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Ranger for Short Commutes and Weekend Errands


J_J_DePre

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I am looking to purchase a Ranger and have chosen not to pursue a Duratec because of the extensive use of plastics in the engine compartment that are more susceptible to warping and degradation from heat and pressure, and I have also noted the inherent difficulty of replacing the valves on the coolant line should there be a leak. With that said, I have looked primarily at '95 through '97 Rangers for reliability, simplicity of repair, and even overall aesthetics. I have found three examples thus far, and I wanted to garner your thoughts on each one:

1. 1995 Ford Ranger XL Super Cab (4.0 OHV V6 (Cologne), M5OD Transmission, RWD, 152k Miles, Teal Exterior, Grey Interior, $2,000 Asking Price)

2. 1996 Ford Ranger XL Super Cab (2.3 SOHC I4 (Lima), M5OD Transmission, RWD, 170k Miles, Black Exterior, Grey Interior, $1,600 Asking Price)

3. 1995 Ford Ranger XL Regular Cab (3.0 OHV V6 (Vulcan), M5OD Transmission, 4×4 (Manual-Transfer Case and Manual-Locking Hubs), 150k Miles, Burgundy Exterior, Grey Interior, $1,500 Asking Price).
 


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ericbphoto

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Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
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.
To suit the intent listed in your title, I would lean towards the 2.3L. it would most likely get the best fuel economy out of those choices. However, in PA, you might benefit from having the 4x4 in snowy weather. The 3.0L engine is pretty reliable and not too hard to work on. It might feel sluggish if you're looking for something with peppy performance because it's peak power and torque are at higher rpms. So you need to wind it out a bit. Once you get used to that, you'll be fine. The manual transmission helps you out with that.

I don't have experience with the other two engines. So I won't say any more about them.
 

Ramcharger90

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Engine Size
306, Bcam,
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2WD
I had a 98 with the 3.0 and a 5 speed manual it was a decent truck. Lots of 4x4 electrical issues though and my 90 with the 2.3 5 speed did just fine in the snow.
Either way it's a up to you. I have no idea what you can do and not do in terms of repair or if you can drive for that matter. You don't need 4wd in the winter in pa if you can drive. I had plenty of rwd cars and trucks and been in pa all my life.

I had a 96 Eddie Bauer explorer with the 4.0 it was nice and all but it was a dog. And I had to take the front tires off to change the back spark plugs.....
 
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Uncle Gump

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4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
Whichever one is the least rusty
 

J_J_DePre

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Whichever one is the least rusty
All three of the examples have clean tire wells, cab corners, and rocker panels; all would and have passed inspection as well. The 2.3 and 4.0 are especially immaculate, and the 3.0 is very clean as well aside from a dent in the passenger-side fender and a small crack in the grille, which is cheap to replace.
 

J_J_DePre

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I had a 98 with the 3.0 and a 5 speed manual it was a decent truck. Lots of 4x4 electrical issues though and my 90 with the 2.3 5 speed did just fine in the snow.
Either way it's a up to you. I have no idea what you can do and not do in terms of repair or if you can drive for that matter. You don't need 4wd in the winter in pa if you can drive. I had plenty of rwd cars and trucks and been in pa all my life.

I had a 96 Eddie Bauer explorer with the 4.0 it was nice and all but it was a dog. And I had to take the front tires off to change the back spark plugs.....
I would only consider a 4×4 Ranger with the manual-transfer case and manual-locking hubs along with a manual transmission and XL trim with manual locks and windows. I have also resided in Pennsylvania for all of my life, and I have considerable experience driving RWD vehicles in the snow, including RWD vehicles that are DRW and open differential.
 

Josh B

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Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I would still prefer the 4x4 over 2wd, just for those little slips and unseen circumstances, a muddy ditch can slip up on ya too. It makes it nice for saying "no, I don't need no tug", flip a switch and crawl on through it haha

But then, a lot of folks see nothing but pavements all their life, couldn't imagine such an existence ;)
 

Uncle Gump

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My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
All three of the examples have clean tire wells, cab corners, and rocker panels; all would and have passed inspection as well. The 2.3 and 4.0 are especially immaculate, and the 3.0 is very clean as well aside from a dent in the passenger-side fender and a small crack in the grille, which is cheap to replace.
That's rare in the salt belt... and makes your choice even harder.
 

Ramcharger90

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2WD
a lot of folks see nothing but pavements all their life, couldn't imagine such an existence ;)
It just got old,

been there.... done that....

Basically all my powerwagons and Ramchargers spent more time back in the woods and at bush parties than the pavement. Maybe one day I'll get back to the mud pits. It's just really inconvenient in my area anymore. And sure Rousch Creek is 25mins away but they jacked their prices up and have way too many rules anymore. I miss the good old days of 10-15 years ago when the cops didn't care if you were in the woods as long as you clean up your garbage and didn't drive hammered.
 

Josh B

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I was directing that to anyone really Ram, just the general overall roadtrip population :)

edit: Wasn't
 
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Ramcharger90

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2WD
I was directing that to anyone really Ram, just the general overall roadtrip population :)
I didn't take that with any hostility from you. Just speaking from experience.
 


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