FORD F150 RANGER XLT

Model
Tamiya Ford F150 Ranger XLT, article number 58027 put on sale in 1981 and available on the market until 1984.
Polystyrene body.
SRB chassis.

The three models equipped with the SRB chassis represent a very important innovation for Tamiya, there are several advertisements that Tamiya or the various importers around the world have published in trade magazines; in the image below we show examples for the Ford F150.

Analysis of the model to be restored
Starting from the front and moving towards the rear, the chassis analysis reveals that
– the front bumper is missing,
– the front pin for fixing the body is present,
– the mechanical speed control and its ceramic resistance are missing,
– the constant velocity joints are those of the Super Champ model article number 58034,
– there are two boxes for the electronic part, the lighter one is from a re-release and the darker one is original from the Mk2 version,
– plastic rear bumper is intact and
– the screws to attach the rear bumper are missing.

Starting from the front and going towards the rear, the body analysis reveals that

– the front grille shows no signs of accidents,
– the glass is not chipped and is the original; clear,
– the driver is present and the colour of the plastic is original to the Mk1 version; blue,
– the rear lights are present,
– the rear bumper is intact and
– the blue colour given to the bodywork is not the original; the correct colour is TS15, the same as the Bruiser.

Check the dimensions of the front and rear wheel arches, the body is a Mk1.

In three places the body shows damage:
– left front wing,
– passenger-side wind deflector,
– the two rear body supports that lean against the chassis are missing and
– right rear driver hitch.

Since the body in the Mk1 version is rarer than the Mk2 version, it makes sense to set up the restoration by recovering as much material as possible for the chassis in the Mk1 version.

Chassis restoration
Disassemble the chassis and place the parts as neatly as possible to analyse each piece:

– small parts are cut; original from the Mk1 version,
– plate is yellow and made of vetronite; it is an accessory sold separately post market in the 1980s,
– the left rear arm is original to the Mk1 version,
– the right rear arm is original to the Mk2 version,
– the front suspension arms are original to the Mk1 version,
– the two front suspension towers are original to the Mk2 version and
– the two gearbox shells are original to the Mk1 version.

Under these conditions, it is not possible to carry out a good restoration by not having enough Mk1 or Mk2 parts, the only solution is to use a donor chassis to collect as many parts as possible that belong to the Mk1 or Mk2 model.
Disassemble the donor chassis and place the parts in the most orderly manner to analyse each piece:

– the base of the electronics box is original to the Mk1 version,
– the two front suspension towers are original to the Mk1 version,
– the two brass constant velocity joints are original to the Mk1 version,
– the carbon fibre base in the short version with large holes is original to the Mk1 version,
– the right rear arm is original to the Mk1 version,
– the left rear arm is original to the Mk2 version,
They are complementary to the Ford F150 chassis; the starting and donor chassis form a complete rear Mk1 arm pair and a complete rear Mk2 arm pair.
– bent front suspension pins,
– left rear shell damaged beyond repair,
-bolt hole in the right lower front arm is enlarged. This is a modification to be applied in case the arm loses its grub screw thread. Thread the hole with a larger diameter and replace the grub screw with a larger one.
– the front plastic servo guard has been replaced by a metal one, not the original one
– small parts are cut; original from the Mk1 version and
– the two gearbox shells are original to the Mk1 version, one of them is damaged.

Wash all metal and plastic parts with hot soapy water. Wash all small parts and metal parts with the ultrasonic washing machine for 25 minutes at 70°C. Separate different metals. Wash all plastic and Teflon parts with the ultrasonic washing machine for a time of 25 minutes at 40°C.
Rinse freshly treated parts with warm water and dry with a paper kitchen towel. Polish the parts with polish or toothpaste.
Picture sequence showing parts before (left) and after (right) the washing treatment.

After counting the parts, the two chassis result in a complete chassis made up almost entirely of original Mk1 parts and a second, almost complete Mk2 chassis. The Mk1 chassis is used for this restoration and the Mk2 chassis is kept for possible future work.
The parts in the Mk1 version are in the photo on the left and the parts in the Mk2 version are in the photo on the right.

Assemble the model consisting of four macro parts: front axle, rear gearbox assembly, centre plate and box, and electronics.
Picture sequence showing how to assemble front axle:

– lower suspension arms and springs installed on the left and right tower,
– steering system and upper suspension arm,
– shock absorbers and
– front reinforcement tubes

Sequence of pictures showing how to assemble rear gearbox assembly:
– Teflon and brass gears with axles,
– complete gearbox shell with gears,
– suspension arms and torsion bars and
– axles, universal joints and nut

Sequence of pictures showing how to assemble centre plate to front assembly and rear gearbox:
– metal plate,
– servo guard and
– body support

In the initial chassis and donor chassis the mechanical speed control is completely missing is accessory set – spare part number SP-5113. Picture sequence showing how to assemble the electrical part:

– speed controller with short-circuit safety system,
– cable and quick-connect plug for the battery,
– servo to control the speed controller,
– wiring inside the IP box,
– servo for steering control;

The wheels are in excellent condition; one of the two front rims is replaced because it had been damaged by enlarging the bushing housing.
The front rims are in the Mk1 version.

