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  #1  
Old 03-09-2017, 08:13 PM
go_home_red go_home_red is offline
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Default Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

Probably more of a philosophical question...but I'm tired of just thinking things over in my head and wanted to get someone else's thoughts.

I've put around 210,000 miles on my 98 Ranger. I like my Ranger as much as I hate it, which is what I call "a win"--there are days when I don't like it, but I'm always anxious to drive it again whenever it is down for repairs. I guess that's the fickle side of me.

It's got--and I don't think I'm overstating this--one of the nicest interiors you'll see in a Ranger. It looks close to new on the inside. It has heated seats with custom (like truly custom--a guy here in town made them for me) seat covers. It has the full-length Explorer console, a leather arm rest, and the little blower even works for the back jump seats.

Body wise, I wish the passenger side was on the driver side. I'm not a body guy, so it's my own fault. But the passenger side is really nice. The driver side has a dent in the front fender from a couch falling off of a garbage truck, the paint is peeling off around the driver side door window, and rear cab corner was "repaired" by the previous owner (by throwing Bondo from across the room, I guess), and the bedside on the driver side has dents and scratches and cracked Bondo. It's all the same color--black--but it is way more fun to walk up to the passenger side than the driver's side.

Body-wise, though, I have to give my Ranger some credit. It has very, very little rust on the body. I have no idea how that is the case--I've seen new cars with literally no scratches have way more rust than my Ranger has. And it's not like I've killed myself trying to polish it every weekend--I keep it clean, but it's rewarded my efforts far beyond what they merit.

Mechanically speaking, there aren't a lot of parts that have the full mileage. The engine, transmission, transfer case, and steering rack are original. But everything on the front suspension has been replaced in the last 70,000 miles. Control arms, ball joints, bushings, tie rods have been replaced. I rebuilt a low-mileage set of CV axles and installed those last fall. The gears in the original rear axle broke several teeth, so I rebuilt a low mileage axle and installed that around 50,000 miles ago.

Replacing the shocks is a yearly thing for me now, as I can't seem to get a set to last longer than that. So I replace the shocks every year. The current set are KYB Gas-a-just shocks. The tires are Michelin M/S AT tires, which have been a fantastic upgrade over the Cooper Discoverer H/T tires they replaced last fall.

All in all, I am very familiar with this car. I joke that Ford must have known that the Ranger would need to be repaired a lot, because I've never had a car that was so easy to work on.

But, with all of that considered--familiarity, time, money, whatever--I'm wavering on whether I should stay in my Ranger. The fact of the matter is, it does everything I need it to do. If I'm honest and objective, that's a true statement. But part of me really wants to move to an F-150. I've ridden and driven a few F-150's lately, and--each time--I am just stunned at how much better an F-150 is than a Ranger. The F-150's have more power, ride better, are quieter, more comfortable, etc. I literally cannot think of anything that I like more about my Ranger than I like about the F-150's I've driven. And we're not talking new F-150's, either--the newest F-150 I've been in was a 2004.

What kills me about the difference between my Ranger and any F-150 I've driven is that my Ranger is really well maintained. The F-150's are all driven buy guys who think that shocks are lifetime items, transmission filters are impossible to replace, and...well, short story is that the F-150's haven't been maintained. They just roll up and make my maintenance efforts feel like a waste of time.

To clarify, my Ranger has the 3.0 engine, automatic transmission, 4X4, super cab. The F-150's have all been 5.4 V8, auto, 4X4, super cab. So I'm not comparing a 2wd Ranger to a King Ranch F-150 here.

In the end, this isn't a decision that will define me. But, like I said, my Ranger does everything I need it to do. It has everything I need (and want, on the interior), and enough ground clearance to go pretty much anywhere I need to go for my job. But it feels like an off road go-kart compared to an F-150. And I can find low enough mileage F-150's for $6-8K, which seems like a good deal for a lot of vehicle (too much vehicle, again--if I'm being objective).

