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Ford Ranger III



  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    A large percentage of Ranger 3L motors have ping.

    It's a well known problem. Obviously not well known to you before you bought the truck.

    Little can be done other than run higher octane gasoline. Go to mid-grade, hope this helps. If not, premium.

    This is a long-time problem with 3L, across many years through 1990's and into current production also.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I was lucky enough to have discovered these truck boards before I got a Ranger. I bought a 4.0 to avoid the pinging problems. However, with the 4.0 you get knocks (probably piston slap) and shakes !! But, I will admit it is almost an ideal small truck motor to use with an automatic because it has such a flat torque curve. The 3.0 should respond to high octane; it will just cost more to run. But, that is still cheaper than getting another truck. One guy on here once mentioned using "additives", but I am sorry that I can't recall what brand. I assume it was an "octane booster" product. You might even try the high octane gas and/or booster just to DIAGNOSE that fuel in fact IS a cure. I also remember a guy saying he reduced ping by altering the INTAKE TRACT of the truck and using a different air filter. If I run across that post I will let you know.
  • It's just a tough working engine (Extended cab weight) with relatively high compression. All modern EFI vehicles adjust the ignition and timing depending on speed, acceleration, load, etc. So this 'pinging' occurs only during times of highest strain, either heavy acceleration, with payload, or up a incline.

    At a minimum use 87 octane(Some areas offer lower octane as "standard"). Try stepping up until your notice the problem going away.

    Anybody with a 3.0l have experience with reducing or eliminating the problem with small performance modifications? Exhaust, K&N, snorkle removal, pulleys, wires or plugs?

    Also please remember that there is a "Ford Ranger Problem" Forum available as well...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    hearing all this and seeing Edmunds and other sites saying "spotty build quality" and such, have made me waver on my choice of a new s-10...are they really that bad?
    let me explain. i am looking for a new truck...a stripped down one which i can get great mileage and be able to do work on my house with and transport hunting and fishing supplies. i also commute quite a ways and i tend to hang onto vehicles and drive them until they sputter and kill themselves in the driveway for fear of going yet another mile. :)
    so my choices are Ford Ranger with the new 4 cylinder, and the s-10 with the 2.2.
    i want a manual tranny, air conditioning, cloth seats, and maybe a CD player. any suggestions or preferences? i could also use info regarding which engine is best.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Stay away from both the Ranger and S-10. The Toyo with a 4 banger and 5 speed will give you 250 000 miles of highway driving with little trouble.
  • Buy a stripper Tacoma, get next to nothing in options, but it will be cheap, and will probably last a while.
    Buy a Ranger, for under 12,700 MSRP, get a clock, anti-theft alarm, tachometer, clock, and ABS standard. The only option I would recommend is the A/C and/or CD Player.
    On Tacoma, the base model starts at 12,300 MSRP, but if you add ABS brakes ($590), you have to also purchase power doors and windows (additional 500). A 3 dollar digital clock in the base Tacoma costs 82 bucks. And if you add Intermitant wipers (standard in Rangers, which you probably want more than just "ON" or "OFF" wipers) the wipers must come with tilt wheel in Tacomas for another $245 bucks. $439 is the cost of the passive anti-theft alarm, another standard in Ranger.
    Grant total of comparably equiped "Base" vehicles(no A/C, no CD player):
    Ranger: $12,695 MSRP
    Tacoma: $14,196 MSRP

    And the A/C costs $985 in Tacoma. In Rangers it is standard for the Edge and XLT models, but is a $650 option for the XL.

    Don't let the disenchanted fool you, I've been driving a '93 with 2.3l automatic for close to 8 years, and have over 137 thousand miles on it, and the valve cover has yet to be taken off. Still get over 21-22 MPG in the city. I'm 24 now, and this was my first vehicle purchase. And at age 16, you can imagine the abuse and torment I subjected this vehicle to. Ranger's are no slouch when it comes to long-term reliability.

    If you want safety, look at the crash ratings for 2001.
    But test drive them, and make your own informed decision. That's the best way to go.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    With the $2500 rebate I am considering the purchase of a Ranger XLT 4X4 Supercab with 4.0L and auto. What I want to know is what is the real world mileage of this truck by it's owners?
    Any insight as to mileage and experiences is appreciated.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    2001 4.0 xlt 4x4 5 speed auto with 16 inch wheels and LSD and open bed (I think it is 4.11 diff): highway at steady 65 is about 19 mpg [this truck has 18700 miles on it]. this truck is owned by a fellow teacher friend.

