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Ford Ranger III



  • But you probably already knew that. The 2300, or 2.3l should be a non-interference motor (at least my '93 was). But you could have valve problems. Hopefully it's just a seal or a bit of carbon build up preventing it from sealing. Cheap fix could be some cleaner/carbon remover (RxP) run through your fuel. Otherwise it'll require some mechanic time to diagnose and fix.

    Speaking of Dome lights, I just replaced my 2003 Edge's dome light with one off a 96 Mustang. Why? Because my regular cab edge had a basic dome/cabin light and no map lights. Good thing was Ford did run the wiring for the map lights, but I had to fabricate the connection to my new dome light fixture. Works awesome, and was a fun thing to do.

    Next up, I'll be taking apart my third brake light. You see, the Rangers with a solid brake light (all red) for the third brake light only have one bulb installed, but the actual lense has mounts for three bulbs. Presumably, the lens comes off the same mold of the lenses with Cargo or reverse lights build into them.

    Ford also pre-ran the wiring for the cargo lights, but since my lense is completely red, I'll be adding the two outside bulbs, and making them supplemental brake lights AND turn signal lights. Should be another fun weekend project, that'll take little more than some wires, and a little dismantling.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    It's awful quiet out on the B Series Board so I thought I would post here also. I've got a 2002 B4000 4X4. Been happy with the truck. I've got 33k miles. The stupid Goodyear Wranglers are already going bald, which seems extremely short to me.

    I've never been real happy with wet weather traction (not hydroplaning - low speed grip). I think the LSD and all that torque from the 4.0 engine makes this problem worse, because it is ridiculously easy to break both rear tires loose and fishtail on wet pavement.

    I'd like to replace them with something that will last longer, grip better on the wet, handle well on dry pavement and that is good off road and not cost a fortune. Any suggestions?

    I think the tires are 245/75 R16s. Has anyone with a 4x4 tried to go to something bigger without changing the wheels?
  • Many have gone bigger, some have even put as large as 31" tires on without any torsion bar cranking. They might have to remove a mud flap or two to prevent rubbing during extreme turns, but that's it. Of course larger tires will make your speedometer innacurate, but usually no more than 5-8% off. There are many calculators out there on the net, just search for Tire Size Calculator, and you'll know exactly how much your prospective tires are wider, taller, or larger in circumference.

    Sorry I can't recommend any right now, My truck only has 6,000 miles currently... :)
  • cpousnrcpousnr Posts: 1,611
    If you have 245X16, you can go up to 265X16, with a slight rub in full articulation. Do not think they make a 31X16, but the 265 is between a 31 and a 32 inch tire.

    I woiuld suggest BF Goodrich AT KO's. Best all round tire out there. I got 52K off my set, look sharp, perform well.

    I currently run Goodyear MTR's but they are not for everone. I might go back to the BFG's next go around.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    Thanks for the input.
  • cpousnrcpousnr Posts: 1,611
    If you have the 7.5 inch or 8 inch rims, they are fine for a 265X16 or a 31X10.5X15 tire.

    BFG AT KO's are sharp and good allround. Goodyear MTR's are very agressive off-road tires, kind of a rough ride on daily driver...but they are by far the best off-road tire, IMHO based on a weekend at Tuttle Creek, KS off-road vehicle park...walked out of mud that would have killed the truck with BFG's.

    I get no rubbing on 31X10.5X15, a guy I know with 265X16 tires rubs a bit.
    If you go bigger, remember, lower air pressure for bigger tires.

    I run around 29-30 lb of air on 31X10.5X15 tires.
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    I replaced the 245/75r16 tires on my Ranger with 265/70r16 Bridgestone Dueller A/T Revos. These Bridgestone Revo's are the most highly rated A/T tire out there - yes, even better than the BFGs. The 265/70 size is only .5% taller than the stock tires, keeping your speedometer and odometer readings accurate. They do look a little beefier on the truck, ride smoother, and are quite quiet. I highly recommend the Revos!
  • I bought a 2003 Edge 2wd ext. cab. I like midsize trucks and enjoy this truck very much. I decided to go with the 4.0 and I think you should consider this option. The mileage is at least as good as the 3.0. I get 19+ around town. Get the tow package with this motor and the 3.55 rear(I got LSD because of all the sand and slippery boat ramps). This package has the highest tow rating.
  • Jeep is coming out with a 2.8L diesel with 7700 lbs towing and 28 MPG in the Liberty. Sounds like something Ford should have in the Ranger. Do they offer this ex-US? Why not here? Why do we have to get crappy mileage if we want a tow vehicle, when a small diesel takes care of this problem?
  • brntbrnt Posts: 1
    Is your truck auto or manual transmission? Have you had a chance to pull your boat yet? I am looking to purchase a truck and was considering a 4x4 because of slippery boat ramps and the occasional winter storm here in NC. Is your boat/trailer less than 3000 lbs? I have located two trucks that I am interested in. One is a 2003 3.0 edge 4x4 and the other is a 2004 4.0 xlt value package 4x4. I could save a lot of money by purchasing an 04 edge EC 4.0 4x2 like you did instead of buying the 4wd vehicle. What are your thoughts?
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    I had a Mazda B3000 4x2 without lsd (Mechanical twin to the Ranger). Got stuck twice in the Georgia Mountains. Going up a steep gravel road (not what I would consider off roading by any means) and going up a steep asphalt (yes asphalt) road in the rain (not ice - just wet rain) while pulling a single axle U-Haul. Both times I was pulled up by different F-150s with 4wd. Replaced the B3000 with a B4000 4x4 with the 5 speed auto.

