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  #1  
Old 08-03-2015, 05:20 PM
Brucemaster Brucemaster is offline
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Default Best used 2.3L-2.5L Ranger under $2000?

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum, so hopefully I am doing this right.

I just recently got rid of my financed vehicle(thank god!) and Im now looking for a new truck, Ive always loved the rangers, my aunt had 99 that I drove often, and I loved it. So im looking for a ranger to buy for under $2000(basically no budget at the moment). I will plan to eventually suit it up real nice, bigger tires, a little lift, roll bar, bull bar, light bars, at that point I'll be getting really involved in the forum im sure :P. Right now I am looking at the 2.3L 4cyl. with the extended cab. for the gas mileage. My question is, whats a good year to look for with that engine and that price? and years to avoid? I am a firm believer in age being irrelevant if the car was properly maintained(to an extent). Anyway, Id love to get yours guys input, maybe someones selling? Im very excited to start messing around with a new to me ranger :P

Btw, I live in Los Angeles, CA. and im currently driving a little motorcycle as my daily I'll be selling or trading that for the truck.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:47 PM
casey.mikl casey.mikl is offline
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The 3rd gen 93-97 ranger and Mazda with the 2.3 is a reliable motor. They aren't powerful. But they are reliable as can be. The 95-97 will have the newer round dash. Where the 93-94 will have the older style square dash. I would suggest getting a 5 speed. The 2.3 auto is gutless as can be.
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1997 B2300 reg cab 2.3 Lima, 15x8.5 Mickey Thompson classic 2, 31x10.50 cooper discover at3, 7.5 open 4.10 rear, dynomax super turbo catback, alpine iva-w200 w/ nav, kicker 6x8s, alpine type R 8, alpine 250W mono amp, power bass 400.4, tool box & camper shell, compustar alarm/remote start.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2015, 05:57 PM
msarnovsky70 msarnovsky70 is offline
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Default Re: Best used 2.3L-2.5L Ranger under $2000?

I have owned a 92, 93, 99 and nowa 01. All 4cyl 5 speeds. Go for a 98-01 with the 2.5. Same base engine with a longer stroke and better flowing head. Seat of the pants dyno feels like 20 hp. I'm sure it's not that much but they did run alot better. No expert but IMHO get the newer ones.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:24 PM
casey.mikl casey.mikl is offline
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The 2.5 isn't a bad choice. Depends if you like the body style. The 4cyl rangers are reliable.
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1997 B2300 reg cab 2.3 Lima, 15x8.5 Mickey Thompson classic 2, 31x10.50 cooper discover at3, 7.5 open 4.10 rear, dynomax super turbo catback, alpine iva-w200 w/ nav, kicker 6x8s, alpine type R 8, alpine 250W mono amp, power bass 400.4, tool box & camper shell, compustar alarm/remote start.
1956 Ford F100 rust bucket with big plans!
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:12 PM
Brucemaster Brucemaster is offline
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Default Re: Best used 2.3L-2.5L Ranger under $2000?

ok, awesome. Thats the actually the ones ive been eyeing on craigslist. I personally like all the body styles, definitely want the extended cab though. So for me, its whatever one has the better history and will be easiest for modding. Are parts pretty easily accessible for that gen? Anything I should look for in particular when Im checking these cars out? Other than the obvious red flags...

Thanks so much for your responses, it means a lot!
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:45 PM
mtnrgr mtnrgr is offline
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Default Re: Best used 2.3L-2.5L Ranger under $2000?

All 4cyl in the rangers are good. Myself I prefer the 93-97 body style. Even though I have a 3.0 5spd in my 94, I drove a few 2.3 5spds that old friends owned. Once you get them going they are good engines, they love the higher rpms like the 3.0. I like look of the 3rd generation, you have the better front suspension vs 98 and newer. You plan on putting a lift on there, the i-beam suspension is better for lift kits.

You say you want a extra cab, I suggest getting a 1 piece driveshaft they are more reliable the 2 piece. Good luck in your search and you can get a good clean low mileage for 2000 in southern California. I also live in California and have seen alot of good rangers in that price range.

Last edited by mtnrgr; 08-03-2015 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:55 PM
Brucemaster Brucemaster is offline
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Default Re: Best used 2.3L-2.5L Ranger under $2000?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnrgr View Post
All 4cyl in the rangers are good. Myself I prefer the 93-97 body style. Even though I have a 3.0 5spd in my 94, I drove a few 2.3 5spds that old friends owned. Once you get them going they are good engines, they love the higher rpms like the 3.0. I like look of the 3rd generation, you have the better front suspension vs 98 and newer. You plan on putting a lift on there, the i-beam suspension is better for lift kits.

You say you want a extra cab, I suggest getting a 1 piece driveshaft they are more reliable the 2 piece. Good luck in your search and you can get a good clean low mileage for 2000 in southern California. I also live in California and have seen alot of good rangers in that price range.
Ok, awesome, thanks. I do kind of like the more boxy look of that generation, its more military looking. I didnt know that about the i-beam suspension, thank you. It will probably only be a 3 inch lift, but nevertheless. They come stock as a 2 piece drive shaft correct? so Id have to do a swap? Is that because of the extra weight of the extended cab? Thanks!

Glad to hear you've spotted some good local rangers!
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2015, 11:26 PM
mtnrgr mtnrgr is offline
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Default Re: Best used 2.3L-2.5L Ranger under $2000?

The 97 and older extra cab rangers had the 2 piece drive shaft stock from Ford. The extended length drive shaft was mainly installed due to more of the length of the truck itself when Ford added the extra space onto the cab. Over the years I have read internet stories of the 2 piece drive shaft was just not good enough. Ranger owners would put a 1 piece on there and I recall they were getting them off the 99+ extra cab 4wd rangers.

The a-arm suspension are more difficult to work with. The i-beam is simpler and the after market for lift kits is more affordable, along with better options. I have owned my 94 since new and have learned alot about the ranger suspension, I have always enjoyed the i-beam more.

Last edited by mtnrgr; 08-03-2015 at 11:31 PM.
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2.3l, 2.5l, 4cyl., ford ranger, old ranger

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