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Old 03-08-2011
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Advice on Buying $2000 Ranger

Hello Experts, I have a budget of around $2000 for a college student's vehicle to drive around town. I expect this means I'm looking for a 1st or 2nd gen Ranger with a hundred to two hundred k miles. My main interest is in reliability and reasonable repair costs if things break. Are there certain years/engine/trans configuration that are best or problematic? Are there common items I should look out for or repairs that should have been done?. Timing belt/chain intervals, etc? Any advice or help appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2011
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an xcab will be hard to find for only 2k, but not impossible .... i reccomend a 4cyl 2wd seeing as youre in texas ... they are great trucks, i had a 99 xcab 4cyl 2wd and the only reason i sold it was i was using it a lot and loading it way over capacity

checked your local craigslist and these sound promising

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/cto/2253724247.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/cto/2244176893.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/2220395389.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/2218098746.html

be sure to look for mazda b2300 and b2500's also as they are the same truck ... if you do decide you want a 6cyl, check b3000 and b4000 as well

the 4cyls are fairly bulletproof ... the 3.0l 6 likes to have the cam position sensor fail, and the 4.0l 6 if its a manual trans likes to go through slave cylinders.

edit: if airbags are a concern (im assuming they arent since you are looking at 1st gens, airbags were introduced in 95
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Old 03-08-2011
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Originally Posted by Melt View Post
.........be sure to look for mazda b2300 and b2500's also as they are the same truck ... if you do decide you want a 6cyl, check b3000 and b4000 as well

the 4cyls are fairly bulletproof ... the 3.0l 6 likes to have the cam position sensor fail, and the 4.0l 6 if its a manual trans likes to go through slave cylinders.

edit: if airbags are a concern (im assuming they arent since you are looking at 1st gens, airbags were introduced in 95
Thanks! You've helped me narrow my search to 4cyl and the airbag advice is appreciated, not a requirement but definitely a plus if I am comparing. And yes, I'm using Craig's list, I'll be looking further at the ones you listed, thanks. Any more opinions on benifits/concerns on certain year models or auto vs 5 spd? I assume manual will be cheaper.
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Old 03-08-2011
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main reason to go with the manual if youre going 4 cyl would be power and fuel economy

i wouldnt entirley discount the 3.0l if youre spending only spending 2k, but they do have a bit worse fuel mileage .... the main reason to stay away from the 4l would be the slave issues and the older ones (in your range) dont do great on gas ... my grandpa has a 95 4.0l 2wd xcab auto and it gets 17 tops ... he got a great deal, $2600 with 175k mi on it
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