Ron1’s 1998 Ford Ranger Project


Hello new friends. My name is Ron and I am from the very small town of Dry Branch, WV in the United States. I first started auto body on my very first vehicle which was a 1969 Ford Ranger pick up truck. That’s when they were full size trucks. The cab corners, were gone, bottoms of both doors and fenders had holes you could put your fist through. The bedside near the exhaust looked like a screen you could see through. A lot of work for a 15 yr. old who had never even seen bodywork performed. Just through hearing friends talk about doing it I had an idea of what I needed to purchase. So I got started. Through using a piece of sheet metal I purchased I cut out and shaped each piece to fill every hole. I pop riveted in each piece. Then came the bondo. And boy did it. Lol. I believe it was two gallons of bondo later (in which I sanded off about a gallon of it) and a lot of elbow grease I was done. There was so many places I had repaired between holes and dents and where I had used rattle can red primer to cover all my work it was easier to just paint the rest or the truck red primer. So that was it. Didn’t have the money to buy paint so that was it. End of that project.
I have recently started on a much larger scale a restoration project on my 1998 Ford Ranger 2wd ext. cab. I had hit a deer and done some front end damage in the fall of 2016. I had already wanted to put some cool new aftermarket headlamps and tailamps, etc. just to spruce the truck up. So instead of paying a shop to repair the damage I decided to use that money to buy the accessories that I wanted and just do the repairs myself. First off my air compressor wasn’t sufficient enough to carry the workload so shopping I went. I purchased a brand new Ingersoll Rand 5 working horsepower two stage 80 gallon air compressor. It is a brute! Weighing in at 600lbs. Stands over 7’ tall on the pallet of course. Lol. Now I needed a good reliable paint gun. I searched and studied and ended up buying a special edition DeVilbiss Eastwood Plus Spray gun from Eastwood. Plus other supplies I needed. Everything said and done I had purchased rolls of sandpaper in the different grits and spray gun cleaner, wax and grease remover, etc. Now at this point I was already over 5k into the project and hadn’t even bought my paint yet. I had already picked it out and priced on several sights and a few local places as well. Let me add, I’d never used a spray gun before, first time doing a real paint job. And I chose a three stage candy paint. A color I just had to have. So, at $908 later I am the proud owner of a three stage candy apple red paint. At this point I have torn the truck down with the bed off and fenders off. Will be taking the hood off but waiting to get fenders done so I can have the work stands available. I have not painted the first thing yet. I have welded up emblem holes on both fenders. Well, three fenders to tell the truth. I’m not a welder either and I warped the original drivers fender real bad. I even cut out that sections and welded in a patch panel. I repaired with bondo but wasn’t satisfied with the way the body crease was turning out so I just went to a local salvage yard and purchased another one. Now after learning from that mistake I have successfully welded up the two fenders and completed the body work. Presently I’m going over the doors inside and out removed everything and fixing small door dings and rock chips. I’ve repaired the dent in the hood the deer made and have purchased all the lamps in smoke color, new grill and tribal grill insert. The headlamps are led halo projection style. Led tailamps, including upper high stop lamp. I will also be spraying the frame and underside of the cab and bed with glass black Chassis Saver. That will be my first spraying that I will do. But instead of using my good spray gun I’m using a cheap Harbor Frieght gun for that. Sorry this intro is so long but there’s a lot going on as you can see. Plus I’m not a good short story teller. Lol Anyway, there you have it. If I can figure out how to I’ll post pics of what it looks like up till now. Including my welding fail. Not a pretty sight. Lol. Any questions or comments appreciated. Fire away. Thanks!

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hey @Ron1 - Love the story lol! Looks like you really went all in on this Ranger project. It seems that only some of your images were uploaded. Please come back and try to upload the rest. I would try 1-2 at a time to avoid loading problems.

I will say that you have a big set of balls going with a candy paint for your first job. It is a tricky paint to spray as you will need to spray the entire car assembled, well it will help you avoid color miss match that way. A silver base coat would be your best bet as a foundation base color before you spray your candy paint. Keep us posted on this project, I would love to see how it comes along! Have you ever looked into the Atom Spray Guns? They ate really great spray guns for the money, it’s now my go to spray gun for all of my custom spray work. Check out when you have some time. Thank you for the awesome story and post!


