Hi! I'm new to the forum, so I'll start with some background. I'm a 50-year-old "returning" student who has recently finished my Nursing pre-requisites. I'm waiting to get into Nursing school, which is going to take about a year. Once I finish this quarter in March, I'll be going back to the work-force (fingers crossed) as a CNA - a much lower paying position that what I was used too before being laid off 2 years ago due to the economic 'turn down'.
Anyway, my current full time commuter is a motorcycle - a '04 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - and I've been trying to convince my wife to let me pick up a little Ranger with part of our income tax return check to use on the crappier days. I haven't got her 100% convinced, but that doesn't stop me from trolling the Craigslist ads.
There are two Rangers I've been looking at that are in my price range. Both are '94's, both XLT's, and both 5-speeds. On is a 3.0L V-6, standard cab with 130K miles, the other is a 2.3L Extended cab with 100K miles. Same price, but the lower mileage 2.3L Extended cab also comes with a color matched canopy (which is not a big deal to me one way or the other). Oddly, they are the same color (teal, not my fav, but the last thing I look at).
I am familiar with the 2.3L engine, or at least the older version of it. Back in the day I owned a Pinto with this motor in it (OK, it was actually a Mercury) that came with a bad motor. I replaced the motor (twice but that is another story) and got pretty intimate with the internals. I also owned a Capri before that with the previous 2.0L Ford SOHC 4-banger in it. I remember them being good engines, although the Pinto's had some cam wear issues, and some head warp issues. The Capri was a fun little car with it's aftermarket Weber carb.
I'm not as familiar with the 3.0L 'Vulcan' V-6. I've read some not good things about the 2.9L Cologne motor, but not much either way on the Vulcan. Best I can tell, there is about a 45 HP difference between the 3.0L V6 and the 2.3L 4 - or almost 50% more.
So - if anyone with the 3.0L V6 would care to comment on it, I'd appreciate it. A rough idea of the gas mileage you get, etc. Finally, if it was YOU, would you pick the extended cab I4 or the short cab V6?
Thanks in advance, Ken