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Thread: Ford Ranger (Americas) 1st gen 1982-1992

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    Ford Ranger (Americas) 1st gen 1982-1992

    The Ford Ranger sold in the Americas is a range of pickup trucks manufactured and marketed by Ford in North and South America under the Ranger nameplate. Introduced in early 1982 for the 1983 model year, the Ranger is currently in its fourth generation. Developed as a replacement for the Mazda-sourced Ford Courier, the model line has been sold across the Americas; Ford of Argentina began production of the Ranger for South America in 1998.

    Through its production, the model line has served as a close rival to the Chevrolet S-10 and its Chevrolet Colorado successor (and their GMC counterparts), with the Ranger as the best-selling compact truck in the United States from 1987 to 2004. From 2012 to 2018, the Ranger model line was retired in North America as Ford concentrated on its full-size F-Series pickup trucks. For the 2019 model year, Ford introduced a fourth generation of the Ranger (after a seven-year hiatus). The first mid-size Ranger in North America, the model line is derived from the globally-marketed Ford Ranger (revised to fulfill North American design requirements).

    The first three generations of the Ranger were produced by Ford at its Louisville Assembly (Louisville, Kentucky), Edison Assembly (Edison, New Jersey), and Twin Cities Assembly Plant (Saint Paul, Minnesota) facilities; the final 2012 Ranger was the final vehicle produced at the St. Paul facility. The current fourth-generation Ranger is manufactured by Ford at Wayne Stamping & Assembly (Wayne, Michigan). Ford of Argentina produced the Ranger in its General Pacheco facility from 1998 to 2011; it replaced the North-American designed version of the Ranger with the current Ranger T6 for 2012 production.

    Development
    For the 1972 model year, the Ford Courier was introduced as the first compact pickup truck sold by Ford. Following the rise of the compact truck segment during the 1960s, Ford entered into a partnership with Mazda to market the Mazda B1800 in North America; the Courier would become the first of several jointly manufactured vehicles between the two companies from the 1970s into the 2000s. Along with minimizing the risk for Ford of developing a vehicle in an unfamiliar market segment, the partnership provided Mazda with critically needed funds.

    While sharing the cab and chassis with its Mazda counterpart, to increase its sales potential in North America, the Courier adapted design elements of the Ford F-Series, with twin round headlamps, silver grille, and "FORD" lettering on the hood above the grille. In 1977, the Courier and B1800 (later B2000) were redesigned with a larger cab, redesigned pickup bed, and tailgate. While closer in appearance to its Mazda counterpart, the Courier was given signal/parking lamps inset in the grille (rather than the bumper); an optional 2.3L Ford engine was not available the Mazda pickups.

    From 1972 to 1982, the Ford Courier was manufactured alongside the Mazda B-Series in Hiroshima, Japan. To avoid the 25% Chicken tax on imported trucks, both vehicles were imported as cab-chassis trucks (taxed at 4% tariff). Following their importation to United States, pickup-truck beds shipped separately from Japan were installed before shipment to dealers.

    Project Yuma (19761982)
    In 1976, Ford commenced development on "Project Yuma" as a replacement for the Courier. In addition to designing the first domestically-produced compact truck, another key factor driving the $700 million project was compliance with the fuel economy standards of the mid-1980s. At the launch of the project in 1976, Ford predicted that for the company to properly comply with 1985 CAFE standards, nearly 50% of pickup trucks sold in the United States would require a 4-cylinder engine. In 1976, compact trucks held a 5% share of pickup truck sales, with Ford predicting an expansion to 50% by 1985, equaling nearly a million sales per year.

    Project Yuma was centered around quality and fuel efficiency. At the beginning of the project, Ford researched additional elements that were valued by potential compact truck buyers. Along with flexibility for both work and personal use, Ford found that buyers desired additional interior room, including three-across seating, comfortable seats, and headroom and legroom for a six-foot tall driver; other minor details were discovered such as five-bolt wheels and a larger ashtray.

    During design, the body underwent extensive wind tunnel testing, to meet a planned 20 MPG fuel efficiency target (on its own, the standard front bumper spoiler added 1 MPG); its 0.45 drag coefficient bested that of the two-door Ford Mustang. To further improve fuel economy, the Ranger increased the use of high-strength steel and other lightweight materials, including a magnesium clutch housing, aluminum transfer case (for four-wheel drive), and a magnesium clutch/brake pedal bracket. To further save weight, the design of the front suspension was computer-optimized, rendering the front stabilizer bar optional. Though narrower than the F-Series and other full-size competitors, the cargo bed of the Ranger was given the capability to transport a four-foot wide sheet of material (considered an industry measure of space in pickup truck bed design) through the use of recesses to insert supports across the bed, allowing such material to be placed above the wheel wells.

