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Ford Ranger III



  • peaches5peaches5 Posts: 91
    Thanks for the info - makes me realize that getting the 4X4 isn't going to do much good. We now have 90 pounds of cat litter ready to load the next time the driveway's wet. Thankfully, that's the only place there's trouble, so we can keep the litter home, and only put it in the truck when it's raining/been raining. :)

    Front wheel drives make it with no problem. Even my sister's little 12 year old 4cyl Camry made it up in the rain - it wasn't HAPPY when it got to the top, and probably wouldn't have lasted more than 10 trips, but it was still a trooper :) A 2002 Maxima I rented just zoomed up with zero effort. Had I not needed the truck, I would have bought the Maxima ;)

    Thanks again for the info!
  • peaches5, there is not subsitute for cubic inches and horepower. Seriously, I don't think 90 lbs is enough, I would try 200 lbs. One thing you might what to remember is that a good even load in the bed will also help when braking in the wet. I had a couple of occasions when I just couldn't stop. One time I tried to stop for a light that was turning red and the truck just slid right into the intersection. I thought for sure I was going to be in an accident, but everyone that was at that intersection saw me coming and waited. It was like driving on ice, it really scared me and that's when I put the weight in the back. You can't understand unless you're been there.
  • What are you keeping in there that's 200 pounds?
  • peaches5, I wapped bags of sand in heavy duty plastic secured with tape. Then I placed one bag in front and behind each wheel well. I made a frame out of two by fours to keep the bags from sliding around. This may seem excessive but the whole project only took 2-3 hours. Home depot has 60 pound sand bags for about 3 dollars ( 4x60 =240 lbs). When wet they are a whole lot heavier. The 2x4's were $2.75 each( you only need 3) and the tarp was another 10 bucks. If you have a shell on your truck you may not need the tarp. At the end of the rainy season you can either store the bags on the side of your house for next year or spread the sand all over your lawn. For a couple of years I bolted two 125 pound steel plates to the bed. My dad got them for free overwise I would have stayed with the sand.
  • Many thanks! My mind doesn't think like that :( but thankfully, my son who's driving the truck for awhile can do exactly what you mentioned. :)
  • Greetings:

    I am considering a 1999 Ranger Xtracab 4x2 but have some concerns regarding the handling issues in wet weather noted on this forum.
    This '99 ranger has 3.0 V-6, Auto, A/C, cruise/tilt, AM-FM/Casette/CD, sliding rear window, bed liner and Alloy wheels. The truck is in excellent condition with 39,600 miles and is going for $8,500.00. This truck is to suppliment my new car for general use and light duty hauling. I consider this to be a good deal but the issue of handling in wet weather concerns me.

    My driving style is generally smooth but I am unsure of the Rangers reactions when the pavement is wet.

    Thanks for any comments current Ranger owners can provide.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • If you're referring to my posts, I assure you, my driveway is NOT typical of anyone's driving habits. It is VERY steep and I've had to have several cars towed out (I live on a lake and people see the lake and think it's the road for public access - who knows why.....). If you're not talking about my posts, I'll let others address the wet road issue - just wanted to make sure you realized my problem is unusual ;)
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I own a 2000 extended cab, 4.0 4x4. I have driven literally 98% of the time in 2x4. I have Michelin LTX's on it. I have never experienced traction problems in the wet (other than when towing a boat in high wind). I attribut that to quality tires. My porblems have been vibration at highway speeds, a well-documented Ranger idiosyncracy. Just MAKE SURE you test drive the truck at speeds for an EXTENDED period of time; make sure it does not shake in the 55-7- MPH range, especially in the floorboards and front window pillars (where it can be felt). If it does, you may have the infamous driveshaft problem.
    Good luck. A great truck, and a great engine...easily getting 200 000 miles with regular oil changes..IMHO.
  • I have a 2001 Ranger XLT Extended Cab 4X4 4Dr, with the SOHC 4.0, 5 spd Auto and limited slip. I haven't had any problems in the wet. After all the problems I had with my 1981 Toyota 4X4 I was a little concerned. Mine has a shell on it and the Ranger is a bit heavier than the old Toyota. Just remember that when driving in the wet your supposed to use a little common sense, no matter what the vehicle is. I don't think you'll have any problems, if you do try the sandbag routine. By the way this really isn't a ranger issue, all trucks are light in the rear and have the same problems. One last thing I would like to say is after 26,000 miles this has been one great truck!!
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    It's a truck.

