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Ford Ranger III



  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    I'm the one who has posted about the availability of 4.0L SOHC 5 speed manual Rangers here in Canada. I wish I had access to a scanner, so I could post the Canadian 2001 Ranger brochure. I went into the dealer on Friday last week, and the salesman took down the options I wanted, and was going to place an order for a black 2001 XLT 4x2 SuperCab for me. When he checked to see if the Ford ordering system was accepting orders for the 4.0L/5 speed combo, he noticed that there was already an order for a black Regular Cab 4x2. Hopefully I'll get to drive one in 6-8 weeks, and I'll post my impressions. If the finances work out, I'll be taking it home!
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    What I'd like to see...
    -I agree with dannyg in that just a 4 cyl and one 6 cylinder engine option are needed. If they boost the 6 to 250hp+, who needs a V8?
    -maybe a diesel for those interested (not me!)
    -Make the engines all aluminum to save weight.
    -6 speed manual transmission.
    -Increase in size just slightly, keep the weight the same. I would love to see a 6.5 foot box - that extra 6 inches is very handy for hauling stuff (snowmobiles fit better).
    -A composite box - at least the inside. This would eliminate the need for bedliners.
    -offer a sport 2wd package on 4x2 RC and SC, with Recaro like seats (can you say SVT Ranger?).
    -aluminum wheels on 4x2 like they used to.
    -offer a high-end stereo with sub on all models, Regular cab and Super cab.
    -Factory sunroof option like Toyota, Nissan.
    Well, that's it for now.
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    Instead of the diesel, how about a hybrid? The 2.3L 4cyl (maybe even a 2.0L) supplemented by an electric engine would have very respectable torque/0-60/towing/hauling, and, of course, good MPG.
  • kit1404kit1404 Posts: 128
    The Ranger needs some serious development dollars and it looks like most in the immediate future will come from the Explorer. That's not all bad, just not competitive. Dodge has a really nice truck in the Dakota/Durango. The V-8 is not a left-over - it got plugged into those models very soon after the intro in the Grand Cherokee. Ford really needs to compete in this arena. Maybe it can do it with the old Ranger chassis- I don't think so. This has been a good, stout compact truck chassis and could stay that way. They need a new mid-size frame/engine and everything else combo whether it is called Ranger or not. Frankly, Ford has excelled with trucks and led the American truck market. They have 4 different SUV's now, went to a ton of expense to differentiate the F-Series between the F-150 and Super-Duty, isn't it time to compete with the Dodge Dakota too and keep the Ranger as a good, well-developed compact pickup? I would sure be interested in a new mid-size truck from Ford - but, then only too if it had plenty of power and got good gas mileage.
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    A hybrid Ranger would be interesting since the high torque of the electric engine would nicely complement the horsepower of the 4cyl gasoline engine.

    The Toyota Prius is a hybrid--its electric engine develops only 40hp but a whopping 225 ft. lb of torque from 0-400 RPM (!). All that torque at low RPMs would be great for pulling boat trailers up launching ramps, 4x4ing, etc. Combine that with the new 2.3L's 140hp and 155 and you've got a pretty potent combination: 180hp and lots of torque.

    Plus much better MPG.

    Check out for more info.

    I hear Ford is already developing this system for the Escape which will get the 2.3L at some point. I hope they offer it on the Ranger too.
  • zigster38zigster38 Posts: 117
    According to Ford's internal documents, Ford's 3.0L Vulcan V6 and 2.5L Ranger engines are both going to be discontinued.

    The Vulcan 3.0L will continue through the 2002 model year Ranger, although some production might spill over into early 2003 models. 2000 will be the last year for the 3.0L FFV Ranger.

    The Vulcan 3.0L will be replaced by an I-5 cylinder engine for Ranger/B-series light truck applications. BlueOvalNews was the first publication to first report the existence of the I5 back on 21 July 1999 .

    While the Ford Ranger will use the 2.8L I5, the Ranger's Mazda cousin will use a 2.7L version of the I5.

    From 2002 forward the only V6 engine to be offered in the Ranger will be the 4.0L V6. The Koln 4.0L V6 has some temporary safety and will even receive an upgrade within the next few years. We'll cover the fate of the 4.0L when we publish information on the 2003+ Explorer. We expect that the 3.0L Vulcan 3.0 will be completely discontinued from both the car and truck lines by 2003.

