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Ford Ranger III



  • I just sold a 98 Tacoma SR5 supercab 4x4 v-6. My new 2001 Ranger should arrive in about 2 weeks. It is a 4 door supercab 4x4 with the SOHC 4.0 v-6, 5 speed auto, XLT with the off-road package. I sold my Tacoma because it was probably the most uncomfortable vehicle I've ever owned. Besideds that it was a great little truck. Anybody else have the same problem with their Tacomas ? Can't wait for my Ranger to show up, 4 litre SOHC + 5 speed auto + 4.10 limited slip rearend should equal lots of smoke off of the (gulp!) Firestone P 245/74/R16's !
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    turbocat, as soon as you take delivery of your Ranger run down as fast as you can to the nearest Discount tire or Americas Tire store and trade those Firejunkers in!! Get some P265x75xR16's all terrains with at least an 8ply tire. You should get a pretty good trade in for you new Firestones. The 265 will make the stance of your Ranger look even more agressive, along with the increase in ground clearance to match any Toyota TRD on the road. Believe me Tires make a huge difference on how a truck looks and performs..
  • vince8 I plan on actually getting both new wheels and tires. I was going to go with 15X8's and 31X10.50 15's. Old tech. I know, but my I can save a few bucks over the 16 inch setup. Actually, nobody wants to trade for Firejunkers now because nobody will buy them. Maybe Ebay?
  • trade your tires into a dealer towards the purchase of new tires
  • BTW what color did u order??? Im thinking in a few months of maybe getting one, I like the White EDGE 4x4
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    My mistake, zigster48! In the forums, a guy reports being able to order a 4.0L 5sp manual regular-cab 2001 Ottawa. So much for the U.S. market. Sigh.

    I sure hope they change their mind in the U.S. too:

    --offer the 2.3L (at least give us the 5sp manual) with the 7' bed for guys like me interested in MPG;
    --offer the 4.0L with the regular cab 4X2 for the sport-truck crowd.

    My guess is they've cut down on the number vehicle combinations to save $$. If they "save" enough, I just might not buy another Ford. Congrats, Ford, you sure "saved" a lot!

    Thanks, tacoma_trd, for the link. It's a good site for MPG-obsessed people like me!
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    OK, how about talking about what we'd like to see in future Rangers. Say, the next complete redesign which is around 2003/2004.

    At the risk of offending a lot of people in this forum, let me start the ball rolling:

    --Replace the current OHV 3.0L in favor of the 200hp OHC 3.0L found in Taurus etc. This is a better base engine for 4x4 models and an excellent upgrade for cheaper 4X2 models. OR, if Ford really really has to cut down on the number of vehicle combinations to cut $$, drop the 3.0L altogether. The engine lineup would then be similar to Chevy's: a base 2.3L (hey,140hp isn't TOO bad) and a +200hp 4.0L V6 for 4x4s, sport trucks, etc.
    --Offer a light-weight AWD system (like new Escape) as a upgrade to 4x2 models. AWD systems are VERY popular in SUVs and sedans (Subaru etc.) in northern regions where there's snow/bad weather/etc. Why not in a pickup? I'm thinking of an $1K option that adds 100-200lb to the weight of the truck. Offer it with all engine options, including the 2.3L 4cyl. (You can get the 4cyl Escape with AWD.)
    --Crew-cab version with 5' bed.
    --Of course, still offer a true heavy-duty 4x4 model for the offroad crowd. My old Ranger 4x4 is a lot of fun, even with only 115hp out of the old 2.8L V6! But I want MUCH better MPG from my next truck.
    --Develop a brand-new midsize pickup/SUV platform to compete with the Dakota. There's obviously a lot of interest in midsize pickups. This new midsize would have V6s and V8s. Keep the Ranger a real compact, Ford!