    1busman covered it in his post, trucks are light in the rear.

    Wet weather doesn't mean they will just jump off the road, but you should not drive a truck like a sports car. You actually shouldn't drive it like most cars, THEY ARE LIGHT IN THE BACK!

    Now in snow conditions, a truck will definitely have much less traction than the usual front wheel drive car.

    When snow time comes, put weight in the back. I recommend AT LEAST 250 pounds. Get bags of sand or gravel from the local home improvement outlet. When spring comes, take them out, save for next year.
  • Greetings:


    Thanks to all for your input regarding my inquiries about the 1999 Ranger XLT ExtraCab that I eventually bought. It's got 39,670 miles, auto, 3.0 V6, A/C, alloy wheels, cruise/tilt, AM-FM/Casette/CD (Premium Sound), sliding rear window and bed liner. It's in super shape and runs like new. I paid $8,500.00 which I think is a good deal since the truck is just getting broken in. I drove it on the highway at 55-60mph and didn't notice any 'shake' that someone described in a previous post. This truck will allow me to keep my new car 'new' longer and provide more versatility in doing things my car can't.

    The only thing I don't like are those dinky 'flag' mirrors which vibrate and don't provide enough of a view. Are there 'sport' mirrors that I can replace the flag mirrors with? I don't have the power package (windows, doors, mirrors) so they would have to be manually adjusted but bigger.

    Thanks -

    M. J. McCloskey

  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    My favorite along with that pretty metallic blue. As far as mirrors, maybe you could go with Ford parts from salvage, as opposed to aftermarket items. The Ford parts would fit and look best. You chould get many miles out of that 3.0, a great little motor. (I know of a '97 3.0 with 240K on it, and still original motor other than the alternator,by having gotten 3K mile oil changes with Castrol during its life !) Best of luck...a nice find for you.
  • I've had my '99 ranger for about a week now and am really pleased with it. I checked my mileage on the last fillup and am getting about 22mpg with the 3.0 V-6 and auto - not too shabby. The truck isn't as smooth and quiet as my new Lexus, and the mileage isn't as good, but I still enjoy driving it and look forward to many years of service.

    Anyway, I was wondering if any of you Ranger owners with the manual windows know how to remove the regulator/crank. I want to replace those dinky 'flag' mirrors with the larger OEM mirrors and I need to remove the window crank to get the door panel off. I don't have the power pkg but will use these mirrors and tuck in the cable and adjust the mirror manually as necessary for a better view.

    Thanks to all for any input/tips.

    Regards -

    M.J. McCloskey - '99 Ranger xtracab
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    Little sis is in My 95 Regular cab Ranger with her boyfriend at a light. A couple in a similarly equipped S10 pull next to her. I guess they saw the cosmetic mods and blue oval decal in the rear window and assumed my Sister is a Ford fanatic or something. They start hooting and hollering about how Ford Sucks and Chevy rules and my sister should race them. My sister just sits there and pays them no mind.

    Keep in mind, this is a 30-something couple from her description basically making a fool of themselves in public, and she being a 19 year old teenager has the maturity to not respond in kind. Plus she also could care less about Chevy vs. Ford, a truck's a truck to her, my parents' car was tied up so she just took my wheels cause they were free.

    So anyway cross light turns yellow. The S10 revs that little 2.2 like crazy. My sister stares straight ahead and says absolutely nothing but gives it just a tiny rev to get the S10 driver even more worked up. Light turns green. S10 lays about 10 feet of rubber and wastes 2 gallons of gas before it is forced to slow suddenly behind a slow moving truck. My sister immediately turns right, which she had been planning to do all along and goes on her merry way.
  • Hello all, I just bought a 99 Ranger XLT 4X4 3.0 Auto. Can anyone tell me what the Off Road package consists of? I have searched around and have not found much luck. Any help is appreciated.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I think the offroad package includes the following: vinyl fender flares, larger tires, upgraded shocks, 4.11 rearend, and a skid plate and tow hooks.
  • We bought 200 pounds of sand, my son wrapped the bags up in a plastic tarp, and bungee corded them into the truck so they're just above the wheels :) So far, so good. This morning it's pouring down rain and had been all night. There was SOME slippage going up the driveway, but it was minimal, and more importantly, the truck DID get up the driveway :) We'll probably try another 50 pounds and new tires will be on soon.

