Parts for the ranger are comically cheap. So far I have rung up: Power locks, power window motors, power mirrors, non-base door panels, shift knob, shifter rebuild kit, front plate, rear plate boarder, puddle lights, additional LEDs for the cab (foot wells, etc) all of the electronic components that I need (switches and relays galore, primary wire.....) I even bought a really nice piece of Japanese maple to make a new top for the console so I can have a boujee console in a budget truck. All of this added up is still cheaper than the CarPlay unit that I bought.

Now for the fun part(s)! I love installing things, and making it super neat.

First I wired up a hidden 12v constant socket with usb adapter for phones etc. Then I hacked apart the adapter for my dash cam, and soldiered leads to the board so that it can be hard wired to switched power.

Then I ran and tucked away all of the wires, and mounted both adapters way up under the drivers dash.

Dash cam

Goodbye trash knob, hello stock knob. Also hello trash picture.

Now for the door locks...I have done this before but not in over a decade. which is how old the keyless/security/remote start system that I am using is. Instead of using two standard automotive relays, I bought a 451m from directed, which is just two pre-wired door lock relays in a smaller package. I tested it on the workbench to make sure that everything works properly before installing.

I didn’t have much light left yesterday, but I wanted to get started. So I managed to get the passenger side actuator in and tested. I only had to remount once, so I’m calling it a success, and now I know what to do for the drivers door.


I remembered to do the install with the window down to be sure that everything clears. It works!

I still have to run wires into the doors, but the hard part is over. It would really make more sense to install all of the electronics at once, but then I would have nothing to look forward to. Plus everything on the Ranger comes apart really easily.

To be honest the most difficult part of the lock situation for me is picking a switch and location. I decided that I’m going to do the lock/unlock button Bimmer style and put it in the center of the dash, instead of in each door.


I may have mentioned this before, but I’m a weirdo about switches. I collect them from things that I take apart and I’m very picky about which one I will use for a given application.

In this instance I need a 3 pin, double pole, normally open, momentary switch. Unfortunately everything I have found on the internet is too plain, too big, too ugly etc... I could also use two standard momentary switches (one for lock, one for unlock) but the only ones I found that I think would look cool are $70 each!



I’m leaning toward a rotary switch like the one below, but I’m not sure how it will look. If it looks dumb, I guess I’ll just go with a plain old rocker switch...

I’m welcoming other switch ideas, if anyone has got any!