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Need advice on a potential purchase


MattrickSwayzee

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Hello, I was wondering if any of you have might have any advice on this 83 Ford ranger dolphin camper, it’s got 61k original miles, the 2.8 v6, and automatic transmission, it’s pretty cheap, plus there’s lots of motor swap options when it burns up. Is there anything I should be weary of? I’m not sure what they did for axles but they have 8 lugs so they’re probably not the factory ones. Other than that I should get at least another 40k on that 2.8 if I go easy on her right? I tried searching the dolphin forms but for some reason I can only find the Toyota version, nothing on the internet anywhere for the ranger. Thanks for any replies,
Matt
 

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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

don4331

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Single or dual rear wheels? And 8 lugs on the fronts too.

I'm curious about whether they are running adapters or replaced the axles.
 

MattrickSwayzee

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Single rear wheels and 8 lugs on the front too, I haven’t seen it in person yet, I’m meeting them on Friday, I’m trying to learn as much as I can before then so I don’t buy a lawn ornament
 

MattrickSwayzee

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My biggest concern is the 2.8 and the automatic from 1983 pushing around 4000lbs or so. Is there a chance I can get more than the 61k on it or do you think the motor/trans will fail before 100k because of all the weight?
 

RobbieD

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Toonces drives a Ranger . . . . just not very well.
Are you sure that it's a Ranger and not an F-series?
 

MattrickSwayzee

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Are you sure that it's a Ranger and not an F-series?
Are you sure that it's a Ranger and not an F-series?
I think you’re right, I looked at some pictures and 83 rangers have a vertical front marker light and 83 f series have a horizontal. I only got side pictures and nothing from the front and with the fender flare it looks just like a ranger to me
 

09fx4guy

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I am almost positive from looking at the interior dash pics that it is indeed an F-series. But it would be interesting to see a 2.8v6 in the f-series truck. Chances are it will either have (iirc) the 300 I-6, which is a solid engine, or a V8 of some kind. Either way, the motor should be pretty reliable and lord knows there are enough parts / engines out there if the V8 ever goes bad.

It does look like a pretty good deal as it seems to be in decent condition. How much are they asking?
 

cschannuth

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That’s not a Ranger. That’s a full-size truck. Many earlier full-size pick ups had a trim level that was a Ranger and some people mistake that for a model designation. Also, if it’s a full-size there’s no way that it has a 2.8 L V6 in it. It could have a 5.8 L/351.
 

MattrickSwayzee

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09fx4guy, and cschannuth you guys are right, while talking with the owner she said it had a v6, and it was the original motor (she didn’t say ranger or f series she just called it a Ford camper). Me, thinking that the only trucks I could find any info on online, were the Toyota dolphins I just assumed ranger because it was similar in size, and because there were no v6’s in the f series. Look like I’ll never be a know it all, but at least I can keep learning, thanks for the help in solving this mystery.
 

MattrickSwayzee

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I’m guessing she just said v6 because that’s what she’s used to hearing for 6cyl motors, I’m sure it’s probably 4.9. That also better explains the thing having 8 lugs on the front and rear axles, and the horizontal marker lights on the front fender, vs the vertical ones the rangers have, and explains the interior as well. They want $5900 for it, and it seems to be well taken care of. There’s a little water damage that you can see above the bed, but with 61k on it I’m pretty sure I’m comfortable with fixing some water damage and making sure it’s sealed up. I will probably get quite a few years out of it with the low miles, and if not there’s lots of Ford parts laying around.
 

gaz

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Mattrick,

Please follow up on your inspection. I've never seen one of these and I just love it. I would give it a 7.3l homewarming gift and call it a day.
 


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