I bought this 97 XLT off a friend for $500 in late March of this year. It has about 140k miles on it, has a rebuilt automatic transmission, and a 3.0L.
When purchased it needed a serpentine belt tensioner and a front end (it rear-ended a car before I bought it). I replaced the tensioner pulley then drove it 50 miles home and then replaced the front end a month later with parts from the junkyard.
The horn fuse is blown and the airbag had deployed (driver's side is the only airbag it came with). I ordered a good airbag with a matching connector color but I want to first figure out why the horn fuse blew before I install the new airbag. I would like to get it inspected in the next few months so I'm working on going over the truck to get it ready for that.
I just bought a steering wheel puller so I can figure out and replace whatever blew the fuse for the horn.
Things the truck currently needs to have replaced are: gasket for the filler-neck on the gas tank (leaky smell), valve cover gaskets (leak), one of the return springs for part of the throttle (broken), transmission pan gasket (leaky), climate control (doesn't work properly)
The truck has already hauled enough to make it worth $500 for me so I'm happy with the truck and I welcome another auto-related project!
In the past I have restored a 1975 Chevy Malibu, a 1995 civic, and have worked on numerous Honda products. One of the reason I will hold onto this Ranger is to possibly swap in a 5.0L....I've nearly bought a Mustang before and for me it would be fun to do a swap like that.
I hope to learn a lot from this site!
Before the repair:
After the repair: