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Ford Ranger III



  • Matt--->Sounds like you found yourself a great dealership.

    tbunder--->If you want to confirm it's a computer problem, disconnect the battery overnight. The next morning your your computer should be reset as well as your radio presets :). Do you have a bit of the ole lead foot? :) But unless your engine light comes on, there shouldn't be any major sensor problems. But you might attempt to clean out everything, throttle body, air filter, try a some zmax, injector cleaner or whatnot.

    That's why I'm not happy about Ford dropping the 4.0l from the 4x2 regular cabs in 2002... I wanted the power, just not the weight...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i live in ohio...we have less than 20 degrees in the morning. i get up at 4am to go to 2.5 moans and complains but it hauls me to work in the frigid temps. anything i can do to extend engine life, since i have to put up with these temps? a block heater is not possible right now, but i hear its better to drive a cold engine slowly than to "warm it up" in the morning?
  • But just try to keep from reaching any high RPM's until after the oil has reached the heads. I see lots of people just start their car, immediately throw it in gear, and speed out of the parking lot. If the engine has been cold for a few hours, then they have little to no lubrication. Over time this could cause piston ring failure/leaking or heavy valve train wear. Synthetic engine oil does a better job of cold start protection, but nothing beats oil pouring down through the heads.

    Our lil' four bangers have to rev higher to drive than larger engines, so every little bit counts. To be very safe, keep it at idle for a minute or so after startup, and under 3200 for the first 5 minutes of driving. Heck, I rarely need to go past 3000 RPM anytime...
  • I need to change the spark plugs in my '95 2.3L Ranger. The set located under the intake manifold look brutal. Any suggestions or tricks to ease the process?
  • You just need 2 ratchet elbows and an extension or two, as well as a good spark plug ratchet socket. You can probably get by with less, just make sure you have a good 30-45 minutes to do all eight plugs. You should not have to unplug any wiring or vacuum tubes.

    And small hands might help out... Or you can always do the shadetree mechanic way, and use a spare fuel line hose (about 12 inches long or so) to unscrew the plugs. Just use the ratchet socket to break the seal. Then put the hose over the top of the spark plug, nice and snug, and it should be easier to screw the plug off (or new one back on).
  • I found it easier for me to get the back left plug from the bottom. I agree with midnite stang, a small rubber hose is a must & go ahead and spring for platinum plugs. You don't want to so this more than nessary. Change/clean the PCV valve while you are that close. I seem to remember it's on the left side near or under the intake manifold.
    Have fun....
  • Any 2002 owners with the (new) 3.0l?
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i have no complaints whatsoever (dont tell pluto) lol...
    its gets around 22 mpg in mixed city and highway use, and i have been impressed with it so far.
    i do find myself wishing i had bought a five speed instead of the auto, but its not a regret, more like not being used to driving an auto. five years with a stick will do that.
    thanks for asking.
    i have an annoying rattle coming from the right side. i think its either that the seat isnt tight to the floor or that the jack behind the seat is loose in its compartment. thats a pretty small complaint, and its my only one. hows the 1993 going?
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i was wondering...i know certain engines need more time to break in and can work better and deliver better mileage after the break in period. can you give me more info about my 2.5? i know its a derivative of your 2.3, but when does it break in and what else do you know of its longevity?
  • I have an automatic in my '93, and while I'm still impressed with the gas milage, I think I could take better advantage of the little 4 banger with a stick.

    My next vehicle will be standard, looking at the Regular cab 3.0l Edge. So that should be a nice upgrade in power. I'm still gonna give the new 4 valve 2.3l a chance. Plus the manual transmission means my girlfriend will never want to drive the truck, oh well! :) I just haven't decided if I want to wait for a redesign, or for the 2003 vehicles to come out. I love my truck and I love not having car payments, so I think I'll keep on going for a year or so.

    Well, the engines are pretty much the same, with your 2.5 having a longer stroke. Longevity is mostly based on driving and maintenance habits. Since 4 cylinders have to work harder than larger engines, it just depends on how high you let the RPMs go regularly. You should expect a minimum of 100,000 miles of severe driving. I've seen about 4 or 5 of them at Autozone (one of my old workplaces) go past 200,000. Just keep on top of your maintenance, by checking replacing everything on schedule. Keep a clean air filter, fuel filter, good plugs. Run synthetic oil for better cold start protection. Put zmax(This stuff is awesome) in once a year Do everything you can, and it will keep running.

