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River the 03 Edge
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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 04:18 am
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Kealel
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I've been here since pretty much the start of this forum, yet for some reason have not yet started a build thread... So I guess I'll try to catch y'all up to speed on what has happened in the past few years!


Bought her on 6/18/2015, didn't see her in person until a week later. Nothing stresses you out more than buying a manual transmission car sight unseen as your only vehicle and not knowing how to drive stick... I learned fast!


Lets get a few details out now... River is a Sonic Blue, regular cab, 4x2, manual trans, 3.0 powered, EDGE packaged truck. 


So lets get some photos up of right after buying her:














Now, if you've seen me around before, you can already tell there has been a lot of major changes done. The mods actually started getting planned since before I even saw her. That means that in the first week of owning a truck I could not drive I was already planning on how to spend money on it.


First obviously was to swap the seats out. Why? Because earlier that year due to terrible drivers in the Detroit Metro area I had to say goodbye to my 2006 Ranger before I was ready to. Some of the parts I kept were the seats.


Now, these seats didn't happen right away... Nothing did. I saw the truck for a day, then left with my friends on a week long road trip to Texas to celebrate the 4th of July! Now, if you are counting, that is 2 weeks away from a truck that I am continuously buying parts for, can not drive, and have seen in person a total of less than 10 hours. But that is how I live my life and obviously it has not come back to bite me yet! 


Fast forward. My friends and I are back to my house finally, and we are seat swapping, car washing, and battery shopping!














Unpictured: also swapped in my old radio from my 06, put in a new battery, and tried to swap out the steering wheel and failed.

A little after that I got my hands on a vinyl cutter and made some decals, and swapped in the 3rd brake light from my 2006.






a few minor changes here and there, plastidipped the grille, think I put on new fog lights by now, swapped in my first of many clusters (a white one), and put Ford logos over the Jeep ones on the rims.





That picture wants to upload upside down. I don't want to argue with it. Just like how Earth has rivers that flow backwards, this River will remain upside down.


Movin along... Just found a picture of my radio setup.






Now River is F*** sideways... Forget it. She's always been a pain. I can live with it so can you.


Next I "re" badged her. The PO removed all the badges, I put them back on.





First time I towed a "Geo Metro" and exceeded the tow rating:







I hope y'all like upside down pictures as much as this site thinks you do. My next posts will get better, I swear!


Repainted the black on the rims with one of my friends:







Next I swapped on some body color 06+ mirrors. However, to be different, I made them completely body colored!














At the same time I replaced the door panels with XLT ones with pockets.






One of my many cluster installs:






After a bad accident with a friends car, while waiting for a rescue I found a silver hubcap on the side of the road. I took it home and for the first time started to want silver rims.






Got bored one day, stuck a Ranger Emblem on my grille, didn't ever remove it.






One day I decided enough was enough. Took the topper off and never looked back.






Without a topper and a toolbox though, I realized I had no place for my tools, I had to ride around like this for a while and trust people (who in turn stole nothing)






Ever drive from your apartment to a drive through because your roomate is too lazy to get off the couch? I have.






Eventually more decals showed up one stuck around, one did not.













Next up was a silver HVAC with carbon fiber knobs





Next came a bad throwout bearing. To the shop she went.






Then Christmas of 2015 came around... I had never gotten a present addressed to my truck until then!






Started off the new year of 2016 with a bang... one of my favorite clusters!





Skip a few cluster installs and tweaking to get it right (did I mention I bought the truck with an electrical bug? Never completely fixed it but now I can at least control it) and I find this at the junkyard. Yep, time to toss the white clusters... Or maybe not!











The cluster was so dirty it needed a deep clean... Then I started to modify it and didn't stop...










I also put on OEM tails and took some nice photos.














Skip a few months, the silver paperweight is ready!


















Creatively hid the rust on my tailgate:







Another thing I wanted for a while was finally achieved... 06 Emblems with back lights!

















Next up was new rims, finally found the aluminium rims I was looking for from a member close by!








Soon after the front drivers wheel came off when I hit a water "pond" in the middle of the road at 45. It beat up the rim but I jacked the truck up, mounted it on, and drove on.






Now we are up to August 2016, when I get 06+ tails finally.






After much waiting and searching, I got myself a set of Level 2 hooks. Sure they were from an 05, but still, I had tow hooks! (also ignore the fact they were on the wrong sides... I was new at this)








Shortly after (I think 2 days) I got some new tires (BFG KO2 31") so I had to take some pictures!










Then, 8 days after the year anniversary of my throw out bearing going out for the first time, it went out again. back to the shop I go.






About a month later I accidentally found something I didn't know I needed in the junkyard...






That picture looks way better not upside down but oh well



January 2017 I had way too much fun...












Later that month, in went the very first thing I purchased for her... a Leather steering wheel from Texas!






