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  #1  
Old 01-31-2006
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FX4 vrs FX4 level II

I have decided that tomorrow I am going to buy a new 06 Ranger 4X4. The Truck I have pretty much made my mind up on buying is the Ranger supercab FX4. Is there any benifit in getting the Ranger FX4 level II? There is one available with leather seats. Do you guys know much about this or is there not much difference. I know the tires and rims are different and Both trucks in the lot have the power group. I know it's an option on the FX4 level I. Any Feed Back is helpful!! --BOB--
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Old 01-31-2006
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LVL II = manual transfer case
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Old 01-31-2006
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better shocks on the level 2
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2006
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Sorry the new L2 are not manual transfer cases, that went out with the 04 model year. Leather, full skid plate package, bilstein shocks, not sure what else.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2006
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Torsen Limited Slip, 31 Spline 8.8" Rear End, the exterior, obviosly, Stiffer Torsion bars (if I remember correctly).

I think there is more, but thats all I can think of now.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2006
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if you are going off road get the Level II
better suspension - tires - rims - traction - full skid plates
these are things that really count off road
you can get leather in most any truck as it is a seperate option - rare though
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2006
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Well The FX4 is a great package (essentially the old 4X4 Off-road package) They come with a standard limited slip (at least in 04) But in my opinion the Level II is the ultimate stock Ranger! Get a stick, they come with a cool chrome shifter (unfortunatly I missed the manual shift 4X4 with a chrome shifter by a year :( ) It has Bilstein Shocks and stiffer torsion bars. As you have already mentioned it has the Alcoa rims which are forged aluminum so they are tough as nails, and the BFG's are great tires. Mine has a two tone set of seats which at least in 04 you could only get on a Level II. as already stated it has the torsen rear diff which has helped me out of a sticky situation at least a time or two. If you can swing I would opt for the ultimate Ranger!

Here is the bada$$ shifter!

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Old 01-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph
Torsen Limited Slip, 31 Spline 8.8" Rear End, the exterior, obviosly, Stiffer Torsion bars (if I remember correctly).

I think there is more, but thats all I can think of now.
and 4.10 gears. a better resale value which = a higher price to buy it new. i would get it if i were you but i always believe get what you want that way you dont regret it in a few months.
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Old 01-31-2006
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If you have the extra $1000 or more, depending on your dealer, GO FOR IT. I would have gotten an '04 FX4 LII but I wanted 0% apr and a lower monthly payment so I settled for my mucho late model '03 which I bought in '04...thus a super deal...

So what does that tell you, IF you can afford it, DO IT!
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2006
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The Level II is certainly worth the small price increase over the FX4. Get the Level II
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkb3
LVL II = manual transfer case
Not since 2003 homes.. and even then the manual t-case only came on trucks equipped w/ the manual trans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HAZZARDJOHN
Well The FX4 is a great package (essentially the old 4X4 Off-road package)
That's true, the 2003-on FX4 package is essentially the 2002 or earlier ORP. But the 2002 FX4 or 2003-on FX4 Level II package is more. As you outlined it includes the beefier axle, differential, wheels/tires, shocks, and in some cases a manual t-case.

I drive a 2003 FX4 Level II. I bought mine from dealer stock in July of 2003. My must-haves for a new truck were: 4-door supercab, 4WD, manual trans, cruise control and keyless entry. I also wanted to shop from dealer stock. In 2003, in my region, that basically meant I was limited to either the FX4 or the FX4 LII packages. In the end I chose the LII because it was marketed as being more robust, which I read to mean more reliable. The price difference from my dealer was about $1000. For me that seemed well worth it.

Now I've since had several problems w/ my truck. The two biggest problems have been issues w/ the clutch (common to all Rangers) and problems w/ the manual transfer case (unique to the 2002 FX4/2003 FX4 LII packages). I find that especially ironic as the manual transfer case was marketed as a means to improve reliablility! It is my personal belief that Ford eliminated the manual tcase starting in 2004 because of the issues I and other owners had. The manual t-case was ONLY available on a very specific package/equipment combination. This means it was only featured on a very small percentage of the Ranger's produced. I believe this is why it got a fairly limited amount of attention.

So, now that the-in my opinion poorly designed-manual t-case is removed from the package, I'd say go for it if you have the means. The axle is a slight modification of the parts installed on F150's (cut down) and earlier model Explorers (except w/o the disc brakes). Rumor has it that the axle is nabed directly from the South American Ranger, which has had a 31-spline axle for years. So unlike the fancy manual t-case, that isn't a newly designed part. Teh rest of the 'upgrades' are either off-the shelf pseudo OEM components or simple bolt ons. So you shouldn't have any unique problems w/ them like those of us w/ the manual t-case have.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2006
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It really depends on the price difference, and what you can/want to afford. When it comes to a new ride, if they offer it than I gotta have it! The only thing I passed on with my 01 is the trailer hitch, because I don't have a trailer.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2006
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Colin/NH Bubba, I havent had any problems with my Tcase, what goes wrong?
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2006
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I'm having issues with either my slave & master cylinders or my pressure plate, or the whole d**med clutch system, AGAIN! I had it worked on around 21,000 miles, I'm just beyond 24,000! First and reverse have minds of their own. I can be at a dead stop in 1st without stalling with clutch out. And it's difficult to shift into 2nd and 4th.

Aside from that.....I love my '04 Level II.

And now a small advertisement.............







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  #15  
Old 01-31-2006
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I would also like to know what kind of problems have been encountered with the manual shift transfer case. I had my transfer case replaced under warranty but it had nothing to do with it being a manual shift.

The biggest problem I had was with the Ford dealer mechanics not knowing how to adjust the manual shift linkage. I ended up adjusting it myself. They also cracked the transfer case shifter **** which cause a buzzy rattle. They could not figure out the problem but I did and they did replace the **** under warranty too.

Otherwise the manual transfer case shifter has been flawless and I am still very happy that I have it.

Oh I forgot, I did bend the transfer case shifter lever to get better clearance to my leg when in 4WD low. That is something Ford should have done at the factory. I guess the engineers did not bother to check the position of the lever when in 4WD low.
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2006
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What is the difference between this manual shifer and the one in my 1991 explorer? other than the chrome and the shift ****. The ones I have seen are roughly in the same location. Whey would this be such a foreign concept to the Ford mechanics?

~HJ
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  #17  
Old 01-31-2006
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The bend in the actual shift lever. It curves back towards the driver. I havent driven a ranger without that shifter, so I really couldnt tell you the ergonomical diffirences, but I know several people have purchased the shifter from Ford and been pleased with it.
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2006
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Problems or no it has to be better than the stupid electric shift motor.

SniperSmurf didn't you just replace the slave cylinder a month ago?

*Edit* Sorry Chris, upon further review I was thinking of someone else.

Last edited by Cape Fear; 01-31-2006 at 03:53 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2006
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Damn it! when time comes i will be getting a new truck either a 2006 ranger . grrrrrrr
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph
Colin/NH Bubba, I havent had any problems with my Tcase, what goes wrong?
The problem isn't necessarily the t-case by itself.. it's more the linkage and the assocated crap. In my case I've had two problems.

First the inidcator switch failed. This is the switch that detects which position the t-case shifter is in. This tells the computer and the idiot light on your dash what position the t-case is in. Having it fail is not critical, the vehicle still works, 4WD and lowrange engage as normal.. but it is a cosmetic problem. Also, because the computer reads vehicle speed using the VSS takeoff on the transmission output shaft, which is before the t-case, the speed can indicate incorrectly. I've had the vehicle both think it is in low-range when it is not AND think it is in hi-range when it is. This results in some very incorrect speedometer readings. (Off by a factor of 2.48 wouldn'cha know!) Again, this isn't critical, and won't leave you stuck, but it shouldn't happen on a nearly brand new truck.. ..I've had this issue fixed and repaired under warranty at about 12k miles. It is now back a second time. I have 33k miles on the truck. I'm not the only one that has had this problem either. Several other '02 FX4 and '03 LII owners have reported it, although I am not aware of a TSB from Ford regarding it.

Issue two is the linkage itself. My t-case lever has always been rather stuborn, especially in cold weather (which is 70% of when I want 4WD!). Well one evening last winter I went to shift into 4WD on a snowy back road. The lever was stuck in 2Hi. I brought the vehicle in and they reportedly swapped part of the linkage out. Apparently Ford knew about the problem, had a TSB for it, and had a redesigned linkage component. Something about a rubber part instead of a plastic part to have more 'give'.. or maybe it was the other way around, I forget the details already. Surely there's some ranting about it when it happened somewhere on here. I'm sure a search would raise it from the dead. Again, this isn't a critical thing. The vehicle still drove fine. Although it could very well have left me high and dry in a situation where I absoloutely needed 4WD. Also it once again isn't something I think a new vehicle should do. I had about 14k miles on the truck when I had this problem.

