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Ranger vs 1st gen Colorado (price)


FillMarr

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Hey guys,

Saving cash to buy a house but still trying to get 4wd. After poking around on Craigslist and seeing how much money people want for their old 4WD Rangers, I checked out a couple crew cab Colorado’s. When painted green and with decent size tires, they look okay. Anyway, here’s what I found:

-2004 ranger 4.0 4x4 with 180k Miles...roughly 5k if body is in good condition.

-2004 Colorado premium I5 package, same miles, more HP and Torque, $3500.

What gives?!


Edit: I love my lifted 2wd ranger and am keeping that too, just FTR. But I’m sick and tired of getting stuck trying to go up hills/driveways in the boonies of new hampshire

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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

91stranger

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That ranger sounds way over priced for the mileage. Not sure what 10-15 year old 4wd vehicles sell for in that area but around here that's a 3000 dollar truck with that many miles. Colorado's are not as good a ranger. They are smaller inside and out, bed is small, inside you are sitting almost shoulder to shoulder with the passenger. Colorado's rust worse than a ranger in my opinion. Rangers have more parts available and are more reliable. Chevy's tend to have electrical issues, whether its a headlight bulb that keeps blowing or every damn warning light on the dash to odd electrical sensors causing motor issues. rangers don't seem to have these issues as often as chevys do.
 

Shran

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Check what they book for in your area, you might be surprised. Some vehicles just hold their value better, and for no real good reason... for example look around for 4 door S10 pickups, you may be shocked.

I don't think Rangers are necessarily a better vehicle than a Colorado, and late model ones seem to succumb to frame rust much quicker than the older ones did.

In any case, 180k is a lot of miles for most vehicles. I would expect the Ranger to be near the end of its lifespan. Most of them I see in the junkyard, the ones that didn't get there through a car accident, have around that mileage and are just worn out. But maybe the one you found has been exceptionally well cared for - who knows. $5000 is a LOT of money to spend on a truck that may only last another 20,000 miles.

There is an '06 on a dealer lot here for $5700, it has 100k on it and is a 3.0, 5 speed 4x4 truck.
 

91stranger

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If I were you I would do some more shopping. I held off and waited to find a good deal and found a 4 door 1999 3.0 auto 2wd with very little rust, 1 owner, well maintained, owned by an older gentlemen, factory tow package and 99,000 miles for $1800. yes its not a 4wd or a 5 speed but it works for what I need it to do. I did a Kelly blue book and a nada and found the truck was worth about $3000-3500 private sale so I made out pretty damn good. So have patience and it will pay off. you will regret buying a truck that has that many miles. like he said, 180,000 miles is a lot and toward the end of most trucks life.
 

FillMarr

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Thank you both, 91stranger and shran. I will wait for the right deal then. I was thinking most Rangers would go well int the 200s (at least around 240). I wasn’t sure if the older Colorado’s were just more likely to be doomed by about 200.

I would love to hear if anyone ever owned one of the colorado i5s...to see what a ranger 4.0 engine felt like in comparison.


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91stranger

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The vortec motors are nice motors. They have plenty of power. I would say the vortec v6 and the 4.0 are pretty close. I've heard both sides of the story where one is better than the other. Honestly its all in how well maintained the vehicle was. Both motors will be shitty motors if they weren't maintained.
 

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I have no problem with high mileage trucks but the price better be very low. The best truck I've had so far, my old '96 Ranger, had 192k on it when I bought it, put another 50k on it after that and shouldn't have sold it. But it was only $900.

Having owned several Ford 4.0 OHV powered trucks and an Astro van with a 4.3, I can say that the 4.3 will blow the 4.0 out of the water. I haven't driven a 4.0 SOHC truck so I can't compare there, but the GM 4.3 is a very snappy little engine.
 

joshkeller

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i've towed my boat (2200 lbs) with both, and have a bit of experience with both.

The I-5 colorado if its automatic will run highway speeds at a lower rpm - 1900 or so. It will shift A LOT more because of this.

My 4.0 (2010) manual ranger will tow my boat 80 mph on the interstate and I wont need to shift out of 5th gear for 100 miles from WV to PA. Running empty through the mountains (9% grade) it will hold and accelerate up the mountains at highway speeds without shifting out of 5th gear

That said, they both tow about the same in terms of get up and go. The I-5 has 160k miles on it. Engine replaced under warranty (cracked block) at 45k and no problems since.

My 4.0 has 70k miles on it and its been good as well. I replaced a tensioner at 63k miles.
 

stmitch

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The Colorados have a funky wheel bearing design that is an expensive PITA to replace. And the wheel bolt pattern makes finding wheels more difficult than it is for a Ranger. If you're ok with inconveniences like that, they seem like ok trucks.

Around here, I see a lot more Rangers running around than Colorados. Don't know if that's just because they sold a bunch more, or if the Colorados don't last the way that Rangers do.
 

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The Colorado wheel bearings and brakes were taken from a Honda Passport/Izuzu Trooper. You literally have to remove the front wheel bearing to replace the rotors. Book time 5 hours for a front brake job. I got it down to 1.5.

Also, the 3.5L engine is a literal bomb. My neighbor flips vehicles, and he loves the Colorado/Canyon trucks because he can make a lot of money on them. They are popular little trucks in our area, especially with a full 4 door cab. He picks them up super cheap with blown up engines, and usually ends up paying more for a good used engine than he did for the whole truck with a rod hanging out the block or a seized crank.

Starter on the 3.5 is in a dumb spot under the intake, front axle design is typical of GM inlines (think axle shaft goes through oil pan). Yeah, if you plan to work on it yourself or not pay someone else an arm and a leg stay away from the Colorado.
 

FillMarr

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Excellent advise from all of you. Thank you! That’s crazy about the front axle and oil pan!!


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rusty ol ranger

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Excellent advise from all of you. Thank you! That’s crazy about the front axle and oil pan!!


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Late to the game here but....

I had an 08 colorado i bought brand new for about 7 years. If you are used to rangers, youll hate the colorado.

Mine was a basic reg cab/2wd with a 2.9 4cyl and a 5sp. The overall build quality of the thing was far inferior to any ranger ever built, it was built like a cobalt with a bed. The body panels were paper thin, one good pothole would knock it out of line, and alot of the little pieces were of typical (low) gm quality.

The only bright spots were it got 23-25mpg, and had a ton of power for a 4, it had 3.73 gears.

Id hold out for a ranger
 


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