Great to hear from you Tony. I’ve not figured out yet whether it’s big balls or not much brains. Lol. I had seen this color on a classic car and had no clue what it was. But I said that’s it, I want that color. Period. I seen it in some random pics but there wasn’t any info on the paint. But a few weeks later I was hitting the Internet hard for this project and of all places I was on Pinterest checking out their classics and there it was. The very same car but with details this time. I then figured out what it was being a three stage and all and I said to myself doesn’t that figure. Lol. I just said go big or go home. And that’s where I’m at now. I am struggling a bit as I get closer to spraying time. I’m just unsure what order to spray what. As you can see I believe those pics came through, the fenders and bed are off. I need to paint back or cab, front of bed, under the hood and edges and the jambs and inside the doors as well. All this after I paint the chassis and undersides of cab and bed, and back of fenders and the front inner structure with Chassis Saver. Then like you said I have to reassemble the truck for the outside body spraying. On the back of the cab, where do I stop towards the outside edge? So that when assembled I can pick it up seemlessly from the outside panels. Front of bed same question. How close to the outter edge do I go and not be able to mess it up with overlapping patterns causing dark streaks. I know it’s in the crack but will it be noticeable or does it really matter? And I have already bought a spray gun for my base and clear. It’s the DeVilbiss Eastwood Plus. They advertise it as not being an actual HVLP gun. Which is confusing for me because I though if the cup was on top it was an HVLP. They claim it is as if not more efficient than many good quality guns. They do say that it does put out the paint though. So I’ll def have to adjust on the conservative side as to avoid runs. Any words of wisdom is greatly appreciated from you Tony and anyone with wisdom to share. Thanks in advance.


Also Tony, and all who’s on here. As you can see in the photos I have built my own home made paint booth. I believe lighting will be fine. I’ve purchased 8 4’ two bulb led lights and have two reg 4’ fluorescent work shop lights. It’s pretty bright all the way around the truck. My concern is I’m going for a positive pressure down draft booth. I’m 16’ wide 25’ long with 8’ of heigth. I calculated needing over 12,000 cfm. So each box fan is supposed to be 2,000 cfm each. I’m only going by what info I could find. I started with 5 fans but was originally only 12’ wide until I seen how cramped I’d be. And there’s no way I’m walking the vehicle sideways rubbing the wall. No way I can get the results I need like that. So, I added two more fans. Should ideally if correct info be at 14,000 cfm. I’ve got 6 slots for 20” x 25” filters in the doors on the opposite end of the booth from the fans. I turned them on while sanding and it seemed the dust moved good toward the front of the booth going out the holes without filters for now. But the truck facing front of the booth seemed to have the dust swirling back towards underneath the fans from approx half way of the booth. But also approx where the back of the cab is. I’m thinking maybe it’s deflecting off the back of the cab and causing the problem. Not sure. Gonna turn the truck around and see. But, does anyone think the balance will be ok with 7 fans blowing in and 6 exit holes same size. Will this cause the positive pressure I need. Didn’t want dirt being pulled inside so I’m using positive pressure. I live in Cabin Creek West Virginia and there are loads of coal trucks running approx 40’ in front of my garage averaging 40+ mph. And train tracks even closer behind my garage. A lot of dust here. As you can guess. I’ve looked and looked for info on having a balance. Some equation I could use for balanced positive pressure but could not find anything. I’m trying to go by the book as best I can with what budget I have had so far. But now I have been laid off from the underground coal mine and the budget has gotten much smaller. But I’ve got pretty much everything purchased I believe. Anyway, if anyone has info for me on this or anything you want to share it would be much appreciated. I know this is painfully long but I have questions and trying to paint the pictures for you guys so you can best respond. One more thing, my windshield trim is very brittle, has already chipped off a corner trying to pry up easy just to get a 1/4” rope under it. Can’t afford to have it removed and then put back and also take a chance on breaking it. But, what I need and can’t find is the replacement trim. Mine is hard and brittle. Don’t know if it is dried out rubber or plastic. But mine is one piece all the way around the windshield. All I found online for my truck was one piece just up the sides and across the top. Any ideas where I can find what I’ve got to replace it or something else that’s sufficient. I want good clean lines. No matter how many pcs. Thanks.


As far as the base color you were talking about Tony, I do have a bright silver metallic base coat. I have purchased all UreKem paint products. Gray epoxy, gray primer surfacer, stellar silver metallic base, and the HS polyurethane Glamour Clear coat. Just FYI. Comments welcomed. Thanks.


Morning Ron
The reason you can not find the molding is it not a seperate piece can not be purchased go to your local glass shop and look at the replacement windshield it has the molding attached



Oh wow! SCCaptain, that is not good news. To your knowledge, is there any way to get the rest of this mounding off of the windshield without breaking the windshield? And if so, what could I put back in its place to make it look good. If anybody has any ideas I’d greatly appreciate it. I’ll try to get some photos of the mounding where it’s damaged to give you guys a visual to maybe spark some creative thought in those beautiful minds. Thank you SCCaptain for this information. I greatly appreciate it.


