36 Ford truck on Ranger

Rat Rods Rule

Help Support Rat Rods Rule:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Builder Junky!
Jan 18, 2013
Northern Alberta, Canada.
Hello. I'm going to start a thread on setting a '36 Ford PU on a Ranger frame, I think. The computer is scaring me more than the build. Anyhow, I aquired an extended cab 1987 Ranger pick up and striped it of its cab, box, motor and transmission. From reading Ford books I found the '36 wheel base and measured the Ranger wheel base. Whoa, 14 inches too long. It turns out that a regular cab, regular box Ranger frame works like a charm, too late smart, me. I left a tab sticking out the front on the back part of the frame and one facing back out of the front part. I figured out that if I cut the chunk out of the frame near the back of the cab, that the front frame would just slide inside the back part and the two tabs that I left would be good fishplating.
I put new tin all of the way around the bottom of the cab and doors. Both doors came off of a wrecked panel truck in B.C. The rest of the truck had been thrown away and the doors should have been too. I got them a little cheaper.


  • IMG_0932.jpg
    136.8 KB · Views: 469
  • 36 cabfront primer.jpg
    36 cabfront primer.jpg
    69.8 KB · Views: 428
  • back of cab 36 primered.jpg
    back of cab 36 primered.jpg
    79.1 KB · Views: 398
  • left36 primer cab.jpg
    left36 primer cab.jpg
    71.6 KB · Views: 438
  • frame and cab back (2).jpg
    frame and cab back (2).jpg
    131.1 KB · Views: 658
Hi. Thank you for the interest shown, guys. KennyC,this one didn't have the connection that you mentioned. [see picture below] I now wish I could have taken an inch or two out of the back end behind that middle Z but then the spring would have been too long or the rear end would have to go back too far. The way it sits now, the box and the cab are about 3/4" too far apart.
Sam fear, Yes. In fact just before suppertime today I hope to put the right hand one on, as I already have the righthand rear bolted on and the runningboard partly bolted down. Many people have warned me about mounting fibreglass fenders, because of warping over time. Well, I'm here to tell you, They weren't lieing this time. But we're jumping ahead in the story.
[second pic unprimered cab very little body work done.]
[primered cab, different doors, the drivers door was wrecked beyond repair but it's all I could find at the time. The window hole was leaning back quite a bit and the doorskin was caved in badly and rotten at the bottom.]
[flathead mounted in the ranger frame and a 79 Mustang Borg-Warner RAD four speed. There is a homemade adapter between the bell and the trans.]


  • IMG_0933.jpg
    96.6 KB · Views: 430
  • 36front quarter unpainted.jpg
    36front quarter unpainted.jpg
    118.7 KB · Views: 497
  • 36 mockup rust grill.jpg
    36 mockup rust grill.jpg
    93.1 KB · Views: 418
  • flathead on ranger frame.jpg
    flathead on ranger frame.jpg
    129.1 KB · Views: 485
  • leftfront 36.jpg
    leftfront 36.jpg
    77.4 KB · Views: 506
I'm going to go back to the frame with the flathead pic for a minute. I mentioned a spacer for mounting the transmission, so here's the technical part of that: the bottom two bolt holes were the same, RAD trans and bellhousing, but the top two were quite different and I needed 5/8" spacer because of a longer clutch shaft. I cut the back end out of the Mustang donor bellhousing and filed down a few bumps to make it 5/8" thick, and bored some holes in the adapter to match the top bellhousing holes then bored some countersink bevels in and bolted it to the bell. The clutch shaft slid right into a NOS friction disc for a '53 Merc car. The motor is a '53 Merc with the 4" stroke. I didn't like the woussy little gearshift on the Mustang transmission so I cut it off and the long shift rail that runs all the way back to the back of the extention housing. The shift rail runs inside a small housing on top of the extention housing so I cut that off too. The little crank on the back of the rail that the gearshift turns is now welded onto the much shortened rail. I welded an older gearshift and tower on to a plate and bolted that to the top of the trans, so it looks cool now, and stock.


  • ranger with flathead.jpg
    ranger with flathead.jpg
    129.1 KB · Views: 284
  • adapter trans.jpg
    adapter trans.jpg
    108.5 KB · Views: 276
  • woussy gearshift.jpg
    woussy gearshift.jpg
    84.5 KB · Views: 261
  • under gearshift.jpg
    under gearshift.jpg
    114.5 KB · Views: 290
Still with the flathead on the Ranger frame picture, I put power hydraulic brakes in this '36. The Ranger running gear already had most of the hydraulic system, so I robbed the vaccuum booster and master cylinder too. It just fit in there.


  • flathead on ranger frame.jpg
    flathead on ranger frame.jpg
    129.1 KB · Views: 96
  • 36 powr brake.jpg
    36 powr brake.jpg
    88 KB · Views: 101
lowering truck

I used the factory Z'ed frame in front of the cab and behind it as well as cut 1 1/2 coils from the front springs and flipped the rear shackles and hangers up-side-down. The cab is channeled a bit, but I noticed when I got in and sat on the seat with the steering wheel in place that I couldn't shift into 1st or second gear so I had to bend the gearshift away from the steering column. Now I can shift but my knees are right up under the steering wheel and I can't put them anywhere else without surgery. Just a note of warning, you guys with long legs that want a standard transmission. "Mock up your interior once in a while and sit in position makeing V-8 noises, while checking out the comfort." [pic shows Z's, if you use your imagination, and shorter front springs]


  • chassis&cab inback.jpg
    chassis&cab inback.jpg
    105.7 KB · Views: 122
Last edited:
problems and heater

I'm really quite happy with the Ranger frame fitting a '36 truck, but there are some little glitches. The first one is the flathead waterpump on the left side is very close to the power steering box. As you know the motor mounts are supposed to bolt to the bottom of the waterpumps, but there is no room in this case. [pic one]. Any other motor with side mounts would work better. I think I'm going to run into grief putting the left front fender on there over the steering box bracket.
I was pretty sure I needed a heater with a defrost system for those drives home in the fall. [looking up under the dash] There is some boxing built in between the two stage upper dash and then I made a louver punch and made two [defrost louvers in the upper dash]. This is a heater out of a tractor that was 24 volt, now 12. It looks O.K. in there.


