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  #1  
Old 11-19-2005
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4x4 or Fx4 Level II?

Looking into getting a newer Ranger 4x4. I had a '97 but now have a '88 F-150 beater. Time for something better.

I like the looks and the idea behind the Level II Ranger. The tires, limited slip diff, tow hooks, ect. all look and sound good to me. Resale wise this package does hold it's value compared to a plain 4x4.

Either way I go, I want a 01 and newer. Is that the year the Ranger got the big mods>OHC 4.0 and 5-speed auto? A 2000 has the old push rod engine right?

I could add a limited slip, bigger ties, ect. to a 4x4 Ranger, but how much $$ are we looking at? Of those out there with them, how you do like your Level II Ranger? Thanks. Adam
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Old 11-19-2005
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I got an XLT because I plan on adding an air locker (much better than stock) and adding bigger tires. It keeps the price down plus you get to build your truck how you want it.
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Old 11-19-2005
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i had a 2003 FX4, which was a glorified ORP, not the level 2. i really liked it. Whether or not you decide to spend the extra dough on the level 2 is up to you, you get different wheels, that you would probably change if you were a serious offroader. shocks that have a bilstein sticker on them, that would probably need replacing anyway if you buy it used, a 31 spline rear end, which IS a good plus, and the torsen LS, which is good too, but you could buy a locker too and put it in a regular one.

personally, and especially used, i dont think the level 2 is worth the money, but, since it will be used, you may find a good deal on a level 2 and there is no reason NOT to get one, i just dont think the small additions warrant the higher price tag. at least new
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Old 11-19-2005
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The 4.0 SOHC was introduced in 2001 but the 5-speed was in the Ranger before that. The Level II as such came out in 2003 but there was an almost identical truck in 2002 and its name was FX4 Off-Road. However, 2003-on FX4 Off-roads are different from 2003+ Level II's.

I like my Level II - a lot!
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Old 11-19-2005
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right I agree. the difference between a 4 door 4x4 and a Lvl2 is like $3,000 thats alot of dough to dump.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2005
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[chant] Level II! Level II! Level II! [/chant]
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Old 11-19-2005
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Well, I have a 2002 FX4, which is the same as the 2003 Level II's. I've got the 5 speed Manual in mine, and I love it. it also has the Manual Transfer case, which is a Definitate plus in my book. I've got everything that the 2003 Level IIs do, minus the level two stickers. Its a VERY nice truck. I payed $14,000 for mine with 37K on it. I can post pics if you want. I really like the interiors of the FX4 LII's too, they are very diifirent from the regular XLTs.
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Old 11-19-2005
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I had the truck you see in my sig, but alas, she rolled 3 times and is no longer with us. I'm going to be upgrading to a 2002 FX4 Off-Road (2003+ Level II equivalent). It's a great "as stock" package. Between the upgraded interior, shocks, axle, tire, etc, it's like buying a mildly custom truck from Ford! You can find great deals on used ones, and I think it's definitely worth looking in to.
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Old 11-19-2005
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keep the 88 F-150 :)
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2005
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If you have the means get an '03 Level 2. auto or manual is your preference. You will not be disappointed. most dealers don't know what they are because only a few pricing guides have the package in them. Only nadaguides and carsdirect from what i could fine.
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2005
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I found a red 02 Ranger Fx4 OFF ROAD (same as level II) with 33,000 miles for $14,000. Thing that I don't like, no CD player. Kinda odd, maybe owned by an older gent with no need for a CD player? The seats have a crazy black and white cow-like print on them. I prefer the blue or red solid color.

Is 14K too much or in the ball park for this truck? I have not drove it yet but it should be sound will only 33K.

Also, how come just the 3.0 has the E85 option? I would love to save some $$ at the pump and support my local corn farmer. Thank you. Adam
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Old 11-20-2005
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Chris I just asw the pics of your '06 (I am still drooling) very nice. What all are you planing to do to it. It is muy perty!
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Old 11-20-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpartsman99
I found a red 02 Ranger Fx4 OFF ROAD (same as level II) with 33,000 miles for $14,000. Thing that I don't like, no CD player. Kinda odd, maybe owned by an older gent with no need for a CD player? The seats have a crazy black and white cow-like print on them. I prefer the blue or red solid color.

Is 14K too much or in the ball park for this truck? I have not drove it yet but it should be sound will only 33K.

Also, how come just the 3.0 has the E85 option? I would love to save some $$ at the pump and support my local corn farmer. Thank you. Adam
The 03-up FX4 LII's have the red or blue inserts; the 02 FX4-OR have the pattern.

All LII's originally came with a dual media CD/tape player standard, upgradable to other options at extra cost on later versions. I thought the 02 FX4 also came with the dual media HU standard - maybe it has been changed out or maybe I'm wrong (again!).

