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What's the best ranger by reliability from the range of 1993-2011?


WizardMower

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I noticed you're in Mass so rust is a concern just like NH. We sold 4x4's almost exclusively and didn't even stock 2wd trucks. I'd recommend away from a 98-99 with pulse vacuum hubs and avoid anything before 04 with the 4.0 sohc engine. To get a 7' box you'll have to buy a regular cab because all Super cabs were 6' boxes. I'd buy the best maintained used truck you can find. If you see a lube sticker from Jiffy Lube or the like, run.
Now did the late rangers have the manual lock hubs like the older F150s? I know how those work and that'd be perfect for me.
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: DE2235E7692E8C: July 5th, 2021

Blmpkn

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Southern maine
Vehicle Year
2010
Make / Model
Ford ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
235/75/15
Sell ya my old truck. Just needs some stupid stuff done for a sticker.. 2010 2.3 manual 140k, new 4.10 gears & Yukon lsd, flat bed, good mud tires... you wanna drive up here and get it (just north of Portland maine) id let it go for 1250. First owner was an old man from NH that had it dealer serviced, im the second owner.. and while I didn't have it dealer serviced I drove it like the first old man and changed the oil every 5k.

Its a good truck. Had all intentions of keeping it forever, but "new" hobbys required a bigger vehicle.

56585
 

WizardMower

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Sell ya my old truck. Just needs some stupid stuff done for a sticker.. 2010 2.3 manual 140k, new 4.10 gears & Yukon lsd, flat bed, good mud tires... you wanna drive up here and get it (just north of Portland maine) id let it go for 1250. First owner was an old man from NH that had it dealer serviced, im the second owner.. and while I didn't have it dealer serviced I drove it like the first old man and changed the oil every 5k.

Its a good truck. Had all intentions of keeping it forever, but "new" hobbys required a bigger vehicle.
I would buy it as it's the perfect spec and I could go up to maine, However I don't start drivers ed till july, And I most likely will purchase a ranger around october or november. (maybe earlier If I'm lucky) Though I should start saving cash now since I'm working again as a landscaper.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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How stiff is the clutch and gears? I Heard the late rangers (before getting out of market for 8 years) Had easy soft manual, I only ask because my mom has a older OBD1 F150 (OBS) And sometimes the gears are really hard to get into.
They are easy. Soft clutch, easy shifts. My F-150 will eat people alive, the transmission was thrashed by a previous owner and I put a stage 2 clutch in it. My manual RBVs are way more polite about shifting. The F-150 was built for work though, it was where I upgraded when I needed a bigger truck than my Ranger for work. 300 straight 6, 1 ton suspension, ZF-5 manual, etc. it’s a beast.
 

cbxer55

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1998
Make / Model
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3.0
Transmission
Automatic
The 3.0 V-6 is a chain drive cams. I've had my 98 since January 2000, it now has near 175,000 miles on it, never been torn down for any reason. Same with the automatic trans. I have changed the fluid and filter in the trans twice in that 21 years though. Same with the differential gear oil.
 

wildbill23c

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Location
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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
Honestly a lot of it depends on how the vehicle has been taken care of. You can buy an almost new car from someone with less than 50k on it and it could be completely trashed within that time....you could buy a million mile car from someone that's in pristine condition too, it all really boils down to how well its been cared for.

Buying used you are always at the mercy of the previous owner's abuse, neglect, etc.
 

RonD

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I think 2009 was the last year for the Long bed(7' box) Rangers, these were all Regular cab models
These have a different rear frame so its not possible so swap a 7' box onto a 6' box frame, unless you also swap rear frame section
Regular cab or extended cab Ranger both used the same 6' bed and are interchangeable

Either size box, 6' or 7' can be fitted with a bed extender, this gives you the folded down tail gate length added to bed length, tailgate is about 17" tall, so 6' bed would be close to 7.5' with tailgate down

There weren't alot of Long bed Rangers ordered every year, so finding canopies or tonneau covers can be tough, not a big market for 3rd parties to make them
Same for replacement beds if it gets damaged
So grain of salt


Yes, from about 1998 no 4x4 Ranger had a 4cyl option for the engine, all were V6 only
 
Last edited:

Dirtman

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2WD
Total Lift
It's up there.
Total Drop
It's down there.
Tire Size
Round.
I think this thread may beat many of my drunk posts for most likely to end with no logical conclusion.
 

wildbill23c

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
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Engine Type
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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
I think 2009 was the last year for the Long bed(7' box) Rangers, these were all Regular cab models
These have a different rear frame so its not possible so swap a 7' box onto a 6' box frame, unless you also swap rear frame section

Either size box can be fitted with a bed extender, this gives you the folded down tail gate length added to bed length

There weren't alot of Long bed Rangers ordered every year, so finding canopies or tonneau covers can be tough, not a big market for 3rd parties to make them
Same for replacement beds if it gets damaged
So grain of salt


