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Looking for a new used vehicle. Your thoughts...


dvdswan

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Ranger XLT 2WD
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Keep your mind like an umbrella, it only works if its open... Continually learning.
I've been looking at 4WD Sport Tracs and Rangers up to the 2010 years. For whatever reason the Rangers are at least 8K - 10K more than the Sport Tracs. Are the Sport Tracs bad trucks? I've looked at known common problems with them and I feel most of them are just angry folks with new car payments from then. Was the 4.6L engine a bad engine? The 5 speed auto trans bad? I've got one in my 2002 Explorer and it works perfect. As far as the Rangers I'm looking for all years up to 2010.

The big thoughts I'm looking for are:
Which one would you choose? Why?
I'm looking for one that has 100k or less. Some have close to 200k, are there issues I should look for with that mileage? I'm not worried about the higher mileage as long as there are maintenance records to cover it.
 


rusty ol ranger

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They are basically a ranger. The 4.6 is a solid engine all the way around.

Cant speak for the trans.

Tracs are cheaper cause they arnt as in demand. Kinda like comparing an excursion to a SD. Same vehicle basically, just one is less "cool".
 

Shran

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I can't speak to the transmission but the 4.6 engines were pretty reliable. I had one in a Crown Vic and the only major issue I had was snow blowing under the hood, filling up the spark plug wells with water and then it would misfire and go into limp mode. Easy fix with new boots on the coil packs.

No idea why they're cheaper than a Ranger but that is to your benefit. I would not buy anything with a SOHC 4.0 but certainly would buy one with a 4.6.

As far as miles go, I would just expect to be spending $3-5000 on a transmission rebuild in the near future on a 200k vehicle unless it's been done already. High miles don't really bother me much either but they should impact the price accordingly.
 

sgtsandman

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I think Rusty pretty much nails it. @JohnnyO had one and can give more detailed information.
 

superj

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3 liters of tire smoking power
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I know the rear axle on the sport tracs supposedly have problems. My dad and uncle never did on theirs but read lots of forums complaints about the rear axle being an aluminum housing, or something, and it always going bad.

I have seen a number of them for sale here for super cheap but all needed rear axles.

The sport trac is a comfortable nice sized truck though
 

Lefty

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I just looked up the 4.6 somewhere on the interweb:

Ford's Modular 4.6 V8 has earned a highly positive reputation amongst owners in terms of reliability and longevity. The engine can easily run well over 200,000 miles. Some taxi services used Crown Victorias with 4.6 V8 until impressive 300,000 or even 400,000 miles. But of course, ideal engines do not exist, and this engine has several common problems and designed flaws that currently are widely known.

The first widespread problem is plastic intake manifold cracking. This problem can be found in 4.6L SOHC 2-valve engines produced from 1996 to 2001. In that period, Ford used a nylon composite intake manifold manufactured by DuPont, this manifold was prone to failure without any warning or sign. The reason is the intake manifold could not handle stress on the material caused by thousands of heat/cool cycles (expansion and contraction) and additional forces/vibrations coming from the alternator bracket mounted right into the plastic. As a result, this manifold can crack and split, the heater hose and coolant temperature sensor can loosen, which would result in an engine coolant leak and vehicle overheating. Late in 2001, Ford replaced the all-plastic manifold with a revised intake manifold that uses cast aluminum at the failure points.

A short thread depth in the aluminum cylinder heads is the root of the second common problem - stripping of cylinder head spark plug threads. Be careful while changing spark plugs on any Ford 4.6 V8s, as it is so easy to over-torque them and striping threads. Ford recommends a threaded insert as the method to repair stripped thread and even provides a tool kit specifically for that.


I would really enjoy something like this inside my Ranger.
 

19Walt93

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I ran the service department for the entirety of Sport Trac production and never saw a rear end problem or a cracked intake manifold. 2002 Explorers with the first IRS had rear end bearing failures until the stiffened the aluminum cases and Crown Vics had some manifolds crack, but not a lot of them. The only 4.6's with short plug threads were the Windsor engines, the ones from the Romeo plant had full length threads. Properly torqued plugs never blew out, there are places where the "zip it down with an air ratchet" philosophy doesn't work. I personally like the early, live axle Sport Tracs better because they were a little smaller but the later IRS models got the 4.6 and that really improved them.
 

rusty ol ranger

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A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
I know the rear axle on the sport tracs supposedly have problems. My dad and uncle never did on theirs but read lots of forums complaints about the rear axle being an aluminum housing, or something, and it always going bad.

I have seen a number of them for sale here for super cheap but all needed rear axles.

The sport trac is a comfortable nice sized truck though
Can you replace it with a ranger axle?
 

superj

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2004
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ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3 liters of tire smoking power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
That, i have no idea. Its supposedly a d44 variant but i dont know the width so i cannot say yes or no
 

rusty ol ranger

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2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
That, i have no idea. Its supposedly a d44 variant but i dont know the width so i cannot say yes or no
Hmm...i always figured they just ran the 8.8
 

superj

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ranger edge
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3 liters of tire smoking power
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2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
Google says there are 8.8 axles
 

Ranger850

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I had an '08 Sport Trac for about 2.5 years. It had the 4.0 v6. I had my Ranger running then too. The 3.0 Ranger seemed to pull a trailer better, but that was probably because of the IRS on the ST. IF I ever get the chance to get a 2nd gen Sport Trac again, I'm all over it. Hands down my Favorite vehicle I've ever owned. Had plenty of room for the family and all the cargo space I ever needed. I never got to drive a v8 model, but I would assume it pulls better than the 4.0. 2nd Gen Sport Tracs only had 2 trims, XLT & Limited. Mine was an XLT and had plenty of options/features.
 

dvdswan

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2WD
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Keep your mind like an umbrella, it only works if its open... Continually learning.
Great feedback. Thank you. I like to do research and have been reading up on the Sport tracs, so the more info to counter the idiots that have no clue on vehicles helps.
 

Ranger850

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Great feedback. Thank you. I like to do research and have been reading up on the Sport tracs, so the more info to counter the idiots that have no clue on vehicles helps.
Before the car market flipped, a ST was all I wanted, but NOBODY was selling them. The ppl who had them wanted rediculous prices for them. I ended up paying 15K for my '08 in 2015 at a used car dealer. The fact that they are cheaper now, may gat me looking again.
 

JohnnyO

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Ranger
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2.3 EcoBoost
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4WD
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1.5"
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265/70-17
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"220, 221, whatever it takes."
I think Rusty pretty much nails it. @JohnnyO had one and can give more detailed information.
I’ve had two, a Gen 1 ‘05 and a Gen 2 ‘08, both with the 4.0 V6. Gen 1’s are a little more truck- like and off-roady, Gen 2’s are a little bigger, more room in the back seat, and ride and handling is vastly better. They’re more of an Explorer with a pickup bed than a four door Ranger. Transmission is a weak spot whether V6 or V6 although there’s a good chance it’s been rebuilt already. Rust in the bottom rear cab corners that comes from water leaking in the third brake light. V6’s can suffer from worn timing chains and guides, which is a problem because the engine has to come out to replace them. I put over 200k on mine with regular oil changes and had no issues. The V8 can suffer from cracked exhaust manifolds. Try to get one with a bed extender, it makes the short bed more useful. With proper maintenance they are fairly bulletproof.
 

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