• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

1993 Ranger needs a head gasket -- should I buy for $1200?


ajtoole

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
4
Points
3
Location
Maine
1993 Ranger on Facebook Marketplace for $1200, owner says it's 4WD, 4.0L, V6, says it's a "solid truck, no body work needed" (but I'm new to this and working on educating myself about rust, so maybe that's wrong -- see the pics). 97k miles on it. However, it does need a head gasket. Is this a solid buy for $1200 if I know it'll need head gasket work? How much would that typically run? From what I know, parts are cheap(ish) but labor is costly. What are your thoughts?
 

Attachments



Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

Shran

Junk Collector
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
6,488
Reaction score
1,735
Points
113
Location
Rapid City SD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Doesn't look too bad. How long has it been sitting? 1993 would have a 5 digit odometer, so that "97k" is very, very likely more in the range of 197k... or 597k... you really never know, and sellers lie.

Do you plan on doing the work yourself to fix it? I would plan on $1000 -minimum- if you have a shop do the heads. It is highly likely that one or both heads are cracked, and NOT simple head gasket failure, but either is possible. A set of new heads is about $500, plus a couple hundred bucks in misc other parts and fluids.

What else does it need? Tires? Brakes? Check the trans fluid really closely, the autos in those trucks are pretty weak, with 200k+ on it it's probably due for a rebuild as well.

I don't think I'd spend $1200 on it, you could easily have double that into it just getting it back on the road and then run into another huge issue that has not been disclosed.
 

RonD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
20,191
Reaction score
3,973
Points
113
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
4.0l OHV is more likely to need one or BOTH heads replaced, so budget for that

4.0l OHV have a thin casting, weak, between valve seats in the head, if they are overheated the head can crack at that weak spot
This presents the same symptom as a bad head gasket, no way to know if its a head gasket or cracked head, until heads are off and pressure tested at machine shop, or crack is visible and you get replacement head

Doing the heads on a 4.0l OHV is just wrench work no special knowledge or tools are needed
Take lots of pictures and label wires and hoses
You can buy a head gasket Kit, comes with head gaskets and other gaskets needed to do the job
Also get new head bolts, these can only be used once

Replace water pump and thermostat
Check radiator flow
Head gaskets, and heads, "blow" for a reason, and that reason is overheating, so not a chicken and egg thing
Engine over heated FIRST, then head gasket blew or head cracked
 
Last edited:


Top