- Posted by Shannon
- On March 12, 2018
- 1 Comments
- 110ah, 12v, 12v electrical, 2-pac, 2pac, 4x4, adjustable, agm, alloy, aluminium, aluminium fabrication, auto electrical, autocad, bent, built not bought, bull bar, cabin lights, Camping, canopy, chassis, conversion, custom, custom build, custom built, custom campers, custom tray, dobinsons, dog box, drivetec, dyneema, easyslide, engel, es100, exhaust, fabrication, factor 55, flood light, ford, fridge, grill, grille, gull wing, half canopy, headboard, headlights, hilux, Hussla, idrive, LED, led strip light, lift off, lifted, mandrel, metalic, MK11, mk2, MKII, mustang, Nitto, open road, paint, parking sensors, pie cut, prolink, px, px2, PXMK2, raised, ranger, raptor, remote, reservoir, reverse, rival, sherpa, shocks, slide, Slide on, Slide on camper, snorkel, spare tyre, steel tray, synthetic, touring, Trail Grapplers, travel, travel truck, tray, tray mods, truck, truck bed, tub tray, unique, ute, welding, winch
If you’ve read through our previous blog posts, you can see our ute trays are evolving.
Following our dreams and the natural direction of our business we’re listening to our customers to design a tray with key features they want.
With every build better than the last, some red hot iPhone photos and the help of social media, the demand is getting ever stronger and the tray building is becoming my obsession. We’re honing in on producing a product that is strong, durable, practical and most of all looks the goods.
To help with our creative intuition, I’ve purchased a stock 2016 Ford Ranger PX MK2 ute. Throughout the next few months we will be transforming this basic looking 4wd to a show stopping rig suited for work, touring or play. Nothing too extreme and keeping it road legal, just a few key accessories to transform this average Joe ranger into something else.
At the end of the build it will be for sale on our for sale page.
Starting off with the stock ute. Well almost stock. We picked this one up with low ks, one owner never been off road with only country ks. Its got a few extras like 31″ all-terrains & steel rims, steel bull bar, tint, window shades, tonneau cover, tub liner, tow bar, & a front leaf catcher. The perfect platform.
Hitting the ground running, since I knew i was getting a dual cab Ranger, we already had the tray partially made. The day the ute got to the shop we had the tub off for a final fit up before it gets sent off for blasting & painting. This needs to be done first because its going to take the longest to get painted so the quicker it goes, the quicker it gets back.
Next was to choose some rims that’ll stand out. We’ve gone for 18×9 with a wide offset to give the ute some width. These rims haven’t even hit the market yet, so i’m pretty stoked to be the first and have something different.
New suspension is in, gone for the Dobinsons 2″ lift with 500k heavy duty rear springs and Dobinsons adjustable height struts in the front. The car’s gone up about 4 inches and to top it off I have also done a 2″ body lift.
Rims wrapped with Nitto tail grappler mud terrain 33’s. Courtesy of Northern Beaches Tyres!
For the shocks i’ve splashed out a bit and chosen Dobinsons adjustable remote reservoir for front and rear. On a turn of the dial you can change the softness. Decent looking gear cant wait to put them through their paces.
For the donk i’ve installed a turbo back 3″ straight through mandrel bent exhaust and a Idrive throttle controller. Not wanting to change too much mechanically as its still a new car under warranty and want the reliability. We will be knocking up a stainless snorkel at a later stage and that’ll probably be it.
While waiting for the tray to get painted, why not chop up the grill. Not wanting to follow the sheep with a cheap arse ebay grill with the token FORD embossed on the front. I’m just going to wing it here.
Now without any further ado, my bull bar has arrived! Over 7 weeks wait and imported from Russia, I am happy as a pig in shit.
Made from 6mm aluminium with a steel sub-structure this is unique to the others on the market and love the look.
The tray has been collected from the sandblaster and taken to the panel beater for the 2pac colour & clear. While it was there it has been primed in a high build epoxy and all the seams caulked. This process will give a fully rust proof finish where water cannot penetrate any part of the tray.
The tray has arrived from the painter. White Michael Jackson gloves must be worn from here on in.
Next step is to prepare the ute for surgery.
Like all our tray conversions, its all about the attention to detail. We degrease the whole back end of the chassis and rub it back with 2000 grit wet and dry to remove any surface debris.
Once dry its then masked up and painted in high gloss enamel, looking better than a new one!
Tray is fitted now time to start the wiring. This one has a LOT of wires..
So the tray’s almost complete. Boxes and guards done. This tray has integrated parking sensors, LED courtesy lights in the headboard and inside the boxes, electronic locks for keyless entry and for something different – illuminated logos on the box doors.
The photos don’t do it justice.
So there it is. Done and dusted in under 2 months.
Check out the video below.
So a few months have passed, time to do a bit more work on the ute.
Wanting to build my own 4″ stainless snorkel, I have decided to do something different. Using a series of ‘pie cuts’ of stainless tube.
Some will like it some won’t but I want it to be different than the others.
Snorkel done, grill now blacked out
Next was something i have wanted to do for a while. Upgrade the headlights to the after market Mustang style LED projector type, install a winch and fit a lightbar in the bullbar somehow.
Lights and winch in. Gone for an Australian made Sherpa 12,000lb winch. Pretty good reviews so spent up here.
Next was to weld in some tabs and fit the lightbar into the bullbar. I found a brand that fit perfect its a Nighthawk something from ARB.
New front end done and dusted and im really happy how it came out. Just waiting for my synthetic winch rope and factor 55 prolink shackle mount. The lights have sequential LED blinkers like the new Audi’s
Next chapter will be the back end. As I own another ute, i don’t necessarily need the tray space on this one so I plan on building a half canopy.
Fully TIG welded aluminium construction with a top notch paint finish.
With the profile of the canopy designed to match our headboards for a seamless finish that look good. They also have a 10mm shadow gap right around to look like its floating and to also stop metal on metal or paint wear.
Gull wing style doors with LED strip light built into the inside of the door. It works on a 12v motion sensor and digital timer so no need for any switches or forgetting to turn it off.
Next was to install a dual battery system and fridge. Gone with a Easyslide ES100 and an Engel 40L fridge freezer. I have also mounted a 110AH AGM battery under the slide so its out of the way and dosen’t take up any space. I have also now installed the LED strip lighting to the doors which works on 12v PIR motion sensor with a 1-10 minute timer, so no switch or the chance of leaving it on.
I have also got myself another spare (not like i’ll ever need 2) but it looks the part. Done away with the Baja style tyre carrier and mounted them to the back of the canopy. They are on machined nylon spacers so the tyres don’t rub off the paint off the canopy. I have also installed LED strip tail lights to the top corners of the canopy too.
Here you can see the removable rear rack supporting the back end of my James Baround hard shell pop up tent, also put a light on the underside of the rack so i can use the back of the tray as a table when camping.
Decided to get the stainless snorkel powder coated matt black.
Front end finally finished. Now have the winch spooled up with dyneema rope and a Factor 55 pro-link and a couple of shackles for extra wank.