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  #1  
Old 11-12-2018, 10:52 AM
matt908 matt908 is offline
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Default Advice for my first Ranger

Hi all and thank you in advance,
I'm looking to buy my first Ranger. I am comfortable working on motorcycles and have for many years, I don't have a car or truck right now but think I can handle most things which would be required. I'm looking to spend $5,000 or less on a Ranger. My friends tell me I should be able to get something for around $2,000- not sure. Any thoughts?

To that end, I dont care what the truck looks like. I don't care if it's slow. I simlpy want something that I can haul one or two dirtbikes in reliably.

Because I want something cheap and reliable, something I can repair myself, and I don't care how fast it is and only plan to haul (in the bed, no space for a trailer) one or two dirtbikes I think I need a 4 cyclinder, manual, rear wheel drive. (seems the most simple, therefore easiest to work on and hopefully the best shape after all these years)

I have the impression Duratec engines are easier to work on but wondered about people's thoughts on that?

Lastly, could someone give me their thoughts on which of these would be better for me?

2003 Ford Ranger $2,900 (says no rust, Duratec)

https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto...745150551.html

2001 Mazda B2300 $1500 (rusty, not rusty I don't know. Lima/Duratec, I don't know)

https://southjersey.craigslist.org/c...734923464.html

Last edited by matt908; 11-12-2018 at 10:56 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2018, 05:02 AM
dvrich dvrich is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Both of them look good but run a carfax on each one to verify the mileage. The ads supply little or no usable info so look at them personally.
87,000 miles on a 2001 sounds suspicious to me, unless the owner is a closet case and rarely leaves his or her house.
If either owner is wearing an ankle monitor, walk away. LOL
Also the 2001 could have a 2.5L Lima or a 2.3L duratec and it surprises me that either ad shows no picture of the engine compartment.
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Last edited by dvrich; 11-13-2018 at 05:11 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2018, 05:27 PM
matt908 matt908 is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Thank you for the suggestions!
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  #4  
Old 11-16-2018, 04:35 PM
e.fisher26 e.fisher26 is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

4.0l engines are bullet proof. Add air shocks to the rear to handle the weight of 2 dirtbikes


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  #5  
Old 11-19-2018, 02:24 AM
matt908 matt908 is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Ah, thank you. I wasn't sure if/how it'd be able to do two.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2018, 07:32 PM
e.fisher26 e.fisher26 is offline
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Default Advice for my first Ranger

Monroe has a good set with air hose kit


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Last edited by e.fisher26; 11-22-2018 at 09:38 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2018, 07:49 PM
Dirtman Dirtman is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Quote:
Originally Posted by e.fisher26 View Post
4.0l engines are bullet proof.

bullet proof except for the god awful heads that crack if the temperature gets above 80 on the ohv's and the facinatingly terrible timing chain tensioners that require completely pulling the engine to fix on the ohc's.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2018, 08:14 AM
e.fisher26 e.fisher26 is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

I’d agree with that, I’ve had my over 200k miles 4.0L’s with out issues, but I have heard of issues with thoes specific bolt on part issues. Worse issues such as bad head gaskets and bad rings are just a lot less probable, IMO


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  #9  
Old 11-22-2018, 10:09 AM
matt908 matt908 is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Quote:
Originally Posted by e.fisher26 View Post
Monroe has a good set with air hose kit


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Thanks for the head's up on those!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtman View Post
...facinatingly terrible timing chain tensioners that require completely pulling the engine to fix on the ohc's.
That's interesting- I dind't realize that. Do you then think the v6 engines are easier to maintain and/or more reliable?
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2018, 11:08 AM
Dirtman Dirtman is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt908 View Post
That's interesting- I dind't realize that. Do you then think the v6 engines are easier to maintain and/or more reliable?
The 4.0 is a v6. All the engines in the rangers over the gears had quirks. The later model 4.0 ohc engines fixed the timing chain issues.

The 3.0 vulcans were notoriously under powered which is why they were dropped in the last generation of rangers since the 2.3 4 cylinder duratec made the same power with better gas mileage.

The 2.3 duratec is a great engine but early models had an intake runner control system that was prone to be noisy and fail causing plastic chips to enter the engine. They ditched this system in 04+ engines. The pcv valve, egr valve and some coolant lines while not prone to failure are a major pain in the butt to work on.

The 2.3/2.5 lima was also a rock solid engine but not as efficient as the duratec. However the limas are much easier to work on since they were actually designed as rwd vehicle engines.

Basically if your buying anything 04+ both the 4.0 and 2.3 had there issues fixed so either is a solid option and just depends what you wanna do. If your buying earlier just be aware of the known issues and check to see if they have been fixed by the previous owner.
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2018, 08:04 PM
e.fisher26 e.fisher26 is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

What he said


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  #12  
Old 11-24-2018, 06:22 AM
matt908 matt908 is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Thanks for the information!
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2018, 06:12 AM
victor gonzalez victor gonzalez is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Thanks for the advice!
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 10:12 AM
RangerPhil RangerPhil is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

Cheers to dirtman for the awesome intro to the diff ranger engines. I own a 3.0 and by all means, go 4.0 or 2.3 instead. The 3.0s are cheaper, that’s about the only benefit I see. Mine has been quite reliable though, I will say that.

Still...I want a 4.0 for Christmas.


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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 10:37 AM
Dirtman Dirtman is offline
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Default Re: Advice for my first Ranger

The 3.0's are definitely reliable when maintained. They simply just were not designed as truck engines and the RPM's where they make power don't match the transmissions shift points or gearing. The 4.0 and 2.3 both make peek torque over 1,000 rpms lower than the 3.0 but for some reason ford didn't modify the trans software or diff gearing to account for the huge rpm gap between engines. If you can get a 3.0 with a manual trans and actually let it rev up like it should they are not as god awful.
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