Ford Ranger Upper Ball Joints, Exhaust, & More, Save Big $$$

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Ford Ranger Upper Ball Joints, Exhaust, & More, Save Big $$$

Postby andysbeef » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:59 am

When replacing the 'upper' ball joints on a Ford Ranger (mine being a 2000) the 'book' tells you to replace the whole upper control arm. The dealer cost is $675, Bell Tire is $450. Well guess what, your local parts store has replacement ball joints for $38 a PAIR and they give you the tools (internal spring compressor and ball joint press tool) to use free. The job was easy/quick. The control arm came off without a hitch, you have to take the arm off to get at the ball joint, and the ball joint pressed out/in using the same procedure as the lower. The control arm goes back in, in the exact same position and all that is necessary is a front end alignment for around $50 when the 'joints' are done (front end alignment is needed no matter which way you go).....NO BIG DEAL. A HUGE cost saver when doing it yourself and replacing the joints only.....don't believe the 'book'.
If your not a fan of a bit of work CarParts.com has upper or lower control arm assemblies, single or pairs for a good price.
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Re: Ford Ranger Upper Ball Joints, Exhaust, & More, Save Big $$$

Postby andysbeef » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:35 am

When fixing your Ranger exhaust system, it's 'usually' the attachment assembly 'flange' that clamps the Cat pipe with the mufler pipe that rots/rusts first. A good low-cost fix, make a new flange adapter for the Cat pipe. You will save around $350-$525 for this first step (3 different Cat assemblies to choose from), no need to replace the Cat assembly. Make or have made the adapter then measure back 1 3/8" from the mounting flange or 2" from the end of the pipe and 'cut' the Cat pipe. If you look closely your pipes are in decent shape....it's the flanges that are rotted/rustsed off & mufler that's usually gone. Second step to save another bundle (about $60, galv. mild steel pipe, much more the stainless O.E.M. version) is to cut the mufler pipe off, rear of the mufler, as close to the mufler as possible saving the stainless steel tail pipe.
Mount your new adapter onto the cat pipe as far as it will go bottoming it out, line-up the holes/plate horizontally. This puts the mounting flange front face in the exact same position as O.E.M. Then add your new donut gasket, mufler with hanger and a new 'front' mufler pipe with spring assembly. The spring assembly usually can be saved re-using the springs....I made new shoulder bolts using 3/8" grade 8 bolts 3 1/2" long with 1/4 pipe nipples (has 3/8" I.D.) 1 5/8" long used to make the bolts into shoulder bolts. A new spring/bolt assembly costs $18, my new bolts/parts cost me around $2.
The whole job was under $100 saving around $400. The new adapter has a 3/8" plate versus the O.E.M. 3/16".
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Re: Ford Ranger Upper Ball Joints, Exhaust, & More, Save Big $$$

Postby andysbeef » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:31 am

This post is creating a REAR fender liner for a 2000 Ford Ranger. I heard rumors that on some models rear fender liners were included but I couldn't find any.
If you own a truck for any length of time you know one of the first things to rust out is the front/lower bed box corner....just about on any truck. The Ranger has a pathetic small shield behind the rear wheel and nothing in front of the tire. So consequently I not only had the 'box' rust out I had a rear spring hanger AND the gas filler tube also rust out (Check Engine light was always on no matter what I did). First, the gas filler tube, Auto Zone and O'Reilly's will sell you one for $180....sure they will and isn't it amazing that both places were $180....go on-line to CarParts.com and get one for $20.48 plus shipping, same exact part. They all come out of the same warehouse, (Fulfillment Warehouse, 761 Progress Parkway LaSalle Illinois 61301) don't think that your getting something better from the local parts store for the extra money....your not. CarParts also has the leaf spring hanger for $26.48.
Now the shields/liner. Try to get 1/16 inch thick black Polypropylene sheet (cut into 6 pieces 12 x 48), I was a 'bit' impatient and ordered 1/8 inch. That is no big deal I just had to use a heat gun to pre-bend the mounting ear and put a little contour into the upper portion where it mounts to the fender. I started by taking the OEM part and a cardboard template adding 2 inches to the bottom (tucks behind the mud flap & added a mounting hole from the mud flap bracket), 4 inches to the 'inner' side and tweaking the outer fender contour. Then I flipped over the template and put notes on it to add the correct amount for the front piece, I would suggest making a new template for the front. I say this cause double checking I found out that I needed 2 1/4 inches for the lip that goes under the box and not 1 1/2 inches. I drilled two 1/4" holes in the front shield to ty-rap it to the front fender strut for additional security.
I haven't made the center piece yet but the front/rear shields, the gas filler tube and the spring hanger are installed. I'm going to graft on a new front corner to the bed/box....the scrap yards want $800 - $1600 for a used replacement box, bare not including lights or lift gate then I would have to paint it for color match.....NOT! The $800 one didn't look all that good.
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