If you had your druthers, what would you do? Or--if you were me, where does the above information make your mind go? I'm all ears.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2017, 08:36 PM
Thesilentwizard Thesilentwizard is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

Keep the Ranger and get the F-150...win,win.
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2017, 09:15 PM
go_home_red go_home_red is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

Savage thinking. But what of the Fiero, XJ, Lincoln LS...five cars is too much to retain my dignity. ;-)
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2017, 03:06 AM
djfllmn djfllmn is offline
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F150
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2017, 03:47 AM
ranger024x4 ranger024x4 is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

keep the ranger. Wouldn't touch a f150 with the 5.4
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2017, 02:01 PM
Speedfreak Speedfreak is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

3.0 and 4x4? good grief
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2017, 05:29 PM
2004ranger4x4 2004ranger4x4 is offline
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Originally Posted by ranger024x4 View Post
keep the ranger. Wouldn't touch a f150 with the 5.4
^^^ they are junk
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2017, 11:36 PM
aroundincircles aroundincircles is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

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Originally Posted by 2004ranger4x4 View Post
^^^ they are junk
My brother had an f150 with the 5.4, Junk engine. He bought it used, PO hid a variable valve timing issue with SUPER thick oil. realized it with his first oil change. Cost was $$$$$ to fix (which isn't really a fix) or $$$ to disable the vvt entirely, which kills your HP and your fuel economy. In researching it, Super common issue on that engine.

if I had all the money in the world and had to buy TODAY I would probably get a diesel colorado. if I could wait I would see what the new rangers are like engine/transmission wise.

as far as if you should get a different vehicle, it all comes down to how much hassle it is. are you missing work because of a broken down vehicle very often? I would probably replace it. if its just a mild inconvenience? I would keep it and save up all my pennies until it broke to the point I could no longer justify fixing it.

----------

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Originally Posted by go_home_red View Post
Savage thinking. But what of the Fiero, XJ, Lincoln LS...five cars is too much to retain my dignity. ;-)
my wife keeps telling me the same thing, I have too many cars, and I need to get rid of some, I just tell her I'm going to build a garage in the back yard. That's when she starts calling the divorce lawyer.

What year XJ? I have an 89, 3.5" metal cloak lift on 31's currently.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2017, 12:30 PM
go_home_red go_home_red is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

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Originally Posted by Speedfreak View Post
3.0 and 4x4? good grief
A well-worn 3.0, no less. It's nice not living in a city--I'm that guy slowing everyone else down. Can't fault the 3.0's effort after 210k miles, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aroundincircles View Post
My brother had an f150 with the 5.4, Junk engine. He bought it used, PO hid a variable valve timing issue with SUPER thick oil. realized it with his first oil change. Cost was $$$$$ to fix (which isn't really a fix) or $$$ to disable the vvt entirely, which kills your HP and your fuel economy. In researching it, Super common issue on that engine.
The 5.4 spark plug and timing advance issues are pretty well documented. But everything I own has "documented" problems. Fieros catch fire, XJ's have death wobble, I've been told several times that Rangers have "bad transmissions," and our Lincoln LS...well, it's a different era of problems.

That being said, the complexity of the 5.4 (relative to the 3.0) is not something that excites me. The 3.0 is such a dinosaur, and has very little to go wrong. When something does go wrong, it's not that hard to fix. The 5.4 gives you an increased number of failure points.


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Originally Posted by aroundincircles View Post
if I had all the money in the world and had to buy TODAY I would probably get a diesel colorado. if I could wait I would see what the new rangers are like engine/transmission wise.
Not to go political, but I won't be buying any more GM or Chrysler vehicles after they were bailed out. It won't make any difference to them, but that bothered me. Of course, it's going to happen again, and it will probably include Ford the next time...after all, people are so good at learning from their mistakes. :-(

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Originally Posted by aroundincircles View Post
What year XJ? I have an 89, 3.5" metal cloak lift on 31's currently.
White '89 Cherokee Pioneer. Charming car. Primitive, but I'll always have a soft spot for XJ's. Also...my wife loves it. How many guys have a wife who actually likes a car that's almost 30 years old?
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2017, 12:41 PM
aroundincircles aroundincircles is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

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Originally Posted by go_home_red View Post

Not to go political, but I won't be buying any more GM or Chrysler vehicles after they were bailed out. It won't make any difference to them, but that bothered me. Of course, it's going to happen again, and it will probably include Ford the next time...after all, people are so good at learning from their mistakes. :-(



