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Old 01-15-2007
reelfishin's Avatar
I am: Joe .
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I have worked on both engines when I was still working at the dealer. I would not own the 4.0 SOHC engine.

It amounts to this;
The 3.0L has less to break, is easier to work on if the need does arrise.

The 4.0L makes more power, but is harder to service and I have seen several cam and timing chain failures which led to catastrophic engine failures. All were just out of warranty, although none really looked all that well maintained.

The 3.0L most likely will get slightly better but similar milage, that will depend on your driving. I would most likely get better milage out of the 3.0L, but if your heavy footed, they will be close.

If your goal is to have a fast truck and use it for towing heavy loads, the 4.0 may be for you.

If you plan to keep it for a long time and don't care about a few less horsepower and want some peace of mind reliability, go with the 3.0L.

I would also only buy the manual trans, I am not very fond of the 5R55 trans either. In my opinion it's too light duty for the application, and the manual takes less horsepower to turn.

For those of you who are taking votes on the all around longest lasting engine, I would have to say it's a toss up between the 240/300 Ford 6 cylinder, and the Chrysler 225 Slant 6.
I just sold a 1988 Ford van with it's original 300ci six cylinder, with nearly 400,000 miles on it and it's still going strong.
I would also have to put the 2.3L OHC in the running too, but the 300 is a much stronger engine that requires less maintenance and makes more power.
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Old 01-15-2007
EljayK004's Avatar
I am: Johnny K
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
Vehicle: 2005 Ford Ranger FX4 Level II
Posts: 224
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As one who has owned both the 3.0 and the 4.0, I guess I'm fairly qualified to enter this debate. Anyone who doesn't notice the difference in power is kidding themselves. I had a '93 4x4 std cab/short bed with a 3.0L and 4 speed auto with 3.73 gears and 31's. To get the 31's spinning was a chore and a half. I got 17.6 MPG in all 'round driving (80% city). I now own a '05 ext cab/short bed with a 4.0L and the 5 speed auto with 4.10s and 31's. The truck actually has enough power to get out of it's own way. I can actually hit the gas while on the freeway to pass someone and something happens unlike in the 3.0L. Oh yeah, and I get 17.8 MPG in all 'round driving (again about 75-80% city). As for reliability, my 3.0 had 189,000 on it with some sort of coolant issue when i got rid of it. I beat the hell out of that truck for 134,000 miles and the engine NEVER complained. The tranny on the other hand, well let's just say DO NOT EVER tow more than 3,000 pounds with that combo (thanks dad).

Johnny K

Metro Detroit, Michigan

2005 Ranger FX4 Level II
Nothing else worth mentioning

I take pictures, lots of pictures...
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Old 01-15-2007
jeffysno's Avatar
I am: jeff snollins
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: jacksonville, florida
Vehicle: 07 Sport 4.0
Posts: 21
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You told us the 3.0 held up great with 189k on it, but how is the 4.0 running? In your opinion, as reliable?
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Old 01-15-2007
IronRanger92's Avatar
I am: Steven .
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SC
Vehicle: 1995 Ranger 4x4
Posts: 244
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150k miles on my ranger, and it still pulls, gets up to speed, and drives great. I love the 3.0L, nearly the best motor ever produced by ford in reliability. And to be honest, Not sure why people say its slow, I have a fairly heavy foot but it sure as hell gets up to speed when i want it to. Thats with the 31's and 4.10s
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Old 11-23-2010
I am: Guy Quigley
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Round Rock
Vehicle: 2002 Ford Ranger XLT
Posts: 484
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I know this is a very late reply but for those looking at the info now, this may help. I have an '02 XLT with only 160,000 miles on my 4.0. It still runs great and all I did for it right now is cut the bottom off of the air box to get more air into the engine. I don't do any offroading so I am not worried about getting any water into the engine. I get an average of 19.78 mpg which is not bad. I have gotten as high as 23 mpg but I like the power of the engine too much! Synthetic oil will help with mpg's as well and be better for your engine in the long run. You can opt for an electric fan which may help and I hope to one day soon get a flex fan since I sit in traffic some because it will be less wear on the water pump bearings and puts out alot more air throught the radiator than stock. It may not be everyones answer to their preferences and such but keep looking here on the forums and you should fine what you need.
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Old 11-23-2010
The SuperDookie Ranger's Avatar
I am: Zach Chandler
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Ranger Lv II
Posts: 817
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Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
Now, does it HAVE to be a ranger engine???

Well, imo the most reliable and longest lasting engine would have to be a 292 inline 6. Or a early ISB Cummins.
Agreed, and very true
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