Monday, October 10, 2016

A Lonely Ranger is coaxed out of hiding...

One of the more mythical EVs out there is the factory Ford Ranger EV of the 1990's.  Approximately 1200 of these were made to meet the first California EV Mandate, and about 800 of them were sent to the crusher when the automakers won their hollow victory, ceding the electrified space to Toyota and then TESLA for nearly two decades.  Thanks to DontCrush.com and other protests by the RangerEV, S-10 EV and EV-1 leaseholders, one third of the Rangers were spared and went into private hands a decade ago.  Many of those vehicles saw good service in their second life, but a few fell through the cracks.  This is one of them.  A former Georgia Power fleet demonstrator, this lead-acid Ranger EV wound up with a nonprofit in Washington State in 2006.  They drove a victory lap straight off the transport truck, but then later discovered that it would not recharge.  A thorough diagnosis was not performed until so much time had elapsed that the battery pack was hopelessly dead.  The truck passed through two more sets of hands that never actually started on a revival, which brings us to today.   Sumner School District has received the vehicle, and we will be resurrecting it in the High School Auto Shop as this year's advanced class project.  As an extra-special bonus, this vehicle came with the huge hydraulic battery lifting jack, which will be very handy, considering that we have a 1950-lb battery sarcophagus to remove and rebuild.
The battery lift is harder to keep on hand than the truck itself

On a trivial note, the Ranger EV was one of the very few production vehicles ever to use the DeDion tube rear suspension, and another is my daily-driver i-MiEV.  This allows a lightweight but rigid rear end for heavy loading and a close-coupled motor and gearbox that is fully suspended.  The Ranger EV rear suspension is made of Aluminum forgings and aluminum tube.
Notice the dimples in the Ranger EV-only lightweight aluminum hood!

Offloading the Dead Lead Sled

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