Mud in my Veins
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Paducah, KY
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Re: what truck to start with?
For the Ford Rangers personally I'd go with one of the TTB 2wd's or 4x4's. So basically any year Ranger before 97 or 96, I forget which year they switched to torsion bar IFS. Might even be 98 as the cut off. Personally I'd try for about a 94-95 with a 4.0L V6 and 5 speed stick. From before the previously mentioned OBD-II overmind computer so engine mods would be easier, and the engine still has a good amount of power.
F150, again, I'd go for a TTB F150, 2wd or 4x4, so basically you are looking at a 80-96 4x4 or 2wd's from 96 back to the late 60's at least. Lotsa good engines, but it seems like the 351W is the best bang for your buck in daily driver mpg, power, and parts availability and commonality. The 5.0L 302 is a good engine as well, you're just starting with a smaller package is all.
Toyota........IFS is the hot setup for PreRunners, so basically a 86-95 2wd or 4x4 would work. There are some pretty good setups available for both, from Downey's 3" kits to Total Chaos' 6" long travel kits for the 4x4's.[img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Personally I'd probably go for a 22RE fuel injected motor over the Toyota 3.0L V6. It's not a bad engine, but Toyota really crammed it in there. If you want to do any modifications to the engine, it's going to involve removal of parts. When my buddy wanted to put new belts on his 92 he ended up having a shop do it, I beleive they had to at least loosen the radiator to get clearance. I've seen 4.3L Chevy's swapped in with more room. The 22RE is a good 4 cylinder and makes good power for it's size, not to mention there are ooodles of stuff for it and many aftermarket supporters. Again, go with a 5 speed. If you want to swap something in, especially in a PreRunner where light weight is good, a fuel injected 4.3L is hard to beat. 80% the power of a 350, but much easier to make fit in the Toyota.