How do I Make a Ford Ranger Ride Better?by Arthur Barnhouse
Like most trucks, the ride quality of the Ford Ranger is not always perfectly smooth. This is due in large part to the truck's suspension system, which is comprised of springs, shocks and/or torsion bars, depending on the specific year and trim of your Ranger. The Ranger's suspension was designed to be somewhat stiff, which allows the truck to tow a trailer or carry a heavy payload in the bed. When the truck is not loaded or towing, the stiffness of the suspension shows up in the form of a bouncy ride.
Check the air pressure in your Ford Ranger's tires. Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the pressure and ensure that it corresponds with the recommended pressure, which is stamped inside the driver's side doorframe. If the pressure is too high, the Ranger's ride will be harsher. Use the small knob on the tire gauge or the tip of your finger to release any excess air from the tire.
Purchase and install tires that are slightly larger in size than your Ranger's current tires. Tires that are slightly larger and wider will improve the quality of the Ranger's ride. Before purchasing any tires, ensure they will fit on the Ranger's rims and that they fit within the fender wells of the truck. You should be able to turn the wheels completely from side to side without any rubbing.
Change the brand of tire you use on your Ranger. Different tire companies use different compounds when manufacturing their tires. Some compounds are softer and allow for a smoother ride. Also note the number of plies in the tire. The more plies, the stiffer the tire. A stiffer tire will translate to a bouncier ride.
Replace any worn shocks, torsion bars or leaf springs on your Ford Ranger. If any of the Ranger's suspension components are damaged or worn out, it will negatively affect the truck's ride quality. Consider purchasing premium suspension parts that are built specifically to improve ride quality.
Add weight to the bed of the Ford Ranger. Position the weight near the back of the bed, near the tailgate. Because the Ranger is a light pickup and because it was designed to carry loads, the truck has a tendency to bounce when it is driven over uneven surfaces. By adding weight to the bed, you will decrease this bounce. Use sandbags to add roughly 200 to 300 pounds of weight to the Ranger's bed.
- If you have extra money to invest in improving your Ranger's ride quality, consider purchasing and installing an air suspension/leveling kit specifically designed for your Ford Ranger. An air suspension kit will replace the truck's springs and/shocks with a system of air bags. This will help soften your truck's ride.
Items you will need
- Tire pressure gauge
- New, larger tires
- New shocks, springs and/or torsion bars (if necessary)
- Shock absorber image by Neryman from Fotolia.com