Hi from Massachusetts
Just bought a 1998 Ranger 4wd at a good price as a 2nd vehicle (with better gas mileage than my comfortable Tahoe, which will see the driveway more now...I had to relax the mileage goals for a purchase to match what I liked). The previous owner only had the Ranger a few months (wrong size truck for his business), so it's gone through 2 owners prepping for sale within the year. 143k miles.
The PVH vacuum solenoid hoses were disconnected and plugged, the internal hubs were rusted, and the last owner thought the 4wd module didn't work (not true!). Still working through systems, but other than maintenance/restoring nothing major. Gear oil is coming out of the pinion seal (looks only recent), but not when stopped...I hope this was just an overfill and possible breather obstruction (the last owner "changed all the fluids" before sale). Anyways, this is providing recreational time working on it, and as a 2nd vehicle can stay awhile on jackstands awaiting parts or work. Tires, brakes all in good shape.
Still have to work through the P0401 code/DPFE check engine light issue to successfully get it past MA inspection, but I have another 50 days or so to finish that now (passed safety inspection, failed emission only because of prior check engine state). All the online ranger information has been VERY helpful.
I think I am atypical on the forum, having passed the big 5-0 mark a while ago. I remember offroad outfitting my first 4wd compact pickup 30 years ago (axle trusses, double shocks, larger tires, offroad light bar, and....)