Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Ranger III



  • I got the regular cab Edge, 4x2, 5 speed manual, tilt and cruise, with Edge plus package (6 disc in dash, rims and goodyears) plus I added security, step bars, door locks and limited slip. All said and done I financed 14 grand. I started off the invoice pricing, and paid $100 over invoice in trade for extra goodies installed. Then the rebate.

    I owe less on my 2003 Ranger than my girlfriend owe's on her 2001 accord.
  • limanliman Posts: 32
    and the limited slip, are you ever in snow? I am not in a bad snow area, but we do get some from time to time, and there are hills around. I want to be able to use my truck all year round.

    I prefer to skip the 4x4 to keep things simple and cheaper. Also I have heard and read that steering and handling are not as good w/ 4x4. Thanks in advance.
  • So if I do see snow it's never around for more than a day or so. We might get one or two hard freezes throughout the year, but that is usually taken care of by the city sanding the bridges, etc.

    I didn't have the need for a 4x4 as I am not an off-roading type of guy. The edge package does have a 4x4 suspension, so I don't imagine there is a whole lot of difference in handling in my 4x2. A 4x4 would probably only add a bit more weight up front, and would only really handle differently if the transfer case was engaged. Insurance is also much cheaper on a 4x2.

    I got the limited slip so I would not have to worry when I do go on a few country dirt roads, or out camping. I have yet to experience any wheel slip, but it's good to know the limited slip is there in case I do hit some mud or ice that I wasn't expecting. For $295.00 dollar upgrade it should be well worth it. Just have it added to the bill of sale so you shouldn't have to pay for installation labor, etc.

    Another advantage with the limited slip is that it is always "on", or ready to engage. No buttons to hit. It is also better than lockers or 4x4 systems in that a limited slip will have no affect on turning or cornering ability. Definitely worth the small price you pay for it.

    One small note, I love my 3.0l stick in the regular cab 4x2. Plenty of power, however highway gas economy suffers a little with the 4.10's in the rear. I would go with 3.73's(or whatever equivalent there is) for a little lower rpm's while cruising. But if I had to tow, the 4.10's would definitely make it easy to get a load moving.
  • limanliman Posts: 32
    for your post. Appreciate your comments re/ limited slip. Also I hadn't thought about the insurance difference. I am looking at the automatic, 3.0l and regular cab.

    As for the final drive ratio, I was under the impression that the edge only came with 4.10, vs 3.73 in the XLT. If I had my choice I would be inclined to go with the 3.73. I don't plan on towing and am looking for a relatively relaxed highway ride.

    I prefer the higher stance of the edge along with the vinyl flooring.
  • I didn't look into gear ratios when purchasing, so it is all after the fact. I didn't know the 3.73's are only available on the XLT. I figured it would be little more than a speedocable gear change, and a new rear gears. I currently do 80mph at 3,000 RPM's, and with the horsepower peak over 5k, it has plenty of passing power when needed. Also my Edge has a governor at 92mph...

    One item to note, my 2003 Edge is quieter on the highway than my girlfriends 2001 Accord EX. The wind and road noise is much better insulated in my truck. She gets better gas milage (4 cylinder Honda), but I can go places she can't... Had to get step bars so she could easily get in the cab, but when comparing the Rangers on the lot, I had to get the extra ride height. I love my truck, and will definitely enjoy it for a long while.
  • Anybody have any experience with a cat-back system for a Ford 3.0l? I am looking for 1st. Power increase and 2nd. A bit more sound and 3rd. A good deal.

    How about any other performance parts? Chips, air intake, etc? My main goal is to increase power to help out gas economy. As much as a catch 22 that is, I do admit I enjoy a little lead foot action here and there.
  • limanliman Posts: 32
    for the Edge info. I will talk to my dealer about rear end options.

    Your comments on highway ride quality are greatly appreciated. I need to check out the rpm vs mph numbers on the automatic.
  • amoralesamorales Posts: 196
    Anyone hear about the new Thunderbolt? FORD SVT supposedly has put a supercharged 5.4 Triton in a Ranger with plans to market. GM, Dodge of Germany currently have no mini truck to meet challenge.

    Regards to all truck loving perple,

  • Check out this link, or check the post above yours... :)

    midnight_stang Jan 29, 2003 9:26am

    380hp/450lb.ft should be pretty mean in a regular cab ranger!
  • I just got a used '99 Ranger 4x4 Stepside. I would like to get people's opinions on hard and soft covers as well as pros/cons of the hook and loop versions of soft covers versus the snap versions. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    I have a snap on Black Max Extang cover on my 95 Ranger. IT's been on the truck 3 years now and still doesnt let a drop of water into the bed. I like that you can roll it up easily and store it by the back of the cab to carry heavy cargo, and there's also the obvious fact that it was cheap.
    Dont like how much of a pain it can be to get on when it's cold outside and the canvas shrinks. Sometimes my fingers and palms will get blistered from the effort and I might only be able to manage a few every hours before I get tired from all that pulling and I have to take a rest. That's a problem youll have with pretty much any soft cover. Mine is a quality product, but I just dont like the general charactaristics of soft covers anymore other than low price.

