Towards the end of last year, I wrote about a fantastic build for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Someone took a Ford Ranger and kitted it out for off-roading with a pair of hydraulic steering rear wheels. It was one of the wildest Ranger builds that we’ve seen in a long time, and now we know where it went. The truck is now in the hands of some YouTubers making the best of the rig.
The Grind Hard Plumbing Co YouTube channel picked up the truck. The guys that run this channel rose to YouTube fame in part for turning various Power Wheels toys into terrifying, glorious go karts and off-road machines then creating hilarious videos with them. They also do all kinds of other wacky off-road builds like reverse trikes and even a Tesla, so this Ranger is right up their alley.
Here’s a review of the truck that we’re looking at:
Under the hood is a 4.0-liter Cologne V6. This was good for 160 hp and 225 lb-ft torque when new, and the truck is said to have 125,000 original miles on it. The 4.0-liter was the biggest engine available, and even then the truck felt pokey at best. This one looks like it has a lot of work to do in this application.
The two rear axles are said to be from a military vehicle and are hydraulically steered. The ad doesn’t say, but these could be Rockwell 2.5-ton axles like the kind you’d see on SEMA trucks and off-road builds.
Those axles enable it to crab its way around obstacles, and they can help tighten the truck’s turning circle, too. The seller never returned my message, but thankfully the Grind Hard Plumbing Co guys get underneath to show everyone how it works.
The rear axles are independently sprung, and a hydraulic ram pushes on a plate, which turns the wheels. The six-wheel-drive happens through a pass-through differential.
And awesomely, through their video, we get to see the thing in action off-road. It looks like a ball of fun.
When it was for sale, I wasn’t a fan of the bulky steel bumpers and diamond plating. To me, it made something that was awesome sort of tacky. Thankfully, the Grind Hard Plumbing Co guys raided eBay for some parts to make it into a pre-runner truck.
Now it looks much cleaner and a lot cooler.
Other mods have come in the form of shaving off the frame aft of the rear axles and new fenders to stretch out over the truck’s 37-inch tires. The crew has more changes to go in the form of replacing the truck’s 60-gallon fuel tank and adding locking differentials for when the going gets really tough.
For me, I’m just happy to see this truck out there and doing really awesome stuff. It’s neat that it ended up in the hands of a group that made it even better and I hope that Grind Hard Plumbing Co does even more with it.