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Ford Ranger III



  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    My old 89 Nissan has a twin plug head. It allows for a cleaner exhaust in that the spark is distributed over a larger combustion area. Also, I recall reading that a slightly higher compression ratio is more feasible with the new Ford design with twin plugs, with supposedly reduced detonation. The higher CR is, of course, good in that using regular fuel you theoretically would get more power. After hearing the 3.0 V6 Ranger motors ping themselves into oblivion, it is good Ford is addressing this on their little 4 banger. It seems like a nice little motor for guys who don't need to tow or haul much.
  • Word on the street is the 3.0l was revised for 2002. I'm still trying to get any new owners to let us know their experiences with this motor. Hopefully Ford has fixed the issues with the past design... vehicle_id=524&press_subsection_id=421&make_id=92

    Combine this whole line together and copy into your Address bar for the correct article. Remove any spaces in the middle.

    matt--->The 2.5 is bascially a stroked 2.3l. I heard that the dual spark head was for increased power, due to the low cubic inch (140) of the engine. I'd like to see a 4.2l v6 borrowed from the f-150, or even a 3.8l v6 from the Mustangs in the Ranger. The 4.2l generates 252 lbs of torque at 3400 RPM...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i am leasing my Ranger, but i am going to buy it (should have simply bought in the first place, duh).
    when i own it, i intend to play with it a little to get more punch from my 2.5 liter.
    I added a K&N filter and i am going to also play with my air intake. after it is out of warranty i am thinking of milling down the head to increase compression or maybe getting new heads for it. any suggestions? i would like around 145 or so horsepower to go along with my 23 mpg.
  • 140 cubic inches was for the 2.3l.

    Sounds a little pricey for a 4 banger... But if you want the kick, sounds good. An exhaust system might be close to that amount too. Do web searches for 2.3l mustangs and performance parts for them. The 4 banger mustang is kind of the red-headed step child as far as parts availability, but they can be found. (Under drive pulleys, chips, and a few other ideas here and there...)
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    a new catback system would increase my horsepower by 10 horsepower???
    if so i am going to do it asap. any preference as to brands/shops?
    also, would such a system damage my factory warranty?
  • With 20,000 miles (4.0 w/auto), 16" tires and Off-Road gears (4.10), mine gets up to 19 highway (just under 70 MPH) and around 12 - 14 city. That beat the 95 F-150 it replaced (302 V8) with 15" tires and Off-Road by about 2 MPG.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    so, i was checking my oil tonight and i saw a sticker i had never seen before. it was under the hood on the "shelf" above the radiator. it said that my PCM had been replaced as of July 12, 2001.
    Why would my PCM be replaced? does this hurt anything or help anything in the long run?
  • Well I run hooker headers and warlock mufflers on a 460 big block, but that's in my 67 mustang. :) My '93 is all stock, so I don't have any experience in brands. But the brands I know of are dynomax, borla, flowmaster, and bassani, and one of them can probably offer a kit. Just look in a JEG'S or Summit Magazine and you can find other companies that you can try calling to see if they can help you out. If you go the full route (not just cat-back) you will be losing a little (tiny bit) of low end torque, but you'll gain an equal or more amount of higher end HP/power.
    The way the warranty thing goes is that if it's not Ford OEM, they won't warranty it, but any other part on the vehicle not affected by such replacement should still be covered. Exhaust shouldn't affect much but itself. I would just try to get to know your service technicians and manager at your dealership. I'd rather have them as friends than just strangers or enemies. Can't hurt asking their opinion and policy on stuff like that.

    Sounds like a sticker marking your car to receive a replacement. That's where they stick the R-134 freon replacements, and other stuff like that. Maybe your sticker was a recall or TSB of some sort, or maybe a special repair(if it's a used truck). All-in-all, you should feel better off because it's been replaced with the aparantly correct one.

    Here's a cheap and easy way for a little more HP. If your engine seems to have more power when cold, then replace your thermostat with one rated in the 160-180 degree range. This will force your computer into a "cold" loop, and milage may suffer, but your engine will always act like it does after you pull onto your first street in the morning...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i was going to ask you about the thermostat but i forgot to...funny that you should suggest it. thanks for your advice...
    also, does it take the computer time to adjust to my mods?
  • will adjust itself based on sensor outputs. It has a specific datamap of fuel/air/rpm/speed/temperature ratios. Small things like mass or ram air for the Ford small block v8's had different computers. So if you change anything that could affect air/fuel flow or burning, then a computer adjustment would be beneficial. The computer will adjust to a degree, but it's always trying to reach it's default settings. Hence when you put in a lower degree thermostat, the computer will adjust the fuel/air ratio to rich, possibly decreasing fuel milage and increasing idle RPM. While the engine itself runs cooler, there will be less heat for the heater and defroster.
    Trick is to try getting all the modifications done, so you know what to tell the company burning the chip for you. But a new exhaust or removing your air silencer and changing filters won't require or really benefit from a chip. Milling heads, adjusting timing, cams, new injectors, new gears, that sort of thing would probably take advantage of reprograming the computer.

    Ever think about just swapping out the rear end gear? Installing a numerically higher gear (like .25 higher) would give you better zip, but you would sacrifice cruising RPM a little. It would feel like an extra 20 horses or so.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i considered it a pain in the butt to do? it will also compromise my warranty i bet. it would give me better mileage and more speed, i know. i dont tow much and all i usually haul is the occasional furniture if a friend is moving, fishing rods, hunting stuff, cooler, friends...etc lol
  • mjbwrtr-- Sounds to me like you should take a good hard look at O'Malley's and O'Riley's laws. We all know about Murphy's law, but some of us haven't heard of his cousins laws. O'Malley says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and O'Riley says, "If you mess with it long enough, you're going to break it". My little Ranger is great just like it came out of the factory.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    is great as it came from the factory too...i am just trying to get a general idea of how versatile they are and if there are simple ways i can get a little more "grunt" out of my four cylinder.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    just FYI... last night i bought a spray in an aerosol can from Advance Auto Parts. the cans were 8 bucks apiece and i used 7 of them on the bed of my shortbed Ranger. the dealership wanted 300 bucks for a plastic drop in liner and i said no way. i then started looking around for a cheaper and better alternative. the spray in liner was very easy to apply and it almost does the job itself. it bonds to itself and resists running and smearing. it dries very hard and has something like a high-grit sandpaper feel to it after drying. it isnt thick enough to fully protect the bed from deep scratches or dents...the kind youd see if you hauled cement blocks or something like that, but i put on three coats and i am placing a rubber mat in the bottom of the bed, and i went from unprotected, scratched paint to a covered and protected bed for about 100 bucks. did i mention it looks fantastic? guys, dont feel nervous about spraying your truck yourself. i did, until i saw the results. just so you know there is a viable alternative to being gouged at JC Whitney and dealerships. Auto Zone also carries a similar product but i bought the Plasti-Kote brand because it is made locally, about 20 miles from here- in Medina, Ohio.
  • blambblamb Posts: 10
    I took my '94 Ranger extended cab 4.0...76,000 miles.. in for the check engine light. They told me the code showed a bad 0xygen sensor $215 for the part, labor, and for reading the code. Sounded a little high. They called later and said the water pump is just starting to leak.....$315....a hundred for the pump plus labor. They also said the front brake rotors were warped....$100 each for the rotors, plus $110 for the brakes. I thought the water pump replacement was high.....can anybody let me know if these prices seemed too high...or about right? I had them replace the oxygen sensor, but thought I would wait on the pump and brakes. Thanks for you help.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Was the 2.3-liter four-cylinder in the 1983-97 Rangers the same unit that was found in the 1984-94 Tempo/Topaz? I do know that the Tempo four was basically the old Falcon/Mustang 200-cid six with two cylinders chopped off; the Ranger unit was from the '70s Mustang/Fairmont. Does anyone have any information on these fours?
  • You're right about the straight six's resemblance to the tempo 2.3l, but the Ranger engine vs Tempo engine are different.

    The Tempo/Topaz used a cam in block design. The 2.3 was introduced around 1984, and in '86 it grew to 2.5l, and came with EFI.

    The 2.3l family found in Rangers, Mustangs, and T-Birds, and even Aerostars uses a belt driven over head cam design. (OHC). The 2.3l variety was largely used from 1974 to 1995. The 2.0l (non european) is a smaller bore 2.3l. The 2.5l came out for Ranger in 1998, and with an increased stroke.

    As far as bellhousing bolt patterns and motor mounts, I am not sure of the compatability or similairity of these two engine groups. That is in case you want to swap an engine. But if you're looking for parts, you pretty much gotta stick with the above.

    There is a new 2.3l engine, which I think is based on the same engine block, but it does have 4 valves per cylinder. I don't know much more about this new engine.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    shouldnt the dealership have checked and filled my oil, tranny fluid, steering fluid, and coolant before selling me the truck? my ranger was low on all but the oil and since i checked the oil and filled the steering fluid, i didnt worry about the tranny since, how often are they low? but i smelled something hot and decided to check it...sure enough, it was a 1/2 quart low. could this have hurt the tranny? in your opinion, is this something the dealership should take responsibility for? it ticks me off to have to screw around with maintenance this soon, considering they shouldnt have had it on the lot if it wasnt perfect. right?
  • 1/2 a quart isn't much to worry about. Just something to keep an eye, as you may have a leak. I assume you did check it while hot and running.
    Remember Pink or Red is good. Brown or Amber means time to flush and get new filter. Black or Burnt means time to get the checkbook handy.

    First thing you would have noticed if the transmission fluid was too low was improper shifting, especially in overdrive or while engine was cold.
    The only other concern would of been lack of fluid for coolant. Since automatics run transmission fluid to the radiator for cooling, a low fluid amount could have caused a 'hot smell'. But if only half a quart was the boiling point, then I would consider a secondary electric fan or transmission oil cooler (mini-radiator) or both. It's a small investment, but will lengthen the longevity of those automatics! But more than likely that smell was just spilled oil or antifreeze that was burning off the radiator or block or manifold. See if you can locate the source of the smell if it re occurs.

