2006 Ford Ranger 2.3 2wd Build

Thought I'd make a build thread for my ranger to hopefully give others some ideas as well potentially get some ideas of my own :)

This is my 5th Ranger. While of the previous four I only kept one long term, I've been around the vehicle enough to say that I know a good amount of it like the back of my hand.

What it looked like when I got it home on 9/23/2016

That night I installed Fox Racing Shocks on the front end and added a new cover and did a fluid change on the 8.8 axle I planned to swap. It is regeared 4.56 already

The next morning I installed a flowmaster super 40 muffler. I let the exhuast dump after the muffler. I also got my new tires mounted and balanced. I picked up another set of ranger wheels and sprayed them black. Then got 31x10.5x15 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
That night I tried to install some MaxTrac 4" lift spindles. After an entire night of slaving away I was only able to get one side off. I picked up in the morning and found that you have to trim A LOT of the a arm to get the spindles to fit properly and be able to have the same amount of turning ability.
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With stock tires vs new tires

That night I started to mask off for plasti dip as well as "install" the FX2 sport logos I had ordered
Later that night I installed the 2" lift shackles and monroe shocks

Following that I installed the rear tires and took one picture in the morning (with painters tape still on)

It was a short lived moment of joy as while driving that day both front hubs went to crap. Thinking that the hub nut torque specs were incorrect and too low, I overtightened both of them causing them both to destroy the bearings and the spindle snouts for both sides. As a result I'm waiting until this friday to replace the snouts with those from the stock spindles.

Still on the to do list:
- Swap the axle to the 8.8 in the garage
- Repaint the shell and add explorer roof rails
- Replace intake and valve cover gaskets (two middle plugs are covered in oil)
- Replace factory radio with double din and back up camera
- Fabricate front and rear bumpers (plate steel)
- Possible short shifter?


Is the rear diff still open?

31s with 4.56s. It'll be rev happy on the highway. It'll launch from a stop but top out on the highway (I used to have 30s and 4.56s).
Is the rear diff still open?

31s with 4.56s. It'll be rev happy on the highway. It'll launch from a stop but top out on the highway (I used to have 30s and 4.56s).
Yea unfortunately it is still an open diff but I do have plans to add a spartan locker. I went with the 4.56 over the original 4.10s because I live in northern Nevada at altitude and regularly travel over mountain passes to California. It will also be regularly loaded up with camping equipment, bikes, kayaks, etc. I figured it better to have too much power rather than not enough. On my first ranger I had 4.56 with 31s and my top speed was 81mph. More than enough to keep up on the highway, but not enough to get in trouble :)


Nice transformation. Yeah the front bearings only need about 16 inch-lbs of preload on the nut (basically this is just snug with a socket by hand).

4.56:1 is about dead-on perfect for 31" tires on a 4-cyl.


Nice to see another 2wd 2.3 on the site, looks like a good start, keep it up man!

My 2006 2.3 :) I have the same 4" spindles and am looking into 4:56 gears
Thanks for the encouragement guys! Glad to see a few rangers out there.

As a side note: the spindle snouts from the stock spindles are .030 too small to fit in the maxtrac spindles. Apparently they fit in the fabtechs though.

I get the new spindles today and also got new upper control arms, lower ball joint, and tie rod ends all with grease zerks. Hope to have it all on by the weekend with the new hubs so I can go out and explore!

Definitely go for the 4.56 gear set. The power difference is very noticeable, especially when on a hill with the a/c running!