit with fox shocks. Then deavers for the rear and fox shocks again for rear. Any recommendations for the deavers. Should I get 7s or 10s? The most I would have in the trunk would be a spare tire carrier or a lock box.
 

jeff

Moderator
Buy a cheap but mostly sorted out (driving) 4x4 truck. Drive it... Break it... Learn to work on it. Take the time you've saved by purchasing a runner and go have fun with it and if someday you want to build your own you'll have learned where you need to spend a lot of money and where you can save a few bucks.

Aloha
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
yeah!, ive always done that, i mean you paid for it, Break it if your gonn a up grade any ways, its nice over driving stock, break it, learn handling quirks, Then up grade, if you up grade right off the bat, you usually run out of enough talent to break it.
 

Quailhunter

Covert Troll.
Big Hoss, have a look at Autofab's online site. Study what they have available for a 2wd Ranger.
They have great oldschool parts that you can bolt on and beat the hell out of.
Great place to start.
 

Zac Reish

Well-Known Member
I totally agree with jeff. Buying something thats decent and sorted for a first vehicle to get you in the dirt will not only stoke your fire but teach you things along the way. You will be money ahead and literally 1000's of dirt miles ahead vs trying to blaze a path with no experience. Not knowing how to weld, fab, and have little mechancal skills and and trying to build out even a basic truck is going to be frustrating and expensive. If you have the money to build a truck save a little more and buy a truck thats done and enjoy someone else's trial and error/labor. Your patience and diligence with respect to saving money will pay off in dividends. Add into the budget regardless of if you build or buy to get a good mig welder and start farting around. This will end up being such a valueble and money saving skill if you can weld, grind and fab steel. Good luck.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
pace yourself, start small& work Up to a tt, heck, there is a 9" pumpkin for a buck fifty ready to go in classifieds right now, parts & cars ready to beat up off road seem to be getting much cheaper .
 
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pontoontodd

Well-Known Member
Buy a cheap but mostly sorted out (driving) 4x4 truck. Drive it... Break it... Learn to work on it. Take the time you've saved by purchasing a runner and go have fun with it and if someday you want to build your own you'll have learned where you need to spend a lot of money and where you can save a few bucks.

Aloha
Absolutely this especially since you don't seem to know exactly what you want and can't fabricate.
I would add that finding an expert to tune the shocks (if they're not already) would be worth every penny.
Most likely both of these things you would purchase in the southwest and road trip it / ship back home to MN.
 
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