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Old 03-19-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
fratermus
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Default Newbie dragged home a Ranger fleet truck

Howdy.

I'd been tripping over a largely-unused DR650 in the garage the last few months, and thinking how much I loved the DR but needed a truck. So I decided to sell the bike on a local motorcycle forum and use the $$ to buy an old truck off Craigslist. It was a longshot, but in my sale post I mentioned I'd consider trading for a running small pickup of 90s vintage. KBB figures suggested that could be a near-even trade.

I'd already done several months googly research and my top choices were:
Ranger - I had driven a buddy's 2.3L auto Ranger as a favor to him (dropped him off somewhere) and was pleasantly surprised at how substantial and "trucky" it felt. Holy crap. It's a Real Truck, only smaller. Who knew? And I'd read the 4cyls had the best mpg in the class and Rangers in general were relatively inexpensive to have maintained.
Toyota - Always liked them, other than the 2nd Gens which were out of my price range anyhow.

Anyhow a motorcyclist on the forum responded he had a 2003 fleet truck with a billion miles on it (215K ) and we arranged an even trade. He actually owned 5 Rangers; four newer ones and this older one put out to pasture.



That's it with my very first cargo. Not much of a payload but it's the fact I had the option of throwing stuff in the bed whenever I wanted, dangit. No more renting Home Depot trucks by the hour or UHaul by the day.

The truck needed a couple of things to pass inspection: windshield replaced (was cracked in many places), rear 02 sensor, brake drums/shoes. Other than that it runs and drives great, and got 26.1MPG on the 3hr drive back home from the trade location.

Wifey approves. Took her out for a short road trip as a shakedown cruise and she sat over there on the bench seat drinking a slurpee, ponytail bouncing as we went down the road. Does it get better than that? I say that's the Good Life, gentlemen.

Here are some helpful things I've learned on TRS so far:
  1. how to wd40 that "door ajar" latch into submission. Woo hoo!
  2. How to read the axle tag to find out what diff you have (7.5" in my case)
  3. some locksmiths can make PATS keys. I just had two made, 2x$60 instead of 2x$100 from local stealer. I understand I can program my own now that I have at least two.
  4. how to get the computer to relearn programming after a battery reset. I had to do the "drive cycle" to get the sensors to come online for my emission. Got it reinspected (passed) the very next day.

Thanks to all the experienced and patient folks out there who took the time to post answers for newbs like to find later with the search function...

Last edited by fratermus; 03-19-2011 at 09:29 PM. Reason: 215k, not 218k
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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Well, Welcome, seems like you have been busy on here finding answers to some of your questions already. Great info, great people. Enjoy.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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Cool nice score did he keep good records on the maint of his vehicles. Pick away at the most important first. Do a complete tune up including wires and PCV. Change all of the fluids engine oil and coolant first inspect flush the brakes run a compression/leakdown and vacuum test. That is actually isnt alot of miles especially if he kept up on the prevenative maint. I like to take any new to me vehicle up to A frame and axle and get a safety inspection. A buddie of mine owns Ballard frame in seattle he tells me what it needs and I give him the alignment after I replace any parts. It is nice getting your first truck or a good one anyway. A exhaust inspection wont hurt either beside they are free here still. Sounds like a nice score.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimcrwbr1 View Post
Cool nice score did he keep good records on the maint of his vehicles.
He had a guy on staff doing routine truck maintenance and other stuff around the compound (several buildings). The oil was changed at a 215,200 (now 215,5xx -- I typed 218 before) and tranny fluid at 200,000. He said they did every 5k on oil and every 50k on tranny and the mechanic nodded. He didn't know the weights and other details but the mechanic did. There were stickers on the inside of the windshields of all the fleet vehicles with that kind of stuff on it. There was also a rotation schedule for tires and some other stuff, but I had just ridden 3hrs on the highway on a bike and my ears will still buzzing a bit. I don't remember if he said anything about brake fluid or coolant.

The truck is definitely used but does not appear to be abused. The interior looks great with no visible wear or damage. No damage to the undercarriage. The trucks were driven by chemical engineer types, as far as I can tell.

