I will be frank, this thing is a hot mess. It is a dumpster fire that smells like Indian food in a diaper. This is the family truck. The vehicle I remember most during my childhood. It is a 1992 Ford Ranger 4x4, extended cab, 4.0. V6, and with a 5 speed manual transmission. It currently has nearly 300,000 miles on it and three years of non-op. It has the original engine and second or third transmission. The front end met a tree about 16 years ago, when a forgotten tire chalk seemed easier than fixing the parking brake. It is either going to the junkyard or it is up to me to resurrect it.

It is my belief, reinforced by personal experience, that many decisions made about the money spent on vehicles are due to an emotional response. Dumping any money into this truck would be a response to an emotion that I don’t want the childhood truck to die. I want to relive the memories with my kids?! You know like sitting sideways in back while shoving my head between the b-pillar and seat to see out the windshield.

It wouldn’t be worth much even if it was in pristine condition. But WHO has a pristine Ford Ranger? Do those exist? This truck is almost dead, both in my mind, and literally. The only thing alive in it are the forest critters squatting inside. Something about sending it off to the scrapyard is the complete kill, the fatality, and it feels dirty. Almost as dirty as it is inside.

As I post these pictures I’m getting woozy. It seems like too much to tackle. It. Is. Gross. Nothing a little bleach can’t fix?! Or maybe a pool sized amount and a big ramp to push it in? Does anyone own stock in Simple Green? Might want to buy now. I might be part of the reason the stock price goes up.

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It is as stock as stock could be. Except for the black widows and daddy long leg spiders. Those are an aftermarket modification, but more of a cosmetic mod. Obviously too, it is leaking out of every gap, orifice, and seal possible. It was almost always fixed when broke (except for the parking brake) but it was driven and worked hard. It transported about 80 cords of wood too so the inside of the bed (not pictured) is dented... is there a word for more than dented? Bashed? Crumpled? It also lived in the snow for about eight years. The underside is rusty, but nothing too bad amazingly. Those of you that live in the rust belt wouldn’t even call it rust I imagine.

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Getting the idea yet? Now for the meat and potatoes. This truck stopped running for what I believe is a fuel pump. It also stopped passing CA smog because the fuel filler neck has a hole. Both of these parts can be found relatively cheap if used. I have a friend with a free fuel pump. The tank some some fresh-ish fuel with a bottle of stabilizer. IF it can be started up, there aren’t any other major issues that would prohibit it from being driven off the hillside. Even the tires, garbage as they are, aren’t in a place yet where they are dangerous to drive to a tire shop. Yes, it does need a battery also.

So what say you? Kill it with fire? Or resurrect? I am leaning towards a cheap resurrection... If it ends up being a disaster, I’ll pump the brakes and quit. Remember, parts trucks are cheap. I might be able to find one of those with most parts to put it back together. I’d love to literally give it a viking funeral but that would be ill advised. It could sit for a while longer but it will only get worse. I don’t think a Ford Ranger will ever be worth restoring so keeping it much longer is just adding to the already unnecessary yard art. It just seems sad to let my childhood truck fade away. The memories will always be there.