    The 1979 fuel crisis nearly doomed the Yuma/Ranger project, as it occurred between launch of the 1979 Ford LTD and 1980 Ford F-Series. After selling nearly one million F-Series trucks in 1978, in 1980, Ford had yet to gain a profit from its redesign of the F-Series. Ford President Don Petersen kept the compact truck project alive for several reasons. By 1980, General Motors was developing its own domestically-produced compact truck, with the Chevrolet S-10/GMC S-15 providing a potential competitor. Peterson also felt, if equipped correctly, buyers would pay nearly the same for a compact truck as a full-size truck (such as the F-100).

    Around 1980, the Project Yuma truck took on the Ford Ranger name, adopting the name of the mid to upper-level trim used by the Ford F-Series and Bronco since 1965. In anticipation of the compact truck line, 1981 marked the final use of the Ranger trim for the F-Series and Bronco (replaced by XLS for 1982).

    Production
    The Ranger was produced at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky from 1982 to 1999. From 1993 to 2004, production also was sourced from Edison Assembly in Edison, New Jersey. For its entire production run until 2011, the Ranger was produced at Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St Paul, Minnesota. The final 2012 Ranger produced on December 16, 2011, ended 86 years of production at Twin Cities Assembly as well as the production of all compact pickups in the United States.

    In 2008, Ford made its first plans to end production of the Ranger in North America; although its high productivity spared it from The Way Forward, Twin Cities Assembly (built in 1925) was the oldest Ford factory worldwide.[8] Ford later extended the closure date of the factory to 2011, but in June 2011, a final closure date was announced.[9] As Twin Cities was the sole production location of the Ranger in North America (from 1982), its closure brought the production of the Ranger to an end after 29 model years. The 2011 model year was the final model year for retail sales, with a shortened 2012 model year for fleet sales; the final North American-market Ranger (a white SuperCab Sport produced for pest-control company Orkin) was produced on December 16, 2011.

    Over its production life, the chassis and suspension of the Ranger would be used for several compact Ford trucks and sport-utility vehicles. During the 1990s and 2000s, Mazda adopted a badge-engineered version of the Ranger, for their B-Series nameplate (the reverse of the Ford Courier produced by Mazda).

    In 2015, as part of contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers, leaked reports over the future of the Michigan Assembly Plant included the potential decision of replacing Ford Focus and Ford C-Max production with an American-market version of the global Ranger. Along with the revival of the Ranger nameplate, the UAW negotiations also included a potential revival of the Ford Bronco SUV. At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Ford confirmed the return of the Ranger and Ford Bronco, with the Ford Ranger as a 2019 model-year vehicle.

    Source: Wikipedia

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    First generation (19831992)
    The first Ranger rolled off the Louisville assembly line on January 18, 1982. While initially slated for a traditional autumn release, to more closely compete with the introduction of the Chevrolet S-10, Ford advanced the launch of the 1983 Ranger several months, with the first vehicles reaching showrooms in March 1982.

    Initially sold alongside its Courier predecessor, the first 1983 Ranger was priced at $6,203 ($16,570 in 2018). While far smaller in exterior size than the F-Series, 4x4 Rangers offered a payload of 1,600 pounds, matching or exceeding the F-100 in payload capacity. For 1984, the Ford Bronco II two-door SUV was introduced. Similar in size to the 19661977 Bronco, the Bronco II used a shortened version of the Ranger chassis, along with much of its interior components.

    For the 1989 model year, the Ranger underwent a major mid-cycle revision to improve its exterior aerodynamics and interior ergonomics. For 1991, the Ford Explorer SUV was derived from the facelifted Ranger, sharing its front fascia, chassis, and interior components.

    Chassis specification
    The first-generation Ranger uses a body-on-frame chassis design; while using a chassis developed specifically for the model line, the Ranger adopts many chassis design elements from the F-Series. Along with traditional leaf-spring rear suspension, the Ranger is fitted with Twin I-Beam independent front suspension. To minimize unsprung weight, the Twin I-Beams were constructed of stamped high-strength steel (rather than forged steel).

    Rear-wheel drive was standard, with part-time four-wheel drive as an option (never offered in the Courier). Dependent on configuration, the Ranger was produced in three wheelbases: 107.9 inches (6-foot bed), 113.9 inches (7-foot bed), and 125 inches (SuperCab, introduced in 1986).

    For 1989, rear-wheel anti-lock brakes became standard.

    Powertrain
    From 1983 to 1992, the first-generation Ranger was powered by 2.0L and 2.3L versions of the Ford "Lima" inline-4, the 2.8L, 2.9L, and 4.0L Ford Cologne V6, the 3.0L Ford Vulcan V6, and four-cylinder diesel engines sourced from Mazda (Perkins) and Mitsubishi. Two long-running engines associated with the Ford light trucks made their debut in the first-generation Ranger; the twin spark-plug version (with distributorless ignition) of the Pinto engine was introduced in 1989, remaining in use through 2001. In 1990, the 4.0L Cologne V6 was introduced; in modified form, the engine was used through the 2012 model-year discontinuation of the Ranger in North America.