Add to that that as Gary mentions, the t-case lever was just not very well thought out. I am relatively sure that the lever's location is not the issue. Rangers in the 80's and 90's had manual t-case levers in the same location. What is the issue is the shape and length of the lever. The fancy chrome shifters w/ large round ***** looks great, but isn't always the most useful.

Lastly there seems to be a large tollerance for these issues. Bob (rwenzing) and I have nearly identical trucks, down to month of manufacture. His t-case lever actually tore a hole in the boot in one spot from where it pinched in the mechanism. My lever seemed to be out of alignment in the opposite direction. Is this an adjustment thing, or a manufacturing tollerance issue? I have no idea. But it sure isn't perfect.

Bob and I had dinner when I met him in PA a year and a half ago in PA. He mentioned that the LII was a little disapointing, that it could have been a really great package if they'd just spent a little more time working the bugs out and getting it right. I think he's dead on there. I think I bought version 1 (or version 1.1) and had the problems normally associated w/ it. They are now up to version 2 or 3 so to speak of the LII package, and as of such I think they've got the bugs worked out of it. Unfortunately it seems they had to yank the manual t-case option and it's fancy chrome shifter. Hence my recommendation that the 2006 LII probably won't suffer from nearly as many problems as mine has. I'm willing to suggest they've got the package 'right' now.

That said, you still run the risk of having slave cylinder problems w/ the manual trans. But that's true w/ either the FX4 or the LII.
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Old 01-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Fear
SniperSmurf didn't you just replace the slave cylinder a month ago?
I replaced mine at 12k miles. It's making noise again and I intend to have them replace it once again here at 33k miles before my warranty runs out. Hopefully it'll hold together long enough for me to unload the truck.

Dave of 'Dave and Julie' fame went through at least two clutches. He also had his t-case replaced or repaired. If you think I'm full of it or reading the riot act, look him up on ORR. He's got an even longer laundry list of issues he's had 'repaired' w/ his truck.

Bob has had his slave cylinder fail.

Adrian (SuperSonicFX4) had his fail too.

All three of these folks had 2002 FX4's or 2003 LIIs.

Neil has reported no major problems w/ his truck. He drives a 2004 LII auto. Cathy (AngrySyko) also didn't report any problems IIRC until she traded her truck recently, she drove a 2003 LII... w/ the auto.
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2006
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Is it the slave cylinder going bad that makes the clutch like swak when you takeoff from a stop? because that's what mine is doing.
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Dave of 'Dave and Julie' fame went through at least two clutches. He also had his t-case replaced or repaired. If you think I'm full of it or reading the riot act, look him up on ORR. He's got an even longer laundry list of issues he's had 'repaired' w/ his truck.
Oh man, Dave could write a book with all the crap he's had to fix on that truck. Always top off your tranny fluid folks!
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
I replaced mine at 12k miles. It's making noise again and I intend to have them replace it once again here at 33k miles before my warranty runs out. Hopefully it'll hold together long enough for me to unload the truck.

Dave of 'Dave and Julie' fame went through at least two clutches. He also had his t-case replaced or repaired. If you think I'm full of it or reading the riot act, look him up on ORR. He's got an even longer laundry list of issues he's had 'repaired' w/ his truck.

Bob has had his slave cylinder fail.

Adrian (SuperSonicFX4) had his fail too.

All three of these folks had 2002 FX4's or 2003 LIIs.

Neil has reported no major problems w/ his truck. He drives a 2004 LII auto. Cathy (AngrySyko) also didn't report any problems IIRC until she traded her truck recently, she drove a 2003 LII... w/ the auto.
Yeah, I read about Dave's transmission woes. Bobís and Chrisís too. Iím just surprised Chris is already having problems again. My truck is actually an auto. While I would have preferred a manual, after reading about everyoneís adventures (all within such a short period) Iím glad I donít have to deal with that problem. Iíd still rather have a manual t-case than the shift motor though.

*Edit* Sorry Chris, upon further review I was thinking of someone else.

Last edited by Cape Fear; 01-31-2006 at 03:54 PM.
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fx4me
Is it the slave cylinder going bad that makes the clutch like swak when you takeoff from a stop? because that's what mine is doing.
Yuppers! Throwout bearing in the slave cylinder.. If you're lucky it just squeaks.. if your not the whole cylinder fails and you can't disengage the clutch! (As happened w/ Adrian and Bob.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rngprerunner
Oh man, Dave could write a book with all the crap he's had to fix on that truck. Always top off your tranny fluid folks!
Tranny fluid?! Really? I haven't read ORR or talked to him in a while.. that sounds like a new development!
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