  • IMG_0937.jpg
    90 KB · Views: 149
  • Inside cowl duct hoses.jpg
    Inside cowl duct hoses.jpg
    102.7 KB · Views: 138
  • IMG_0939.jpg
    103.7 KB · Views: 137
  • IMG_0940.jpg
    83.5 KB · Views: 145
steering wheel

I always wanted to be cool and cool guys have banjo steering wheels, right? I got an original steering wheel with the truck pieces. I wanted to use the Ranger steering column for the multi-switches so I needed the Ranger hub in my wheel. Instead of just cutting the '36 hub out, I cut the radii out of the wheel at the perimeter ring. [pic 1] I cut the hub out of the Ranger, welded a big homemade convex washer to it and centered it in the '36 wheel. [pic2] I drilled a lot of 3/16" holes in some 1/4" by 5/16" keystock. 15 holes pretty close together and 15 a little further apart. When these keystocks were cut into three 1 1/4" pieces and three 1 3/4" pieces they each had five holes in them. I had cut a lot of 47 Ford choke rods into 7'' chunks and stuffed them through three pieces of square plastic about 1 1/2" long. The keystock pieces were slid onto each end of the five shiny rod combos. The shiny choke rod material won't weld for me but the key stock welded nicely to the perimeter ring and the big washer on the hub. [pic 3] Then I started to bodyfiller the wheel back to its former shape. [pic4] To cover up the hub and make it look original, I cut down a peanut butter jar placed it around the homemade hub and bodyfilled it, before latheing it down with a horse hoof rasp. After a lot of fileing with this and a finer half round file and then sandpaper, the wheel could be painted and painted. [pic5]


  • empty wheel.jpg
    empty wheel.jpg
    86.6 KB · Views: 159
  • drilling banjo holes.jpg
    drilling banjo holes.jpg
    123.5 KB · Views: 156
  • circumference finished.jpg
    circumference finished.jpg
    144.2 KB · Views: 161
  • latheing wheel.jpg
    latheing wheel.jpg
    101.9 KB · Views: 163
  • IMG_0930.jpg
    119.5 KB · Views: 164
Last edited:
Hi again. The box that came with the truck was pretty rotten so I whined to a friend until he gave me a Chev box that looked pretty good. Looking good with flat paint and feeling good with your hand are two different things, so I started heat shrinking the dents in the side panels. I could get the big ones down to small alright, but I couldn't get the small ones down to smooth. I eventually gave up and gave back the Chev box and ordered a Pro's Pick box and floor kit. It came in quickly and it is a lovely box, so I assembled it and mounted it on the frame. Next, I primed it and took some pictures. About this time the grille and aircleaner caught my eye. The air cleaner is a real '56 Olds batwing top fit on the Mercury bottom and converted to paper filter. Then the grille was worked over and primered.


  • primer 36 rear left.jpg
    primer 36 rear left.jpg
    80.2 KB · Views: 164
  • primer cob and box back.jpg
    primer cob and box back.jpg
    70.3 KB · Views: 137
  • 36grille&aircleaner mock.jpg
    36grille&aircleaner mock.jpg
    107.9 KB · Views: 148
  • 36 grille primer.jpg
    36 grille primer.jpg
    131.5 KB · Views: 133
Nice job on that steering wheel! Isn't that a twin I beam? Are your wheels cambered heavy no that you cut the coils?

Hi Sam fear. Thank you on the wheel, I'm fairly proud of that. Sorry about the small amount of pics on the wheel, but I lost one completely of the keystock welded to the hub and the circumference, and two more could not be dragged over to this site. They were, the cutting out of the hub and spokes, and the banjo strings and little keystock manifolds all ready to put together. I got lucky on the twin I beams. The previous driver was mechanically stupid, and I have a lot of proof of this, but he didn't realize that he was running excessive positive camber, wearing out the outsides of his tires. The lowering of the springs was a benefit in this case, but it's something you have to watch for.
hide the primer

I learned a lot about body work on this project, but was it enough to hide under a thin coat of paint. I was going to go with flat black because it is very forgiving on first attempt body work jobs. Then I got arrogant and thought I'd go 1 step shinier. Well satin black is more than 1 step higher so I learned some more right there, and that's the shiniest satin black I've ever seen, Whoa. Anyhow, I like the colour and it showed the body work was passable. The paintjob is mediocre but the body work is O.K.. In the third picture you'll see the taillights. They're '37 Ford car ones with the brackets made out of lawn chair legs.


  • painted hotrod 36.jpg
    painted hotrod 36.jpg
    113.9 KB · Views: 163
  • paint36 back.jpg
    paint36 back.jpg
    111.4 KB · Views: 155
  • 36 boxshot.jpg
    36 boxshot.jpg
    100.9 KB · Views: 172
  • 36 quarter shot.jpg
    36 quarter shot.jpg
    102.2 KB · Views: 176
Last edited:
Yea, Sam fear, That was a bit of a surprise to me. It was one of those screw-ups that you can learn to live with though. I was so pleased with the body work that shiny is O.K. and black is my favorite colour.

Latest posts