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Ford Ranger III



  • I got the regular cab Edge, 4x2, 5 speed manual, tilt and cruise, with Edge plus package (6 disc in dash, rims and goodyears) plus I added security, step bars, door locks and limited slip. All said and done I financed 14 grand. I started off the invoice pricing, and paid $100 over invoice in trade for extra goodies installed. Then the rebate.

    I owe less on my 2003 Ranger than my girlfriend owe's on her 2001 accord.
  • limanliman Posts: 32
    and the limited slip, are you ever in snow? I am not in a bad snow area, but we do get some from time to time, and there are hills around. I want to be able to use my truck all year round.

    I prefer to skip the 4x4 to keep things simple and cheaper. Also I have heard and read that steering and handling are not as good w/ 4x4. Thanks in advance.
  • So if I do see snow it's never around for more than a day or so. We might get one or two hard freezes throughout the year, but that is usually taken care of by the city sanding the bridges, etc.

    I didn't have the need for a 4x4 as I am not an off-roading type of guy. The edge package does have a 4x4 suspension, so I don't imagine there is a whole lot of difference in handling in my 4x2. A 4x4 would probably only add a bit more weight up front, and would only really handle differently if the transfer case was engaged. Insurance is also much cheaper on a 4x2.

    I got the limited slip so I would not have to worry when I do go on a few country dirt roads, or out camping. I have yet to experience any wheel slip, but it's good to know the limited slip is there in case I do hit some mud or ice that I wasn't expecting. For $295.00 dollar upgrade it should be well worth it. Just have it added to the bill of sale so you shouldn't have to pay for installation labor, etc.

    Another advantage with the limited slip is that it is always "on", or ready to engage. No buttons to hit. It is also better than lockers or 4x4 systems in that a limited slip will have no affect on turning or cornering ability. Definitely worth the small price you pay for it.

    One small note, I love my 3.0l stick in the regular cab 4x2. Plenty of power, however highway gas economy suffers a little with the 4.10's in the rear. I would go with 3.73's(or whatever equivalent there is) for a little lower rpm's while cruising. But if I had to tow, the 4.10's would definitely make it easy to get a load moving.
  • limanliman Posts: 32
    for your post. Appreciate your comments re/ limited slip. Also I hadn't thought about the insurance difference. I am looking at the automatic, 3.0l and regular cab.

    As for the final drive ratio, I was under the impression that the edge only came with 4.10, vs 3.73 in the XLT. If I had my choice I would be inclined to go with the 3.73. I don't plan on towing and am looking for a relatively relaxed highway ride.

    I prefer the higher stance of the edge along with the vinyl flooring.
  • I didn't look into gear ratios when purchasing, so it is all after the fact. I didn't know the 3.73's are only available on the XLT. I figured it would be little more than a speedocable gear change, and a new rear gears. I currently do 80mph at 3,000 RPM's, and with the horsepower peak over 5k, it has plenty of passing power when needed. Also my Edge has a governor at 92mph...

    One item to note, my 2003 Edge is quieter on the highway than my girlfriends 2001 Accord EX. The wind and road noise is much better insulated in my truck. She gets better gas milage (4 cylinder Honda), but I can go places she can't... Had to get step bars so she could easily get in the cab, but when comparing the Rangers on the lot, I had to get the extra ride height. I love my truck, and will definitely enjoy it for a long while.
  • Anybody have any experience with a cat-back system for a Ford 3.0l? I am looking for 1st. Power increase and 2nd. A bit more sound and 3rd. A good deal.

    How about any other performance parts? Chips, air intake, etc? My main goal is to increase power to help out gas economy. As much as a catch 22 that is, I do admit I enjoy a little lead foot action here and there.
  • limanliman Posts: 32
    for the Edge info. I will talk to my dealer about rear end options.

    Your comments on highway ride quality are greatly appreciated. I need to check out the rpm vs mph numbers on the automatic.
  • amoralesamorales Posts: 196
    Anyone hear about the new Thunderbolt? FORD SVT supposedly has put a supercharged 5.4 Triton in a Ranger with plans to market. GM, Dodge of Germany currently have no mini truck to meet challenge.

    Regards to all truck loving perple,

  • Check out this link, or check the post above yours... :)

    midnight_stang Jan 29, 2003 9:26am

    380hp/450lb.ft should be pretty mean in a regular cab ranger!
  • I just got a used '99 Ranger 4x4 Stepside. I would like to get people's opinions on hard and soft covers as well as pros/cons of the hook and loop versions of soft covers versus the snap versions. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    I have a snap on Black Max Extang cover on my 95 Ranger. IT's been on the truck 3 years now and still doesnt let a drop of water into the bed. I like that you can roll it up easily and store it by the back of the cab to carry heavy cargo, and there's also the obvious fact that it was cheap.
    Dont like how much of a pain it can be to get on when it's cold outside and the canvas shrinks. Sometimes my fingers and palms will get blistered from the effort and I might only be able to manage a few every hours before I get tired from all that pulling and I have to take a rest. That's a problem youll have with pretty much any soft cover. Mine is a quality product, but I just dont like the general charactaristics of soft covers anymore other than low price.

