General Ford Ranger Discussion General discussion of the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

Looking to buy first Ranger

  #1  
Old 04-01-2019
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Looking to buy first Ranger

Hi everyone, I'm looking at picking up a 96 XL Ranger 3.0 V6 2WD Auto with 188k Miles.

The body and interior is in surprisingly good shape (solid corners too) considering I'm in the salt belt. It does have two moderate dents and some peeling paint with minor surface rust. The frame has surface rust and from a quick look past the wheels it needs all shocks, all bushings, and at least one leaf spring mount has a pinhole. I will look at the rest closely in the morning when I can it pull up somewhere better.

The engine starts easy and it moves under it's own power but it has a loud-ish upper end tick at start-up that I think is a collapsed lifter. The main problems with the truck is that the owner says the OBD port doesn't work and it doesn't want to restart once it warms up past cold. I assume this is something with vacuum. I've worked at an auto parts store for 12 years so getting parts and tools is easy plus I have the knowledge to fix most things and lots of help for what I don't yet.

Can anybody give me some pointers on what to look for on this year of truck and the warm start issue? Thanks!
 

Last edited by K_Watson; 04-01-2019 at 09:35 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-02-2019
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yikes from what you describe, it sounds like there are some major issues! remember if there are some problems you see now there most definitely
will be others hidden/unknown. unless this beast is practically free, i would keep looking.. my .02..
 
  #3  
Old 04-02-2019
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Originally Posted by 97ranger xlt View Post
yikes from what you describe, it sounds like there are some major issues! remember if there are some problems you see now there most definitely
will be others hidden/unknown. unless this beast is practically free, i would keep looking.. my .02..
He's asking 500. Even with the known issues it's a pretty safe buy as it would not be difficult to sell it as it sits for $500 as a parts vehicle and if I had to scrap it I'd only be out a couple hundred.

I'm headed over there in an hour to check it out more.
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-2019
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ahh well 500 not too bad of a risk... maybe you can beat him down a few $$$
 
  #5  
Old 04-02-2019
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Got a good look at it, what I thought was a collapsed lifter may actually be the 3/4" gap in the exhaust manifold gasket. Like an idiot I forgot my battery pack so I'll have to check that later.

All the fluids are full, transmission fluid is red and not burnt, most of the lines look to be in good shape, and there's even pressure in the AC.

The passenger side leading leaf spring bracket is definitely rusted out as is the trailing driver side shackle but other than that the frame is in great shape. I will have to tow it home but it looks like it would be a good truck.
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-2019
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I went back with my battery pack and started up as many times has the pack with handle. I also drove it around the lot briefly. It is not happy after jump starting but it will settle down. I think most of the problems with the engine besides the exhaust leak is that the battery is constantly dead from the dome light being stuck on. I pulled the bulb out and I'm charging the battery at work. I'll throw it back in and try running it again before I go to work for the evening.

I did find the driver's floorboard is rusted through in a spot near the driver's left heel. Other than that and the rear spring shackles the rust on the truck is manageable.

I will probably be buying it tomorrow.
 
  #7  
Old 04-02-2019
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well for that rust you should be able to knock a few $$ off & kudos to you to take on such a project!
 
  #8  
Old 04-02-2019
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Hey man, im in the salt belt as well so i know the feelings. If you want a cheap beater then it sounds kind of what youre looking for. I'd be concerned about the chassis though, have a good look around the back end and inside the frame around the transmission area. I have a plow truck thats a ranger for my driveway and you would think the chassis is solid on that, however its split badly on the inside close to the gearbox. Just make sure its worth your money and time, last thing you want to stick money into something that wont be fit for the road shortly after.If it were me, i'd look for a out of state or a ranger from a good area and drive it back. Worth the added peace of mind.
 
  #9  
Old 04-02-2019
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'scuse me where is NL? to me it means Holland lol
 
  #10  
Old 04-02-2019
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Originally Posted by K_Watson View Post
I will probably be buying it tomorrow.

offer 200 see what he says ....
 
  #11  
Old 04-02-2019
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Originally Posted by 97ranger xlt View Post
'scuse me where is NL? to me it means Holland lol
Eastern Canada is where im at. Newfoundland
 
  #12  
Old 04-02-2019
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lol i should have known that !!! considering i'm from QC lol !!! hey fellow Canuck !!!
 
  #13  
Old 04-02-2019
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Originally Posted by NLBurden View Post
Hey man, im in the salt belt as well so i know the feelings. If you want a cheap beater then it sounds kind of what youre looking for. I'd be concerned about the chassis though, have a good look around the back end and inside the frame around the transmission area. I have a plow truck thats a ranger for my driveway and you would think the chassis is solid on that, however its split badly on the inside close to the gearbox. Just make sure its worth your money and time, last thing you want to stick money into something that wont be fit for the road shortly after.If it were me, i'd look for a out of state or a ranger from a good area and drive it back. Worth the added peace of mind.
I should have taken pictures... I crawled under along the whole frame and it's good, surprisingly good too... The only structural rust through is behind the grille, the one spot on the floor board, and the spring bracket.

I'm still on the fence about it despite all the potential. Final decision tomorrow.
 
  #14  
Old 04-03-2019
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Went out to the truck and got up under it again and went over the frame a second time, it's all good even behind the rotted spring shackle bracket.

Floorboard will need some work, but I'm not above just bending a piece of aluminum to put below the floor liner.

Seller is bringing the title over and I should be buying it the next hour or two. I guess I'll be getting to know you guys a bit better soon.
 
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