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2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 12-15-2007
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Blooming Grove, NY
Posts: 12

I've cruised around this site looking at random posts and threads. I am a new member. I only recently made my introduction post.
Anyway, the 2.3 Rangers are cool. That's what I think. I am annoyed when people say they are wimpy. I mean, it's supposed to be a small truck. What do you expect? If you want a big truck, get a real f-series.
Also, I am annoyed that so many people think something is crap if it is more that 2-years old! If you do not appreciate older trucks, you are missing the whole point of trucks in general.
There is a certain satisfaction you get in knowing you can safely drive a vehicle with over 200K miles on it.
I was first introduced to Rangers when I borrowed a frenz 85 4cyl. It was 2wd and in poor condition. Not much for brakes. The 4-speed tranny could be seen moving left to right as per acceleration rate, through the rusted floor. Here in NYS everything is rusty, especially non-babied baby trucks.
The last vehicle I drove b4 that was an 87 Chevrolet Caprice Wagon, with overdrive and a 307 gm motor. A very nice car in its own right, but when you are young, the level of insulation between you and the road makes for a rather boring ride. Too comfortable, for lack of better words. The Ranger was such a piece of garbage in comparison, but the elemental, minimalist, utilitarian feel of the vehicle was incredibly appreciated.
Within a few months, I purchased my own 83 long bed, twin-tank 2.3 4spd. No power steering, brakes, windows, whatever. Everything was manual.
One of the great things about that truck was that the proportions allowed that you couldn't really tell it was a compact truck as long as nothing was parked next to it. The worn-out springs and blown shocks had the truck sitting level, with a slight ***-drop during acceleration. I think it actually helped with the winter traction!
My main gripe with the truck was it was very slow. Yeah, I lit a few patches once in a while, but the hills sucked.
The new (for me ) 96 Ranger is 4x4, 2.3 with a 5 spd. I didn't think the twin plug head, fuel injection and factory header would be that big of a deal, but it is. Sure, acceleration is still agricultural-grade. But there is no trouble getting that truck into to 90mph range. I commute with it, hitting the 95 cutt-off at least once a week. Pity about that cutt-off. Sure, there are all kinds of negative things to be said about me for admitting my illegal activity, but I know the time will come when the roads I navigate will be impossible to travel on at any great speed. SO I might as well enjoy it while I can.
BTW, Ford sould be AHSAMED of the MPG's in this truck. My V-8 wagon, and my old 4.9 F100 got better mpg's , with motors over twice the size!
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Old 12-15-2007
graniteguy's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,221
Sounds like mpg may be effected by your right foot.
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Old 12-16-2007
bruiser's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: lp,Texas
Posts: 482
mpg...pfft i get 26+ with your big brother the 2.5L dual plug so im using more fuel but i still get good gas mileage
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Old 12-16-2007
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Blooming Grove, NY
Posts: 12

In my last post I did not mean to insult any owners of v-6 Ranger. It's just that most people look at me like I'm insane when i tell them I actively sought out a 4cyl. I just prefer 4cly version, regardless of missing performance. Might have a bit to do with ease of labor, but there are other reasons too lengthy to discuss.
Hey, regarding my lead foot, u r right about that. But, I am surprised the truck goes this fast. My 83 could barely hit 70, and it had fewer miles on it.
My mpgs are not horrible, but it does surprise me that a V8 could do better.I realize that the displacement doesn't matter as much when you are spinning it at twice the RPM's (3000 for the 2.3, 1500 for the v8), but it should count for something. I don't think the Ranger is very heavy. Well, it can't be if a 2.3 can get it to 95mph. MAybe having an open bed might have something to do with it.
Even if I'm driving the limit, it's at almost 3K. Seems to like that area. It hits a flat spot at around 1900. If I'm going to drive it at any lower rpms, I may as well get an automatic.
(I once drove a fenz 6-cyl Ranger in auto. I felt like getting out and walking. IMO a 4cyl auto should have never been made, except maybe for parking lot security use)
I am not bragging about how fast I am driving. But I am appreciative of how fast i CAN drive. I pass Porsches, Mustangs, Crossfires, etc, daily on my 30 mile commute. I do wonder why the hell you would get a sports car if you are just going to get passed by a 4cyl pickup.
The 4x4 mode works well. Low is a godsend. Actually, i think this is the best vehicle I've driven off-road. Well, it is the only 4x4 i've driven off-road, so maybe that is not a fair statement. My Geo Storm did pretty well considering what it was. The Escort wasn't too bad either, until i smashed the motor on a rock. Anyhoo, I drove this thing stock through some serious mud. I was in 2wd when it got stuck. The mud was to the axle line. I really thought i'd have to get my tow strap out, but some patience and judicious rocking in 4wd low got her back to dry land. A very cool experience considering it is bone-stock. Took a long time to clean, though.
Four wheel high had me in the passing lane, floating over several inches of slush on the NYS Thruway I-87 this week. Cruising at a cool 30-45 when everyone else was chumping along at 20. Except the buick that was tailgating me.
BTW I've driven my 2wd 83 Ranger off road, and pretty much everything else I've owned. I even like the newer 2wds and they are probably better on mpgs and handling for the street. For off road, I think they could benefit from taller wheels, and L/R e-brakes. I don't know if they have these for Rangers, but they make these e-brakes for the VW dune-buggies. When you get stuck, you can crank the brake on the slipping wheel in an attempt to make the traction wheel spin. BOTH of my farm tractors came stock with this feature. It works! If the system can get an unsuspended 65-year-old tractor out of the mud, why wouldn't it work on a 2wd truck? And just think of the donuts you could do!
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Old 12-17-2007
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elizabeth City, NC
Posts: 767
I like the way you think.

Welcome to Ranger-Forums.

That is all.
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