Westen Champlin Turbocharges Sleeper LS-Swapped Ford Ranger, First Drive Goes South

The current Gen V Ford Ranger, with its badass 2023 Raptor version that packs a 392 hp twin-turbo V6, feels like the kind of mid-size truck that’s always been in U.S. showrooms. Well, the Blue Oval pick-up actually spent eight long years off the American market, having returned for the 2019 model year (that was the Gen IV). However, it’s the Gen III model that probably has the greatest presence on American roads nowadays. And the example we have here is the kind that will have people talking about the Ranger, since this is Westen Champlin’s sleeper.

One of the most popular car YouTubers (2.38M subs at the time of press), the Kansas-based 23-year-old knows how to put his mechanic skills to good use on social media. This is why he bought an LS-swapped 2005 Ranger last fall, and he’s currently adding power the easy way, or at least that was supposed to be the plan.

This is the kind of project Westen handles in between serious builds, such as the compound boost Mopar that is his twin-turbo Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye or his 1,500 HP Big Block-swapped S550 Mustang. Now, that ‘Stang used to pack a 2.3-liter turbo four-bager, which also happened to be the displacement of the vlogger’s Ranger, albeit in naturally aspirated form.

A $450 turbo kit was the power adder of choice

Nevertheless, the enthusiast, who seemed undecided in terms of picking between a turbocharger, a blower and nitrous in his initial Sleeper Ranger video from last year, seems to have picked his poison. So, in his latest adventure, Westen quick-fits an eBay turbo kit to the 5.3L V8 his Ranger came with.

Whenever a build sporting one or more turbos that poke through the hood shows up on social media, one’s first reaction tends to involve the word “spectacular”. Then again, you can always regad that as a project whose maker couldn’t or wouldn’t find a way to make the hardware fit under the hood.

And, given the said sleeper aim for this Blue Oval truck, Westen had to turn to a bit of redneck engineering to achieve his goal. After a bit of sawzall and grinder work, the man achieved his goal. The only major clue towards the newfound muscle of the Ranger is the shortie exhaust tip protruding through the passenger side front fender.

Of course, there’s also the soundtrack, with the turbo-ed Vortec LS motor delivering a glorious aural experience. And, following a mail-delivered tune, albeit a specific one coming from “Dr. Tune”, who also works on the builds of YouTuber Cleetus McFarland, the Ranger was ready for its first drive.

Alas, as we mentioned in the title, things didn’t exactly go well, which is why you’ll get to listen to the sound a seized engine makes in the final part of the clip. Then again, Westen seems as prepared as ever to take this emotional rollercoaster back up for his next Ranger adventure.



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