    My son drives into the Atlanta suburbs for school - I wonder how long it will take someone to steal the "package" - and be in for a huge surprise when they find out they lugged out 200 pounds of sand ;)))

    Thanks for everyone's advice - it helped!!
  • glad to here the sand is helping. good tires will help, try looking at some past issues of comsumer reports (at the library) for some input on tires that have good traction in the rain. I have goodyear rt/s's and they seem to work great.
  • The Ranger manual recommends 5W-20 oil for the 3.0L engine. I live in a hot climate and wonder if the recommended weight would be appropriate for my truck.
    Why the low weight?
  • read your owners manual, it should tell you the proper weight oil to use based on climate and driving conditions. the reason for the lighter weight oils is to lower the friction within the engine. therefore, it's supposed to improve gas mileage. using 5w-30 probably won't hurt anything.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I use 5-20 Motorcraft (Ford) brand in my 2000 4.0 Ranger with good results [I think it is made by ExxonMobil...but I cannot find the link where I read that]. It has been thoroughly tested by Ford. My gas mileage has improved by about 0.3 mpg overall, and most likely that would be more in cold weather (I live in Ohio). I also think that Havoline, and possibly Pennzoil, make oils in that weight now.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    TSB from FMC:
    Veh. App. Listing Approved For SAE 5W-20 Motor Oil
    ^ 1993-1996 1.9L Escort/Tracer

    ^ 1995-2000 2.0L Zetec Contour/Mystique

    ^ 1999-2002 2.0L Cougar

    ^ 1997-2002 2.0L Escort/Tracer

    ^ 1998-2002 2.0L Escort ZX2

    ^ 2000-2002 2.0L Focus

    ^ 2001-2002 2.0L Escape

    ^ 1993-1997 2.3L Ranger

    ^ 1993-1994 2.3L Mustang

    ^ 1993-1994 2.3L Tempo/Topaz

    ^ 1998-2001 2.5L Ranger

    ^ 1995-2000 2.5L Contour/Mystique

    ^ 1999-2002 2.5L Cougar

    ^ 2001-2002 3.0L 4V Escape

    ^ 1996-2001 3.0L 4V Taurus/Sable

    ^ 1993-2002 3.0L (Vulcan) Aerostar/Ranger,

    ^ Taurus/Sable (Flexible Fuel and Gas)

    ^ 1995-2000 3.0L (Vulcan) Windstar

    ^ 1993-1994 3.0L (Vulcan) Tempo/Topaz

    ^ 2000-2002 3.0L 4V Lincoln LS

    ^ 1995-2002 3.8L Windstar

    ^ 1993-1997 3.8L Taurus/Sable,

    ^ Thunderbird/Cougar, Continental

    ^ 1994-2002 3.8L Mustang

    ^ 2002-2002 3.9L 4V Lincoln LS

    ^ 1997-2002 4.2L (SPI) F-150 (under 8500 GVW
    only), E-Series

    ^ 1996-2002 4.6L 2V Mustang

    ^ 1992-2002 4.6L Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis

    ^ 1991-2002 4.6L Town Car

    ^ 1994-1997 4.6L 2V Thunderbird/Cougar

    ^ 1996-2002 4.6L 4V Mustang Cobra

    ^ 1995-2002 4.6L 4V Continental

    ^ 1993-1998 4.6L 4V Mark VIII

    ^ 1997-2002 4.6L 2V Triton F-150/250 (under 8500
    GVW only), E-Series, Expedition

    ^ 1993-1999 4.9L E-Series, F-Series

    ^ 1993-1995 5.0L Mustang/Mustang Cobra

    ^ 1993-1993 5.0L Thunderbird/Cougar

    ^ 1997-2001 5.0L Explorer/Mountaineer

    ^ 1993-1996 5.0L E-Series, F-Series, Bronco

    ^ 2000-2002 5.4L Excursion

    ^ 1998-2002 5.4L 2V/4V Navigator

    ^ 1997-2002 5.4L 2V F-1501250 (under 8500
    GVW only), Expedition, E-Series, E-350

    ^ 1993-1997 5.8L F-Series, Bronco

    ^ 1993-1996 5.8L E-Series

    ^ 2000-2002 6.8L Excursion

    ^ 1997-2002 6.8L E-Series, E-350

    ^ 1999-2002 6.8L Super Duty F-Series 250
    HD/350/450/550 Motorhome

    ^ 1993-1998 7.5L All Vehicles


  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    This is a TSB published AFTER the one I just posted. Sorry for confusion:

    Engine Oil - Oil Recommendations/Applications
    Article No.