The FFV option is usually limited to one or sometimes two engine families per year. At first it was 3.0 Taurus which has been available as an FFV the most years, then the 3.0 Ranger FFV was added from 99~03 on certain models. Ford started to shift emphasis to the 4.0L on the Explorers and Sport Tracs for a few years beginning in 2002. For 2006, the concentration seems to be on the 4.6L V8 in the Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car and, later in the model year, the F150.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2005
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How well does the torsen limited slip work on the Level II Rangers? Lets say....if I ever had the desire to do so.....could I make two black marks on the hyway instead of just one? Not saying that activity is high on my to-do list, it would be nice to have a truck thats not a one-wheel wonder. Thanks Adam
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpartsman99
How well does the torsen limited slip work on the Level II Rangers? Lets say....if I ever had the desire to do so.....could I make two black marks on the hyway instead of just one? Not saying that activity is high on my to-do list, it would be nice to have a truck thats not a one-wheel wonder. Thanks Adam
I'd say it worked pretty well going up this hill today........


...the hill in the right side of photo that is. I used 4-hi for it. There was a hill I climbed on the way back into town that was about 5-7 degrees more steep than the hill at right. It was a quite loose gravel hill; needed 4-lo. I have a 1.75 inch t-bar crank on my truck and just slightly touched on my front skid and valence to approach the more steep hill straight head on. I'll get pics next week of me on this hill. I plan on going back to this area during Thankgiving break.
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  #16  
Old 11-21-2005
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I'm not intimately familiar w/ how these models stack up on the used market, but in '03 when I bought my truck I found my LII for just $1000 more than the equivalent FX4 (non LII) sitting next to it on my dealer's lot. For $1000, it seemed like a no-brainer.

The 'must-haves' on my list were, cruise, 4x4, manual trans, and 4-door supercab. To get those items I was pretty much limited to the FX4 or the LII. I test drove several FX4's and was just somehow disapointed. One day after a test drive I pulled the FX4 into the lot right next to the silver LII that eventually became mine. Once I realized that the LII was only $1000 more, I took it for a ride. I was in love.. the seats, the trick shifters, the ride quality, the look of the nice wheels.. I figured the beefier rear end and manual t-case was just insurance. I figured they'd last longer and be easier to maintain than the 'lesser' equivalents.

So from where I stood, the '03 LII was one helluva buy over the FX4. Although the base XLT 4x4 didn't even make my radar.

As for the usefulness of the torsen, I think it's great. I do a lot of street miles, w/ a fair amount of (sometimes heavy) snow and some occasional fun in the dirt/mud. I think the torsen is fantastic. I can easily leave a set of two, nice straight black patches on the pavement.. If you're a mild off-roader in search of something highly streetable, I think the torsen is an excellent choice.

My truck has a touch of everything in it. It is a comfortable, almost luxurious ride around town. It's capable of some nearly 'spirited' fun on the twisty back-roads, and it just eats up mild off-roading and deep snow.
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  #17  
Old 11-21-2005
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How difficult do y'all think it would be to recover the 02 seats with a red or blue insert? The cow print IS a bit funky.
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  #18  
Old 11-21-2005
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Anything's possible.. although I wonder if it would be cost effective. You might be able to buy the covers from Ford. Although I'm sure their expensive and difficult to install.. Or you could find some JY'ed seats. If I had an '02 I'd probably go w/ some aftermarket seat covers instead. Probably cheaper AND easier in the long run..

Actually, I'd probably stick w/ the cow-pattern. I've never seen it in person. But it doesn't look THAT offensive to me. .. Or maybe I'm just not picky.
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2005
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I like the Cow Pattern on mine. Its WAY diffirent then everyone elses.

Also, if you buy an 02, you can always fake the newer 03 by buying the Level II stickers from Ebay, thats what I'm doing! :)
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  #20  
Old 11-21-2005
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A good points spoken here. I did alittle off-roading with my '97 with an open rear diff. I also just had 30x9.5x15 tires. I know a level II could do alot more. Also...lots of Rangers in town, zero Level II's that I am aware of. Would be nice to have something alittle differnt.
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2005
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There are a TON around here. In '03 when I was out shopping there seemed to be one in stock at every dealership I went to.. all w/ manual trans'. In fact immediately after I bought mine we noticed somebody at the apartment complex next to my buddy's bought one exactly like mine. He commented on it all the time. I've seen several LII's around town..
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Old 11-21-2005
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sure just sit there and rub it in why dont ya!
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
In '03 when I was out shopping there seemed to be one in stock at every dealership I went to.. all w/ manual trans'.
LII's were hard to find here, especially in manual transmission. I had to have mine dealer traded from another state.
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  #24  
Old 11-22-2005
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My dealer had an '04 LII w/ MT back in stock to replace the '03 they sold me by my second waranty repair visit.. Of course it was an '04, so no manual t-case.

In fact the manual trans was one of the reasons I went w/ the LII. I wanted a manual, and many of the other 4x4's they had were either stripped or equipped w/ the AT. Most of the FX4's (non LII's) I saw had the auto. Meanwhile I don't recall ever seeing an LII w/ an auto.

Portsmouth Ford even had two LII's in stock.. But then they stock a bazillion Rangers. They had at least one Thunderbolt too! I sent a kid from Maine to Portsmouth because he was looking for a good price on an LII. Although I think he ended up special ordering his in the end.
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  #25  
Old 11-22-2005
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Purchased my '00 4.0L 4dr 5 speed w/ ORP in January with 53K for $12K. Did some research about the Torsen l/s and decided to install a Detroit TruTrac l/s.
Looking forward to seeing how well the Ranger will do during the next snow when I go to the mountains around Christmas.

OR 4x4
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