Then, in April I swapped out my shift lever for one I modified to accept threaded knobs with a Mazda3 shift knob on it.






In May, I upgraded to 2007+ Sun visors








June 2017. This is where it all gets good. I got a call from a buddy on the other side of the state telling me I had to get over there ASAP. He found a 2007 Level 2 in the junkyard and while it was stripped of most everything, it had the rear axle. So naturally I head out the next day to grab it!






Now at this point I let another friend know I am in town and as he is having car issues I stick around and help him out for a few days until his car is golden again. Did I mention I dropped what I was doing to pick the axle up? That's why my front valence is off - I was fixing some issues I had with it and left it in the garage when I left.






Long story short I spent way more than I expected to on the axle because I restored the axle to better than new condition with disc brakes and an anti sway bar but it was all worth it. I'm not going to go into detail right now about what all I did to that axle but if you want to know feel free to ask and i'll write a whole post specifically on it.






Just a few days after the axle swap I tell myself I am done spending money on this truck as I already spent too much as it is. Nope. Bought a nice Honeycomb grille.






Fast forward a little bit more... Towing home "Geo Metro #2" the tow dolly breaks! not a huge deal, fix it in an hour and I am back on my way. Thanks to that parts truck I got a lot of great items but the best by far was the toolbox. My plastic one was sagging bad and this metal one has all sorts of emergency flashers built in!






And finally... "Geo Metro #3". Honestly, I am surprised U-Haul keeps renting to me. Anyways, this is my 4x4 Donor. My Dash with all options donor. My power doors donor. And maybe even a little more.









My biggest project yet is underway, stay tuned as next week will have some cool things added - some have not yet been discussed but here is a hint... what seems to reoccur in my build? Clusters.

Last edited on Thu Nov 30th, 2017 04:19 am by Kealel



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 07:23 pm
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mhoward
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Are you contemplating a 2004+ cluster?



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 07:45 pm
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Kealel
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mhoward wrote: Are you contemplating a 2004+ cluster?

Always am, have a level 2 cluster from the 07 thwt I got my axle from that I always consider swapping in. For now though I'm adding more mods on to the silver cluster I already heavily modded



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 08:12 pm
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mhoward
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Hmmm... other than color change, what mods are you referring to?



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 05:47 am
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Kealel
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mhoward wrote: Hmmm... other than color change, what mods are you referring to?One that has not yet been done by anyone!


On a separate note, I met a deer today at 55 mph. Truck held up better than I would expect but I have a huge list of parts I need. Good news is my parts truck has all those parts.  Ad news is that the parts are red not blue.





The skid plate I took from the parts truck is just a mangled heap of metal now, but it did its job and saved my underbelly. Bumper got shaken up good, salvageable, but I'll just swap it out with the FX4 bumper anyways, as I've been debating doing that. That honeycomb grille I loved so much and finally got my hands on after years of searching is in a thousand pieces on the road and this brings up a good time to do a 04+ front end swap. Header panel is shredded and the radiator support is twisted. Fenders are mostly fine, dented a bit but the real issue is that there is a half inch gap on each side between the hood and the fender. Not sire how to fix that. Finally the hinges were bent so I'll be putting on some nice red ones. 


My truck won't be all beautiful blue anymore and it really bums me out, but things could have gone a lot worse... I had two of my best friends in the truck with me and if I didn't react as fast as I did someone other than the deer could have been injured.


On a betrer note I am now gutting my interior... A major. Interior swap has begun.



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 12:29 pm
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mhoward
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Damn, Keegan, that just sucks. You have real shitty luck when it comes to keeping your ride in one piece. Nice that you have all those spare parts to straighten things out... looks like you are gonna learn body work and paint! Will insurance cover any of the costs or is it just liability?



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 12:36 pm
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JAMMAN

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That's real sad, glad nobody was hurt. I'm sure you'll get it back together in a timely fashion.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 01:57 am
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MaDMaXX

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Yeah, it could have been a lot worse, but instead it's just highly annoying fixing work, glad it wasn't worse though.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 03:03 am
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Kealel
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mhoward wrote: Damn, Keegan, that just sucks. You have real shitty luck when it comes to keeping your ride in one piece. Nice that you have all those spare parts to straighten things out... looks like you are gonna learn body work and paint! Will insurance cover any of the costs or is it just liability?I agree, my luck sucks! Just bought and put in a new light bulb on my drivers side fog to replace the one someone stole (yes someone stole a fog light bulb, no idea why) and that bulb is now shattered. Along with the grille I loved and everything but the tow hooks.


I am going to learn a lot of body work... Insurance is just liability and since I recently got a ticket I am not reporting this, mybrates will just skyrocket. So, lots of paint and body work ahead of me!




Also, thanks to everyone else (both who commented on this thread or texted me once they read my post) for checking in and helping out... Means the world to me!