Yes, from about 1998 no 4x4 Ranger had a 4cyl option for the engine, all were V6 only
Very few long bed Rangers ordered, obviously as there are a very scarce number of long bed camper shells in existence out there, as I've been trying to find one for my 87 long bed ranger LOL. Everything I've found doesn't fit a Ranger at all, the one I have now nobody seems to know what it fits, lady told me it came off a Ranger initially later said it came off a Toyota Tundra, it don't fit a Tundra, a T100, or a Tacoma. I think it may have actually come off a Jeep Comanche but don't have one around to get measurements off of, the shell I have is like 61 or 62 inches wide and about 90 or 91 inches long. I was going to cut it up to fit, but decided its not worth the effort, might just pickup one of those cross bed toolboxes and call it good LOL.
 

wildbill23c

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
How stiff is the clutch and gears? I Heard the late rangers (before getting out of market for 8 years) Had easy soft manual, I only ask because my mom has a older OBD1 F150 (OBS) And sometimes the gears are really hard to get into.
Clutches are very easy they're all hydraulic in the Rangers, even the 80's Rangers had hydraulic clutches. I have an 87 Ranger, clutch is pretty soft.

Hard to get into gear has nothing to do with how soft or hard a clutch is...that's a synchronizer issue most likely from someone shifting without the clutch, or downshifting at high speeds as it wears out the synchronizers pretty quickly. Another issue is a leaking master or slave cylinder will cause hard shifts too as it causes the clutch to not fully release making shifts difficult, and sometimes impossible like 1st or reverse at a stop type thing.

Even old trucks with non-hydraulic clutches aren't that hard to shift gears in and the clutch pedal isn't that hard to operate either.
 

RonD

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Very few long bed Rangers ordered, obviously as there are a very scarce number of long bed camper shells in existence out there, as I've been trying to find one for my 87 long bed ranger LOL. Everything I've found doesn't fit a Ranger at all, the one I have now nobody seems to know what it fits, lady told me it came off a Ranger initially later said it came off a Toyota Tundra, it don't fit a Tundra, a T100, or a Tacoma. I think it may have actually come off a Jeep Comanche but don't have one around to get measurements off of, the shell I have is like 61 or 62 inches wide and about 90 or 91 inches long. I was going to cut it up to fit, but decided its not worth the effort, might just pickup one of those cross bed toolboxes and call it good LOL.

Saw a Long bed that the owner used a 6' canopy on
He installed a 1' plate at the front and had spare tire and 2 jerry cans mounted between cab and canopy
Cab had slider you had to open to unlock cans and tire
Wasn't a bad looking setup, inventive, lol
 

Dirtman

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Vehicle Year
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Engine Type
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Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
It's up there.
Total Drop
It's down there.
Tire Size
Round.
@Grumpaw has been MIA but he probably has the last long bed made. His truck is identical to mine but with the 7 foot bed. Both 2009 white fleet trucks.

Personally I always thought the 7 foot beds looked weird on a ranger but they were obviously more useful.
 

wildbill23c

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
Saw a Long bed that the owner used a 6' canopy on
He installed a 1' plate at the front and had spare tire and 2 jerry cans mounted between cab and canopy
Cab had slider you had to open to unlock cans and tire
Wasn't a bad looking setup, inventive, lol
Been thinking of getting creative as well. Having the bed covered for the winter would be nice. Being able to store tools and stuff back there would be nice too, no room in the cab for anything if you have a passenger, which is why I have been trying to come up with a camper shell at least for winter use, a cross bed tool box would at least allow me to keep tools and such back there out of the weather and slightly more secure than just tossing them in the bed of the truck, especially for those trips to the pick a part yard. I don't bring tools in until I find something I need, then I run back to the truck and grab them, no use packing around a heavy tool box or tool bag if they don't have anything I need.

Sadly I found a camper shell at one of the pick a part yards last year didn't have the pickup with me, and the yard people won't help load anything anyways and I was by myself so I crossed it off. I was back in the yard a few weeks later, shell was still there but someone thought it be cute to destroy the latch rods on the back hatch of the shell and broke out the window, and a side window for not sure what reason, other than being assholes, common problem at the yards in my area. I just keep looking hoping to find a 7 foot shell one day but think I may look for a compact pickup cross bed toolbox until then.
 

19Walt93

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Location
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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?
Now did the late rangers have the manual lock hubs like the older F150s? I know how those work and that'd be perfect for me.
No hubs at all, the front end just spins all the time. We never replaced a front CV joint so apparently it worked OK. The early ones with automatic locking hubs were constant problems.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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Now did the late rangers have the manual lock hubs like the older F150s? I know how those work and that'd be perfect for me.
83-97 had either automatic or manual hubs and are not hard to convert to the other.

98-99.5 got vacuum lock hubs that were trash. I have seen some that were converted to manual hubs or to the later “live axle” design with no hubs. It’s easy to identify the vacuum lock hubs, pop a front center cap, if you see a big nut then there is no hub. If you see a big plastic gizmo in there that resembles some sort of auto hub, you are correct.

99.5 to end of production on the early Ranger line is without hubs.
 


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