3.0? or 4.0? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2012
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3.0? or 4.0?

ok im going to start a war here. i kno there are die hard 3.0 fans, and die hard 4.0 fans. so lets hear it from both sides. rules: facts only. no foul arguing. just factual statements from both sides. have at it!
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2012
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Uh I am gonna throw my hat in the ring for the 3.0. Granted when I bought my truck it was advertised as a 4.0 and by the time I drove that far it wasnt a deal breaker. Turns out I like the 3.0. I dont have a use for a 4.0 and in central PA a 2.3 isnt gonna cut it on some of the hills. And just a weird observation but there seems to be a lot less 3.0 issues than 4.0 issues on this forum
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2012
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i love my 4.0 SOHC...i drove my friends 3.0 4wd ranger and it was a complete dog and he got the same mileage i do with my 4.0...the 3.0 isnt a bad motor it was never meant to be in a truck...its a car motor not a truck motor
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2012
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If you get the truck loaded up mine as well get the biggest engine. She may be thirsty but she's the best. I have had no issues involving the engine. The 3.Slo is useless can hardly keep up with me and I've driven a couple 2.3s and love how they are nutty little revvers. But the 2.3 has no ***** like the 4.GO
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04RangerDave View Post
If you get the truck loaded up mine as well get the biggest engine.
yea mine has pretty much every option except 3 or 4
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2012
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Originally Posted by djfllmn View Post
yea mine has pretty much every option except 3 or 4
I don't have
Power windows
Locks
Cruise
Options for sissies

Last edited by 04RangerDave; 02-04-2012 at 07:22 AM. Reason: Added info
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2012
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Originally Posted by 04RangerDave View Post
I don't have
Power windows
Locks
Cruise
Options for sissies
lol i have all of that...the only ones i dont have are

lvl 2 pkg
auto trans
full length console
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2012
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I've had 3.0, 4.0OHV and 4.0SOHC. I like the 4.0 OHV the best. More grunt down low where a truck needs it. Simple, cheap parts. 3.0 was ok but lacked power to tow much. 4.0SOHC has good midrange and topend power, but lacks grunt where I need it. I had the 3.0 in a 2wd and both 4.0s in 4wd. All got about the same fuel mileage.
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2012
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ok i'll throw in on this as well, i am a 3.0 fan. very reliable motor, yet gutless. not a powerful motor but it is very reliable. very good for a daily driver. now it does not get good gas milage, but it is still good enough for a dd
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2012
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I had the 3.0 for a while. even with 4.10's it lacked any real power i needed for towing(actually wasn't even that much either)

since then i dropped the 5.0 v8 in, same mileage but a lot more power. i can't complain.
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2012
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They are both junk. I vote 3.0 cause it's cheaper.
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2012
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ive got a vote for the 2.3 lol
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxguy1987 View Post
There's really no comparison. The 4.0 wins hands down ... weather it's the 4.0 OHC or the 4.0 SOHC.
The 3.0 should never have been put in a truck or a RWD vehicle. The only people that will defend the 3.0 in the Ranger are the ones that are just stuck with them.
Partly right. 4.0 > 3.0, but I wouldn't say the 3.0 is useless, mine has no problem cruising comfortably at 80mph, and gets around 20mpg. I only had it loaded up once so far, about 900 pounds of scrap metal in the bed, and it still did 80 fine. It's the cheaper option, and gets the job done. If my truck was my only vehicle, I would have sprung for the 4.0(actually I would sprung for a non-ranger). But for a cheap workhorse truck, the 3.0 ain't bad.
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2012
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argee, 3.0 isnt bad, good dd. but the 4.0 is faster. 3.0 holds its own tho
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2012
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I am gonna say 3.0... I've read of far more problems with the 4.0

Also, changing the plugs on a 4.0 is a royal PITA. You can't even fit your hand in between the heater box and the valve cover.

I've heard many a story about people beating the hell out of their 3.0 and still not being able to make it break. Well, they sometimes blow the head gaskets or crack a head, but at least you don't have to worry about the bottom end.

I see more 4.0 engines for sale on CL, almost all have some sort of problem, usually a knock in the lower end. Haven't seen a 3.0 Vulcan with a major problem on CL yet though.

Either way, if you blow it up and decide you want to go bigger, a 302 is only a couple of steps away... gonna need to know that it might be a bit tighter fitting.
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2012
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I've only driven 4.0ohv's and the 3.0, of the two I prefer the 3.0. The 4.0 didn't feel much if any stronger than the 3.0, and I think the gearing is to blame. The 3.0's I've driven were 4.10 or 3.73's equipped, not sure what the 4.0's had, but it had to be 3.27's or something close.