    My truck, ditto above except is is the 2000 pushrod 4.0, with a cap, and higher gearing with 15 inch wheels: highway at steady 65 is also about 19 to perhaps 19.5. Overall average for each truck is about 15 to 16 mpg. My truck only has 13K on it, and mpg has improved with more miles. I am trying to sell it to buy a full 1/2 ton truck, which IMHO, will get as good, if not BETTER, mpg than the ranger. Good luck. (The 3.0 will do better on gas by about 1 to 1.5 mpg if you can put up with the pinging).
  • I just bought a new ranger myself in may buy I've only got the 4x2 and I seem to average 21 miles a gallon with 80% highway driving. And by the way the new 4 liter seem to get better mileage than the 3.0 liter.

  • Moparbad,

    I have 2k1 supercab 4.0L 5spd auto 3.55 rear-end. Just turned 6K miles, mostly city driving with A/C on. I'm running 17-18 MPG. Haven't really had on hi-way for more that just a few miles.
    Pretty lousy compared to my 90' 2.3L 5-sp. But it makes me smile when I put my foot in it......
  • My 01 XLT with XCab and 2.3l engine does not have a label on the door jamb detailing recommended tire pressure; does anyone know what is the recommended pressure front and rear? The tires are Firestone Wilderness HT 15 inch 225/70. Any help would be appreciated.

  • It should be listed somewhere around the rim..
    Owners manual should have it too, or try calling a Firestonre/Bridgestone store.
    Otherwise 28 psi (cold) is good for milage and smooth ride, while 32 is better for traction and turning. 30 or 32 is always a good place to start.
  • I'll try 30 for now. I used to work in the tire business and I try to run at the manufacturer's recommendation whenever I can. Believe it or not most car and tire manufacturers do a fair amount of testing before approving a tire and pressure for a particular vehicle (I know, the Ford Explorer fiasco makes that hard to believe).

    I had checked the manual and it tells you to look at the label on the driver's door jamb. There is a max pressure on the sidewall of 35 but that sounds high to me for normal use. When I get a chance I'll open the door on a new one at the dealer's and copy down the label info.

    Not to bore you, but I bought a new Subaru Forester for my wife this spring and Subaru delivered it to us with all 4 tires and the full size spare at 45! After our first trip I was wondering why it rode so hard, so I checked the tire pressure and boy was I surprised! According to Subaru they pump up the tires to avoid flat spotting during shipment. That gave me a good read on how much was done during the "dealer prep" for my car.
  • I have a 01 XLT Regular Cab Flareside with the 2.3L and the door sticker calls for 30psi cold for both front and rear. I suspect that the same pressure would apply for the Super Cab.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    The center armrest/console is now hanging to one side and getting looser with time. As far as I can tell, one broken bolt in the bracing mechanism is to blame. I know this is a fairly common problem, and the dealer quoted me almost 300 dollars for repairs, saying the whole thing had to be replaced. I see no point in spending that much on an OEM interior part, especially when I could get lots of nice aftermarket ones for about the same or less. The design of it seems junky anyway, doesn't seem securely enough attached to the seat to bear that much weight.

    Anybody found a cheaper fix? And if not, can anyone point me to where I could get a good deal on an aftermarket console that would fold up like this one when not in use?

    Next Question: Looking at buying 2001 or 2002 Ranger in about 2 years. Would want 5 speed manual/4wheel drive/power everything. Could anybody with a similar set up give an idea of gas mileage? (MUST be a stick) Please specify city or highway. I know various factors affect mileage, but I just want a general idea. IfI could consistently average 16-17 mpg Id be happy. Also, how is the wind noise? The 2001 4x2 I drove sounded like a wind tunnel at anything over 60 mph. I know a truck will be louder than a car, but my 95 regular cab cruises all day at 80-85 without making nearly as much wind noise as this one did at 60, and I want to know if maybe it was just a problem or wind leak with that particular truck.

  • I am interested in purchasing a 2001 ranger. Can anyone tell me the difference between a 4dr supercab XLT (SB) 4x4 with 4.0L V6 with option 392A vs. option 393A? There is a difference of over 1,000 bucks, but I don't see any difference in options that you get between the vehicles. Can anyone help?
  • They lowered the Ranger, added performance upgrades, dual exhaust tips, looks nice. Something for the mini-truckers who are into slammed pick-ups.
  • XLT Package 392A
    Includes standard equipment. This feature is identified by model code R15/392A.

    XLT Package 393A
    Package contains Rear 3.73 Axle Ratio, Cruise/Speed Control, Tilt Steering Wheel, Sliding Rear Window. This feature is identified by model code R15/393A. Package includes a discount of $425 (invoice) and $500 (retail).