    Gone with the Vulcan is the 4R44E automatic transmission. It will be replaced by the 5R55E, also in 2002. The R1 manual transmission will remain in use through 2003.

    Also on the chopping block is the 2.5L I4 cylinder engine. 2001 will be the last year in which the 2.5L will be used when a new 2.3L I4 replaces it as well. Both will use the same transmissions as the I5.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    zig, nice info. Thanks.
    I-5 sounds kind of funny though? Why not an I-6 like Chevy is doing? Hope to see a diesel too.
  • kit1404kit1404 Posts: 128
    I applaud the gas/hybrid anything vehicle. It is the best step in the right direction that we have gone yet. I think these vehicles hold a lot of promise - don't count me as one of the first buyers, but they could at least be the first good, urban-style vehicles that offer alternative power. Pick-ups? Probably on the horizon, not there yet.

    Still don't hear from anyone how Ford will update the Ranger? I understand it will get the Explorer's old engine - soon to be base engine for the Explorer - the SOHC 4.0, same old engine with a newer design. Sounds like GM to me? Is that really a big step forward?

    Face it - an old engine design, updated a few years ago to keep the Explorer competitive. Now, the Explorer gets a nice new and small V-8 in a few months - where has the new Ranger engine been?

    I follow Ford closely - have owned many of their vehicles, mostly with very good results. Own two F-series trucks now and I must say I am most happy with both. But, where is the good technology in the Ranger? Had a new Ranger (1998) with very poor results - 4.0 engine woes. A new chassis would have allowed the really nice 4.6 OHC engine from the base F-150 to be an option and probably make an incredible competitor to the Dodge Dakota with the V-8. They have missed this one - one of the first I have ever seen Ford miss with trucks.

    I truly like the hybrid idea - it will have to be a good car design before it works as a truck. And, that is where the Escape comes to view - it's really a car with nice Taurus engine. But, then maybe that is the direction the Ranger is going. In my mind, it is not going in the direction of a good compact truck. We need a Dakota competitor to keep up with the Ranger's original design theme - a very durable, compact truck that works hard as a pickup but also delivers the best value on the planet.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Your last sentence hits the mark with the value statement. The Ranger can be had in so many configurations it will make your head spin. The Ranger is the best compact truck value in the market today.
    As far as the SOHC 4.0 being "old" its only been int he Explorer for about 3 years, 4 tops. The SOHC 4.0 is no slouch either. To develop an engine solely for the Ranger would cost serious dollars in development/parts/support you name it. I feel its smart of Ford to offer this engine. It fits perfect into this truck class. A V8 Ranger is overkill in my book. If I want a V8 I would go to a full size. I have a 4.0 V6 and it has pulled, hauled and towed everything I have asked of it..
  • for you guys getting the new 2001 4.0 ranger, be prepared for it to suck gas. there are two local rangers [owned by a glass business] in my area using new ranger xlt's [extended cabs] 4x4's with 5 sp autos and new 4.0.s. they say the mpg is about 1 to 1.5 less than the old 4.0 engine, as long as you don't get too heavy on the foot. if you really "gas" it, mileage is about 15 to 15.5. when you think about it, this makes sense. you can't get something for nothing, thermodynamically: do more work-use more fuel. also, the engine seems noisy to me, not a "knocking" as much as a high frequency "rattle", much like my old kawasaki motorcycle engine. maybe it's just the nature of ohc engines...a lot of metallic "clicking". i think the trucks look great, and will buy one if i wear out the ranger that i already have. good luck to all 2001 buyers: it looks like a real nice truck, with lots of power ! just take a gasoline credit card wtih you ! ford and others are going to have to start thinking about the fuel cost issue. i am sure this engine was on the drawing board LONG before $2 gallon gas.
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    I'm getting about 17mpg around town in my old 2.8L V6 Ranger 4x4 5sp & I'm pretty sick of it. I'll probably pick up a Ranger with the new 2.3L 4cyl at some point. Unfortunately, it looks like you can't get the 7' bed with the 4cyl! I hope Ford changes their mind about that. I really can't predict where gas prices will be in, say, 5 years, so I'm going to play it safe with the 4cyl. I tend to keep my trucks/cars for at least five years.

