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Ford Ranger Converted Into Mini Semi With Sleeper Cab
This mini semi was built around a 1989 Ford Ranger pickup. With a full-size wind deflector, air horns, dual CB radio antennaes, stainless steel full moon hubcaps on tandem axle wheels, a pair of stainless steel exhaust pipes, and more than 30 running lights all the way around, it gets noticed right away wherever it goes.
    Archie Wrubel, Carsonville, Mich., drives the rig to go to car shows and also shows it off in parades. He can bunk down in the sleeper cab whenever he needs rest.
    The Ford Ranger's 4-cyl. engine with 3-speed manual transmission was blown. To get the pickup running again, Wrubel replaced the bad engine with a 350 cu. in., 295 hp V-8 with automatic transmission out of a Chevrolet van. He also fabricated new motor mounts.
    He removed the pickup box. To make room for the sleeper, he added 34 in. to the back of the frame, welding in new sheet metal onto the frame rails and installing brackets for a metal floor. Then he moved the pickup's original rear axle back 22 in. He also added a "dummy axle" behind it that's off another Ford Ranger.
    He bought the sleeper at a junkyard for $100 and cut it down to fit the pickup. The sleeper mounts on rubber bushings.
    It measures 36 in. deep, 6 ft. wide, and 5 ft. high and came equipped with a door on each side. To make the sleeper, he cut the entire bottom part off and cut 10 in. off both sides. Then he cut 13 in. off the remaining center section and welded the sides back on. He also removed the rear window from the pickup cab, so that the window opening matches up with a window that was on front of the sleeper.
    He cut the center out of the full-size wind deflector to make it fit, then glued it back together.
    He installed a pair of Thrush mufflers under the sleeper and hooked them up to a pair of 3 1/2-in. dia. stainless steel exhaust pipes that extend 2 ft. above the sleeper. The pipes ride inside wrap-around sheet metal brackets that bolt on back of the sleeper and provide protection against burns. The pipes are equipped with flappers off a farm tractor.
    He bought two air tanks to use for gas tanks, which are secured by stainless steel bands that support metal steps. Each tank holds 22 gal. of gas. He also installed fenders designed for a tandem axle trailer, and he even added a fifth wheel hitch.
    "People have trouble believing I was able to fit the 350 cu. in. Chevy engine into such a small pickup. I tell them I can do anything I want as long as I have a welder and torch. There was just enough space to fit the new engine in.
    "The Thrush mufflers make a beautiful humming sound that turns a lot of heads. It sounds like a semi truck going down the road."
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Archie Wrubel, 415 Old 51, Carsonville, Mich. 48419 (ph 810 657-8914).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2