White '89 Cherokee Pioneer. Charming car. Primitive, but I'll always have a soft spot for XJ's. Also...my wife loves it. How many guys have a wife who actually likes a car that's almost 30 years old?
actually ford did get money, same time as chevy and crysler, just from a different fund (instead of TARP it was TALF). so its just as guilty as the rest for taking tax payer dollars.

my wife hates my XJ. its too hard for her to get in and out of, too hard to get the kids in and out of. It only has a 3.5" lift and 31" tires. There is no way I'm going to go any bigger any time soon. its too noisy, too hot and costs way too much money.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2017, 02:36 PM
go_home_red go_home_red is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

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Originally Posted by aroundincircles View Post
actually ford did get money, same time as chevy and crysler, just from a different fund (instead of TARP it was TALF). so its just as guilty as the rest for taking tax payer dollars.

my wife hates my XJ. its too hard for her to get in and out of, too hard to get the kids in and out of. It only has a 3.5" lift and 31" tires. There is no way I'm going to go any bigger any time soon. its too noisy, too hot and costs way too much money.
TALF bit didn't bother me as it wasn't a financed bankruptcy. Also, I'm biased. If I based my transportation buying decisions on whoever didn't get any money whatsover...well, yeah, I'd be walking. Barefoot.

Our XJ isn't lifted, so it's pretty easy to get in and out of. It's pretty much stock, with 63K miles. We may wear it out someday...the horror!
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:45 PM
aroundincircles aroundincircles is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

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Originally Posted by go_home_red View Post
Our XJ isn't lifted, so it's pretty easy to get in and out of. It's pretty much stock, with 63K miles. We may wear it out someday...the horror!
sorry for being so off topic, but only 63k on an 89? crazy! I have 17somethingK on mine. I've had it about 3 years is all. I paid $500 for it, and have a TON more than that into it. I've swapped the engine once to another 4.0, but it has been a lemon engine... So considering swapping it to something entirely and getting rid of the renix that has been a PITA.
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:55 PM
go_home_red go_home_red is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

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Originally Posted by aroundincircles View Post
sorry for being so off topic, but only 63k on an 89? crazy! I have 17somethingK on mine. I've had it about 3 years is all. I paid $500 for it, and have a TON more than that into it. I've swapped the engine once to another 4.0, but it has been a lemon engine... So considering swapping it to something entirely and getting rid of the renix that has been a PITA.
I prefer to touch all of the topics. :-)

I think we've had our about 5 years now--we bought it with 45K miles, as it was just too much to pass up the miles for the price.

The renix system seems okay enough, but everything is just too old. The connectors are brittle, the wire splices are a joke, and I think the old couple who owned the XJ before us just let it sit for a good long while before we bought it. Eh. I like my well-maintained junk.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2017, 03:25 PM
aroundincircles aroundincircles is offline
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Default Re: Stay in the Ranger...or get an F-150

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Originally Posted by go_home_red View Post
I prefer to touch all of the topics. :-)

I think we've had our about 5 years now--we bought it with 45K miles, as it was just too much to pass up the miles for the price.

The renix system seems okay enough, but everything is just too old. The connectors are brittle, the wire splices are a joke, and I think the old couple who owned the XJ before us just let it sit for a good long while before we bought it. Eh. I like my well-maintained junk.
I bought mine from a college age kid who was given it by his grandma, He didn't maintain a thing on it. and I've had to replace/repair just about everything on it, and its still only kinda reliably, but I was also taking it to a shop that did poor work, and charged an arm and a leg for it. so I started doing my own work, still poor work, but it at least cost me less money.

It had obviously been towed (based on the tow bars welded in the front). I have lots of videos of mine, just posted one this weekend, link to my youtube is in my sig.

My biggest issue with the renix has been diagnosing issues. Have you seen Nick in time's R.E.M (renix engine monitor) that he's created? if not, he's preparing to sell a bunch more of his latest version. check out his facebook (I would link it but I cannot access facebook at work). Nick in time Films, youtube as well. He'll post a link on facebook when he lists them for sale.
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