The 3.0 is a great engine, keep the rev's up and it performs well. I live in very mountain laden country and my truck has no problem pulling steep grades loaded or unloaded.
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996DangerRanger View Post
I am gonna say 3.0... I've read of far more problems with the 4.0

Also, changing the plugs on a 4.0 is a royal PITA. You can't even fit your hand in between the heater box and the valve cover.

Either way, if you blow it up and decide you want to go bigger, a 302 is only a couple of steps away... gonna need to know that it might be a bit tighter fitting.
Changing plugs on any of them is quite easy really. Use the correct tools and your hands will always be above the valve covers.
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2012
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4.0 FTW... Not overly impressed with the power it has, so I can't even imagine the 3.slow
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2012
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My 3.0 is not power house by any means but it seems reliable.
I guess i've driven too many v8 powered pintos and monzas.
150+ in a 2500lb car designed for no more than 85mph is quite sobering!
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  #20  
Old 02-22-2012
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I've had 2 different Ranja power plants. The 4.slow Oh Holy Vajesusimslow and the 3.slow.

My Explorer runs the 4.0 OHV and is an auto with stupid low gearing. it's slow, steady, and torquey enough to go almost anywhere I want. Only time I didn't have enough juice was in a mud hole (dumbass) that was no bigger than a puddle (look in the build thread. There is a pic...)

My RubiRanja or D-Ranged also ran a 4.0 OHV backed by a 5 speed and almost stupid low gearing in it. When the truck was bone stock (yes, there was a time) the power was fine. When I started ----ing with it, bye bye power. The lift and 35's were not too bad, about 15mpg and super steep hills would be about 35-45 on the interstate. 37s and 456s?? Ha! 11-13mpg, overheating issues, 10-30mph on steep hills, but I could run normal speed on flat ground in cool tempatures or in stop and go and have no issues. With 33's and 456s, did pretty good everywhere but the interstate as 70 mph were turning some high Rpms. Mileage went to 17-18mpg

Now my little red Ranja has the 3.0 and a manual. Bone stock other than the gangster exhaust the PO installed. 26 mpg with the old rear end (assume 3.73) and about 20 with the new. It's just a 2wd reg cab so it really isn't a comparison to the 4.0HV in D above. It does have enough power to get out of its own way, but I doubt it would pull a loaded car trailer up a steep incline. It's an awesome little motor for what it is.

I also have had a 2wd 4.0 5speed that was quick. Like 14-15s in the 1/4 mile. That's cool and all, but if I were buying a truck to haul the mail, it'd be a lightning, not a Ranger.

For DD Little Truck Duties that Rangers and S10s and so forth I would say any of the 3 engines are fine. Is one better than the other? Probably. Is it worth the price difference if there is one? Not likely
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  #21  
Old 03-09-2012
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I've owned a 5.0 Exploder, a 4.0 2WD Ranger, and a 3.0 4WD Ranger.

IMO, the 5.0 is the way to go, but since we're talking about engines available in the Ranger, here's my thoughts:

3.0 sucks for towing or accelerating, but it seems to be way more durable. I have 250K miles on mine, and it's still going strong.

4.0 is far better for it's performance, easy to work on, and still pretty solid, but I haven't seen any get the same life that a lot of the 3.0's get.

I'll second Vohanson's statement about the mileage between the 5.0 and the 3.0, as I average 1 MPG more out of my 3.0 Ranger than I did with my 5.0 Exploder, but it had much smaller tires. With the same tires, I'm sure the 5.0 would get better mileage.
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  #22  
Old 03-09-2012
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3.0 isn't bad at all with the right mods.
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2012
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Originally Posted by Prerunner-Ranger View Post
3.0 isn't bad at all with the right mods.
What Mods would that be ?? Mine has 296K on it and I'm thinking of doing some mods, prolly rebuild the lower end (heads done already) and the trans.

I also have access to a 4.0 from a 2000 Explorer. HIgh mileage so I need to build either one. I'm thinking the 4.0 is the way to go, it's already got more HP.
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  #24  
Old 03-10-2012
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Originally Posted by etemplet View Post
What Mods would that be ?? Mine has 296K on it and I'm thinking of doing some mods, prolly rebuild the lower end (heads done already) and the trans.

I also have access to a 4.0 from a 2000 Explorer. HIgh mileage so I need to build either one. I'm thinking the 4.0 is the way to go, it's already got more HP.
Intake/Exhaust, Underdog Pullies, 4:56s, Tuner from Rogue Performance, and some premium gas.
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  #25  
Old 05-09-2012
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I vote for the 3.0 V-6, because that's what I have. If I had a 4.0 V-6, I'd
probably vote for that.

I wish working on these engines was as easy as that on my old Triumph TR-3.
Lots of room around it!

pw2buz
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