    If I had it to do again, I'd buy a hard cover. Reason 1: They lock. Reason 2: They lock. and Reason 3: Did I mention they provide locking storage? It may seem like a pain to part with the extra cash for a hard cover. But believe me, on those long trips where you can stop over in a motel without having to lug all luggage in your truck bed into your room and then load it back in the next morning, you will most certainly thank yourself for having bought something that provides a secure bed.

    IF the Ranger is your primary means of transportation, you will thank yourself later for getting the hard cover.
  • Short bed ARE hard tonneau go for about 750-850, and fits your Ranger XLT or Edge body moldings. I will hopefully get one after my spray in bedliner, sometime this summer...
  • mark461mark461 Posts: 2
    1)Do all the 2003 ranger 4x4s have the new 4" alum driveshafts that are replacing the vibrating steel ones?
    2)what kind of gas mileage does the 4.0L 4x4, 4.10 rear get? I do alot of highway driving at 70-80 mph.
     Overall is everyone happy with their Rangers I had a lemon 1999 and swore off fords forever but 0% and a friend in the biz is luring me back. Thanks
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    I will add my 2 cents to your second question. I have an '01 4.0, 4x4, automatic, 4.10 rear and have made several round-trips on the Interstate between Minneapolis and Des Moines. The typical cruising speed is in the 70-80 range.

    I have found the EPA estimates to be pretty accurate on this truck, but wind makes a big difference. The best I ever got was a tad over 20 MPG but I only got that on one round-trip. Going into a stiff headwind, I have gotten as low as 16.5 on the same trip. Around 18 or 19 is about what I average for highway driving. It goes down if I spend much time in stop and go traffic.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I concur. I own an 00 pushrod 4.0 vibrator V6 (with an ARE cap). I average about 18 on the highway (using cruise) at an indicated 70 to maybe 72. When ratcheting up to 80, mileage drops fast as drags increase. I get about 16 to 16.5 at 80. Around town about 14.5 to 15 in summer, about 13 to 13.5 in winter. I have the 3.73 rearend with 5 speed auto, and 15 inch stock Ford alloys with Michelins. Ranger mileage sucks pretty bad on 4x4 V6's, no matter which truck you get. Just simply too much drag (high ground clearance) and weight and friction in the drive train. Physics is at work here. If one wants mileage from a Ranger he needs to get a 4 banger and 2 x 4; he can then expect maybe close to 23-25 mpg under ideal conditions. Trucks SUCK for MPG, period. That is what Honda Civics are built for.
    If MPG is what one nedds, AVOID a truck altogether.
  • tequila2tequila2 Posts: 1
    I bought a 2003 Supercab with 3.0L engine and A/T. It now has 2000 miles on it and I got 21.9 mpg on a 300-mile trip that was 90% highway driving. How much better will this get when the truck is fully broken in? Also, the engine seems kind of noisy to me, especially when accelerating fairly hard or pulling up hills. Is this normal or a cause for concern? Finally, is this engine pretty reliable and how long can I expect it to last with proper maintenance?
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    That engine noise is very likely detonation (pinging) from that 3.0 motor (it is infamous for that symptom). I wouldn't worry about it. They will ping their way to 250 000 miles.
    Also, some of these motors will get a "marbling" sound, especially at idle when cold, that is most likely carbon buildup around the piston skirt area (so the theory goes).
    My 4.0 does it, and has for a long while. It goes away when hot. I don't worry about it anymore. I am just thankful that it runs ! ;-)
  • seyorniseyorni Posts: 9
    I've noticed that the torque peak on the stock 4 cyl. is lower than that on the 3.0 six. This is very odd tuning. The peak on the 3.0 seems too high, also, unless this truck runs at an unusually high RPM. This tuning could result in the 4 cyl making more power at normal cruising speeds than the 6. Is this, in fact, the case? Why would Ford tune their engines so oddly? Would a more aggressive spark advance lower the torque peak on this engine? This works great on Harleys and is cheaper than re camming.
  • Yes, the 2.3l reaches it's peak of 154ft/lbs at 3750 RPM, while the 3.0l it's 180 ft/lsb at 3900. I don't have the complete curve available or infront of me, but I would bet that at 2000 RPM the 3.0l is around 150 ft/lbs.

    I own a 2003 3.0l reg cab 4x2, and when I drive I rarely have to go past 3000 rpm.(and usually only in first gear). I am not a slowpoke either! Best thing to do is test drive both, and I am sure you will see what I mean. In a regular cab, the 3.0l rocks!

    Also, the 3.0l don't ping anymore for 2003 and maybe even 2002.
This discussion has been closed.