Ranger/Dakota; Towing

cmoddlecmoddle Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Ford
OD Folks, new to the site.
Have looked through archives but couldn't really find what I needed so am posting anew.
Am nearing the end of my lease on F-150 v-6 super cab 4 I 2. Truck is too big for most of my needs.
Need to be able to throw stuff in the back so still want to stay in smaller pickups. The availability of choices up here aren't great, but what I've come up with so far are:
a) 2000 Ranger Super cab, 4.0L auto 4X4, loaded, 28000 kilometers $26000Can (sorry guys, Canadian!)
I) 1999 Super cab Dakota, V8 (5.2L?)5 sad,4x4, loaded, 38000k $24000Can
I) 1998 Super cab Dakota 3.9L V6, 4x2 base model, 37000k $17000Can

What I need is a good truck for general around town stuff, occasional highway trips of over 500 miles, towing a 3000/3500 lb boat & trailer.

For the towing part go with the V8 for sure, but gas prices up here are really up there! (southern Canada about 70¢ litre, up here 85¢ a litre, approx 3.8 litres per US Gallon)
So.... Will the Ranger V6 or the Dakota V6 work for the occasional towing? Or will they be seriously underpowered?

Any suggestions or recomendations?
Thanks from the far north


  • ben221ben221 Member Posts: 8
    I, being a not so proud owner of a Dakota will worn you that the mileage on these trucks isnt very good. I have a 2000 Dakota 3.9L V-6 4X4 with the towing package and have 7500 US miles on it. I get 13mpg highway (US)winter driving here in New York(not the city). I like your self am impressed with the size of these trucks and it rides reasonably well. However I would not advise buying one because of the terrible mileage factor. The 4.7 V-8 has a lot of power but again the mileage is only a little better than the V-6. If I had to buy another truck I would go with Chevy. Chevy is probably the front runner in trucks when it comes to gas mileage. I have many friends driving Chevys and they all are happy with them. They are all having fun giving me a hard time about the poor results I'm getting with my Dodge. Hope I'm able to help with your truck buying,,,,,Good Luck.
  • greg116greg116 Member Posts: 116
    The V-6 in the Dakota is at best a marginal motor for a truck that size (thats why they don't sell the 4 cylinder in Canada anymore! We're too smart to buy it :-). It's just the 5.2L with two cylinders chopped off, and it's not a very good engine. That's not to say the 318 itself is a bad motor, but when you take a V8 and chop cylinders, bad things usually happen.

    The 318 (5.2) is by far the better choice, as you will get nearly the same mileage and much more power. Don't go with the V6 Dakota, PLEASE! You will only be dissapointed. If you need to tow, and your previous vehicle was a full-size, then by all means go for the V8 Dakota. The Ranger also sounds like a good truck, but that OHV 4.0L is even weaker than the Dakota's 3.9.

    Another thought: Try and find a 2000+ Dakota V8 and auto tranny. Auto trannys are better for towing and the new 4.7L overhead cam V8 is a truly great motor.
  • wetwilliewetwillie Member Posts: 129
    What are yours? Mileage? Towing ability? If it's mileage, the Ranger is probably the best bet - plus it's 4X4, which could be an advantage up dere in da frozen tundra. Dont bother with the V-6 Dakota - it's a 2 ton truck and the V-6 is too small, and if you couple it with an auto and 4X4, you'll end up with a complete mismatch and you'll evolve into a bitter ben221. I have a 99 Dakota CC with the 5.2L, 5-sp, 4X2, 3.55 and get about 15 mpg in mixed winter driving. The V-8 Dakota would certainly provide you with enough power (much more than the Ranger!) at the expense of MPG, perhaps only 1 or 2 MPG less than the Ranger.
  • stew2001stew2001 Member Posts: 9
    Get the V8 Dakota! You will NOT be dispointed!


    99 Dakota R/T 5.9
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    Do NOT get the 3.9L V6 Dakota. The engine is an awful, underpowered gas-guzzler. Dodge should be shot for even offering it in the Dakota. You'll get better mpg and more power with their V8's.

    As for the Ranger, the 4L is pleanty to tow that 3500lbs boat. My '98 4L 4x4 auto tows about 2500lbs worth of sleds and gear up north quite a bit. It's got pleanty of power (i have done some intake and exhaust mods for $300 which really improved the power and mpg). That configuration will return you around 18-19mpg on the highway and 13-15mpg in the city. I'd just make sure it has the towing payload/towing package. The 4.10 gears wouldn't hurt either.

    BTW, make sure the 4L in that Ranger doesn't have the marbling noise (sounds like a marble rolling around in a tin can while at idle).

    As for the V8 Dakota, they seems like nice trucks. It'll be a front-runner when I trade in my truck in a few years. However, I'd avoid the auto-trannies, as it seems like a whole bunch of people have problems with them. The 318 should take care of your towing needs.
  • steve234steve234 Member Posts: 460
    The 4.0 v6 in the ranger is ok for towing and will give decent mileage. The 4.7 in the dakota is a better towing setup with the 3,92. Go with the automatic. The automatic with both these engines are very good. There is no guarantee that you won't get a lemon, but I tow a good amount and the automatics are a god send for pulling a boat up a ramp.
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