On a lighter note, mods have been picking up... Did the Level 2 dash swap, newly mixed cluster is in (will post pics of the cluster later so you can see what is new) and the front end swap has begun! (Lol)





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Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 01:46 pm
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mhoward
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Awesome! Looking forward to the pic fest!



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 04:50 pm
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Kealel
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Time for a big update post...


First, while gathering pictures I found the last picture I took before the crash and got very sad....








I know you're mostly interested in the cluster... SO I will leave that for last!



First, I'll talk about my new interior! 


The original plan was to swap my interior with the black FX4 interior for a better look, an undamaged dash, and all power options. Since I have been working to make my truck road legal again I had time only for the dash swap. 


First, I pulled my dash out.







When doing so I realized just how bad my flooring was, So I cleaned it up a bit.










The next step was putting the new dash in, which is a little easier after you have pulled 2 dashes.







Then I put everything else in minus the cluster which I still had to solder together. Truck started (without putting in the clutch which turned out to be a bypass plug that autos have) but threw a code, most likely from the crash. Fuel level sending unit error, I'll fix that when I have time to.





Now to the next section... The Cluster!



So, this is what I started with.









And this is the lighting I was using, only one of which even still worked:






Next, I got the parts and it was ready to work!


First up was a LED strip from SuperBrightLEDs.com, I spend big money on this to ensure that it would not burn out and that if it did I would be covered. I layed it out sort of where it would go and lit it up just to see what I was working with... wow was it nice!






Next, I put in another light. Can you guess what it is? I'll say at the end of this post!






I spent a lot of time laying things out trying to get them perfect, about an hour and a half total! used some spare parts to ensure everything lit up evenly.






Eventually I settled on a layout I liked






So I tightened everything down just how I liked it!






Trimmed everything up, put on the final faces, and put it all together!










I really am sorry about the pictures upsidedown by the way, I keep trying to fix them but nothing works.


At this point, I put it in the truck to make sure everything was done right and it lit up beautifully! No hot spots at all, everything is nice and even. The picture looks bad because my camera is broken. Also, see how that bottom light is off? thats because it is a Gas light! These clusters have the hookups but not the light itself.





____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 05:09 pm
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mhoward
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Okay, first of all, I forgive you for putting the cluster last. LMAO

Gas light? Are you referring to the fuel reset or? I'm obviously missing something here. :)

At any rate, your cluster looks really nice! I like the "no hot spots"... very uniform and bright! Nice work!



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 05:12 pm
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mhoward
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Ya know, you should write a how-to on your process for the strip lighting. That would be quite useful to other members (like me). :)



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 05:33 pm
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Kealel
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mhoward wrote: Okay, first of all, I forgive you for putting the cluster last. LMAO

Gas light? Are you referring to the fuel reset or? I'm obviously missing something here. :)

At any rate, your cluster looks really nice! I like the "no hot spots"... very uniform and bright! Nice work!
Ya know, you should write a how-to on your process for the strip lighting. That would be quite useful to other members (like me). :)

How kind of you to forgive me :P


I should have clarified sorry, the light I put in is the low fuel light (comes on when your tank is on empty). My 2006 had a light built in for this feature (as do most cars) yet my truck does not (it has a red "check gage" light that is easy to miss and is not just for gas) but it does have hookups for a dedicated light.


I was surprised that I had no hotspots after the first layout design, I figured I would have to mess around a lot more with it but maybe I just remember a lot about optics from when I was working with them.


If I ever have time I would love to do a how to for it! The issue with that though is all the different ways one could do such a thing.



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 05:41 pm
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mhoward
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Low Fuel light... hmmm, thought mine had one. Now see? You are forcing me to run my tank empty so I can see if mine works (I really thought it did).

As for the how-to, I understand. I made a shortcut in my cluster info folder to this thread so I can reference it later when I recolor mine. Thanks again for the pics and info!



____________________
-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 05:55 pm
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mhoward
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Oh, forgot to ask. Does your low fuel light work now? Obviously, you have a full tank at the moment, but will it function just by putting in a bulb? Or is there more to it than that?



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 06:11 pm
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Kealel
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mhoward wrote: Low Fuel light... hmmm, thought mine had one. Now see? You are forcing me to run my tank empty so I can see if mine works (I really thought it did).

As for the how-to, I understand. I made a shortcut in my cluster info folder to this thread so I can reference it later when I recolor mine. Thanks again for the pics and info!


Trucks 03 and older have all the 4 smaller gauges tied into a light on the upper left side that says "check gage" so it comes on as a low fuel light but also when one of the other 4 smaller gauges hits their red zone. On top of that the light is very small and hard to notice, so my large bright light will help me out way more. If there is another version of these cluster with an actual gauge light for the low gas, I would looks to see it!


If you ever need to know anything else cluster wise, feel free to ask, I have a lot of info about them that is going to waste in my mind alone!