    If I had it to do again, I'd buy a hard cover. Reason 1: They lock. Reason 2: They lock. and Reason 3: Did I mention they provide locking storage? It may seem like a pain to part with the extra cash for a hard cover. But believe me, on those long trips where you can stop over in a motel without having to lug all luggage in your truck bed into your room and then load it back in the next morning, you will most certainly thank yourself for having bought something that provides a secure bed.

    IF the Ranger is your primary means of transportation, you will thank yourself later for getting the hard cover.
  • Short bed ARE hard tonneau go for about 750-850, and fits your Ranger XLT or Edge body moldings. I will hopefully get one after my spray in bedliner, sometime this summer...
  • mark461mark461 Posts: 2
    1)Do all the 2003 ranger 4x4s have the new 4" alum driveshafts that are replacing the vibrating steel ones?
    2)what kind of gas mileage does the 4.0L 4x4, 4.10 rear get? I do alot of highway driving at 70-80 mph.
     Overall is everyone happy with their Rangers I had a lemon 1999 and swore off fords forever but 0% and a friend in the biz is luring me back. Thanks
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    I will add my 2 cents to your second question. I have an '01 4.0, 4x4, automatic, 4.10 rear and have made several round-trips on the Interstate between Minneapolis and Des Moines. The typical cruising speed is in the 70-80 range.

    I have found the EPA estimates to be pretty accurate on this truck, but wind makes a big difference. The best I ever got was a tad over 20 MPG but I only got that on one round-trip. Going into a stiff headwind, I have gotten as low as 16.5 on the same trip. Around 18 or 19 is about what I average for highway driving. It goes down if I spend much time in stop and go traffic.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I concur. I own an 00 pushrod 4.0 vibrator V6 (with an ARE cap). I average about 18 on the highway (using cruise) at an indicated 70 to maybe 72. When ratcheting up to 80, mileage drops fast as drags increase. I get about 16 to 16.5 at 80. Around town about 14.5 to 15 in summer, about 13 to 13.5 in winter. I have the 3.73 rearend with 5 speed auto, and 15 inch stock Ford alloys with Michelins. Ranger mileage sucks pretty bad on 4x4 V6's, no matter which truck you get. Just simply too much drag (high ground clearance) and weight and friction in the drive train. Physics is at work here. If one wants mileage from a Ranger he needs to get a 4 banger and 2 x 4; he can then expect maybe close to 23-25 mpg under ideal conditions. Trucks SUCK for MPG, period. That is what Honda Civics are built for.
    If MPG is what one nedds, AVOID a truck altogether.
  • tequila2tequila2 Posts: 1
    I bought a 2003 Supercab with 3.0L engine and A/T. It now has 2000 miles on it and I got 21.9 mpg on a 300-mile trip that was 90% highway driving. How much better will this get when the truck is fully broken in? Also, the engine seems kind of noisy to me, especially when accelerating fairly hard or pulling up hills. Is this normal or a cause for concern? Finally, is this engine pretty reliable and how long can I expect it to last with proper maintenance?
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    That engine noise is very likely detonation (pinging) from that 3.0 motor (it is infamous for that symptom). I wouldn't worry about it. They will ping their way to 250 000 miles.
    Also, some of these motors will get a "marbling" sound, especially at idle when cold, that is most likely carbon buildup around the piston skirt area (so the theory goes).
    My 4.0 does it, and has for a long while. It goes away when hot. I don't worry about it anymore. I am just thankful that it runs ! ;-)
  • seyorniseyorni Posts: 9
    I've noticed that the torque peak on the stock 4 cyl. is lower than that on the 3.0 six. This is very odd tuning. The peak on the 3.0 seems too high, also, unless this truck runs at an unusually high RPM. This tuning could result in the 4 cyl making more power at normal cruising speeds than the 6. Is this, in fact, the case? Why would Ford tune their engines so oddly? Would a more aggressive spark advance lower the torque peak on this engine? This works great on Harleys and is cheaper than re camming.
  • Yes, the 2.3l reaches it's peak of 154ft/lbs at 3750 RPM, while the 3.0l it's 180 ft/lsb at 3900. I don't have the complete curve available or infront of me, but I would bet that at 2000 RPM the 3.0l is around 150 ft/lbs.

    I own a 2003 3.0l reg cab 4x2, and when I drive I rarely have to go past 3000 rpm.(and usually only in first gear). I am not a slowpoke either! Best thing to do is test drive both, and I am sure you will see what I mean. In a regular cab, the 3.0l rocks!

    Also, the 3.0l don't ping anymore for 2003 and maybe even 2002.
  • seyorniseyorni Posts: 9
    Midnight. Thanks for replying to my inquiry about The torque peaks of the 4 banger vs the six. I'm planning to buy a long bed standard cab and I don't believe the smaller engine is even offered in this configuration. Anyway. What would be the cheapest way of lowering the torque peak of the 3.0? Engineering it significantly higher than normal driving RPM is just, well, bad engineering! A waste of engine potential! It would even cut into gas mileage as people rev higher to reach peak power. What were these engine designers smoking?
       On another subject, I've seen several comments about Installing K&N (read "less restrictive") air filters on these trucks. All well and good, but if you're going to open up the intake end of your engine, ideally, you should balance it with a less restrictive exhaust as well. And, most important, keep in mind that these changes will lean out your engine. You'll need to adjust your mixture to keep engine temps down and achieve good power/efficiency. Easy with a carburetor but somewhat problematic with fuel injection.
  • Trying to get into the heads of the Ford engineers might proove to be an effort in futility.

    I do know that at highway speeds (75mph) with a 4.10 rear gear,the 4th manual gear will put you right around 3900 RPM. Which would be perfect for towing. It does seem a little high, but the vulcan 3.0 is a stout little motor. I used to own a 93 2.3l, and never had the valve cover off in over 140,000 miles.Never got below 20mpg. My current 3.0l has much improved power, even compared to the current day 4v 2.3l, but my MPG is currently aroung 17mpg in the city. But that could be because the engine still has 2,100 miles on it, and hasn't broken in yet.

    End result, it really depends on your application. A daily commuter behind a 2.3l would be perfect for economy. Those who would could use a little more towing capability, the 3.0l. Then the 4.0l is a big increase to power for a small option price. If you want a reg cab, long bed, you should be able to order that truck with a 4.0l from any dealership fleet salesman.
  • I bought a used 99 Ranger Extended Cap 3.0 XLT I Have had problems with the shifting since I got it with it being hard to go into gear. I was told to pump the clutch if this helped it was the master cylinder. It did help so I took it in to have the MC replaced they did I was driving the same day and the clutch went all the way to the floor and was engaged in gear. Had it towed they said a locking ring had come off that they hadnt gotten it on right. They put it back together same day it doesnt it again. The tech says there is no retaining clip just the ring that locks into place this doesnt seem right anyone know what might be the problem??? Thanks in Advance.
  • 1busman1busman Posts: 33
    My 01 supercab 4x4 has the 4.0 sohc w/5 spd auto and 4.10 gears. Crusing between 70 and 80 I average 18 to 20 mpg. I have to agree with brucellinc in #987 wind can really kill gas mileage. Once on the way to Portland, OR from the SF Bay Area I only got 15 mpg. This was in real heavy wind and I just about had my foot to the floor. Driving back and forth to work (60 miles a day) which is about 70% freeway I average 17.5 mpg.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    since I have visited this room. Back in 1998 I purchased a Ford Ranger XLT stepside kingcab 4x4 with a 4.0. Truck was pretty much loaded with every option. I bought the truck for $19,600 dollars. I put on some better and larger tires, an air intake system, step bars, rock guards, spray in liner, and a flowmaster exhaust system. After 97,000 miles the truck has performed wonderfully. I have had a brake job done, transmission fluid changed, along with all other maintenance performed. I also did a timing belt at about 70,000 to be safe. These are great trucks. But, my wife is wanting to sell it since we have a car, an SUV and a truck. I am going to try to hold her off as long as I can. The truck looks new, runs great and is very reliable. I have waxed it and washed it kept it looking great..
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    The 4.0 Ranger V6 uses a timing CHAIN, not a belt. You have done the IMPOSSIBLE...replacing a timing belt that the motor does not have. Congratulations !
  • dom55dom55 Posts: 4
    Here's equipment and what I paid: Auto, AC, Power equip group, Appearance pkg, Tilt w/cruise & leather, vinyl jump seats, class III trailer hitch receiver, Slide rear window, privacy glass, full size spare.

    Price 18,442
    NY tax 1521 (8 1/4%)
    Reg/Title 125 (2 yr registration)
    doc fee 148
    rebate 2,500
    TOTAL 17,736
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    timing chain... Fact still stands that my Ranger has been trouble free with normal maintenance. I notice the Ranger vs Tacoma room is gone?? I am a Tacoma owners worst nightmare..
  • I got 2000, but 2500 now? I missed out... Anyway, I owe less on my 2003 Ranger than my girlfriend does on her 2001 Honda Accord. And I have only made 4 payments so far... LOL. I also pay 135 bucks less per month...

    scape, I tried to re-open the Ranger vs Tacoma thread 2 additional times, but it always gets closed due to certain known instigators. It was a good place for two camps of truck fans to get together, but certain "planets" seemed it was a mountain that needed to be battled over.
  • polsenpolsen Posts: 25
    I'm trying to find sources for ladder racks. I hope I can find one that is relatively inexpensive and easier to remove. Does anyone know of Internet resources or the type of local shops that carry this item?
This discussion has been closed.