    According to, the 392A is only no charge, while 393A costs $385 MSRP/371 Invoice. With the discount, it looks fairly close to the difference you're seeing in price...
  • I would run 89 octane. If that does not work use 93 but it takes a while. Maybe a month. It helped on my 4.0. Also, you may not know but the previous owner could of installed a Superchip or something similar.
  • 2001 Ranger XLT S/C 4x4 4.10LS 4.0L SOHC 5-speed manual.
    7800 miles
    City driving 15 mpg.
    Best highway 21 mpg.
    This truck is fun to drive, and when the engine is broken in, it really pulls hard right to 5500rpm. It does suck the gas at higher speed - it's best to keep your cruising speed below 70mph. And the 91mph speed govenor really sucks.
  • You can get a Superchip and have them program the chip to remove the speed limiter.
  • I have a 2001 ranger 4 cyl auto regular cab. It doesnt FEEL too bumpy when i drive it...compared to some small trucks.. but after a day of driving my back is STIFF SORE AND in pain. The truck is causing this- how can i make it have a smoother ride? ANY /all suggestions appreciated. I cant keep it if this goes on this way. Would utting cement in the back help? i dont carry much weight. What about the leaf springs? take them out?? Would that help?? lower tire pressure/ ? it has 3000 miles on it, and i felt every one, believe me. Im about to drive this pos off a cliff.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    1) Why did you buy a compact truck? Did you want to combine light hauling duty and commuting into one vehicle? Do you ever really haul anything that could not fit in a station wagon, hatch back, or the trunk of a car? You described no manufacturer's defect, but the normal ride characteristics of vehicles in this class. What is the interior like? Do you have a 60/40 split bench, buckets, or the regular flat bench? Interior options help with ride comfort.

    2) Did you test drive it before you signed for it in the first place?

    Experimenting with cement in the back might help, as the ride of some trucks does tend to improve with a load. Expect fuel economy to go down though.

    I think swapping the leaf springs of the rear vehicle would be impractical from a cost standpoint, and would also deprive the truck of much of its haulng capacity. However, experimenting with different shocks might help a little.

    Lowering the tire pressure below manufacturer's recommendations could lead to overheating and/or a blow-out.

    I'd say try running with a couple hundred pounds always in the back... and if it doesn't improve the ride enough that you can live with it, trade it in, and take it as a lesson to be sure you can live with a vehicle before you sign for it.

    1995 Ranger, 4 cyl, regular cab, 5 speed manual long bed with 60/40 bench and center console. 75000 trouble-free miles.

    Daily commuting to work, hundreds of long trips includng 2 hour drives to and from college, and occasional light to heavy hauling thrown in. It bounces and jounces when the road gets rough, but I really don't even notice anymore. Some people are just not the truck type.
  • Truck suspension is made for driving with a payload.

    Try a lumbar support cushion, or one of those beaded seat covers... :) You may experiment with different shocks, but I don't think it will fix the problem, only possibly reduce it to a degree.

    Ranger seats aren't the very best, but they certainly are far from the worst.

    Also if you're driving all day(taking your post literally) , and you are sore, well, whadyaexpect?
  • very comfortable in bumper to bumper traffic on 78 mi one way commute. I drove it to 144,000 trouble free miles for 4 years with the original brakes. Best mileage was 27 mpg, highest speed 116 mph...and that was with 112HP. Best mini i ever owned
  • I can understand that amorales. My 93 has 137k on it and still climbing. My commute is only about 7 miles or about 20 minutes, so I am on my third muffler. Seems I just get to main operating temperature once I get to work or home, so I constantly had water dripping out the muffler. My baffles kept rusting out and practically blow out. But Merlin's Muffler's Lifetime replacement was the cure. Nothing bad against the Ranger, just a coincidence with a short commute for the past 3 years.

    Still getting 20-21 mpg, and great power since I rarely ever heat up the engine to where the cooling fan turns on. Not bad for a 8+ year old 2.3l with that milage.
  • Does any know if any of the newer model Rangers have this aluminum transmission, I have a 98 model that has had its transmission rebuilt twice.
    I was told and dont know if it to be true or not, but ford has stopped putting that aluminum transmission in the newer rangers.
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    Besides the fact we can get 0% APR on new Fords, does anybody have a ballpark price on a 2wd XLT ranger with the 4cyl? Might want a stepside if it's not too much money. Just to haul my bike and the occasional washing machine or something, and get me to work and back.
  • Check edmunds prices, they have 2002 models listed too. They give Invoice pricing, MSRP, and TMV(True market value). Another good place is under "build your own" on any of the vehicle pages, or for a neat site that lets you customize a bit.

    Looks like base XLT with 2.3l is 14805 MSRP, styleside(flat). Flareside(step) is 15,280 MSRP. 15525 for the styleside 3.0l. 4.0L makes you goto supercab, 4 door, 5 speed auto, 21255.

This discussion has been closed.