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Ford Ranger III



  • Get's pretty amazing gas milage. A coworker has a 99 GT Mustang with just about every bolt on power adder you can think of (even 150 shot of nitrous). It still gets over 20 MPG in the city, and over 25 highway.

    The F-150 is a bit aerodynamically handicapped compared to the Mustang, but you should still see over 20 MPG regularly.
  • quark99quark99 Posts: 136
    I'm guessing you don't have (need) trailer brakes on your 1800# trailer.....but if you did you might notice that the back end doesn't get "pushed around" as much. I tend to insist on surge or electric brakes on my trailers so I have some control on braking the trailer's weight, and also save my truck's rotor's and drums. The boat I'll be pulling weighs 2250#, plus 650# single-axle trailer (total dry weight 2900#), but in reality the total weight will be around 3300-3500#
    with gas, gear, ice chests, skis, etc. Surge brakes will greatly help slow that weight down, and unlike an F-150 or other full-size truck, the Ranger's low vehicle weight can use all the help it can get when it comes to controlling equal or greater weight trailers.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    Thank you for your post. My truck is a 2-wheel drive, and it does have the 4" alloy driveshaft. My dealer's service manager says the bump is inherent because of the "isolation rubber mountings in the drivetrain". I think he is clueless. The bump feels like a rear spring wrap-up to me. Anyway, it is becoming less prevalent; maybe I am just getting acccustomed to it.

    Overall, I love the truck. No other issues with three months and 3000 miles.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I have been pleased with my 2002 Mazda B4000 dual sport, 2WD with 4.0L and auto trans. I would have preferred a manual trans, but the auto does give more towing capacity. The truck was a terrific value, has plenty of power, and steers/handles well. I have had it for three months and have 3000 miles on it. Only problem was to have the headlight aiming adjusted slightly. It delivers 17 MPG in city (not heavy traffic) and 22 MPG on highway.

    I recommend that you test drive one. Mazda currently has big rebates, and my dealer was selling them at invoice before deducting the rebate.
  • jackkajackka Posts: 25
    Many thanks, nerd (no insult intended).

    I have my eye on a B4000 with manual tranny at a local dealer.

    I think I'll check with some Explorer owners for some longer term reports on the engine. I hope your B4000 serves you well for a long time.
  • quark99quark99 Posts: 136
    I'm looking at all the available "packages" for a 2000 SC 4x4; it appears that if you opt for the 4.0L you must accept the 4:11 rear end. Is it possible to order a 4.0L 4x4 with a 3:55 or 3:73 rear end? (and limited-slip)?
  • webjeff2webjeff2 Posts: 21
    I purchased a new 2001 Ranger last summer, a 4 cylinder 2.3 ltr 5 speed. On the day of delivery when I returned home, the truck had 28 miles on the odo and after sitting in the garage for about and hour, I noticed a large puddle of coolant under the truck, it appeared to be a loose hose which I tightend. By the time I'd reached 2000 miles, I was back at the dealer. The rear springs were squeaking and had to be replaced, the air bag light was on due to a faulty sensor and was replaced, the radiator had developed a leak due to "poor welding at some of the seams" and was replaced, they performed the "seat belt recall" and adjusted the tie rod ends because the steering wheel was off center. Everything seemed to be fine for the next several months until I hit 6000 miles. I was checking the oil level and noticed coolant in the oil , this along with the fact that the truck had started to ping under acceleration recently. Well, I'd had enough, I traded the truck in that day. That was my last Ford truck so I went to Dodge (first time owning a Dodge) and bought the new body style 2002 Ram 1500 SLT V8 with 5 speed manual transmission. The gas mileage isn't nearly as good (16.5 mpg vs. 23 mpg) but this truck is powerful and at 5500 miles, I have ZERO complaints and have not had to return to the dealer at all!!!!!
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I too have had my share of problems. I want so much to love my Ranger (which I bought new) but it has just been a nagging problem with quality. It is almost as if Ford slams these trucks out, and then lets the customer and dealer do the "quality control" themselves. So far: All 4 tires replaced (Firestones); turn signal microswitch replaced; driveshaft replaced; rear window STILL leaks (after 2 attempts); door ajar light not turning off; left headlight shorting due to misrouted wiring harness (with resulting melted connector); a front end pull to the right that has never been sorted out; a floorboard vibration that still exists, in spite of driveshaft and tire replacements; and, a loud rearend whine, under load, at about 35 to 55 mph. So far, 16 388 miles on the truck. GREAT FEATURES I LOVE about this truck: The 5 speed auto is great (UNLESS I discover it is the torque converter that is making the truck shake > I fear this is a possiblility); the 4 door cab is great (something the Taco needs !); I love the torque of the very noisy 4.0 pushrod shaker-motor (it shakes like a Harley V-twin inside of its rubber mounts); I like the driving position (in spite of numerous complaints by others about the seats..but I CANNOT see all of the speedo with the steering wheel adjusted where I like it..I am a little dude, about 150 lbs and 5'8"); I think the stock sound sytem is great for a truck. So far, for the total duration of ownership, I have used 983 gallons of gas (for a mileage of 16.7 mpg; about 25% of my driving is in town). I am now using Motorcraft 5-20W oil and will carefully check mileage to see if I can see any difference over time. MODS: ARE cap [fantastic quality..BUT...lack of night visibility out dark rear glass is DANGEROUS]; K&N filter; Weston nerf bars. I STILL think Rangers are basically really neat trucks, in SPITE of my troubles. My next truck will be either an F-150 or a Tundra with V-8, 2x4, LSD. IF you buy a Ranger, DO NOT get a 4x4 UNLESS you REALLY need it. The ride quality and gas mileage will suffer DRAMATICALLY if you use it as a highway truck. Good luck all with your Rangers.
  • mkstfmkstf Posts: 12
    I recently bought a 94 ranger 4x4 3.0,gas mileage is about 14 mpg around town,if i change gear ratio will this help??? i dont really haul alot and i dont do any towing. any advice will be appreciated thanks.....
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    You probably have 4.10 gears.. go to a 3.73... Also if you have large tires get rid of them.. Also try a K&N air filter, make sure the truck is tuned properly.. You should be getting about 17...
  • polsenpolsen Posts: 25
    I am looking at purchasing a small pickup to tow behind a motorhome which has a towing limit of #3500. The Ford and mazda web sites state the weights at close to over this limit, On edmunds too many models list the same weight to be believed. Do pickups list their weights on the door jamb? Or has any one weighed their pickup? I'm looking at 4x4s, would love the extended cab and the largest engine but realize that the biggest combo would weigh around #4000.
  • mkstfmkstf Posts: 12
    how can i find out what gear ratio my truck has????
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Go to

