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Ford Ranger III



  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    key. Get a P265x75R16 or a 30" or 31" tire. Believe me this will make your RAnger have a more aggressive stance, give you more clearance, and stand taller. Tires make a huge difference on how a truck will perform offroad also. BFG, Toyo, and Goodyear are also good tires. Shop around prices can vary quite a bit... Good luck...
  • gk3gk3 Posts: 13
    for your response. I'm looking at Michelin LTX M/S size P255/70R16. What do you think of those? Anyone else with some input? Thank you...
  • urbanallenurbanallen Posts: 2
    Hi, Two weeks ago to date, I bought the cheapest 01 Ranger from a dealer here in Oregon. 8988$ sales price for an XL. I had this exact model of truck in 1997 and it sucked, really uncomfortable. Ford has done something to the 01 where it's more truck, much more comfortable. Even the vinyl seats are tolerable... Drives nice, looks beefy enough too, nice tires even though they say Firestone on them, ooops. Anyway I like this truck and you can't beat the price, I just wasn't willing to drive an Accent, the next cheapest car down the cheap car lineup.
  • jfowlerjrjfowlerjr Posts: 20
    Today I purchased my first truck and new vehicle. Got a 4x2 XLT 4 door 4 liter auto loaded. I have to say this truck is fun to drive. Paid 18000 after 2000 rebate. Do you think I got a good deal?

  • frey4frey4 Posts: 30
    I would be REAL CAREFUL before I started to change stock tire sizes, especially when going bigger. bigger is not necessarily better. going bigger means that your speedometer will be off, your truck will encounter more drag (higher trucks have more turbulence UNDER the truck), and, bigger tires according to my dealer are harder to balance. in SOME cases, wider can actually affect steering geometry slightly and require camber-caster adjustments: YOU DO NOT want to get into this, especially on a highway truck. i have a 2000 Ranger 4x4, 4.0 liter, 5 sp. aut. it shakes and vibrates, and i can't get it to steer straight. it has only 6700 miles on it. undoubtedly [after much hassle] i have concluded it's the stock Firestones. i am going to go with Michelins (stock 235, 75, 15 size) either in the XCX APT series (older) or the newer LTX series. got to to get an education on what's available: very interesting. if you use the truck for heavy duty use, get a 6 ply tire, which has a stiffer sidewall. the plus in Michelins appears to be their smoothness (important on the highway, where i use my truck). also, i am reading that Dunlop also makes a good tire. AVOID the el cheapo brands. good luck....IMHO, stay with the STOCK SIZE.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Granted, larger tires will hurt mpg a bit and give you a different ride and maybe change your speedo 3-5mph. (This can be adjusted also) The 235's and 245's Ford puts on the Rangers are puny in comparison to what Toyota and Nissan and Chevy are putting on their compact truck lines. These tires make the Ranger look whimpy and smaller. Go ahead and ask a tire person about putting 31" or 30" or P265 on a Ranger. They fit fine, bumps stops are fine, clearance is good too. I am a Ranger fan and this is one area that gets me angry at Ford. A new Ranger with an offroad pkg is going to debut here soon. It will have stock 31" BFG's. I presently have P265x75R16's (31")on my 1998 Ranger XLT 4x4 and have NEVER had any problems with handling or road feel. It made my Ranger look more aggressive, gives it a better stance, better offroading feel. I do admit my MPG did drop about 1-2MPG though.. I guess it comes down to what you want your Ranger to look like and perform like..
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    I have a 1999 Ranger extended cab with the 4 door option. I love the truck, and have found the 4 door option to be great - I can't imagine the truck without it.

    The truck is equipped with the rear jump seats, which I believe are standard. I don't have any kids, and think the jump seats are a joke for real adults. The rear area is the domain of my 70lb labrador retreiver, and she could use some more room.

