Trucks & SUVs

Now You Can Build Your Own Ford Bronco (And Ranger) R

Although the Ford Bronco R didn’t win the Baja 1000, it still gave a heck of a performance. Competing with the likes of Honda’s Unlimited Ridgeline, the Bronco R was also an early look at the production SUV. Obviously, as a Trophy Truck, the Bronco R doesn’t share a lot with the street Bronco. And there’s still a lot we don’t know about the upcoming SUV.

There’ve been conflicting reports about both its and the baby Bronco’s platform. Ford might be making a convertible pickup version. But when the road-going Bronco does come out, off-roading fans might be able to make their own Bronco R’s. And possibly, even a Ford Ranger R pickup.

The parts you need to make a Ford Bronco R

2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 | Ford-001
2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 | Ford

According to Muscle Cars and Trucks, the Bronco will supposedly be offered with either a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6. Neither of these engines was in the Bronco R, which used a version of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. And sadly, as a specially-developed racing engine, buyers can’t replicate it specifically.

However, it’s not only engine performance that makes a Baja racing truck. Suspension is key—and that’s something that ordinary people can get their hands on. According to The Drive, the Bronco R rides on suspension originally developed for a racing F-150 Raptor. And just like the stock and PaxPower Raptors, all the parts come from Fox.

2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 | Ford-001
2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 | Ford

To turn a production Bronco into a road-going R, buyers will need the following Fox Factory Race parts: 2.5 bump stop, 2.5 coil-over springs, 3.0 and 4.0 external bypass reservoirs, and 3.0 coil-over internal bypass reservoir.

The bump stops add suspension travel, and prevent the suspension from bottoming-out and breaking out the top of the wheel well. The bump stops and coil-overs are what let the Bronco R achieve such long suspension travel. Bypass shocks, according to Jalopnik, allow for the fluid inside a shock to move around and dampen motion more effectively. And the remote reservoirs help keep the fluid cool.

Cost and availability

All the parts are available from the Fox Factory Race website. However, the 4.0 external bypass reservoir shocks were not listed at the time of writing. Nevertheless, Muscle Cars and Trucks was able to obtain pricing.

The bump stop is cheapest, at $304.95. The coil-overs were $639.95. The 3.0 and 4.0 external bypass reservoirs were $1199.95 and $2059.95, respectively. The internal bypass reservoirs were $3399.95. Altogether, building your own Bronco R will cost $7,605.

2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 | Ford-001
2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 | Ford

Take note: that’s before the cost of installation. The Drive also reported that Fox performed some custom suspension tuning for the Baja racer, allowing the Bronco R to achieve up to 18” of travel. But the good news is, these parts should also fit on the Ford Ranger, too.

How does a Ford Ranger R work out?

Although reports are conflicting, the upcoming Bronco appears to be based on the next-gen Ranger platform. Therefore, if the parts fit the Bronco, they should fit the Ranger as well.

PaxPower Ford Ranger Raptor | PaxPower
PaxPower Ford Ranger Raptor | PaxPower

But there’s another sign a homemade Ford Ranger R isn’t a far-fetched idea. The Bronco R suspension parts list reads very similar to the modifications PaxPower uses to make the US-spec Ranger Raptor. PaxPower uses King components, not Fox, but the shocks still have remote reservoirs.

Nissan Frontier Desert Runner SEMA Custom
Nissan Frontier Desert Runner SEMA Custom | Nissan

It’s just a shame Nissan won’t build the Frontier Desert Runner. A Ford Ranger R vs. Nissan Frontier Desert Runner race would make for an excellent Baja.