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 06:18 pm
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mhoward
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Document it! What if you get hit by a beer truck? All of that good info would be lost! LOL Joking aside, I got to thinking and I was remembering the low fuel light in my 2003 Taurus. The needle was way off on the gauge, so I had about 50 miles to go when the light came on. I would be interested to know how you hooked that up so I could do this in my truck.



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 06:23 pm
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Kealel
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mhoward wrote: Oh, forgot to ask. Does your low fuel light work now? Obviously, you have a full tank at the moment, but will it function just by putting in a bulb? Or is there more to it than that?At the moment I have yet to see my truck power it up. I have it connected to where schematics have told me where the connections are but I had a full tank when I hit the deer and have been parked since. 


There is no bulb socket for the light, rather you are just soldering a wire onto a pin on the slush gauge circuit and connecting another to ground. Once you know what goes where it is simple enough to figure out how to make the connections however since you have to break out a soldering iron and find a spot for a light it is a bit more in depth than just a bulb. 


The way I hooked up my light:


I got an amber LED strip hidden behind a custom made Ranger logo in the spot where autos have the shift indicator. Since it is an LED strip, it already has the wires that need to be connected.


The positive end I soldered on the 2nd from the left pin on the slush circuit (the removable circuit board on your cluster) as that is the pin that goes to the "check gage" light. I then prevented that pin from powering the "check gage" light with a little bit of electrical tape in the right spot.


The negative end I soldered into the 2nd from the left illumination bulb socket on the ground side along with the ground wire for my backlighting. 


You should be able to see how it is all layed out from the picture of the back side I posted previously.



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Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 06:26 pm
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Kealel
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mhoward wrote: Document it! What if you get hit by a beer truck? All of that good info would be lost! LOL Joking aside, I got to thinking and I was remembering the low fuel light in my 2003 Taurus. The needle was way off on the gauge, so I had about 50 miles to go when the light came on. I would be interested to know how you hooked that up so I could do this in my truck.

Lol I believe I have it all saved in some word documents on my old computer as well, need to take a look!


I just answered that question in my previous post! (Still trying to catch up to you!) If that picture and explanation don't work though I'll post more info later on. Once I confirm this mod works I'll write a how to on it.



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 06:48 pm
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mhoward
Hey look ↓ they ↓ bounce!


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LOL I move fast for an old guy! ;)

Thanks again for the info. I will add that to my "stash"!



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-- Michael

5th Gen - 2003 - Ranger Edge / Extended Cab / Flareside / 3.0L FLEX / Auto / 2WD / 8.8 Open 4:10 / Sonic Blue Pearl

So many mods... so little time...



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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2017 04:20 am
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MaDMaXX

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Nicely done, looking lit.... so to speak ;)

Um, what you doing with that old wheel...?



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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2017 10:01 am
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JAMMAN

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I just noticed the Geo Metro references LOL was that the way to get Uhaul to rent you a dolly? They wouldn't rent me one to tow a ranger with a ranger :(

I saw a ranger pulling a F150 the other day with a tow dolly didn't seem to be having issues.

I do have cluster questions but will save them for another thread :)



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Kealel
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MaDMaXX wrote: Nicely done, looking lit.... so to speak ;)

Um, what you doing with that old wheel...?
Lol thank you! Took it for a test drive around midnight last night and it isn't blinding at all. Well, actually the check engine light is, but the things I modded are not.


Sidetracking. The "low gas light" that I thought I added turns on with the check engine light and also turns on the "check gage" light. As much as I don't want to tear apart the dash again I may scrap the low fuel light idea and just tie the light into the "low gage" light As it will at least still turn on with low fuel.


As for the steering wheel, I'm not sure what one I want to keep but if you want I can send you pictures of the one I decide to sell in a PM.



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2017 11:07 am
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Kealel
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JAMMAN wrote: I just noticed the Geo Metro references LOL was that the way to get Uhaul to rent you a dolly? They wouldn't rent me one to tow a ranger with a ranger :(

I saw a ranger pulling a F150 the other day with a tow dolly didn't seem to be having issues.

I do have cluster questions but will save them for another thread :)


That's exactly what I told Uhaul to get a trailer! The lady that runs the desk thinks I have a scrappy little red Geo metro that breaks down a lot.


I've towed something like 4x over what Ford said my max was and never had an issue. I'm sure they only set it crazy low as they didn't want to do a lot of warranty replacements on clutches.


As for your cluster questions, I don't mind answering them either here or in a new thread!



____________________
Baby Girl: 2006 XL 3.0 ~RIP~ 1/26/2015
Penguin: 2002 XLT 3.SLOW 4x2 ~Now Dads truck

River/Kaitlyn: 2003 EDGE 3.GO! 4x2... For now?
~Aspiring Mini Level 2~

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