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JimRoger 03-15-2017 06:56 AM

New Owner and Crash survivor
Well I'm the new owner of a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT. I've got the 4x4 v6 3L version with the single cab. It's my first truck and I love it so far. I work on old motorcycles so will be using it to move bikes and parts, picking up junk from estate sales and doing some camping as soon as the weather lets up a little.

Now for the bad part - I live in MA and was running some errands yesterday in the blizzard we had. I was going ~35mph on the highway and all of a sudden lost traction in the rear and spun out. Ended up doing a 180 and hit the right guard rail with the left front of the truck. Nobody else around and no injuries or anything.
All in all it's not so bad. The bumper took the brunt of the impact. Left turn signal is smashed up and the horn got crushed by the metal assembly holding the left turn signal in.

Bringing it to the shop this weekend. I'm going to see if they can bend the metal back there and replace the horn (already got a used replacement from ebay for $20) and get it so my new turn signal (also ebay for $35) can just be bolted back in. Hopefully not too bad.

Theres a funny electrical thing happening now I'll post in another section but I do have a question about the 4x4. I got the truck home and had the nose in my garage to get the bumpber off so I could drive it. After about an hour some snow had accumulated and so I tried to back it out with the 4wd engaged (it had been engaged since I crashed). The truck wasn't getting traction and the right rear wheel was spinning but NOT the left. I thought this was wierd to so put it in 2wd and rocked it back and forward a bit with the same behavior of the right rear wheel spinning but not the left. Then I put it in 4wd, heard it clunk in after some more rocking, and it IMMEDIATELY was able to climb over whatever snow I wanted.

I bought the truck from a used dealer who had gave a vague cautioning about making sure the 4x4 was enguaged but now I'm thinking that it hadn't been engaged when I spun out. I also found it strange that in 2wd only the right rear wheel would spin. I've been getting 14-17mpg in the dry weather using the 2wd the highest being all highway crusing at ~60. This seemed a little low to me I would expect at highway crusing the truck should get ~20mpg.

Sorry for the long post!

Welcome Bot 03-15-2017 07:11 AM

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NoPower 03-15-2017 10:41 AM

New B
Welcome Jim, Glad you found us. Have fun and enjoy FRF. Glad you were not injured.
From Don
Grove City, Ohio.

JimRoger 03-15-2017 10:49 AM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
Thanks Don!

Mike69 03-15-2017 01:40 PM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
Jim, welcome to FRF. X2 on good thing you were not hurt.

Convict1997 03-15-2017 05:42 PM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
Sounds like you have an open rear differential. If so, only spinning one rear wheel is normal, even with four wheel drive.

Jimmyspy 03-15-2017 06:46 PM


Originally Posted by Convict1997 (Post 2711167)
Sounds like you have an open rear differential. If so, only spinning one rear wheel is normal, even with four wheel drive.


Open differentials send power to the wheel with the least resistance. A 4x4 with open diffs is only guaranteeing you 2 wheels driving at any given time: one in front and one in back

And welcome to the site!

JimRoger 03-21-2017 12:40 PM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
Yup did some learning on differentials and that checks out. I'm definitely going to need some new tires soon, though. Does anybody have any good recommendations. Mostly street use but I'll be doing some camping over the spring/summer/fall that could involve some mild dirt/gravel use.

I did take the Ranger on a 400 mile trip over the weekend to pick up a big leather sewing machine and had no issues with it. Got 18mpg which was my highest so far. What is normal in 2WD on a 4x4 capable 3.0L (6cyl) Ranger?

JimRoger 03-28-2017 07:37 AM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
I've been reading up on oils and it seems that a lot of people are using this Castrol Syntec 5w-30 oil:

Just wanted to double check before I went ahead with it.

Kealel 03-28-2017 07:54 AM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
The oil type depends on what your motor specifies (mine is 5w-20) so make sure that is the correct type for your engine. (Should say on oil cap or owners manual)

As for brands, that is completely user preference and I like Valvoline.

JimRoger 08-29-2017 11:25 AM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
Anybody have tire recommendations? Stock rims. I live in the Northeast and we get a fair amount of snow so it would be nice to have something with reasonable snow traction but that fairs well on dry pavement, too.


aroundincircles 08-29-2017 12:04 PM

Re: New Owner and Crash survivor
I run hercules Terra trac ATII tires. I'm pretty happy with them.

I've put close to 15k miles on them, and they still look new, and are wearing well (I did do an alignment when I got them installed). Hercules are made by cooper. I haven't done much snow driving (arizona). but they get good reviews for that. but I've driven in some pretty nasty mud, and they did great.

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