    Has anyone removed the jump seats to get more room in their 4 door Ranger? If so, how is it done, and what should I look for? From a visual inspection it appears that the seatbelt assembly could be a problem.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • frey4frey4 Posts: 30
    I appreciate your comments, but I stand by my post. I use my Ranger as a truck; I am not concerned that I look "macho" driving around town. I didn't buy the truck because it looks "cool". I use it for towing smaller bassboats; if I could get the shake and shimmy out of it, I would love the truck. (I am thinking seriously of trading it for a new Tacoma). Even Ford marketing (I read this in Car & Driver magazine) admits that the big tire phenomenon has been marketing to younger kids who buy the truck to look cool. BIG TIRES WILL NOT BALANCE AS WELL; That is all I am trying to say. Any tire shop who says otherwise is not telling the truth. Going up even ONE size in a tire adds a disproportionate amount of tire (unsprung) weight. I still maintain this affects fuel economy, shock selection, and possibly steering and rollover stability. Good luck.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I use my 4x4 Ranger as a fishing, hiking and offroad vehicle. I needed, and use the larger all terrain tires as they are supposed to be used. I agree with you that most of these trucks are for show, and the younger crowd loves the larger tires and "macho" look. Just like Toyota and their excellent marketing for the TRD package. A package that give you a locker, some Bilstein shocks and springs and walla! you have a "Toyota tuned suspension" wow!! The locker is useless to the everyday user. It doesn't help you tow, pull or haul. When not activated its an OPEN rear axle. The Bilsteins can be had aftermarket for a fraction of the price Toyota is charging.. Most people buy this truck for the pretty sticker....
  • I think the bigger tires look cool, and give better off road clearance. I would opt for taller over wider. Wouldn't taller tires give BETTER mileage (from ratio change)? I am not worried about speedometer, since I don't usually drive the speed limit anyhow. Would this "put less mileage on the car" over its lifetime?

    Vince8: Are you from that "younger generation"?

    Jump seats: I was wondering the same thing. Nothing a set of wrenches can't fix. As far as the seatbelt, how about a razor? Maybe remove just the driver's side seat?
  • pfepfe Posts: 2
    My husband is excited about buying a new pickup truck. As former residence of Arizona we didn't worry about snow. Now with New England winters bringing 3 inches upto 10 inches we are not sure if a 4x2 will drive in the snow.

    The 4x4 is $2000 more and we want to get it this week. Does anyone have experience with a 4x2 in a mild to moderate snow? How does it handle? - Pam
  • navy4navy4 Posts: 44
    I was raised with 2wd pickups in Oklahoma. I never had a problem with the snow and ice that we got. Make sure you have good mud/snow tires and put extra weight in the bed. Also, drive slow and remember stopping is the key, doesn't matter 2wd or 4wd they stop virtually the same.
  • I used to drive a 78 Dodge Magnum in the winter on practically bald tires (in college, no money). Just load the trunk with weight (sand is also good for traction, firewood for fires).

    If you only drive in mild to moderate snow, you should be fine with a decent set of SNOW TIRES. If you plan on driving in deeper snow, you'll do OK with CHAINS. Positraction always helps too, with baldies, snows, or chains.

    I live in MA, and am deciding the same thing. The only difference is that I ski, and would venture out during/immediately after a blizzard and I plan to go off road as well. Still, 4X2 vs 4X4 is a tough decision.
  • pfepfe Posts: 2
    I am new to the truck world and this site is very helpful. In reading the posts above about tires I saw one about vibrating on the highway. We will be doing a lot of highway driving. Is there a difference between the way a 4x2 or a 4x4 handles on the highway? Maybe we really should do a highway test drive before deciding.
  • dsdrvr01dsdrvr01 Posts: 10
    Own the ranger twin the B3000 Dual Sport and I have had absolutely no problems on highway with it. Much more comfortable than the 94 toy I traded in on the deal. I've already made several long 4-5 hour freeway speed trips and you don't step out the other side sore.

    The DS is a 4x2 with the profile suspension of the 4X4, but by all means get them on the freeway before you buy.

    I've put 4300+ miles on in almost two months so I am more than willing to say the 4X2 models are a comfortable ride and I'ld expect the same form the 4X4.
  • I'd imagine the 4X4 has noisier tires, however.

