Danger Ranger Packs Mustang Power into a Gorgeous Package
Early Ranger is unbelievably clean, but the star of this show is the 5.0-liter V8, making one powerful, small pickup.
Back in 1986, the most powerful engine that you could get in the first generation Ford Ranger was the 2.9-liter V6, which delivered 140 horsepower. While the first generation led to years of successful small truck sales for the Motor Company, the early trucks were far from fast. However, swapping a V8 into one of these small trucks is a popular option, combining bigger power with a low curb weight and rear-wheel-drive; leading to a monster burnout machine.
While scrolling through the #Muscletruck hashtag on Instagram, we came across an early Ranger with a 5.0-liter V8 from a Mustang Cobra. This truck looks better than it did when new, but with the SVT power plant, the small Ford from the “dangeranger5.0,” this old school Ford runs as great as it looks.
Nice, Clean Packaging
On the outside, this 1986 Ford Ranger is relatively stock, with the exceptions being the cowl induction-style hood, the wheels and the 5.0 badges on the front fenders. It has a modern set of headlights and you can see the lightweight bucket race seats through the front windows, but for the most part, this just looks like a very clean first generation Ranger with a great custom paint job. The grille, bumpers and the majority of the exterior trim is painted to match the body, resulting in a very sporty-looking flareside pickup.
If this truck had a stock 1986 drivetrain, it would still be impressive, but the packaging is only the tip of this iceberg. Under the hood is a 5.0-liter V8 that came from a Mustang Cobra, but we don’t know what generation Cobra. The Fox Body and SN95 Mustang each had a Cobra with the 5.0-liter engine, and while we don’t know which provided the motivation for this build, we know that the engine has far more power than any stock first generation Ranger.
The Instagram account of dangeranger5.0 is packed with great pictures of the truck inside, outside and under the hood, as well as a few videos of the Ranger on the track, but this channel is full of great burnout footage. There are burnouts captured from inside of the truck, from the side of the road and from afar, but every clip is a righteous smoke show.
In looking around online, we found that this Ranger has run the eighth mile in the high-8-second range, so it would likely be in the 13s in the quarter mile, but if you love nasty burnouts from a V8-powered small pickup, this is one channel that you want to follow.
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