I'll start looking up part nums and working on stuff in the order you suggest. It seems reasonable.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:05 PM   #5
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Hey question bout number 4. What'd you have to do for emissions? I'm asking cause I'm troubleshooting why I can't get codes pulled from my obd-2. Hoping maybe you ran across a better thread.
Seems you did alot of reading. Wish this wasn't my dd... My build is gonna take forever...
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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That sword symbol from ur unit? Whatunit was that?
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bilzy7 View Post
Hey question bout number 4. What'd you have to do for emissions? I'm asking cause I'm troubleshooting why I can't get codes pulled from my obd-2.
There were two problems in my case:

1. CEL P0136 and PO141 off the top of my head, both referring to the o2 sensor after the cat. It was dead and got replaced, clearing the codes.

2. BUT, during the repair the batt was pulled long enough to clear the KAM or whatever it's called so my ECU thing had to relearn stuff. The "not ready" results from the sensors inspection to fail. I found the drive cycle stuff by searching "not ready" and the sensor in question here on the site. I don't have specifics, but I ended up finding this page with the optimum "drive cycle" procedures spelled out. {-- that's a link; they're not easy to tell apart on this site for some reason.

UPDATE: by the way, changing the style to Default Style in that dropdown selector in the lower left of the page actually allows one to see link colored differently from normal text. Much better.

Last edited by fratermus; 03-19-2011 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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That sword symbol from ur unit? Whatunit was that?
The insignia is from a Cold War army brigade (56th FA) that no longer exists due to the INF treaty signed by Reagan and Gorbachev. I was in the 1/41st, later reorganized into 2/9th for some odd political reason having to do with p3nis size when thermonukes are involved.

The thing that looks like a sword is actually a Pershing ballistic missile. You can see a hint of fire and smoke at the bottom of the patch. It shows a stylized Pershing I although by the time I served (and the treaty was signed) we were actually fielding the Pershing II. It didn't really look like the older one on the patch but AFAIK that did not affect its city vaporization properties.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:58 PM   #9
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I looked at the site for your truck. Looks like you got a good deal! Wish I could trade my bike for what I plan to do with the money I get for it. Have a 2003 Honda Shadow Sabre, want a new AC unit for my house. Hopefully when/if it sells I'll get what I want and that will cover the unit.


Since on your site you mention wanting a spare tire lock, I'm guessing you know how to raise and lower the spare? The hole where you out the rod to raise and lower the tire. Is it just metal or does it have a plastic bezel around it? If it has the bezel I may have a lock for you. I found a truck in the junkyard years ago with the lock still in place and the key still in the glove box, so I "accidentally" dropped it in my tool bag. The lock on my truck was real stiff so I figured I'd swap it out, well a little lube and my lock worked fine so I just held on to the other as a spare for future use. I don't know if that plastic bezel is necessary but I think it may be what it actually locks to. If you have that plastic bezel let me know, and when I find that lock (think it may be in the glove box, but truck is at parents house) you can have it.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I looked at the site for your truck. Looks like you got a good deal!
It was one of those win-wins. The guy had a truck he wasn't using and wanted a clean DR or KLR. I had a clean DR and wanted a functional truck. Duh! Winning! (as noted philosopher Charles Sheen might say).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshT View Post
Wish I could trade my bike for what I plan to do with the money I get for it. Have a 2003 Honda Shadow Sabre, want a new AC unit for my house. Hopefully when/if it sells I'll get what I want and that will cover the unit.
I hope it works out. There's a new AC in our future, but hopefully a few years down the road.

Quote:
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Since on your site you mention wanting a spare tire lock, I'm guessing you know how to raise and lower the spare? The hole where you out the rod to raise and lower the tire. Is it just metal or does it have a plastic bezel
Yeah, I had a truck before that did it that way; one of the earlier Mazda B-series that were actually built by Mazda, IIRC. I'm going to drop it tomorrow to make sure I have all the jack pieces and that the tire is in good shape and up to pressure. It sounds aird but my knuckles haven't been calibrated lately...

Mine does have the bezel. Thanks for the offer -- I just eBayed one yesterday so I'll be taken care of already.
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