    The Ranger would be perfect for a hybrid gas/electric like they're developing for the 2003 Escape. If this system was available today at a reasonable cost I'd consider it.
  • I have a '95 Ranger and the 'dinger' is driving me crazy. When I start the engine, the light stays on and the dinger "dings" for quite a while. Has anyone else experienced this problem, and if so, what can be done to 'stop the noise'?
  • davidb72davidb72 Posts: 174
    Spray WD40 inside the door latch, both sides. The switch inside there is getting stuck.
  • david6david6 Posts: 75
    Amazingly, Ford is cutting costs by only providing certain packages in the 2001 Rangers, so it's no longer easy to tailor to your tastes. I've said to the salesmen, "Hey, with this approach, I might as well buy a Toyota. After all, everybody always gripes about having to buy options packages with them, now Ford is doing it, too."

    A casualty of this seems to have been the choice of rear end in the 4x2 Rangers.

    I cannot pick the gearing or whether I want Limited Slip Differential . . . and I do! Maybe they'll offer it later, but I wouldn't expect that, so I'm going ahead anyway. Dammit. I'll be investing in some sand bags for this winter I guess.

    They do offer LSD on the 4x4 2001 Ranger, however. So close . . . yet so far.

    And I'm getting the 4x2 with the 4.0/auto (which you can only get in one fully loaded package) - I can only hope that the 3.55 that I'm forced to get helps with the fuel consumption.
  • List price, top of the line Ranger 4x4 extended cab -- around $23K.

    List price, top of the line Toyota Tacoma 4x4 extended cab -- around $28K.

    Of course that's not all of the cost involved. The Ranger, for example, would need serious cash investment (another $2-3K worth), such as new tires, new wheels, airlockers for the differentials, etc. to make it a serious off-road machine, while the Tacoma is a serious off-road machine as-is. But even so, the $$$ is enough to make me seriously look at the Ranger, despite the poor quality, old engine design, etc. I don't plan on doing serious off-roading in a $20K+ pickup truck anyhow -- I may be a highly paid computer professional, but not to the point where I can afford to destroy $20K toys on jeep trails!

    For those complaining about the lack of development dollars put into the Ranger: Ford could afford to hike the price of the Ranger and make it a state-of-the-art small truck. Or even state-of-1995 small truck (the Tacoma was introduced in 1995). But that is not what they sell the Ranger as. They sell it as a cheaper alternative to things like the Tacoma and Dodge Dakota, and apparently it's working, because the Ranger remains the best-selling small truck.

    Personally I prefer the Nissan Frontier. Not quite as uncomfortable as the Tacoma, not quite as bloated as the Ranger. Alas, I seem alone in that opinion. I am reluctant to purchase a truck that seems as seriously snubbed by truck aficiandos as the Frontier is. If I'm interested in after-market goodies for my truck (hey, a boy has to have his toys :-), well, I gotta have a truck that other people like to buy goodies for... Frontiers appear to be bought by rather prim folks looking for bare-bones functionality out on the ranch, whose idea of a truck accessory is a load of firewood. Maybe the new XTerra-derived look for 2001 will change that. But at the moment, that's still speculation.

