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Old 09-10-2012
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02 vs 04, differences?

Hello,

I'm looking at getting an 02 ranger 4l 4x4, but the guys at work recommend the 04+ rangers. Anyone know the differences between the two?

Also, what kind of gas mileage are you guys getting? I've seen anywhere from 14-20 city.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-10-2012
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01-03 4.0Ls had problems with the timing chains tensioners. I believe 04 is when then had been fixed. I believe that would be the main reason. Other than that not too much different besides some wiring and cosmetic differences.
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Old 09-10-2012
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Originally Posted by vista4.0 View Post
01-03 4.0Ls had problems with the timing chains tensioners. I believe 04 is when then had been fixed. I believe that would be the main reason. Other than that not too much different besides some wiring and cosmetic differences.

That is some great information! The truck has 128K on it, and I don't believe the timing chain has ever been replaced. Just from a quick search on here and youtube, that is a very common problem? Should I be worried with the truck already having 128K on it? It is very clean inside and out...
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Old 09-10-2012
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The 01 4.0 SOHC Rangers were the ones with the greatest occurrence of the timing chain problem. Not so much in 02 but it still happened on some vehicles. My 4.0 SOHC is still good at over 140,000 miles. The biggest change after 02 is larger front disc brakes and thicker glass to help reduce wind noise but makes the vehicle a little heavier.

The larger front disc brakes is the most important change IMO. I was able to upgrade my brakes to get the kind of brake performance I need with towing a lot. I did this with top quality friction material and am very happy with the results. Other than that the 04 is basically the same.
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Old 09-10-2012
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Originally Posted by IN2 FX4 View Post
The 01 4.0 SOHC Rangers were the ones with the greatest occurrence of the timing chain problem. Not so much in 02 but it still happened on some vehicles. My 4.0 SOHC is still good at over 140,000 miles. The biggest change after 02 is larger front disc brakes and thicker glass to help reduce wind noise but makes the vehicle a little heavier.

The larger front disc brakes is the most important change IMO. I was able to upgrade my brakes to get the kind of brake performance I need with towing a lot. I did this with top quality friction material and am very happy with the results. Other than that the 04 is basically the same.
Also very good info, thank you very much!

I don't plan on towing much, if anything. Worst I would think would be throwing a motorcycle in the back occasionally or for moving. I wonder what the last build date for the defective tensioner was. Then I could look up the build date of the one I'm looking at and compare.
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Old 09-10-2012
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I know there has been some instances in 03 models
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Old 09-10-2012
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There have also been reported rare instances on 04 and later models. I don't know of any build date that indicates you could be assured of a better chain tensioner but it was supposedly resolved by 02. I think the chances of not having a problem with the chain tensioner is better with the 04 than the 02. That being said, I think the 02 is unlikely to have any problem under 200,000 miles. I plan to take mine to 300,000 miles or more before considering another vehicle. I bought mine in December of 2001, so it has a very early build date.
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Old 09-10-2012
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Originally Posted by boon93 View Post
Hello,

I'm looking at getting an 02 ranger 4l 4x4, but the guys at work recommend the 04+ rangers. Anyone know the differences between the two?

Also, what kind of gas mileage are you guys getting? I've seen anywhere from 14-20 city.

Thanks in advance!
Differences between the two:
Larger discs on the 04+
Less occurrence of timing change issues on 04+
More "defined" hood on 01-03 (04+ has the same design but not as raised)
different but very similar front end

I'm averaging 22.2MPG, city and highway combined and im running 33" mud terrains but i also have an economy tune.
make sure when you look at the tag on the door that under EXT PNT it says "E4"
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Old 09-10-2012
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Don't be scared by 01-03 4.0L's. My truck has 136K and is running great and there isn't any timing chain rattle. My truck has been regularly maintenance if that has anything to do with it.

I don't know what perpetuates the timing chain issue but it doesn't seem to be happening a whole lot, at least since I've been on the site
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Old 09-10-2012
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These guys have basically summed it up. Not much difference at all. I like the looks of the 2004+ however.
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Old 09-10-2012
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Again, good info. After the first post I was very worried about the timing chain. The truck is pretty much mint, and I really like it. I just already have a project car and don't want to be taking anything else apart extensively, so as long as there is a good chance it will last me awhile, I like my chances!
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Old 09-10-2012
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I have had my 04 for a little over a year now and it hasn't have me any problems. All I've replaced is the normal maintence things. I bought the truck with 70k and now I have 102k
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