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


stmitch

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2000
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual
They're all going to be 10-30 years old now, so it will likely be a case by case situation.
In general, the most reliable engines tend to be the 4.0 OHV 2000 and older, the 3.0 up to 2009, or the 2.3 Duratec from 01+ (The older 2.3 and 2.5 Lima engines are reliable as well, but have a timing belt instead of a chain)
The manual is better than the auto for fun, fuel economy and longevity
4WD just adds weigh and more things to wear out and need repair, but if you need it, you need it

For a new driver, I'd prioritize the cost savings from fuel economy. Keep it simple. Keep it efficient. Keep it cheap. A Duratec/manual will be "enough" for most normal tasks while being the best option for daily driving stuff too. And it will probably save you a couple hundred bucks per year just in fuel compared to the V6 trucks:
 


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

19Walt93

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Location
Canaan,NH
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?
If you find a truck you like that has a LIma engine I wouldn't worry about the timing belt. They're easy to replace and the engines are not interference so if the belt breaks it doesn't damage anything. I personally don't like the 4.0 sohc because of their typical German, overcomplicated design but I bought 2 new trucks with sohc motors, drove them from 2004 until 2019 and had zero problems with them.
 

adsm08

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Location
Dillsburg PA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.50X15
1987 was the best year.
 

RonD

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canada
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1994
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And what day and month was your Birthday?
 

wildbill23c

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Location
Southwestern Idaho
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
@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.
It does look weird. The truck is narrow so the long bed makes the proportions of the truck look pretty out of place, but yep, the 7 foot bed helps a little when hauling building materials, but it makes snow use worse because of the very little weight over the rear axle, worse than the shorter bed trucks. The long bed Rangers should have come with weight hangers under the back of them to be able to install some sort of weights for winter LOL.
 

WizardMower

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And what day and month was your Birthday?
Well I was born in october 17, 05. But in the state of massachusetts I am eligible to start driver's ed in july, (15 years and 9 months) I Was hoping I could get a ranger around my birthday and work on it before I can completely drive alone.
 

racsan

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Location
central ohio
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3/140-4
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
225/70/15-winter. 235/75/15-summer
My credo
built, not bought
well , You could fill a tire with concrete & put it in the underneath carrier, its hell to get it up there but its out of the way and does put the weight where its most effective.
 

wildbill23c

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Location
Southwestern Idaho
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
well , You could fill a tire with concrete & put it in the underneath carrier, its hell to get it up there but its out of the way and does put the weight where its most effective.
Never thought about that, but would it be safe to have that tire on that carrier with that much weight?

Someone gave me an idea with a 6 foot camper shell and a spacer plate cover for the front 1 foot of bed space that wouldn't be covered which would house the spare tire, so that space under the bed would then be open to adding weights or using your concrete filled tire idea, I have a couple I could do that with pretty easily.
 

racsan

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Location
central ohio
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3/140-4
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
225/70/15-winter. 235/75/15-summer
My credo
built, not bought
Well when I did that , I also had a chain around the frame rails & through the wheel as a “safety “.
 

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
Well when I did that , I also had a chain around the frame rails & through the wheel as a “safety “.
Ahh ok, makes more safety sense now. I was thinking of all that weight on that not so well built carrier. I guess I could get the tire up there and secured with the carrier and then weld cross braces on it to the frame so it can't come down LOL....although some poor person somewhere down the line is gonna see that tire under there and go well I got a spare tire, uhh huh yep you do....and SURPRISE!!! when they go to release that carrier. I think the truck will head to the crusher long before anyone else would buy it anyways though...however, that concrete filled tire does sound like a great idea and its centered low under the truck out of the way compared to throwing stuff in the bed that would be in the way and have to be manually loaded and unloaded every time, no thanks LOL. The tire underneath in the carrier would be a great alternative.
 

Bird_man

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After my 02 Envoy got T-boned l decided l needed a small pickup to replace it. Tacomas are gold plated. Nissans are silver. l couldn't see an S10 in my yard. My daughter's husband has a Ridgeline. l just dont consider it a real truck. l cant even say the ''D'' word. Daddy always had Ford pickups when l was growing up. Never had any problems with them. That left the ''OLDER'' 2004-2011 Rangers. For the past several months l have looked/researched a Bazillion Ford Rangers on the net. l've seen them with as little as 35k to as much as 350k miles. From this keyboard bandit's observation all the engine motor combos seem equally distributed throughout the ones l have seen. l did go to my mechanic for advice. He has taken care of my vehicles for 15 years. He, along with the other mechanics said the sohc 4litre V6 is the most durable. ln unison they said to RUN away from the FLEX Fuel engines. My final choice was an 07 3ltr V6, 5sp manual, 77K miles.. @ age 75 l hope its the LAST vehicle l ever have to buy
 

gaz

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Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
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Engine Size
2.9l
Transmission
Automatic
1983.

I would build an 83 but using all the goodies that have been incorporated throughout the years, that have made Rangers and Explorers better.

It would be a difficult decision between a super fuel efficient 2.9 rebuild and a carbed 302 ☕☕☕🚬🚬🚬
 


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