If you chat with your glass guys they may have a replacement option that shouldn’t be to expensive I have removed the windshield with a long flex knife from the inside as it is a glue in style



Ok. Sounds like a plan Frank. I’m gonna try to catch my local guy and talk to him. I’ve been afraid of removing the windshield for fear of breaking it but I’d love to have it out for when I paint. I’m gonna take the back glass and two back side glasses out. They just bolt in and of course do have sealant but shouldn’t be too hard. Mainly just the interior getting to the bolts will be the hardest part. I’ve got to remove the seats and then remove a huge subwoofer box that has four tens in it and unbolt an amp rack as well. Also, have to remove the rear side speakers since I made a home made bezel to mount two 6” mid range speakers there and the panels I made just to mount all of my power distribution equipment on the drivers side and my electronic crossovers on the passenger side. I’m gonna end up changing all of that as well after the paint work is finished. I’m not putting the same equipment back. I’ve got two new amps and a three way electronic crossover to run three separate amps. I’ve always loved car audio as well. I love high quality sound and I love to feel my music. :grin: After I get all of my equipment out of the way I can remove the trim panels or at least loosen them to access those bolts to remove those pcs of glass. So hopefully my last hurdle before starting to paint is the windshield. That other stuff is just work. No problem with that. I’ll get it eventually. This has turned out to be a much larger project than it started. It went from a paint job to more of a restoration job. I still need to get wheels and tires for it. But the budget is tight. I’ve got some styles of wheels in mind but have to come up with the cash first. And as for tires, I want to get tires big enough to fill the wheel opening. I hate having 6” of open space over my tire to the fender. I want it to fit and be fully functional without rubbing though. I’ve read that I can fit as large as a 31x10.50 on it. Now I want to still maintain the 2wd drive look but with a wider taller street looking tire. Just some thoughts I wanted to share. I appreciate your input Frank. Thanks again.


yes those tires can fit but you have to trim the back part of the fender liner and add a spacer behind the rim but well worth the effort the reason for this is not that they need the space to fit but rubbing on the frame and getting full turn



FOh ok. That is very good to know. I’m really not wanting to have to modify too much. One thing, I definitely do not want to have the tire sticking out past the fender. I’m using a friends old Jeep Wrangler right now while my truck is apart and the tires stick out. Even though it looks really cool it throws muddy water all up the sides bad. Side windows are almost impossible to see out of after a rain. I like that full meaty look but def don’t want any rubbing or limiting my turning. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge Frank. Thanks. Keep it up. :slight_smile:


Hey there Ron1, I’m just finishing a 1999 Ford Ranger XLT myself. I’ll post some pictures as soon as I figure out how to navigate this site a little better. But I’ll be following your project I’m very interested in how it turns out. Keep up the great work


Thanks for taking interest in my project Tupatee. My project actually was born after hitting a deer year before last. I had a shop do an estimate for me whom I had used before. But, I had already wanted to put some aftermarket headlamps with the smoke proection halo LED style. I wanted all my lights to match as well. The shop owner said it would probably be easier if I would just have my insurance company do a cash out on the claim. I didn’t know they would do that. I have State Farm for anyone who doesn’t know that they will do that. So, l made the call and they done a direct deposit for me after a week or so had past. So, I started hitting the web. Amazon, Ebay were used heavily. After many hours of searching and decision making I purchased all my aftermarket parts and some extra trinkets along the way. After all of that I decided that I wanted to go ahead and paint the entire vehicle because after removing the factory stripes I discovered that the paint underneath was so much whiter than the rest of the truck. So I pitched the idea of painting the whole truck to my wife and she said go for it. She didn’t know what she just got started. If you’ve read my past post you’ve seen where I chose a candy paint for my first paint job. This is gonna be a challenge. Tony even said I had big balls. Lol. But I just seen a color I just had to have and it happened to be candy apple red candy. I’ve got it tore down as you can see in the photos, and I’ve now even removed the hood as well. I’ve been doing detail work under the hood right now. The small details is what makes the difference. After this I’m gonna paint the frame with the Chassis Saver and the underside of the body panels for protection. I’m gonna try and add a few pictures as soon as I get the engine compartment detailed out. I’ll try and keep you posted with play by play photos. I have to check out you posts. You take care.


Yea man, BIG BALLZ LOL!!!


“If you don’t challenge yourself you won’t grow” I am not sure who said that but I remeber it and would like to smack them …lol



mean kenny hey Ron it is great what you are doing. now when you drive by and see some one setting on a porch near the river you can honk wave and shake your head and yell GET OFF THE PORCH. no everyone i can spell better ,these are simple words. ron i am doing a 96 ranger xlt ext. for nurse april [daughter[ . i have about 6to 7k in this one. guess hough is paying for it. i am trying to put nrg steering wheel on ya haa. i have not got paint yet the color i going to be 69 ranger pes cock blue. i figure paint stuff about 1200.00 ha yea haw. good luck imean good skill.we are different ask anyone. from mean kenny w ky.


