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


wildbill23c

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2.9 V6
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2WD / 4WD
2WD
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0
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19K, 19D, 92Y, 88M, 91F....OIF-III (2004-2005)
Sport Trac is just an Explorer with the top/sides cut off the cargo area. Pretty useless, which is why they're not as popular as the Ranger or regular Explorer which could be had with a 3rd row I think starting around 2004 or so...They share the same engine/transmission issues between Explorer, Ranger, and Sport Trac models all the same, don't matter what vehicle the engine/transmission is in, they'll all be susceptible to all the same common problems...and many are due to wear and tear, age, and people skipping routine maintenance.

The 4L V6 is fine, the transmissions are fine, and the V8 is fine, when new...but you are talking 10+ year old vehicles now with highly questionable usage, lack of maintenance, wear and tear, etc. Its all a roll of the dice as to what you get. Before you buy anything check around and see if you can get common and not so common random parts...I found out with my 2008 Ford Explorer that the ABS control module is no longer available, so it got a used junk yard one...this is something that was apparently a 1 off year pile of crap from Ford and after 2008 they used a different module. Stuff like that will really get your blood pressure up and make you want to strangle the designers....so check out stupid stuff like that before you pick something to buy because no matter how clean it looks, its used, and potentially might have some underlying maintenance issues waiting to surprise you. I have the V8 in my Explorer which gives me the max tow capacity, so that's the only good thing for that aspect. Engine is fine, transmission is fine, it drinks more fuel of course but its also full time 4WD, and its heavy.
 


rusty ol ranger

Im a Jeep guy now.
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Ford
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177 CID
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Manual
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2WD
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A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
Sport Trac is just an Explorer with the top/sides cut off the cargo area. Pretty useless, which is why they're not as popular as the Ranger or regular Explorer which could be had with a 3rd row I think starting around 2004 or so...They share the same engine/transmission issues between Explorer, Ranger, and Sport Trac models all the same, don't matter what vehicle the engine/transmission is in, they'll all be susceptible to all the same common problems...and many are due to wear and tear, age, and people skipping routine maintenance.

The 4L V6 is fine, the transmissions are fine, and the V8 is fine, when new...but you are talking 10+ year old vehicles now with highly questionable usage, lack of maintenance, wear and tear, etc. Its all a roll of the dice as to what you get. Before you buy anything check around and see if you can get common and not so common random parts...I found out with my 2008 Ford Explorer that the ABS control module is no longer available, so it got a used junk yard one...this is something that was apparently a 1 off year pile of crap from Ford and after 2008 they used a different module. Stuff like that will really get your blood pressure up and make you want to strangle the designers....so check out stupid stuff like that before you pick something to buy because no matter how clean it looks, its used, and potentially might have some underlying maintenance issues waiting to surprise you. I have the V8 in my Explorer which gives me the max tow capacity, so that's the only good thing for that aspect. Engine is fine, transmission is fine, it drinks more fuel of course but its also full time 4WD, and its heavy.
If i was buying a 10+ yr old ford that may of been seriously neglected or abused, and i was looking newer then the 300 era, i would want it to be a 4.6 over anything else.
 

19Walt93

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Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
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.
By the way, in typical Ford fashion, if the engine code in the VIN(8th digit) is a "W", that's a Romeo engine. I forget what the Windsor code was. Romeo's had 6 flywheel bolts vs 8 for the Windsor, the valve covers are different as well but I don't remember the difference- shape or bolt count, I think. I considered the Windsor version to be the heavier duty/ truck engine. 5.4's were Windsors with the short spark plug threads, too.
 

Chapap

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NW Florida
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
1.5” till I get these springs replaced
Tire Size
225-70-R14
I had an '03 Grand Marquis with the 4.6. This is what the "good" intake manifold looks like. That aluminum coolant crossover is the fix. The original was plastic.
Fun fact- Instead of a recall, they did universal 100k/ 10yr warranty on the lighting module. Headlights would just stop working. I managed to get that done with a few miles and months to spare.
 

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wildbill23c

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1987
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
215/70-R14
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 88M, 91F....OIF-III (2004-2005)
By the way, in typical Ford fashion, if the engine code in the VIN(8th digit) is a "W", that's a Romeo engine. I forget what the Windsor code was. Romeo's had 6 flywheel bolts vs 8 for the Windsor, the valve covers are different as well but I don't remember the difference- shape or bolt count, I think. I considered the Windsor version to be the heavier duty/ truck engine. 5.4's were Windsors with the short spark plug threads, too.
I keep seeing this same line referenced all over the place "W" in the VIN or a "6" in the VIN meaning Windsor or Romeo and neither are accurate my VIN has neither of those digits anywhere in the VIN, and definitely not in the 8th digit of the VIN....wish people would stop referencing these because tis totally inaccurate for most vehicles.
 

Josh B

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1993
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Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I keep seeing this same line referenced all over the place "W" in the VIN or a "6" in the VIN meaning Windsor or Romeo and neither are accurate my VIN has neither of those digits anywhere in the VIN, and definitely not in the 8th digit of the VIN....wish people would stop referencing these because tis totally inaccurate for most vehicles.
I have seen notes referencing what each number and letter means in a VIN, I don't recall exactly where but am sure of it
 

RumPunch

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Walkerton Va 23177
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
31x10.50R15
Not sure how far you are from this part of WA but this one claims less than 5k miles…

 

19Walt93

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Location
Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
I keep seeing this same line referenced all over the place "W" in the VIN or a "6" in the VIN meaning Windsor or Romeo and neither are accurate my VIN has neither of those digits anywhere in the VIN, and definitely not in the 8th digit of the VIN....wish people would stop referencing these because tis totally inaccurate for most vehicles.
1671891874678.png

The VIN format has been federally mandated since 1981. The first digit is the country of origin-1 is U.S.,2 is Canada, 3 is Mexico, for example-next 2 identify manufacturer, 4th digit identifies restraint system- P is passive restraints, F is the later depowered air bags- next 3 digits identify the model-P53 was a Taurus sedan, 8th digit identifies the engine- E is a 4.0 sohc, X is a 4.0 ohv, U is a 3.0 non flex fuel, A is a Lima 2.3, the 10th is the model year. Some codes change over time but their position in the VIN does not. It's 100% accurate.
 

wildbill23c

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Location
Southwestern Idaho
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
215/70-R14
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 88M, 91F....OIF-III (2004-2005)
View attachment 86785
The VIN format has been federally mandated since 1981. The first digit is the country of origin-1 is U.S.,2 is Canada, 3 is Mexico, for example-next 2 identify manufacturer, 4th digit identifies restraint system- P is passive restraints, F is the later depowered air bags- next 3 digits identify the model-P53 was a Taurus sedan, 8th digit identifies the engine- E is a 4.0 sohc, X is a 4.0 ohv, U is a 3.0 non flex fuel, A is a Lima 2.3, the 10th is the model year. Some codes change over time but their position in the VIN does not. It's 100% accurate.
LOL once again the VIN doesn't tell you an engine 100% for sure. Because my VIN doesn't have any number in it or letter in it in that position that means anything related to an engine. Just because you find it on the internet doesn't mean its accurate.

I have seen notes referencing what each number and letter means in a VIN, I don't recall exactly where but am sure of it
Yeah they are all over the place and 99.9% of them aren't accurate. My VIN for my Explorer doesn't coincide with any of that nonsense that people keep drumming up when trying to find if an engine is a Windsor or a Romeo...that VIN position has nothing to do with where an engine was made, the plate on the engine itself might, but the VIN doesn't tell you...if you are lucky it tells you a broad range of an engine size, which makes these finds on the internet useless to most people who really don't know about the engines, or how to dig deeper to find out. Your best source is the actual data tag on the engine, or the stamping depending on the engine. Some might be hard to find with all the junk surrounding an engine anymore, you may have to do some digging to find the data plate or tag, or the stampings in the engine.


All those numbers or letters are different between different vehicles as well, a number or letter on an Explorer isn't the same as the letter or number for a Taurus for example. So you have to find the exact VIN decoder for your vehicle, not just some random bunch of postings online....100% accurate way to know is call your Ford dealer with the VIN and they can pull the build sheet which unless someone has replaced the engine it'll be accurate.
 

19Walt93

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Ford Technician
V8 Engine Swap
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Location
Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
LOL once again the VIN doesn't tell you an engine 100% for sure. Because my VIN doesn't have any number in it or letter in it in that position that means anything related to an engine. Just because you find it on the internet doesn't mean its accurate.



Yeah they are all over the place and 99.9% of them aren't accurate. My VIN for my Explorer doesn't coincide with any of that nonsense that people keep drumming up when trying to find if an engine is a Windsor or a Romeo...that VIN position has nothing to do with where an engine was made, the plate on the engine itself might, but the VIN doesn't tell you...if you are lucky it tells you a broad range of an engine size, which makes these finds on the internet useless to most people who really don't know about the engines, or how to dig deeper to find out. Your best source is the actual data tag on the engine, or the stamping depending on the engine. Some might be hard to find with all the junk surrounding an engine anymore, you may have to do some digging to find the data plate or tag, or the stampings in the engine.


All those numbers or letters are different between different vehicles as well, a number or letter on an Explorer isn't the same as the letter or number for a Taurus for example. So you have to find the exact VIN decoder for your vehicle, not just some random bunch of postings online....100% accurate way to know is call your Ford dealer with the VIN and they can pull the build sheet which unless someone has replaced the engine it'll be accurate.
I didn't find it on the internet, I worked at a dealer form 1975 until 2017 and was there when the VIN format was mandated by the feds. I prepared warranty claims from 1985 until 2017 so I got plenty of practice decoding VINs.
Post your VIN and let us see it.
 

rusty ol ranger

Im a Jeep guy now.
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Ford
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
177 CID
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
My 99 Vic had a "w" code 4.6 and was a romeo
 

1990RangerinSK

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2WD
LOL once again the VIN doesn't tell you an engine 100% for sure. Because my VIN doesn't have any number in it or letter in it in that position that means anything related to an engine. Just because you find it on the internet doesn't mean its accurate.



Yeah they are all over the place and 99.9% of them aren't accurate. My VIN for my Explorer doesn't coincide with any of that nonsense that people keep drumming up when trying to find if an engine is a Windsor or a Romeo...that VIN position has nothing to do with where an engine was made, the plate on the engine itself might, but the VIN doesn't tell you...if you are lucky it tells you a broad range of an engine size, which makes these finds on the internet useless to most people who really don't know about the engines, or how to dig deeper to find out. Your best source is the actual data tag on the engine, or the stamping depending on the engine. Some might be hard to find with all the junk surrounding an engine anymore, you may have to do some digging to find the data plate or tag, or the stampings in the engine.


All those numbers or letters are different between different vehicles as well, a number or letter on an Explorer isn't the same as the letter or number for a Taurus for example. So you have to find the exact VIN decoder for your vehicle, not just some random bunch of postings online....100% accurate way to know is call your Ford dealer with the VIN and they can pull the build sheet which unless someone has replaced the engine it'll be accurate.
Wrong. While codes are different for different manufacturers, every VIN for a given manufacturer (Ford, for example) will use the same code translation. For example, P52 in the fourth-seventh digits is ALWAYS a Ford Taurus sedan, when the VIN is on a Ford. U in the eighth digit is ALWAYS 3.0 liter Vulcan V6 when it's the eighth digit of a FORD VIN. When the first digit of the VIN is 1, it is ALWAYS a vehicle manufactured in the United States, no matter who the manufacturer is. F in the second digit is ALWAYS a Ford. 10th digit is ALWAYS the model year, and E is ALWAYS 2014, no mater who the manufacturer is. And the 8th digit is EXACTLY which engine the vehicle had from the factory. A Duratec 3.0 V6 (not available on Rangers, but available on Taurus/Sable) will ALWAYS have the same, unique 8th digit, it will never have a U for the 8th digit, because U always means the engine is a Vulcan 3.0. Windsor, Cleveland, Modified and Romeo engines will ALWAYS have a different 8th digit from the same sized engine of a different family. Rusty said above that a 4.6 Romeo is "W". A 4.6 Cleveland will NEVER have a W as the 8th digit.
 

19Walt93

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Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
Wrong. While codes are different for different manufacturers, every VIN for a given manufacturer (Ford, for example) will use the same code translation. For example, P52 in the fourth-seventh digits is ALWAYS a Ford Taurus sedan, when the VIN is on a Ford. U in the eighth digit is ALWAYS 3.0 liter Vulcan V6 when it's the eighth digit of a FORD VIN. When the first digit of the VIN is 1, it is ALWAYS a vehicle manufactured in the United States, no matter who the manufacturer is. F in the second digit is ALWAYS a Ford. 10th digit is ALWAYS the model year, and E is ALWAYS 2014, no mater who the manufacturer is. And the 8th digit is EXACTLY which engine the vehicle had from the factory. A Duratec 3.0 V6 (not available on Rangers, but available on Taurus/Sable) will ALWAYS have the same, unique 8th digit, it will never have a U for the 8th digit, because U always means the engine is a Vulcan 3.0. Windsor, Cleveland, Modified and Romeo engines will ALWAYS have a different 8th digit from the same sized engine of a different family. Rusty said above that a 4.6 Romeo is "W". A 4.6 Cleveland will NEVER have a W as the 8th digit.
You're mostly right. the 351 Cleveland was built from 70-74 and the Modified was from 75-80, both before the 17 digit VIN. The non Romeo 4.6(and all the 5.4's) were Windsor engines and I forget the VIN code for a 4.6w- maybe a 2? The Duratech 3.0 was an S and it was a sweet engine. My 99 Taurus was ordered with a Duratech, I drove it for 46,000 miles, gave it to my daughter and she ran it to 196,000 miles, then I sold it to my youngest tech and he drove it 2 years before trading it for a Mustang. The valve covers never came off, nor did it use oil or make noises. The VIN was 1FAFP53X2SA191950 and I have no idea why I remember it.
 

dvdswan

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Seattle, WA
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ranger XLT 2WD
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
Keep your mind like an umbrella, it only works if its open... Continually learning.

RumPunch

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
31x10.50R15
Ah damn didn’t catch that…. Sorry for false hopes🥲 knew something wasn’t right…
 

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