    Breakin is a little harder to say, as I bought mine used. Typically you don't rev past 75% of redline in the first 500-750 miles. Then the next 3000-5000 miles you try to vary engine speed as much as you can, while still avoiding red-line RPM. Older engines would receive a few valve adjustments during this time, but after 5000 miles or so, the rings should be seated and the bearings broken in.

    Like the lyrics by the Stray Cats song 'Rev it up and Go'

    "I got a thirty nine Ford, this old heap just won't die, But I got a thirty nine Ford, this old heap just won't die, Well, this thirty nine Ford might outlive you and I..."

  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    thats the same thing i am thinking of a few years i will be in the market again i imagine and when i am, the 3.0 liter and stick combo is what i will be shopping for as well. i almost think i should have done that this time, but oh well.
    does the 3.0 last a good ong time as well? i know a friend's taurus has like 200,000 or more on it and still alive and kicking.
    a couple people have told me that the 2.3 and 2.5 are good motors and will last forever, but then some have told me that they just arent that great. i guess time will tell. this is my first four cylinder, and of course i got one with auto. DUH!
  • rageeragee Posts: 9
    I got a 2000 4WD with a 3.0, standard cab, it has 4.10 gears. I am having problems with detonation, and I have taken the truck in for service more times than it has been on the road. I have tried everything that the dealer has told me, since I know nothing on the matter of adjusting the timing for spark advance/retard on the computer, nor do I have one of those computers the dealer gets to do all of the work. I use this truck soely as a farm vehicle, and light duties. I was wondering if anyone else is having problems and if anyone has a fix to these problems? I drive this vehicle to town and mostly highway driving at 60 to and from. my mileage is terrible, I am getting 11Mpg in town and 15 on the highway. I very rarely get more than 260 miles per fill up, and I also have a 01 PSD and that truck gets better fuel economy, while pulling my trailer. If anyone has any comments please let me know.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    is known to ping.

    About only solution is to use higher octane gasoline.
  • It's supposed to be revised for 2002. Better gas milage, and different peak torque and HP.

  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I don't want to sound like a "skipping CD", but I need some help on this.
    I bought a new (in 2000) Ranger XLT, 4x4, 5 speed auto 4.0 pushrod, extended cab. It has an annoying vibration IN THE SEATS AND FLOORBOARD most noticeable in OD and at freeway speeds (of say 60 to 75). I have put on new Michelins [balanced with Hunter 9700 system], had driveshaft rebalanced, and have had the slip joint lubed on the driveshaft. It currently has about 14000 miles on it. Is there something that I am overlooking ? Could this maybe be a torque converter or tranny problem ? Tire rotation does NOT affect anything.
    Could it possible be a faulty SHOCK ? Or, vibrating exhaust system ?
    I am open to any ideas before I sell at a huge loss and buy another truck [which I really DO NOT want to do].
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    are the v-6 engines for trucks these days that much more long-lived than four cylinders? it seems to me that no one would want a four if theyre consistently going to last 20,000 miles less and have less power and towing capacity...the only benefit is gas cost, and with the fuel-efficient v-6's out now, why even bother with the fours? maybe i should turn mine in at the end of the lease instead of buying it out like i was going to. i want a long-lasting truck, and maybe the 3.0 is the better choice?
  • but I'm not sure of the answer. It would make sense that a v-6 would not require as much RPM to do the same thing as the I-4 does. I still think you will get better gas milage with a 4 banger, but that can really change due to driving style. I am and have been happy with my 2.3l for the past 8 years. I just want a little more power for that daily commute to work. A 2.3/2.5l with a 5 speed manual would show a bit more power. I think any engine can last as long as you maintain it right.
  • I have a 1991 ranger 2-wheel drive, 3.0 six and standard trans. Like others this machine has had some pinging problems in hot weather, low elevations or hard pulls (other Fords seem similar) and minor oil consumption from the start. I've learned to deal with the ping (a dose of Chevron Technolene cleaner helps in the spring, I suppose cleans out carbon) and pushing throttle full down stops the ping (by inriching mixture). I now have 248,000 on the truck, its cost next to nothing for repairs, no down time, and runs as good as ever so I'm happy with it. I do sort of wonder how long they last and what breaks first (if anything) as I can not find any problems with body, drive train or anything. Oil consumption still very minor. No worries

