High mileage Ranger - Worth investing in?


srisitt

New member
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Washington
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
I recently bought my first truck, a 91 4.0L Ranger that I was told had 157k on it but turned out actually has 257k. Now I'm trying to figure out if the truck is still worth investing time and money into.

A little about the truck:
- It has the original engine and transmission, never rebuilt.
- It had one owner from 1991-2019. The owner seemed to know the truck very well and took good care of it.
- Seems to run well, I've taken it on the freeway and around town without any issues. The only things I've noticed about the engine/transmission are a lifter tick that goes away when it warms up and a slight, almost unnoticeable grinding in low RPM's in 3rd gear. Otherwise it runs great.

I figure what I should do now is see what kind of shape the engine is in. I'll start with checking the compression, is there anything else you guys would recommend I look at? Would the ECM in a 91 be able to give useful information about the engine if it isn't misfiring etc.? Is it even worth touching a Ranger with this many miles on it?


Thanks for any and all help. Learning as I go. :icon_confused:
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 57CD9601BD5AB4 Expires: July 1, 2019

Dirtman

Well-known member
EMT / Paramedic
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
1,724
Reaction score
398
Points
83
Location
Over there --->
Vehicle Year
2009
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
So friggin big!
My credo
give me money.
If its a manual trans, runs good, and was well cared for 257k wouldn't phase me at all.
 

Dirtman

Well-known member
EMT / Paramedic
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
1,724
Reaction score
398
Points
83
Location
Over there --->
Vehicle Year
2009
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
So friggin big!
My credo
give me money.
I see what you did there...
 

PetroleumJunkie412

2.9l Aficionado
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
621
Reaction score
256
Points
63
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Honestly, mine was one of the ones that was anyone's guess to miles when I bought it. Turned out it had 262k on it, not 162k, but PO's daughter was honest and told me she wasn't sure.

4.0 is easy to work on, and parts are cheap. If it's a 2wd manual trans with the M5OD, the trans is even easier to work on. Slap a shifter rebuild kit in it ($23 on rock auto), and just freakin' drive it lol.

Mine has rust issues. Yours looks really clean, but I could be wrong. Depends on how you define "worth it," but a ranger of that era is fun to drive, cheap and easy to work on, and worse case will teach you how to be a better mechanic. I say go for it, but that's me.

If you get bored with it, this is an option.

 
Last edited:

PetroleumJunkie412

2.9l Aficionado
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
621
Reaction score
256
Points
63
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I figure what I should do now is see what kind of shape the engine is in. I'll start with checking the compression, is there anything else you guys would recommend I look at? Would the ECM in a 91 be able to give useful information about the engine if it isn't misfiring etc.?

Also, nor really for the ECU. Should be an EEC-IV, but I could be wrong. Either way, it's OBD1, and not terribly advanced, but can give a LOT of useful data if you ask questions on the V6 forums.
 

stmitch

March 2011 STOTM Winner
MTOTM Winner
2011 Truck of The Year
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
1,660
Reaction score
32
Points
48
Location
Central Indiana
Vehicle Year
2000
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual
What were your plans for the truck when you thought it had 187k?
 

srisitt

New member
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Washington
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
What were your plans for the truck when you thought it had 187k?
Well I suppose at 157k, with a single owner and good maintenance I figured I’d have tens of thousands of miles on the original engine/transmission before needing a rebuild. At 257k I’m amazed it’s gone this long without needing any major work. I want to be able to take it long distances so I’m a little anxious about getting stranded if don’t at least get the top end rebuilt.
 

Ranger850

Well-known member
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
2,373
Reaction score
243
Points
63
Location
Tallahassee Florida
Vehicle Year
2001
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
Born with a 3.0, looking for a donor V8
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
Stock 2"
Tire Size
Stock
My credo
Doing things wrong, until I get it right.
A one owner, well taken care of truck, that runs fine, and you want to tear it down and rebuild it. I understand not wanting to be stranded, but where I come from, If it ain't broke, don't fix it. How do you know the PO never had anything done to the top end? that may be why it is running so good. IDK how much info you have, but it sounds like he took good care of it, and probably had it serviced and repaired regularly.
 

Denisefwd93

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
2,125
Reaction score
29
Points
48
Location
South East PA
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
It's elementary at this point you already bought the truck and you own, it call it buyer's remorse.

Are you sure it's 257? because that has a 5-digit odometer doesn't it? I've never quite understood the logic for them, I had one in my 93 & my94 has an od like that,
 

ericbphoto

Old Redneck just wingin' it.
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
2,131
Reaction score
187
Points
63
Age
54
Location
Piedmont, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
It's elementary at this point you already bought the truck and you own, it call it buyer's remorse.

Are you sure it's 257? because that has a 5-digit odometer doesn't it? I've never quite understood the logic for them, I had one in my 93 & my94 has an od like that,
Years ago, it was a miracle for most vehicles to make 100k miles. Now, it's more common. Better design, better lubricants, whatever. Used to be that only the premium vehicles with the best maintenance got to the 6 digits on the odometer. Now, just check it out good and maintain and repair it best you can and you should have a good time with it.
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,169
Reaction score
60
Points
48
Location
Rapid City SD
257k would not bother me. Just about anything on them is easy to fix and relatively cheap especially if you can do it yourself and I'm guessing the body is probably in pretty good shape given your location.

Honestly I'd rather have a 1991 with 257k on it than one of that year with 57k... I've had a bunch of old, low mileage vehicles that were just total shit piles. Looked nice but sitting unused is hard on vehicles. If it's rolled through that many miles, chances are it was maintained pretty well.
 

ericbphoto

Old Redneck just wingin' it.
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
2,131
Reaction score
187
Points
63
Age
54
Location
Piedmont, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
257k would not bother me. Just about anything on them is easy to fix and relatively cheap especially if you can do it yourself and I'm guessing the body is probably in pretty good shape given your location.

Honestly I'd rather have a 1991 with 257k on it than one of that year with 57k... I've had a bunch of old, low mileage vehicles that were just total shit piles. Looked nice but sitting unused is hard on vehicles. If it's rolled through that many miles, chances are it was maintained pretty well.
I agree. Machinery likes to be used and maintained. Sitting idle for long periods is the worst thing for almost any machine. On the submarine I was on, the nuclear reactor and propulsion equipment would run great Whole it was operating. But shut it down and start it up frequently and stuff started to fail. That thing loved to run.
 


Top