    I would NEVER buy a vehicle without testing it under ALL driving conditions (accelerating, high speed, panic stop, cornering, off road, slalom, rolling acceleration, etc.)
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    35 young great!! I am fortunate to live in the Great NW. I live about 1 hour from MT Hood (Cascade RAnge) and 2 hours from the Coast Range. I like to fish, hike, and trail my Ranger. When I purchased my 4x4 Ranger in 1998 I had taken it offroad with some friends. I was going up a pretty steep rocky road that had washouts all through it. My Ranger constantly would loose traction. I did however make it up. The next day I went down to Americas Tire and traded my P235's for LT265's. I was told that the Firestones had 4ply and were a "pretty weak" tire. About 2 weeks later we all headed up into the 3 Sisters area of Eastern Oregon to do some hiking and playing. It was like day and night. My Ranger handled terrain wonderfully. If anyone plans on using their Rangers to do even light offroading I highly recommend they change tires ASAP. The Firestones are garbage. I am so glad Ford dropped them. This is one weak spot on the RAnger I sure hope will fix in the coming months. If you look at the Toyotas, Nissans and even Chevy compacts you are able to get much better tires than Ford offers..
  • jake->I had something similair happen to my 93 2.3l at 100k or so. Assuming the maintenance is all kept up (plug, plug wires, air filter) You might check/replace the following.

    1 Clean the throttle body, Over the years some oil and or fuel has collected inside. (It's located after the air box, after the air tube, just before the intake minifold.) Just take a clean, lint free rag and wipe the interior. If it's really bad, take off the throttle body and clean all around the butterfly. Be careful NOT to let any dust or grime particles get in the intake, as this goes straight to the combustion chambers.
    2. Check the PCV valve, and (I believe it's called)EGR valve. Both are similair, vacuum tube parts, that also get clogged after the years. You should be able to shake either one and the ball bearing inside should have no problem rattling. If it gets stuck, you have sludge or something else in there. If either is really bad, investitage all hoses it attaches to for the same clogging. They should be located on your driver side, either between the firewall and the valve cover, or just underneath the intake manifold runners.
    3. Check your mass air flow sensor, as this could be dirty as well.
    4. It could also be a clogged oil pickup. This could take it longer to stabilize idle on a cold start. You gotta drop the oil pan to get to this one, but it's probably unlikely it's the cause. The others are much cheaper to do and replace, so check them out first.

    If you have a local parts store like Autozone or Pep boys, go buy a Chilton's or Haynes manual for your truck. It has plenty of troubleshooting for these types of problems, with plenty of pictures to help even the most basic novice. Plus it really comes in handy when you have bigger projects fixing or modifing the truck.

    Also you might try a bottle of zMax, as this stuff really helps higher milage engines return to their factory smoothness. (It's a micro-lubricant oil additive that works much better than slick 50 and duralube)All internal friction is really reduced, and you'll notice a signifigant drop in operating RPM while driving. Gas milage will go up too. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

    This site looks updated. You can't do all the extra options yet (like CD player coices, side bars, etc), but it's great in finding which model of Ranger fits your needs and wants. If only I could get a 4.0l Manual with styleside without going 4x4.

  • Thanks for the advice. That should help me to pinpoint the problem!
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    "I would NEVER buy a vehicle without testing it under ALL driving conditions (accelerating, high speed, panic stop, cornering, off road, slalom, rolling acceleration, etc.)"

    So, I guess that means that you would NEVER buy a NEW vehicle then? It would be kind of stupid to do High Speed Accelerating and Panic Stops on a brand new vehicle without breaking it in first, don't you think?

    Last I checked, the dealer usually wants the money before the breakin period is over though...
  • You don't have to do it with THAT PARTICULAR VEHICLE. Use the dealer's test model for that. That is what test rides are all about.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    How is that going to help you avoid the Vibration in the one that you ACTUALLY BUY???

