Ranger XR4Ti – 1989 Ford Ranger Turbo

There aren’t many trucks that capture that 1980s sense of turbocharged fun – Toyota briefly offered turbocharged versions of its Hilux trucks in the 1980s, and of course there was GMC’s over-the-top Syclone, but that was about it. If you wanted something with a peaky turbo engine and the ability to haul half the contents of a 1-bedroom apartment, you had to look to Sweden, where you could get a Saab 900 turbo or a Volvo 240 Turbo wagon. But what if you didn’t? Answering that question is this 1989 Ford Ranger turbo for sale for $4000 in Vancouver, WA.

1989 Ford Ranger turbo right front

For North American purposes, Ford’s Ranger died out in 2012. For 1989, the year of this truck, the Ranger received a facelift to match its platform-mate, the Explorer. Frame updates, an updated dashboard and steering column, ABS on the rear wheels and, for extended cab models, a 21-gallon fuel tank, rounded out the changes. The standard powertrain was a 2.3-liter twin-plug four-cylinder, with an optional upgrade to a 2.9-liter V6 or a 155hp 4-liter V6. This truck looks in decent condition, though it has the kind of wear you’d expect in a 25-year-old truck.

1989 Ford Ranger turbo left rear

Upgrades done by the builder include 17″ Mustang GT wheels, upgraded stereo, and HID headlights. The styling is quite subtle, and aside from the lowered suspension and wheels, you’d never suspect there was a bevy of performance upgrades hiding in there. The seller says the only real downside is the failing clearcoat, though it also looks like the tailgate is a replacement from a white truck.

1989 Ford Ranger turbo engine

Here’s the headliner – a 2.3-liter Lima four-cylinder, sourced from anything from a Mercury Cougar XR7 to a Ford Mustang SVT, and good for 155-205hp. The seller provides a laundry list of engine upgrades, and it looks like nothing got away untouched – engine, exhaust, fuel, drivetrain, and cooling all received reinforcement for their new job. Even the heater box was upgraded to aluminum (from plastic) to cope with the turbo’s heat. Aside from the turbo plumbing, the whole lot looks cleanly installed and could almost pass for factory. Indeed, the factory did build a Ranger GT that was powered by a 3.0-liter SHO engine. As for the chassis, the seller does mention lowering, and of course there are the wheels, but no other braking or handling upgrades are mentioned.

1989 Ford Ranger turbo interior

The interior did get some key upgrades, including seating that was likely from the donor car, some extra gauges, and possibly the steering wheel (though this is the generic Ford unit of the time). As pickup trucks go, it looks like it would be a fun place to spend some time, and with a few sand bags in the bed, it could probably hold its own at the local dragstrip. With some further chassis development, it might also hold its own on the race track or winding back roads. Can you find a better hauling alternative to a Saab 900 turbo?

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3 Responses to “Ranger XR4Ti – 1989 Ford Ranger Turbo”

  1. 1977chevytruck Says:

    This looks awesome!

    I like the idea of the 2.3L, and the SVO, Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, and XR4ti are all on my admittedly large wish list.

    Oh, and as a Taurus SHO owner, a Ranger SHO also sounds amazing.

  2. jimmyrk3 Says:

    interesting truck….
    This posting has been deleted by its author.

  3. Chris Says:

    I have a custom built turbo ranger running msd and stand alone efi.
    Most of the turbo rangers you see are limited greatly by running the thunderbird or svo engine and ecu’s.
    Mine on low boost pumps out around 300hp and can be turned up more easily.
    The potential for these motors is unbelievable in the right hands, and im glad ford is making ecoboost engines. It’s just sad it took them so long to do so.

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