    1992-2002 CROWN VICTORIA
    1993-1994 TEMPO
    1993-1997 THUNDERBIRD
    1995-2000 CONTOUR
    1998-2002 ESCORT ZX2
    2000-2002 FOCUS
    1993-1996 BRONCO
    1993-1997 AEROSTAR
    1993-2002 E SERIES, F-150, RANGER
    1995-2002 WINDSTAR
    1997-1999 F-250 LD
    1997-2001 EXPLORER
    1997-2002 EXPEDITION
    2000-2002 EXCURSION
    2001-2002 ESCAPE

    1991-2002 TOWN CAR
    1993-1998 MARK VIII
    1993-2002 CONTINENTAL
    2000-2002 LS
    1998-2002 NAVIGATOR

    1992-2002 GRAND MARQUIS
    1993-1994 TOPAZ
    1993-1997 COUGAR
    1993-1999 TRACER
    1993-2002 SABLE
    1995-2000 MYSTIQUE
    1999-2002 COUGAR
    1997-2001 MOUNTAINEER

    This article is being republished in its entirety to update the vehicle models, engines and years affected.

    Ford Motor Company now recommends SAE 5W-20 viscosity grade for servicing most gasoline and flexible fueled vehicles.

    All 2001 and 2002 vehicles where SAE 5W-20 is specified should be serviced at the recommended oil change intervals using SAE 5W-20. This oil is an improved formulation to improve fuel economy.

    Testing has validated this viscosity grade can be used in many previous model year vehicles. It is recommended ALL vehicles on the following Vehicle Application Listing be service with SAE 5W-20.

    All 2001-2002 vehicles other than those listed in the "Exception 2001 Vehicles" or "Exception 2002 Vehicles" chart are being filled with SAE 5W-20 motor oil at the factory and should also be serviced with SAE 5W-20 oil.

    OASIS CODES: 401000, 490000, 497000, 499000
    Copyright © 2002 ALLDATA LLC
    Terms of Use
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    ..includes 2001-02 Rangers. In other words, if you have a 4.0 2001 or 2002 Ranger, as of the time of this TSB, it recommends NOT using 5-20. CHECK WITH YOUR FORD DEALER for most recent info before doing this, IN MY OPINION.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    5W-30 oil is specified for my 2002 Mazda with the 4.0L engine.
  • campoutcampout Posts: 22
    Hello to everyone on the list. My wife and I currently own a '97 Ford F-150 and we are thinking of downsizing to a Ranger because we just don't need that big of a truck anymore. After reading some of these post it seems like the 3.0 engine isn't the way to go. This truck we are looking at has this engine with a 4:10 LS rear end. We will be doing occasional towing and light duty hauling. The price is good, 19k and some change for this vehicle. Sorry for such a long post, but any info. would be appreciated. Thanking in advance.

  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Proud owner of a 1998 Ranger 4x4 3.0 supercab stepside.. 70,000miles and still runs like new!!
    never a problem, just routine maintenance/upkeep.
    campout.. get the 4.0 SOHC.. the power diff/towing ability is better, mpg difference is not much either.. you won't be sorry.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    Last week, I bought a 2001 4X4 Supercab with the SOHC 4.0, 5 speed automatic, and 4.10 limited slip gear. It only has 13,000 miles on it but had kind of a "lag" in the drivetrain. The dealer replaced the steel driveshaft with a new aluminum shaft under warranty and now the truck is smooth, quiet, and tight.

    I have had Rangers with the 2.9 and the 3.0 and never had problems with either of them. However, the SOHC 4.0 is a big step forward, IMHO. It is nearly as smooth as my Lincoln LS V8 and has good low end torque as well as plenty of punch at higher speeds.
This discussion has been closed.