    I would strongly recommend the 4.0 litre engine and 4wd. 3.0 is weak and it pings. 4.0 with the auto is a nice drivetrain with decent power. My truck is rated to tow 5,500 pounds, which means that realistically I can comfortably tow up to 3,000. If you regularly tow much more, I think you should be looking at bigger truck. Also, my new truck has the lsd. While I think it helps somewhat, it is not a true locking differential (only a limited amount of power is transferred to the tire with better traction) and I do not think that it is a replacement for 4wd. It is still relatively easy to spin the tires in low traction situations in 2wd.

    Having said all that, if you do not need heavy duty towing, I think the Ranger / Mazdas are great trucks and if you can give up the macho he-man image of a big truck, they should work great for 99% of personal use needs, while being much easier to park and live with on a day to day basis.
  • If you think the 3.0l is weak, then don't even think about the 2.3l. In reality, the 3.0l is pretty good in the regular cab, especially with a stick. And pinging? Not in my 2003. The engine was revised in 2002 and the problem is all but completely cured. If you call something that is just a noise in the engine that doesn't affect much else a problem. Get the 3.0l if you are concerned about gas milage.

    But the 4.0l definitely will be home in any 4x4 or extended cab. I think Ford should make them available in all Rangers, extended or not. Definitely a nice engine, but not as reliable as the Vulcan 3.0l in the long term.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    Granted, my B3000 (3.0 engine) was a year 2000 model, so I do not know about recent improvements to the engine, but my 2wd B3000 regular cab had identical fuel economy to my 2002 model B4000 extended cab (with the doors) and 4wd. Both got about 15 in the city and 20 on the highway, and both had automatic transmissions. Also, I ran mid grade fuel with the 3.0 because of the knocking / pinging, so my fuel costs were actually higher than the 4.0.

    My experience with the 3.0 was poor mpg and not a lot of power. At least with the 4.0 I can live with the fuel economy considering the power and considering the relative advantages of 4wd and the extended cab, which add weight and increase fuel consumption.

    I can't comment on the relative reliability between the two engines because I have not had problems with either truck. I sold the B3000 after two years and 26,000 miles. My B4000 is now about two years old with 35,000 miles. It's much more useful with the extended cab so I drive it a lot more, keeping miles off of our other car.

    BTW, both times I got stuck in the B3000 I had significant remaining tread with well under 20,000 miles on the original Firestone Wilderness HT tires.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    Anyone have any experience hauling actual human beings in the back of one of these? I'd like to be able to haul my wife, 4-year old daughter and eventual infant along with me. Is there enough room in there with car seats and all?
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    On days when the 4 door sedan, wagon, or SUV you should normally use to haul the family around is in the shop, a Ranger should be fine for dropping your slim wife and a couple of svelte 8-12 year old kids off at school. Car seats won't work. The best place for them is in the back seat and they're not safe in extended cab/compact jump seats. Any averaged sized teenage or adult will start to dislike you after more than 20-25 minutes or so back there. And by that I mean theyll dislike you even more than is normal in a teen/parent relationship.

    My suggestions: You either need to look at a compact/crew cab with a bed extender, a full size extended cab, or keep something more suited to family hauling and just have a regular cab long bed compact for hauling stuff. The extended cabs are really only good for interior storage space for stuff you dont want in the bed. For hauling people, they're at best tolerable for short periods.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    That's what I was afraid of. I've owned a couple of F150's...rather unweildy beasts, but useful. I may end up getting another one....or maybe a Tundra.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Would you consider a sport trac? Seems like it fits your requirements, and they may have some really good discounts on them.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I was fishing the other day and a 4 door Ranger came up along side of mine....the man bought it in Mexico....actually he was a resident of Mexico up here visiting. Nice looking truck....I suppose Ford declines to sell it here because it would hurt the sale of the Explorer Sport-Trec?

