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Would you buy a 2003 Level II with 207,000 miles


Shran

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Is the truck in Pittsburgh...? Assuming near there since that's what your location is?

I'm not scared of high miles if the price is right...and being a rust belt truck... the frame especially better be in good shape.

Sometimes you get lucky. My buddy is trying to sell off his daughter's FX4 that has a bad trans. It has over 300k on it and no major rust.
 


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you say it has surface rust on the cab corners.... look that over really close, I would bet that it is deeper than surface rust and you are about to have cab holes in the corner. if the rust is slight, you can have the cab corners replaced but you are looking at a bit of expense, so price the truck accordingly.

AJ
 

85_Ranger4x4

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you say it has surface rust on the cab corners.... look that over really close, I would bet that it is deeper than surface rust and you are about to have cab holes in the corner. if the rust is slight, you can have the cab corners replaced but you are looking at a bit of expense, so price the truck accordingly.

AJ
Good point, mine went from the inside out.
 

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That's what I’m trying to narrow down. What is priced right? Assume everything is clean, normal maintenance, and light surface rust on corners of cab. It has a 3” body lift and 33” tires with life left.

Kbb claims fair market value on the truck would be between 5 and 8 thousand, and that's about what I'm seeing early 00's 4x4 rangers listed for locally.. but the trucks I'm seeing have 40-50k less miles on them.

You say the underside is coated... whats it coated with? I'd steer clear If it's been coated with the rubberized stuff. A crafty greaseball determined to sell their rust-bucket can hide quite a bit with the rubberized undercoating.. making it look infinitely more solid than it really is.

Common rot spots include, but are not limited to: bed supports, front of the bed, frame around rear spring hangers, frame where the gas tank strap slots in to, the spare tire cradle/crossmember thing, bottoms of the doors, rad support/header panel... just bring a flashlight and check everywhere really.
 

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You mentioned the underside was "coated". I'd be really really leery of that. If it's rubberized undercoating run away. People slap that crap on to cover rust that already exists and it simply continues to eat away at the truck underneath the coating. Salt and water build up under the rubber and it'll look great at first glance but you can poke your finger through it. The only way to correct the problem is to remove all the undercoating which is a nightmare job.

Now if it's been coated with something like fluid film or other wax/oil product the underside will tend to look oily and nasty but there won't be much rust.
 

tarheelpwr

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It is in Pitt - thanks for all the info on what to look for. This is my first used, high mileage vehicle.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Kbb claims fair market value on the truck would be between 5 and 8 thousand, and that's about what I'm seeing early 00's 4x4 rangers listed for locally.. but the trucks I'm seeing have 40-50k less miles on them.

You say the underside is coated... whats it coated with? I'd steer clear If it's been coated with the rubberized stuff. A crafty greaseball determined to sell their rust-bucket can hide quite a bit with the rubberized undercoating.. making it look infinitely more solid than it really is.

Common rot spots include, but are not limited to: bed supports, front of the bed, frame around rear spring hangers, frame where the gas tank strap slots in to, the spare tire cradle/crossmember thing, bottoms of the doors, rad support/header panel... just bring a flashlight and check everywhere really.
Replacement floorpans are not even made for the 98+ trucks either...
 

engine

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Nice looking is important. If it runs good I'd say go for it. You will have to own it a while to find out what it needs. 5K these days is not a lot for a car that looks nice, runs good, and is something you would enjoy to have.
 

tarheelpwr

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Nice looking is important. If it runs good I'd say go for it. You will have to own it a while to find out what it needs. 5K these days is not a lot for a car that looks nice, runs good, and is something you would enjoy to have.
I think it will all come down to how the rust looks.
 

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They're good shocks, absolutely.
 

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Yea they are great, they are just not "special" you can put bilstiens on any ranger and as been said, they wear out so at 200,000 miles I'd hope they have been replaced by now lol.

The torsen rear ends in the lvl 2 are not clutch style so they do not wear out as fast as the normal limited slip units. At 200k, provided it was cared for it is probably working as good as it did when new.

The transfer case in a 2003 lvl 2 should be manual shift which is nice since they are more reliable than the electric shift motors but don't technically function any better.

Other than that the differences are tires and trim.
 

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I recently paid $2200 for a 2003 with 240k miles. A regular 4x4 xlt, manual trans mission 4.0, not Fx4.
The bed was too far gone to fix and I just swapped it, needs new cab corners too, but the frame is fine.

How much more is the manual transfer case and Torsen diffs worth? I think I would have paid an extra 1k for the Fx4, but not more.


Whatever you spend, when you buy it, remember you are going to want to change all the fluids and the time chain tensioners, I think all the Fx4 are 4.0sohc, right off the bat. Plus in the first year of running it you will probably find a few other things that you'll want to replace, other people have already mentioned the shocks.
 

tarheelpwr

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I recently paid $2200 for a 2003 with 240k miles. A regular 4x4 xlt, manual trans mission 4.0, not Fx4.
The bed was too far gone to fix and I just swapped it, needs new cab corners too, but the frame is fine.

How much more is the manual transfer case and Torsen diffs worth? I think I would have paid an extra 1k for the Fx4, but not more.


Whatever you spend, when you buy it, remember you are going to want to change all the fluids and the time chain tensioners, I think all the Fx4 are 4.0sohc, right off the bat. Plus in the first year of running it you will probably find a few other things that you'll want to replace, other people have already mentioned the shocks.
That's where my head is price wise. He has it listed at $4200 or $4500, which I think is a bit optimistic. $3500 is more comfortable for me. The bed has a drop in bed liner which scares me too. I've heard horror stories about water being trapped and rust buckets underneath. I have a line on a good looking step side bed for $300 as well.

Would there be any issues swapping a flareside bed onto an FX4 II model? What is everyone's thoughts on flareside? Are they handy or annoying? I plan to put a camper top with storage for hunting/camping if this gets moving..
 

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