Amen brother. Seems to get me in more trouble. Lol
I should have just painted my truck white and I’d have already been long past done. But noooo, I had to go with this candy paint candy apple red and paid $908 for it. Now every time I see a tiny imperfection I’m headed at it with the bondo. Lol. I’m a perfectionist. Actually I think it’s called OCD. Lol I keep saying I’ve done went and paid all that money for that paint and I don’t want to take any shortcuts. Instead of a paint job this has turned out to be more of a restoration project. Smh. I’ve went and removed all the back windows. Gonna take that windshield out as well. Can’t stand it. I’ve went around the windshield and cut all of that trim off of it. No turning back now. I’ve got 15’ of replacement trim coming. Just hope I don’t bust the windshield. Ive also got a tool to cut the urethane to remove it coming too. I got to looking at the top rear corners of the cab and my OCD kicked in. Didn’t like the seem up there. I grinded the seam sealer out and welded it. Then the body filler. I’ll post a few pics to update my project. You have a wonderful day Frank.


Hello Meankenny, sounds like you’ve got a pretty good project going on there. I’d love to see some pics as you go along. I’ve got pics posted on mine pretty close to being current. Except for some tedious sanding on the doors snd jambs. I ending up cutting the old moulding off the windshield. Me and Frank on here had discussion about it earlier in my posts. The 1998 Ranger came with the moulding glued to the windshield. The moulding has a very thin aluminum stiffener inside of it. It was a booger but I believe I got it. I purchased some windshield moulding that is just rubber only. It is shaped just like the original moulding. But it is supposed to be glued onto the windshield before it’s put in. I’ve been told by a windshield man that I will not get that windshield out without breaking it. So, I am going to cut off the lip (for the lack of the proper word) that cups around onto the inside surface of the windshield. After the paint work is finished I will put just enough urethane down into the crack all around the windshield and press the moulding down into it. And then I may have to tape it down long enough for it to set in. Weather has been killing me in the last couple weeks. I need to put my truck outside so I can bring in the truck bed. I built a dolly for the bed so I can just push it around the garage with one finger if I wanted. Turned out pretty cool. Anyway, I built a removeable wall in the side of my paint booth so I could just wheel the bed in after I pull the truck out. But it won’t stop raining. I should have waited to build my paint booth till after all the bodywork and sanding was complete, but I got all excited when I received my wife’s blessing to do the project so I jumped pretty quick. And just now starting to look. Ugh. Could have been easier. The bed and dolly are pushed up against the wall and barely enough room to move around it. Plus I reall don’t want sanding dust on everything around it in that part of the garage. Rain is supposed to keep going on everyday except one I believe. I may sneak in a little bodybwork on the bed that day if I’m lucky. I’ve still got bare metal showing at all of my bodywork locations. Cannot put it out in the rain. Lucky so far that flash rust hasn’t been an issue. I need to go ahead and epoxy all of that but need to clean my booth out completey before spraying anything. It would be a lot easier without the truck in the way. But that’s not happening in the next week. That’s the latest situation. I’ll keep everyone updated with photos as soon as I take the next batch. Thanks for your interest in my project. Keep up all the good posts everybody. Let’s see whatcha got. Show any homemade paint booth pics or any dollies you’ve built, etc. I’ll show mine when I finally get it in the booth. Any little tips and tricks you guys have used during your projects either now or in the past, if you can take a pic or just tell the story post it. Everyone I’m sure would love to see and read about it. Everybody can learn and grow using this PUB Tony has created for us. This is a great opportunity for you guys to strut your stuff and teach others at the same time. Let’s get strutting all you auto DIYers and pros alike. Teach and learn. Thanks everybody!


mean kenny; wow slow slow get the epoxy primer on it. then you can take your time. yes for diy all of us that includes you have hollard about the high price of beef. dont for get to guide coat. it alone will make things perfect. wear your latex gloves no skin oil on anything. let primer set a week so your can walk around it 100,000.00 times then fall in love.


Yes MeanKenny your right I need to get that primer on it now. It sucks using my diy paint booth as a body work area too. I need to pull the truck outside and scrub that whole booth, but I still have the bed and tailgate that needs went over. The bed I know has several dents but tailgate I’m not sure. I haven’t been able to pull the truck outside the garage for the rain. Every time I have time to go out there it’s raining. So tired of this dang rain. I am gonna try to do a half ass cleaning job and wet the floor and maybe that will be good enough to shoot the epoxy. Wish me luck. Thanks MeanKenny for you infinite wisdom. :slight_smile: