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Mazda B2300... Maybe


Woogie

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Hi Ranger folks!

My parents recently bought another vehicle and have offered to give me their old '95 B2300 if I want it. It's a 2WD extended-cab 2.3L 4-banger with a manual transmission and about 140K on the odo. They don't know much about vehicles and live about 500 miles away so it will be a month or two before I can check it out in detail. It definitely runs, but I know it has some kind of fluid leak on the front end and the check engine light is always on. Are there any known issues I should look for when I can inspect it in person?

My daily driver is an '08 Versa, and I need a second vehicle with more room to transport my gear and inflatable pontoon when I go fishing (which would be 24-7 if it were up to to me) and occasionally haul large objects home from the store. I figure the B2300 might fit the bill. Since I'd be getting it free, even if I have to sink a thousand or so into repairs I would still be coming out ahead.
 
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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

SenorNoob

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That's exactly the kind of thinking you see here. BTW, Welcome.

Find out why the check engine light is on.
After that about the best you can do is look for damage and make sure the fluids are full. If you have time might fix the leak(s) there (really depends on what it is) or just stop fairly often and fill it.

Obviously condition of tires and brakes on a 500 mile drive.
 

RonD

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Welcome :)

Should be a very reliable truck, not real fast(4 cyl) but pretty good on fuel, not as good as you might think though, the Ranger/B-series are not very aerodynamic.

CEL(check engine light) could just be a bad gas cap, but the '95 did have a history of CEL with purge valve issues, not an immediate concern.

OBD stands for On Board Diagnostics, this was added when computers were added to vehicles, the computer is what turns on the CEL.

The '95 B2300 is OBD I, '96 was the start of OBD II, a more detailed code set.
Some parts stores have the older OBD readers and will read the codes for you in the parking lot.
There will be a data port, usually, under the dash that a "scan tool" is plugged into.
This will give you the current code(why the CEL is on), and a code history, computer doesn't turn on the CEL for every code.
With OBD I you can also read the codes without a scanner,
Google: reading ford obd 1 codes

List of the OBD I code numbers is here:
http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/2digitcodes.html
 
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Woogie

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Thanks guys.

The truck has a matching camper shell, which might help a bit with the aerodynamics. I plan on keeping the canopy, since I can use it to catch a quick nap in the bed if the fishing is just too good to leave. There's been a couple of trips where I arrived at dusk, fished all night, then all the next day. Yup, I'm cra... er, "dedicated". :icon_bounceblue:

I'm hoping the check engine light is on for something simple and stupid, since the truck will have to pass emissions before I can register it. I'll see if I can get the reading from the computer before I make the trip. The computer wouldn't happen to have a pedal dance procedure to get the code without diagnostic equipment, would it?

I had the check engine light come on in my Versa a few months back, and I got the code using the pedal dance. Turn on car without seat belt, wait for three beeps, stomp on gas pedal an ungodly number of times and the CEL blinks out the error code. It turned out to be a dirty mass air flow sensor. A can of CRC MAF cleaner cleared it right up. Still have about 90% of the can left, so I'll be using it on the B2300.

Talked to my insurance agent today, and it's only going to cost me around $200 per year. Gotta love cheap little old trucks. Especially ones that are already dinged and scratched up so you don't have to worry about the body or paint when driving down those rural dirt roads. :D
 

RonD

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Yes you can get the OBD I(1995 and older) codes without a scanner but you need to use a jumper wire so not a "pedal dance".
Google: retrieve ford OBD I

Yes, MAF sensor should be cleaned every few years
 

Woogie

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Drove it home today. It handled the 500 mile trip very well, even if going up those looooong hills in eastern Washington and Oregon was kinda slow. It definitely liked 4th gear better than 5th. My first car was a manual, but after almost 20 years of driving automatics, getting the hang of driving a stick shift again was an experience. Still, I only killed the engine twice (once letting off the clutch too fast into first and once accidentally shifting into third instead of first when pulling out of a parking spot.) Just got to get used to the timing, position of the stick and listening to the engine sounds again.



It runs well, but aside from the CEL and fluid leaks it does need a few things which I think are all pretty minor.

New seats (driver's seat is like sitting on the floorboard.)
Two of the instrument cluster backlights are out.
Passenger side mirror is broken.
Driver's side turn signal lens is broken.
Gear shift knob falls off (currently held on by lots of rubber bands.)
Canopy sliding window and rear window are missing.
It has some kind of aftermarket cruise control that I either can't figure out or isn't working.

First priorities are fixing the leaks, finding out why the CEL is on and replacing the backlight bulbs and window glass on the canopy. But I'm pretty happy with it. Just a neat little truck to carry me and all my camping and fishing gear.
 
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RonD

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Congrats :)

Looks pretty clean

Yes 5th gear is Overdrive so less than 1:1 ratio, it would only be used on relatively flat roads at highway speeds, 4th gear is 1:1 ratio
 

Woogie

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Thanks. The body is nice and straight, except for the driver's side fender and bumper being a little pushed in from the accident that broke the turn signal. There are a lot of paint scratches and the tailgate has a bunch of small dents, but I'm not going to sweat the minor stuff. Means I don't have to worry about sideswiping a bush while driving down a dirt road.

Went down to the auto parts store and bought a new gas cap, since I'm sure the one that's on there is the original. It's attached by a cord and there's no suction sound when filling the tank. Will be visiting some of the local junkyards this weekend looking for seats, and possibly a turn signal and mirror. I've read there are lots of possible donors for the seats, so hopefully it won't be difficult to find some nice ones cheap.
 

Mark_88

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Welcome to TRS~!

Nice looking truck...a few minor issues that can be done in a day probably...the leak...put something under where it is leaking and then check it in the morning...you can tell what it is/was by the colour usually...and partially from where it is dripping...cardboard works well for this...the waxed box doesn't let the fluid soak in so the colour is easier to tell...as is the smell...

Anyway, I'm sure you will love it for what you have intended...sneaking a nap in the back is cool...as long as you are under 6' or like to curl up...:)
 

Woogie

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Went in and took care of the registration and insurance and got my Idaho potato plates. When I went to change the plates, I found someone attached the old ones with zip ties AND three different types of screws, so it was off to the parts store to get some matching screws.

I ordered some LED lights, so once they arrive I'll be able to see how fast I'm going at freeway speeds in the dark. One of the dashboard lights that's out is top dead center behind the speedo. I figured as long as I'm in there, I might as well do all of them. It's not the first time someone has been inside the instrument panel. There's a fir tree needle under the glass!

Decided I liked the all-white look of the broken corner lens, so I ordered some clear ones off eBay. I also ordered some replacement mirror glass for the passenger side mirror.

God help me, I've got the disease! :D
 

Woogie

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Out with the old, in with the new. Looks right smart IMHO. I also got a pair of clear turn signals, but I'm going to wait on installing those until I visit the junkyard and see if I can pick up a bumper. This one is kind of twisted. How hard would it be to straighten out the fender?



That's my V on the other side. It will be my "drive about town" vehicle and the truck will be my "fun trip" vehicle.
 
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RonD

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I like the clear, nice choice :)
 


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