    The dealership should have checked it, but I don't think it's a requirement on their part. But it would have been going that extra mile for the customer. Next time ask to have it checked specifically, and then it will be noted for any warranty issues.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    thanks so much for your free advice. its great to have someone so helpful, as this is my first big purchase vehicle-wise.
    as i mentioned, the fluids were low and i couldnt seem to find Mercon 5 fluid. I found some plain old Mercon and so i added the 1/2 quart just so it wasnt low. the guy at Advance Auto said it wasnt a good idea at all and that i should drain it and refill with Mercon 5. is he right or just trying to sell fluid?
    i have less than 10k to go, before i change it all anyway, so i may as well let the dealership drain and fill it then, right?
    is 1/2 quart even enough to worry about? how close is the Mercon to the Mercon 5?
    Thanks for the swift feedback and help.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i cant tell the dealership to look at it and change it for me becasue if i admit adding the mercon, they wont honor my warranty.

    am i screwed?
  • Well I don't think that will lead to a catastrophic failure, but you should take quick action. You can purchase a Ford Mercon V Supplement, which "converts" Mercon or Dextron3 to Mercon V. It will be hard to find, however.

    Best bet is to just pick up a Transmission filter, pan gasket, some silicon, and a case of fluid. The manual might tell ya how much you need, or just have the dealership do the flush and filter change. They won't be able to tell about the mix-up of fluids, especially only 1/2 a quart of the mercon. Besides early maintenance is good maintenance.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i happened to be by the dealer today and popped in to ask them the same question. they gave me the same answer. they said change it all ASAP, because i wont like what will happen if i dont. lol!
    so i am arranging a visit to my favorite garage. thanks again, stang!
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    another dealer said they would change out the fluid for me and change the filter, and beat my garage's price by 10 bucks, AND got it done today, not in a week like my garage. damn, this is the first time a dealership has beaten my garage. not to mention, the tech said he wouldnt mention the wrong fluid incident on the write up so i can keep my warranty. should i get this in writing? i mean, if it doesnt say it on the write-up, couldnt he just add that "detail" to another form or something and still let Ford know and i am in trouble?
  • But sounds like the mechanic was doing you a favor. The tech's don't really care if it's warranty work or not. They get their hours for the job performed, but the service manager will think different. Even if it ever came down to Ford voiding your warranty, it could only void the transmission warranty, nothing else.

    You could worry about it, but you did all you could at this point. But you are good to go now. Have fun, and a good christmas.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    they treated me like a king. they didnt have the filter in so they gave me a focus to play with until tomorrow afternoon. what a class act! they said they would simply note what a good customer i am, changing my tranny fluid so much in advance! lol...with a smile and a wink. these people also undercut the other dealerships in price for a bedliner and accessories as well...i will definitely be returning!
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    i have a 2001 ranger 4x4 supercab 4.0 auto. i am getting crappy fuel mileage. 13.5 mpg last tank. it has 8500 miles on it. i once got 340 miles on one tank. since then, it has gone down hill. i dont haul anything and dont have a tonneau cover either. i dont drive it hard either as far as flooring it to accelerate or pass. does anyone have any suggestions? if it keeps it up, i will take it in. can they do anything to help it out? is it a computer problem or something? i use 87 octane. ive tried 90, but nothing changes. i prefer the non ethanol. ethanol is all over here in iowa. any help would be appreciated.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    maybe your oxygen sensor is bad...also, EGR or MAF is common to die off in this truck...if i were you i would take it in and let the techs hassle with it, its still under warranty.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i had to take my ranger in for tranny service and tire rotation...i put some of the wrong kind of tranny fluid in it. they said that it would void the warranty if Ford found out, so they simply put "tranny serviced" on the receipt, and agreed to tell ford that i simply had it done early! they got me in hours after i originally called them, and the dealership didnt have the filter in so they gave me a rental for the night, paid for the rental, and when i mentioned that i had some tranny fluid at home, they said they'd use it. since i had paid for the fluid already, they rotated my tires for free! i then decided to buy a hat i saw in their shop, but the registers were closed that time of night. they lady not only remembered what hat i wanted, the next day when i went in, it was already on my invoice and in my truck! these people are great to deal with, and its nice to see such awesome customer service...they just earned a lifetime customer.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    You've got what, a 210hp motor, dragging around 4x4 hardware. And it's a truck, which has the air flow of a brick on wheels.

    My 94 2x4 Extended Cab 4L V6 gets 14.5mpg in around-town driving. BEST I've seen with 100% highway driving is about 19.5mpg.

    13.5 around town isn't that bad.

    And please, don't give us that "'xxx' miles on a tankfull". If you want to check the milage, fill the tank, write the milage down, drive the truck, fill the tank again, write the milage down again and the gallons to fill the tank, subtract the milage difference and divide it out - you then have an accurate milage, for that fillup.
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