  • Well everyone, I received my 2001 Ranger this week. It is an XLT 4x4 4 door supercab. It was ordered with 4.0 SOHC, 5 speed auto, "off road" package, towing package, 6 disc in dash deck, etc. etc. It is black with tan interior. First thing I did was take it down to my local Les Schwab tire dealer and got 31x10.5 15 tires on Claw wheels to replace the P rated Firestones. Mucho better! Only had to make minor adjustments to the front mud flaps for clearance. (the 31's are shorter but a little wider on the 15x8 RWD offset wheels. The SOHC motor is a godsend! My wife had a similar '99 with the old 4.0 and it was a little under powered for my likeing. There is no comparison to the 3.4 Tacoma I sold awhile ago. (sorry Taco' owners) The improvements in interior noise reduction is very noticeable also. It is a little thirsty though. turbocat.
  • Turbocat,congrats on your purchase. I like the new rangers Saw one yesterday on the road for the first time,it was a white xlt 4x4 sc beauty!Dont like those junky plastic bed things,why didnt ford make them flat and smooth like the F series? Thats the only thing i dont like.LOL with it i have 122,000 miles on mine and still going strong.
  • When ever i hit the brakes hard,like panic stopping,the ABS light comes on and the red parking brake comes on.It just started doing this yesterday,anybody ever have this problem? Thanks Shawn
  • Thanks. I already removed the plastic bed siderail covers. (They are held on with clamps and adhesive tape) I think Ford wanted to make the side rail protectors look like the hard tonneau that is available on the Edge. I couldn't order the tonneau from Ford, it is not a factory option on XLT. Only the Edge. I work at a Ford dealership, and I can't even order the hard tonneau through parts. So I ordered an after market fiberglass one. It will look better anyway , in my opinion. On your ABS, if your light comes on, there is a problem in the system. I'd have it checked out.
  • thanks for your advice on the abs problem. shawn
  • I had the same problem .. when applying the brakes at more than a "moderate" level, the light would come on and stay. Turned out to be the brake fluid level .. was low. My Ranger was a '94 and this is the first time I've added any fluid .. typically I like to have the pads checked at about this point too.
  • In response to dmould, keep your eyes open for the Ranger "Thunder."

    And referring to the off-road capabilities of the Ranger (e l green), there's the new off-road version coming out 1Q 01 that will be trail-ready right off the line. Not hard-core, but enough for your average joe.
  • Anyone know when the new engine will be out & if I'll be able to get a 4 door automatic transmission with it. I really need a truck or suv but I would like to keep the gas mileage as good as possible.

  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    jfowlerjr - The site notes that the 2.3 will be in B-series (Ranger twin) trucks built after Jan, 2001. Go check out the web site for configurations details.
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    I test drove the 2001 Mazda B-4000 4x4 during my lunch hour. I was definitely impressed by this drivetrain. The SOHC motor is smooth. The new manual transmission was a bit notchy, but the throws were shorter than my 1989 Ranger 2.9L 5-speed. I think the shifting would loosen up a bit with time. Nice, easy clutch action. The engine pulled good, and I didn't hammer it hard.
    I really only want a 2wd, and they will have one in soon. Both 2wd (3.55) and 4wd (3.73) 4.0L trucks here in Canada come standard with Limited Slip axles.
  • david6david6 Posts: 75
    Well, I know that here in the U.S. we have to CHOOSE the LSD for the 4x4, and as I've said, it doesn't seem like even the option is available on the 2wd. I can only hope that they are making it standard on the 2wd as you say Ford is doing for Canadians, but I don't think so.
  • david6david6 Posts: 75
    I just checked out Edmunds description of the Mazda "B4000 DS 2WD CAB PLUS 4" which looks comparable to the Ranger XLT X-cab I want. It lists the Limited Slip! Why, why, why doesn't FORD give me a limited slip?! (Obviously, I'm annoyed right now)
    The worst part is that the Ford dealer is giving me a good deal because of various reasons, and I wouldn't be likely to get it at a Mazda dealer. And I prefer the Ford styling, but this revelation is making me stop to consider things again. Dammit.
  • david6david6 Posts: 75
    So, after much research and a visit to a Mazda dealer, I'm finding that Mazda has a version of the B-series called the Dual Sport (DS) which is like a 2wd Ranger Edge. The big difference is that the Limited Slip is standard on this truck, along with a tow package and the 4x4 ride height. I could add a couple of options to match the 387A package I want to get on the Ranger. This truck would cost me about $750 more at invoice than the Ranger, and now I'm not sure if it's worth it - maybe I should switch to getting the Mazda and the LSD. But I don't really need the tow package, and I don't really want the 4x4 stance. Plus I can get a discount of $500 and decent financing at Ford, and I like the Ford dealer I'm working with.
    I guess I'll never know how much I need that LSD until I get the truck without it. I'll probably go see if the Mazda dealer can compete much more price-wise, and if not I'll go place my order at Ford. Any thoughts?
  • Looks like a better deal than the edge, plus you can get the power package...but they are hard to find!
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    I was at a light waiting for it to change sitting in my 98 Ranger XLT and along side a green DS pull up this was a 4X4 because of the blaring stickers it had all over the thing as well as the dualsport stickers just screaming out at everyone. Impressed, no, it looked like any other Mazda B series truck, with its terrible looking grill.
This discussion has been closed.