    Had a 4 cylinder (2.3 Lima) Ford Pinto 1980 which lasted till traded in a 167,000 miles and worked OK.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    today the windshield decided it would spontaneously crack about 5".
    i have no idea why. the dealership said it was a "stone crack" and that they didnt have to do anything about it. i think it's something else, like the glass cracked due to the wild temperature variations we've been having, or that someone hit it. anyway, its another in a long line of disappointing incidents. i know i said i liked the truck but we STILL havent gotten our payment booklet in the mail (bought it 3 months ago), we have made countless calls to the dealership and the bank, and we dont like the four cylinder and auto combo much anymore and its only getting about 19 to 20 mpg now. this sucks. i am thinking of finageling for a 3.0 with a manual now.
  • I just bought a 2002 Ranger Edge 4X4. The spare is a P235/75R15, the tires on the truck are P245/75R16. Has anyone tried to fit a P245/75R16 in spare hanger? Also, I was always told not to mix tires sizes or you would damage the drive train. Any thoughts on if the mixing of 16" with a 15" tires?
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I've heard of not having full size spares, but different wheel sizes -- LOL. Glad I got a Taco.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    your spare is a donut, just like toyota puts on all their cars and small suv's. the tacoma has a full spare, but their tires suck unless you get the TRD package. they're car tires on a truck. saddaddy has a 2x2 pre-runner, and he may not even have a full spare. however, ford is stupid for not fitting its 4x4 rangers with full-size spares. even the new FX4 has a donut. how stupid is that. if i were you, i would buy a 31x10.50/15 and mount it on that spare. the tire sizes are identical in height, but a little different in width. but the 15 inch tire will be cheaper than locating a 16 inch rim and the 16 inch tire. this is what i did on my '01 ranger. i had 265/70/16's from the recall put on, and a 31 inch spare. these two sizes are nearly identical height and width wise. it will fit under there too. the 15 inch steel spare wheel will take a 31 inch tire. do that. good luck.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    you don't have to get TRD to get 265s on Tacoma. You have 3 rim choices, steels, chrome and alums, and aluminium rims will also hold up to 32x11.5x15s on them.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    please explain how a stock 16" aluminum wheel on a tacoma will hold a 32x11.5x15 like you say in two posts? after all, the only aluminum wheel offered by toyota is a 16 incher, correct? and oh, those choices. $600 just to get steel rims on a truck? plllllllease. ford puts them on standard. and they're 16 inchers. just another gouging from toyota.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Ok, I screwed up the tire dimensions. The stock tires are 265/70R16s on 16" alum rims.
    The 32x11.5x16 tires fit on them.
    The tires are all the same, the rims are just built of different material. The steel, chrome and alum rims are all 16". Beats me why a 32" fits on alum. rim only, probably alum. rims are wider so they can in fact accomodate the 32x11.5x16 tire.

    Sure, Ford puts 16" rims standard. On Tacoma, for $600, you get both rims and tires for the truck (all 5 of them). However, it seems that you were the one who said "I only need 31s to compete with Tacoma". The tires you guys get in stock arent enough for you? 31x10.5x16 tires are $113 or so a piece. I say thats a hefty investment.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    4-cyl., 5 speed, 4x2. I'm getting a clicking sound somewhere in the steering mechanism in low speed turns. Happens mostly in cold whether just starting out but sometimes when it's already warm. Any ideas?
  • Might be low, or you can flush them too. Mine is a little noisy when turning the wheel in the parking lot, but still steers tight on the road.
    I believe there are also a few boots on the steering input shaft. May just need a little squirt of lube.

    scorpio, at least you have a clock in the Ranger that you don't pay 80 bucks extra for, and can't see while driving. :)
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    I agree. Oh well. I look at it when I need to, just a slight turn of the head.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    what you smokin? they don't even make the sizes of tires that you're talking about. all the toyota rims are the same width, they wouldn't make the aluminum ones specially wider, that would cost more and call for more aluminum. a 32x11.50x16 is more likely a 265/75/16.

    actually, the stock size of ranger tires are 245/75/16- this tire is 30.6 inches tall. your tacoma's tires (if you pay the minimum $600 to get them, again ford includes them standard) are 265/70/16. this size is 30.7 inches tall. a .1 inch advantage. the tacoma tire is wider though. so if you're talking stock tires to stock tires- the crappiest of the two- since the FX4 is available with the best stock tires, and the TRD is available with decent BFG tires, the crappy goodyear wrangler rt/s is tons better than those crappy dunlops coming on non aluminum rimmed tacoma's. for serious wheeling, one would switch. but one would also just buy the FX4 of TRD if they're serious wheelers. and then the range has the tacoma beat with its BFG all-terrains in your beloved size of 31x10.50x15.
This discussion has been closed.