    They don't all vibrate the same after all.
  • I thought you meant a vibration in all of them you wanted to check out.
  • jfowlerjrjfowlerjr Posts: 20
    Has anyone out there bought the hard tonneau cover that ford list as an option for the 2001? I would appeciate any comments good or bad. I've seen the cover for the explorer sporttrac is it anything like that? Does any water get under the cover or bed liner?

    Thanks in advance

  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    This problem is possibly caused by something called a ICS (or something like that - Idle Control Sensor).

    It usually on the side of the intake, on my 94 4L it's on the left side. It is silver colored, about the size of a film canister but longer. It will have wires and a connector attached.

    This can be removed and dis-assembled and cleaned. It has a solnoid and a valve to vary the air mixture at idle. The valve will carbon up. You might be able to clean with carb cleaner and then just re-install. Or, you might need to buy a new one if it is extremely dirty.
  • joelis/sasquatch--->It is definately worth while to check everything about the car/truck before you buy. Defects in any weatherstripping, interior fitting, buttons, controls, power accesories, welding points of the bed, tailgate, etc,etc. But you don't want to rag or redline your engine for the first 3-5k miles. There are special additives in the engine oil, in the likes of duralube or zMax, that need that extra time to work into every nook and cranny. All engines are broken in to a point before mounted in the chassis, but every extra bit of precaution is good. But I like sasquatch's idea of thrash testing the "test driver" vehicle... }:>

    Isn't Tuesday supposed to be prime day? I forgot what I was told once long ago, but get there right after they unload all the new vehicles. Hopefully you have already test driven a similair model, so you know the model is right for you. Then test drive the actual truck you want, and be gentle, but very aware of how it drives/feels. My girlfriend just recently bought a 2001 accord with 5 miles on the odometer! Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.

    jake->You are welcome, hopefully one of those ideas fixes it!
  • jfowlerjr - Option 66K comes with hard tonneau & a hard bedliner. You may want to reconsider this option due to hard bedliners are notorious for wearing down the paint on the truck bed if anything gets underneath. Option 66K MSRP is $895. I chose to go with a BedRug ($288+$20 shiping @ and an ARE LS II fibreglas tonneau ($655 - $20 off coupon @ Total cost is $943. The BedRug is easy on the knees and can be abused, removed, hosed out etc. The LS II tonneau is reasonably weather tight and can be locked. It extends over the tailgate so you can't open the tailgate when locked. It also mirrors the "V" indentation in the hood so it looks like it belongs on this truck and the paint matches perfectly. I think the combo looks a lot sharper then the hard plastic tonneau and bedliner offered by Ford.
    Just my opinion. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  • frey4frey4 Posts: 30
    i don't use a tonneau cover, but use an ARE cap (fiberglass). the paint match and qulaity are first rate. the design of the cap allows it to fit perfectly, and the company is excelent abut honoring warranties and providing parts or assistance if something like a hinge or gasket goes awry.
    QUESTION for anybody (Vince8, are you out there ?). My 2000 model Ranger has never been waxed, and is garaged daily. can anyobody recommend a wax that will not "gunk up" and absorb dirt ? (my Ford is Oxford White). on a white Honda of mine, the wax seems to absorb dirt and get a "film" of crud embedded into it, which requires stripping the wax periodically (a JOB). has anybody use liquid stuff, in a maroon bottle, called "Maguiars" before ? i am thnking of trying that.
    ANOTHER QUESTION: will modifying my exhaust system in any way (like a more open muffler) void my warranty ? the dealer DID tell me that a KN filter was OK, so i put one in. i'd like to get a few more ponies out of this doggy 4.0 pushrod six.
    TIRES: i have learned that Ford will allow me to replace my tires (Firestone Widerness AT's) with original STOCK sizes at their expense (minus labor). i have also learned that Michelin LTX M/S tires are ON that list. so, that 's what i am having put on next week. i will let you know if that gets rid of the terrible highway vibration in my truck. if it doesn't, i am in a world of sh!#%*@+ !
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