    Just my thoughts.
  • The color I ordered is black with tan interior. I thought about ordering an Edge, but they come with vinyl floors instead of carpet. (I ordered an XLT). Also, I like chrome bumpers etc. I'll keep ya all up to date when I receive mine. (about two weeks, whoo hoo !!!) It's going to lease pretty well too.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    The 3.0 Vulcan is being dropped next year, wish answered. Ford is developing a straight 6, even a 4cyl diesel for the Ranger. I am hearing rumors the new 2003 Ranger will be larger, almost the size of the Dakota. Remember, this is a truck not a sports car. Trucks need torque to haul/pull/tow.
  • Ford is coming out with an all new Explorer this spring as a 2002 model. It will be larger than it is now but smaller than the Expedition. Engines will be SOHC 4.0 base with a 4.6 Trition v-8 optional. It looks alot like a baby Expedtion. Should be pretty good competition for the Durango. Maybey the Ranger will follow suit....
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    I'm the one who has posted about the availability of 4.0L SOHC 5 speed manual Rangers here in Canada. I wish I had access to a scanner, so I could post the Canadian 2001 Ranger brochure. I went into the dealer on Friday last week, and the salesman took down the options I wanted, and was going to place an order for a black 2001 XLT 4x2 SuperCab for me. When he checked to see if the Ford ordering system was accepting orders for the 4.0L/5 speed combo, he noticed that there was already an order for a black Regular Cab 4x2. Hopefully I'll get to drive one in 6-8 weeks, and I'll post my impressions. If the finances work out, I'll be taking it home!
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    What I'd like to see...
    -I agree with dannyg in that just a 4 cyl and one 6 cylinder engine option are needed. If they boost the 6 to 250hp+, who needs a V8?
    -maybe a diesel for those interested (not me!)
    -Make the engines all aluminum to save weight.
    -6 speed manual transmission.
    -Increase in size just slightly, keep the weight the same. I would love to see a 6.5 foot box - that extra 6 inches is very handy for hauling stuff (snowmobiles fit better).
    -A composite box - at least the inside. This would eliminate the need for bedliners.
    -offer a sport 2wd package on 4x2 RC and SC, with Recaro like seats (can you say SVT Ranger?).
    -aluminum wheels on 4x2 like they used to.
    -offer a high-end stereo with sub on all models, Regular cab and Super cab.
    -Factory sunroof option like Toyota, Nissan.
    Well, that's it for now.
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    Instead of the diesel, how about a hybrid? The 2.3L 4cyl (maybe even a 2.0L) supplemented by an electric engine would have very respectable torque/0-60/towing/hauling, and, of course, good MPG.
  • kit1404kit1404 Posts: 128
    The Ranger needs some serious development dollars and it looks like most in the immediate future will come from the Explorer. That's not all bad, just not competitive. Dodge has a really nice truck in the Dakota/Durango. The V-8 is not a left-over - it got plugged into those models very soon after the intro in the Grand Cherokee. Ford really needs to compete in this arena. Maybe it can do it with the old Ranger chassis- I don't think so. This has been a good, stout compact truck chassis and could stay that way. They need a new mid-size frame/engine and everything else combo whether it is called Ranger or not. Frankly, Ford has excelled with trucks and led the American truck market. They have 4 different SUV's now, went to a ton of expense to differentiate the F-Series between the F-150 and Super-Duty, isn't it time to compete with the Dodge Dakota too and keep the Ranger as a good, well-developed compact pickup? I would sure be interested in a new mid-size truck from Ford - but, then only too if it had plenty of power and got good gas mileage.
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    A hybrid Ranger would be interesting since the high torque of the electric engine would nicely complement the horsepower of the 4cyl gasoline engine.

    The Toyota Prius is a hybrid--its electric engine develops only 40hp but a whopping 225 ft. lb of torque from 0-400 RPM (!). All that torque at low RPMs would be great for pulling boat trailers up launching ramps, 4x4ing, etc. Combine that with the new 2.3L's 140hp and 155 and you've got a pretty potent combination: 180hp and lots of torque.

    Plus much better MPG.

    Check out for more info.

    I hear Ford is already developing this system for the Escape which will get the 2.3L at some point. I hope they offer it on the Ranger too.
  • According to Ford's internal documents, Ford's 3.0L Vulcan V6 and 2.5L Ranger engines are both going to be discontinued.

    The Vulcan 3.0L will continue through the 2002 model year Ranger, although some production might spill over into early 2003 models. 2000 will be the last year for the 3.0L FFV Ranger.

    The Vulcan 3.0L will be replaced by an I-5 cylinder engine for Ranger/B-series light truck applications. BlueOvalNews was the first publication to first report the existence of the I5 back on 21 July 1999 .