    Body design
    Slightly larger than the Courier, the first-generation Ranger was approximately 18 inches shorter and 11 inches narrower than an equivalently configured F-100/F-150. While proportioned similar to the Chevrolet S-10 and Japanese-sourced compact trucks, adopted exterior design elements from the F-Series, including its twin headlamps, chrome grille, tailgate lettering, taillamps, and cab proportions. In line with the Courier, the Ranger was offered with two pickup bed sizes; a standard 6-foot length and an extended 7-foot length. In 1986, a third configuration was introduced, as the Ranger SuperCab extended cab was introduced. Stretched 17 inches behind the front doors for additional cab space, the SuperCab was offered with the 6-foot bed length; four-wheel drive SuperCabs were sold only with V6 engines.

    During its production, the first-generation Ranger was offered with several seating configurations. A three-passenger bench seat was standard, with various types of bucket seats offered (dependent on trim level). As part of the 1989 mid-cycle update, a 40/60 split-bench seat was introduced. The SuperCab was offered with a pair of center-facing jump seats, expanding capacity to five.

    From 1983 to 1988, the interior saw few major revisions. In 1986, the instrument cluster was revised, allowing the fitment of a tachometer. To streamline production, the Ranger shared interior components with other Ford vehicles, sharing the steering column, door handles, and window controls from the Ford Escort, Ford F-Series, and Ford Bronco; nearly the entire driver's compartment of the Ford Bronco II was directly sourced from the Ranger.

    For 1989, the Ranger underwent a mid-cycle redesign with new front fenders, a restyled hood and grille, and flush-mounted composite headlamps (with larger marker lamps). To further improve aerodynamics, the front bumper was redesigned and enlarged to fit more closely with the front fenders. The interior was given a redesign, including new door panels, new seats, and an all-new dashboard (introducing a glovebox). To improve ergonomics, the instrument panel was redesigned for improved legibility, with automatic transmission Rangers receiving a column-mounted gearshift; manual-transmission versions saw the removal of the key-release button from the steering column.

    A four-speed manual transmission was standard on all engines for 1983 and 1984, with a five-speed manual as an option; a three-speed automatic was offered on 2.3L and 2.8L engines. For 1985, the five-speed manual became the standard transmission, with a four-speed automatic offered on non-diesel Rangers. For 1989, the Mazda M5OD-R1 transmission became the standard transmission.

    Trim
    The first-generation Ranger was marketed in five trim levels: S, Ranger, XL, XLS, and XLT. Intended largely for fleet sales, the Ranger S (introduced in 1984) was offered with virtually no available options. While still largely a work truck, the Ranger XL offered color-keyed trim, floor mats, and chrome bumpers. The XLS was marketed as the sportiest version of the Ranger, offering bucket seats, blackout trim, and tape stripe packages (essentially the successor to the 1970s "Free Wheeling" trims) while the XLT was offered with two-tone exteriors, chrome exterior trim, and upgraded interior trim.

    The Ranger STX was introduced in 1985 for Ranger 4x4s on the West Coast of the United States, becoming fully available for 1986. Offering a "sport" suspension and larger tires, the STX was denoted by the offering of a bucket-seat interior and model-specific two-tone paint scheme.

    S - Included: Vinyl upholstery, tachometer (only on 4x4 models), halogen headlamps, black foldaway mirrors, and manual transmission.
    Sport - Added: power steering, tachometer on 4x2 and 4x4 models, rear step bumper, an AM stereo with digital clock or an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and clock, and aluminum rims.
    Custom - same as S.
    XLT - Added: cloth upholstery, sliding rear window, chrome rear step bumper, and deluxe wheel trim.
    STX - Added: tachometer on 4x2, floor console, fog lamps, an AM/FM stereo with clock, and sport cast aluminum rims.

    Following an initial late 1986 introduction in California, Ford marketed the Ranger GT option package from 1987 to 1989. Marketed as a "sport pickup", the Ranger GT was offered only for regular-cab two-wheel drive Rangers. Powered by a 140 hp 2.9L V6 (paired with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission), the Ranger GT was equipped with front and rear anti-roll bars, a limited-slip differential, and performance tires. Initially offered for short-bed Rangers, the Ranger GT package became available for long-bed two-wheel drive Rangers.

    The Ranger GT was available in either red, white, or blue paint colors; chrome trim was painted body color. In 1988, the exterior was modified, with a ground effects package, including a redesigned body-color front bumper, allowing for integrated fog lamps.

    For 1990, the Ranger GT was discontinued; a one-off prototype was constructed in 1989 by the Ford Truck Public Affairs office, using a V6 from a Ford Taurus SHO and a 5-speed transmission from a Mustang GT.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Ford Ranger #4
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    Ford Ranger #5
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