    There is a section there that gives specs.

    On your driver's door is a tag with all kinds of info about the vehicle. One of them is AXLE. There should be about a 2 or 3 digit code for the axle. It indicates the ratio and if it is a limited slip or not. Anyway, this is what you look up on the above site....
  • tallzagtallzag Posts: 3
    I am looking at buying a new Ranger (2001 or 2002 4x2 x-cab) and wanted to know what it can REALLY tow. This will not be it's primary purpose (maybe like 2 or 3 times a year), but what can it tow. I am very into classic cars and would probably be looking at towing close to 6000 pounds. I know this is pushing it, but could it get away with this a couple times a year? Would it kill the truck? Thanks.
  • polsenpolsen Posts: 25
    A good rule of thumb is to tow less than 70% of the towing rating. #6000 is just too high for a compact pickup. One of the factors that makes towing safer is the wheelbase and overall weight of the towing vehicle. Get a full-sized pickup for about the same gas mileage, cost and much better safety. If you tow with the ranger this heavy of a load you will not enjoy your white-knuckle experience.
  • polsenpolsen Posts: 25
    Look at the lowest discussion on the pickup list "The best power train for towing". A lot of good points on towing. Compact pickups were not highly thought of. Look at posts around 95-10.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Towing 6000 lbs with ANY Ranger is just plain RISKY.
    Stick to under 3500 with ANY of them. I tow under 2000 pounds with an XLT 4x4 4.0 V6 and have gotten into some scary situations even at that. I am conservative, and drive no more than 55 to 60 with a boat; wet roads and high winds will rock a Ranger around like a Tonka toy. Rangers are NOT that heavy or stable enough to justify towing 3 tons. Get yourself an F-150 or tundra if you want to tow that much weight. Consider your OWN SAFETY as a factor.
  • quark99quark99 Posts: 136
    I've towed a 4000#-4250# boat/trailer with a 4.0 (160HP) 1996 was fine, as long as the trailer brakes were in good condition. Regardless of what Edmunds says, a 2002 4.0L Supercab Auto 2wd weighs only 3280 dry, (I saw the shipping weight/bill of lading at my local dealership).
    This means that at 4900# trailer weight, you are pulling 1.5 times your vehicle weight, which becomes a little "iffy" to control. The Ranger is a fine tow vehicle (one of the best) if you consider power vs. weight ratio; there is ample torque and HP to pull the load. But as others have stated, that big slug behind you can start to negatively affect your ability to control your vehicle. I am now looking for a Ranger to pull a 2850# load; which is light enough to eliminate most worries (with trailer brakes). You want to use that impressive 5800# tow rating? Take a yard of concrete home a mile or two thru residentials; see how you like the feeling of the trailer steering your vehicle. Now imagine a blowout on a trailer wheel at 50, 55, or 65 mph with that load. It's heading for the shoulder, and so is the rear axle of your truck. The Ranger can pull tree stumps, drag a broken 5800# Suburban a few miles to the mechanic, etc. But getting out on the highway with more than 4500# is asking for grief; like someone else here said "forget about enjoying the ride"....
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    I once towed about 4800# with my 1998 Ranger 4.0 160HP engine.. Pulled it just fine but you REALLY had to watch yourself. Lucky I was only going across town. The Ranger has the HP/Torque to to the pulling no doubt.. But to do it on a regular basis.. nope.
  • boils down to wheelbase and truck weight vs trailered weight.
This discussion has been closed.