    My newest minor complaint with my '02 Ranger XLT "lock" button for the power 3 year old has discovered the up/down button and there isn't much I can do but continue to throw idle threats his way as the window goes up and down, up and down...

  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    I agree that it is too small for people except maybe children in a narrow age band when they are older than car seat age but still well below normal adult or teen size. However, with only a lap belt, there are safety issues.

    However, it does work great for a dog and for interior storage, especially with the clam shell doors.
  • You can easily put in a lock out feature on your passenger window controls(that is also handy if anyone has a dog who likes to lean out the window, paws on the controls, etc) It just depends on how handy you are, but it's not really too difficult at all.

    I personally don't know the procedure or how to wire it up, but there are guys at the website that know, and there is a forum full of electrical modifications and other tid bits. Just tell them 2k3Edge sent ya.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    Thanks for the advice midnight_stang! I'm not that handy when it comes to electrical....but I'll see how difficult it is before I decide not to try it...

    Thanks again!

  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    My reg cab 95 was running fine at 107 thousand miles when I traded it. I just got tired of no interior storage space and only being able to drive one friend around. If Ford made a 4 door Ranger with a minimum 5.5 ft bed and maybe the 4.6 V8 or at minimum the big V6, that's what ID be driving now instead of my Dakota Quad. Unfortunately, there was a Ranger to fit my needs when I was a college student carting laundry home on weekends, but not one for when I grew up and needed a little more versatility. On the other hand the Dodge was the perfect size both inside and out with still enough bed to be used like a truck. Oh well, hopefully in another 6-7 years when Im ready for something new again Ford will finally get tired enough of missing out on the crew cab compact market that Chevy, Nissan, and Dodge are getting fat off of that they'll replace the Sport Trac with a more truck-like crew cab Ranger. Id love a crew cab Ranger with more than 5 feet of bed and real off road ability.
  • steveeaststeveeast Posts: 158
    ...I had to trade my regular cab ranger when the first kid came along. The Sport Trac is no substitute for a real crew-cab Ranger. Though I'm not sure that anyone's actually making any money selling compact pickups, which might be why Ford haven't bothered.

  • They make a crew cab Ranger in Mexico, but it's only sold there too. There is a redesign slated for 2006 that should address all of the above concerns and more. I expect an available v8, crew cabs, and probably a small diesel. There is also a new duretec engine that can replace either the 3.0l or 4.0l.
  • steveeaststeveeast Posts: 158
    Personally, I just hope they don't grow it to the point where it's no longer a compact. Once it hits Dakota size, it's not going to fit in my garage :-(

  • townhometownhome Posts: 104
    I just had to tell someone how much I love my 96 Ranger Ext Cab Flareside. After 8 years and 80,000 miles the only two problems it ever had are with it's CD changer and the wiper/washer stalk. This is the only car or truck (besides my wife's new Jetta) I've ever had that has not once left me stranded. It's 4.0 still pulls strong and the auto transmission shifts so smoothly you don't even notice it. The only thing that keeps me from driving it everyday is me wanting it to last forever!
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    In December, I had the opportunity to attend a marketing survey for trucks. I was paid $75 to attend and had a great time.

    They had photos of 132 different trucks posted around the (huge) room. All current models, PLUS "future trucks", which were described as being available within the next year or so.

    Lots and lots of new trucks from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Acura, Dodge and others. But, no future Rangers or Mazdas. None, zero, zip, nada.

    The future Tacoma looks like the new 4Runner, and the future Frontier lokks like the new Titan. The Honda, Acura and some others are nothing more than chopped-off SUVs, like the avalanche.

    So, we can only wonder when a new Ranger will make its appearance.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Does the old 2.3-liter 4-cylinder which was found in 1985-97 Rangers have its origins in the original 2.3 unit found in the Fox Mustangs, and is it an OHC design?
  • In fact they are the same engines. The 2.3l (and 2.5l) at the same engine. The Mustangs received only 2.3l, while the Ranger received the same block with varied stroke throughout the years. I believe they also had a smaller stroke version, a 2.0l or 2.2l, but I forget which. Parts are totally interchangeable.

    rickc5, the new Ranger will be at least a 2006 model truck. Sadly the F-150 gets all the glory for a year or two. (maybe more)

    I'm sure once the sales units drop to a significant degree, Ford will pay attention. Sadly I don't think the Ranger can hold onto the title as "best selling compact truck" that it has had for around 18 years.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    So I could very well install a '97 Ranger 2.3 engine in a '93 Mustang, right?
This discussion has been closed.