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2.3L ('83-'97) 70MPH Top Speed?

nathantaylor

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Aug 4, 2020
Messages
18
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3
Location
Toledo, OH
Vehicle Year
1996
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XL
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
235/75/R15
My old 96 regular cab 2.3l no power steering and no a/c would do 100 tops heading down I-5 from Siskiyou Pass. In 4th gear with a tailwind I could easily wind it up to 90+ Had the stock 14 inch rims and street tires except in winter I ran studs and kept the rear purposefully weighted for best traction. Bought it from my folks who bought it from some dumb kid who put larger tires on it but didn't change the gearing. My dad said it was a real slug with those tires. That was one of the best cars for the money in my experience. Nothing fancy but got shit done and was kinda fun to rally due to the simplicity and the fact that most dudes driving expensive vehicles to/from our local ski resort would flip out when I blew by them on the sketchy ice and snow covered access road. I probably looked like an idiot to them but never went into a snowbank, caused an accident, or got a ticket. Just get good tires and drive it like it's stolen!
90+ in a Ranger sounds terrifying! They are good little trucks though. I probably should have stuck with the 14s but it just didn't look right and my tire sizes were very limited. I am happy with the 15s but I definitely over corrected with the 235/75s. I'll eventually go down to 235/60/R15s and probably go with either a 3.73 or 4.10 gear ratio.
 


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scotts90ranger

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Location
Dayton Oregon
Vehicle Year
1990, 1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
The 235 75's would be fine with 4.10's, I didn't mind it it's just a touch much and had to shift to 4th on the highway more than I wanted... I'm with ya, the look of smaller tires is goofy with the giant wheel openings...
 

nathantaylor

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Aug 4, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
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Location
Toledo, OH
Vehicle Year
1996
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XL
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
235/75/R15
The 235 75's would be fine with 4.10's, I didn't mind it it's just a touch much and had to shift to 4th on the highway more than I wanted... I'm with ya, the look of smaller tires is goofy with the giant wheel openings...
Yeah anytime I remove the gas pedal from the floor on the highway I have to down shift which gets annoying. Maybe I'll change my gear ratio before deciding on my next tire size and see what that does for me.
 

racsan

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Location
central ohio
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3/140-4
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
225/70/15-winter. 235/75/15-summer
My credo
built, not bought
Ive found 225/70/15’s to be more ideal overall with a 2.3 with 4.10’s Yes you can run 235/17/15’s but it wont like it with a trailer. Anymore I tow with the escape. (which ironically has 235/70/16’s)
 

scotts90ranger

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Location
Dayton Oregon
Vehicle Year
1990, 1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
If your foot is to the floor, just drive around in 4th gear... that's basically what lower gears in the rear axle will do anyway and 4th is easier on the transmission not that it matters with 2.3L power :). Back in the day when I had 235 70 15's with 3.08 gears I just didn't use 5th... It wasn't too much later that I did my first axle swap to a 3.73 axle I got for like $15 back in the fordranger.com days... that was only 20 years ago now...
 

nathantaylor

New Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Toledo, OH
Vehicle Year
1996
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XL
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
235/75/R15
Just wanted to circle back and say I finally was able to do a rear end swap and now have an 8.8 4.10 in there and it wasn’t too hard to make the swap. The truck is running MUCH better so thank you all for your input.
 

89Twincharge

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Aug 25, 2016
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Vehicle Year
89
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Yes you are correct! And the ibeam suspension wasn't meant for handling curves it's meant for handling bumps. I've only seen a bent I beam once and it was in a terrible accident...
 

nathantaylor

New Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Toledo, OH
Vehicle Year
1996
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XL
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
235/75/R15
Yes you are correct! And the ibeam suspension wasn't meant for handling curves it's meant for handling bumps. I've only seen a bent I beam once and it was in a terrible accident...
Not sure this is applicable to this thread?
 

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