    While the Ford Ranger will use the 2.8L I5, the Ranger's Mazda cousin will use a 2.7L version of the I5.

    From 2002 forward the only V6 engine to be offered in the Ranger will be the 4.0L V6. The Koln 4.0L V6 has some temporary safety and will even receive an upgrade within the next few years. We'll cover the fate of the 4.0L when we publish information on the 2003+ Explorer. We expect that the 3.0L Vulcan 3.0 will be completely discontinued from both the car and truck lines by 2003.

    Gone with the Vulcan is the 4R44E automatic transmission. It will be replaced by the 5R55E, also in 2002. The R1 manual transmission will remain in use through 2003.

    Also on the chopping block is the 2.5L I4 cylinder engine. 2001 will be the last year in which the 2.5L will be used when a new 2.3L I4 replaces it as well. Both will use the same transmissions as the I5.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    zig, nice info. Thanks.
    I-5 sounds kind of funny though? Why not an I-6 like Chevy is doing? Hope to see a diesel too.
  • kit1404kit1404 Posts: 128
    I applaud the gas/hybrid anything vehicle. It is the best step in the right direction that we have gone yet. I think these vehicles hold a lot of promise - don't count me as one of the first buyers, but they could at least be the first good, urban-style vehicles that offer alternative power. Pick-ups? Probably on the horizon, not there yet.

    Still don't hear from anyone how Ford will update the Ranger? I understand it will get the Explorer's old engine - soon to be base engine for the Explorer - the SOHC 4.0, same old engine with a newer design. Sounds like GM to me? Is that really a big step forward?

    Face it - an old engine design, updated a few years ago to keep the Explorer competitive. Now, the Explorer gets a nice new and small V-8 in a few months - where has the new Ranger engine been?

    I follow Ford closely - have owned many of their vehicles, mostly with very good results. Own two F-series trucks now and I must say I am most happy with both. But, where is the good technology in the Ranger? Had a new Ranger (1998) with very poor results - 4.0 engine woes. A new chassis would have allowed the really nice 4.6 OHC engine from the base F-150 to be an option and probably make an incredible competitor to the Dodge Dakota with the V-8. They have missed this one - one of the first I have ever seen Ford miss with trucks.

    I truly like the hybrid idea - it will have to be a good car design before it works as a truck. And, that is where the Escape comes to view - it's really a car with nice Taurus engine. But, then maybe that is the direction the Ranger is going. In my mind, it is not going in the direction of a good compact truck. We need a Dakota competitor to keep up with the Ranger's original design theme - a very durable, compact truck that works hard as a pickup but also delivers the best value on the planet.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Your last sentence hits the mark with the value statement. The Ranger can be had in so many configurations it will make your head spin. The Ranger is the best compact truck value in the market today.
    As far as the SOHC 4.0 being "old" its only been int he Explorer for about 3 years, 4 tops. The SOHC 4.0 is no slouch either. To develop an engine solely for the Ranger would cost serious dollars in development/parts/support you name it. I feel its smart of Ford to offer this engine. It fits perfect into this truck class. A V8 Ranger is overkill in my book. If I want a V8 I would go to a full size. I have a 4.0 V6 and it has pulled, hauled and towed everything I have asked of it..
  • for you guys getting the new 2001 4.0 ranger, be prepared for it to suck gas. there are two local rangers [owned by a glass business] in my area using new ranger xlt's [extended cabs] 4x4's with 5 sp autos and new 4.0.s. they say the mpg is about 1 to 1.5 less than the old 4.0 engine, as long as you don't get too heavy on the foot. if you really "gas" it, mileage is about 15 to 15.5. when you think about it, this makes sense. you can't get something for nothing, thermodynamically: do more work-use more fuel. also, the engine seems noisy to me, not a "knocking" as much as a high frequency "rattle", much like my old kawasaki motorcycle engine. maybe it's just the nature of ohc engines...a lot of metallic "clicking". i think the trucks look great, and will buy one if i wear out the ranger that i already have. good luck to all 2001 buyers: it looks like a real nice truck, with lots of power ! just take a gasoline credit card wtih you ! ford and others are going to have to start thinking about the fuel cost issue. i am sure this engine was on the drawing board LONG before $2 gallon gas.
This discussion has been closed.