I just picked up a 2003 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 5 speed for $4,200 at 116K miles. It's a little beat up but it does run. There is quite a bit of vibration but I think that is because tires need to be replaced which I am doing this week with a set of Firestone Destination A/T's.
My main concern is the rust. The cab is fine, the bed has a few holes that have completely rusted through. I was thinking of cutting a large rectangle out, spraying rust converter and then welding a steel panel in place then covering it with a plastic liner. The underside has rust also. I'm not sure what I should do about this.
I'm getting a few codes related to lean fuel mixture but the culprit is a PCV valve hose that the previous owner wrapped electrical tape around to "fix".
I have never owned a truck before so I'm really not sure if I got a good deal and if the condition of the truck is normal.
Your ranger looks good until the rust issue, looks pretty bad for an 03. Seems the previous owner didn't address it beforehand. Getting a new bed would be too costly, so i'd probably ask shops abt what they can do to repair the bed. I'd have the rust underneath cleaned out and coated to slow down to protect the metal from fully corroding from inside. Good luck with the repairs.