The front bumper is to be restored, it has been coloured black. It is the accessory set – spare part SP-5135. The package includes the cross-head screws, even the instructions show that the screws are cross-headed. They are the only non-slotted screws on the Ford F150 Mk1 model.
Picture sequence showing how to restore the bumper:

– remove the black colour by soaking the bumper in 90% pure denatured ethyl alcohol or more free of flavours or pink dyes, 99% pure alcohol can be found on the market
– finish the surfaces with a paper towel
– remove all traces of paint using a toothpick
– install the bumper on the frame

Install the motor, pinion and gear protection shell.

Chassis assembled and ready for marriage with body.

Body Restoration
Polish the windscreen with polish or toothpaste.

The body has some parts in need of repair. Some damage was only discovered after disassembling the body and analysing its parts. The following sequence of pictures shows the procedure for welding the front grille pin:
– locate the exact spot where to weld the part,
– apply a drop of the thick solution that remains at the point where it is applied,
– position the broken piece and
– remove excess filaments

Picture sequence showing how to repair the damage to the passenger-side wind deflector:

– from a 1 mm x 0.5 mm side bar cut the wind deflector using the intact piece from the driver’s side as a reference,
– check that the new piece is the right size,
– apply a solution of ABS and acetone to the two places where the original piece broke and
– place the piece on the body

Sequence of pictures showing how to repair left rear eyelet that is broken:

– cut a half-moon from a 1 mm thick sheet using the eyelet on the opposite side as a template,
– glue the half-moon in the position where the original piece broke,
– cut the edge from a strip 1 mm thick and 2 mm high,

– give the rounded shape using pliers and an old paintbrush, tighten the strip on the brush so that it takes the round shape. The brush has a handle that is slightly smaller in diameter than the loop. Squeeze the strip over the handle so the strip takes its shape, increasing in diameter a little when the pliers no longer grip,
– take the right measurements to cut the strip into a semi-circle,

– weld the moon-shaped strip to the driver with the thick solution of acetone and ABS
– add less dense solution of acetone and ABS to consolidate the new structure
– work with sandpaper to finish the parts,
– heat a piece of wire or an open paper clip with a lighter or the fire in the gas cooker,
– wait for the metal to turn red;
– cut the hole for the screw using the hot iron.
– carry out the installation test and
– colour the newly repaired part blue, X4.

Sequence of pictures showing how to repair the damage to the front left wing:

– the body is symmetrical with respect to the axis, so it is possible to draw a template of the missing piece using the undamaged part of the body on the opposite side as a sample,
– cut a piece reproducing the template from a millimetre-thick ABS sheet,
– use the thicker solution of Acetone and ABS to weld the new part onto the bodywork in the exact position to be repaired,
– apply several coats of solution to give volume to the weld both on the outside and inside,
– apply a coat of less dense solution to fill all remaining pores and cracks,
– apply a thin layer of putty,
– work with file or 400 or 600 grit sandpaper to optimise the shape,
– if there are any marked lines, mark them with a scalpel or sharp blade,
– make the surface smooth with 1,200 or 1,500 grit sandpaper.

Sequence of pictures showing how to repair the two body support fins to the chassis roll bar at the rear underneath the body:

– cut a 12 mm wide strip from a 2 mm thick ABS sheet,
– cut two small parts out of the strip,
– round off one side so that it can fit better on the roll bar,
– cut 4 small bars from a 1 mm square base bar to reinforce these supports,
– join the 2 bars and 1 plate to obtain what is shown in the figure, – work the sides where the bars protrude with sandpaper to smooth out the surface and make it easier to weld the supports to the body,
– carry out installation test to assess the length of the bracket,
– weld the two parts to the body and
– test them, if they are too long, work them over with sandpaper.

Picture sequence showing how to paint the body:

– Wipe the entire body with a piece of kitchen paper soaked in alcohol. This removes the glue from the stickers and much of the previous paint,
– apply white primer,
– mask the body by placing a tape around the entire perimeter,
– close the hole for the body pillar, the hole for the switch and the hole for the aerial,
– apply a layer of transparent kitchen foil that must adhere to the body with tape running around the perimeter and X-shaped on the body,
– paint the body blue; TS15,
– mask the body,
– paint the body in matt white; TS27,
– move on to the details: in white X2, the rear Ford badge, the front Ford badge and the rear turn signals; in red X7, the rear stop lights; in orange X6, the front side turn signals; in grey X11, the door handles and in rubber black XF85, the windscreen seal.
– apply the stickers.

Restored model
Images showing the finished model.

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