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  #1  
Old 03-21-2016
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Need advice on what Ranger to buy

Hello all, new member here.

I just graduated college and am looking at buying a small truck for myself.

It seems the best value for the money for a 4x4 compact truck is a Ford Ranger.

I am looking to make this a good investment...and being as there seems to be a ton of variations in model, style, trim, engine, differentials ETC, it is all making my head spin. So I made an account to ask you all a favor, to give me advice on what model of ranger will fit my needs.

My needs are basic: I am going to need a reliable commuter. Vast majority of the miles will be on pavement.

However, I need to have the 4x4 for going camping. I pursue fly fishing heavily and would expect 90% of my off-roading to be on gravel roads w/potholes and rocks, and have no interest in turning it into a formidable wheeler. Also would use the 4x4 for driving in snow. I might take it off the beaten path but I'm not going to be doing anything super crazy offroad.

I would prefer a 5spd manual but might settle for an automatic based off availability.

This being said, what model years should i be looking for? Based off my lurking on here it seems 93-2001 is a good range overall.

What would be a good model year range for the auto transmissions? Seems like some of the transmissions were better than others.

There is an ad for a 2001 ford ranger "edge" "4x4" near me, what is the edge model?

My budget is likely MAX $7000. I don't need the worlds nicest ranger, just something reliable to drive to work and something to get me down some deeply potholed/rocky roads to go fishing.

Any and all feedback is appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2016
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I think the look of the +06 is the best, also you should make sure you drive a 3.0l and a 4.0l, I believe from my reading that the 4.0l is harder to work on but the power difference is pretty big.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2016
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Originally Posted by Starfox View Post
I think the look of the +06 is the best, also you should make sure you drive a 3.0l and a 4.0l, I believe from my reading that the 4.0l is harder to work on but the power difference is pretty big.
Good to know. Ill try em both. Dont care about looks much. Also most 04+ are out of my financial capacity. Didn't save well throughout college.
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Old 03-21-2016
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I have an 04 myself, from what I understand the drive/power train is pretty much the same in the from the mid 90's on. As a general rule with anything 4x4 make sure it has been ran in 4x4 regularly and do so when you get it to ensure the grease and all that good stuff stay good (at least once every few months).
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Old 03-22-2016
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I have an 08 2.3l 2wd and I take it on fishing and mountain biking trips in the mountains all the time. For a 2wd it does fantastic but the right tires definitely make a difference. If your just going through gravel and potholes a 2wd should do fine. And for your commuter life it will save gas. I would also recommend the 4 cylinder 2.3l for commuting, and like I said the 2.3l handles dirt and some mud pretty well just is not good good in snow or ice

My 2.3l gets around 21-28 mpg but I also have 31" general grabbers.

Another suggestion I would have is a 4.0l 4x4 from maybe 2001-2004. Those will be pricey but will be a really good truck. The 2.3l will probably be the cheapest depending on where your at
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Old 03-22-2016
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Originally Posted by Bazman2008Ranger View Post
I have an 08 2.3l 2wd and I take it on fishing and mountain biking trips in the mountains all the time. For a 2wd it does fantastic but the right tires definitely make a difference. If your just going through gravel and potholes a 2wd should do fine. And for your commuter life it will save gas. I would also recommend the 4 cylinder 2.3l for commuting, and like I said the 2.3l handles dirt and some mud pretty well just is not good good in snow or ice

My 2.3l gets around 21-28 mpg but I also have 31" general grabbers.

Another suggestion I would have is a 4.0l 4x4 from maybe 2001-2004. Those will be pricey but will be a really good truck. The 2.3l will probably be the cheapest depending on where your at
Yeah I hear ya with gas economy and the capability of 2wd with proper tires. I will be going up to mountains to ski in the winter as well so 4wd is a must. Also the grade of some of the roads I go up to go fishing would sketch me out. I've seen some in the 01 range for about 6000 $ which is doable
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Old 03-22-2016
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Based on what you've said, I'd be looking for an 01+ truck with the 4.0l. These trucks had the SOHC motor (98-01 had the OHV), tbars and ifs (pre 97 had the TTB front end), had a live front axle (98/99 had pulse vacuum hubs that loved to **** themselves), the ext. cabs got 4 doors (pre '00 only had 2), and are the most "modern" ranger you're gonna get in your price range.
(Plus the 01-03 has the best looking front end IMO. Haha)

I wouldn't mess around with a 3.0; same mileage as the 4.0 with the power of a 4 banger.

One thing to note about the 01-03 4.0ls is that they had an issue with the timing chain guides.
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Old 03-22-2016
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Originally Posted by jimmyspy View Post
Based on what you've said, I'd be looking for an 01+ truck with the 4.0l. These trucks had the SOHC motor (98-01 had the OHV), tbars and ifs (pre 97 had the TTB front end), had a live front axle (98/99 had pulse vacuum hubs that loved to **** themselves), the ext. cabs got 4 doors (pre '00 only had 2), and are the most "modern" ranger you're gonna get in your price range.
(Plus the 01-03 has the best looking front end IMO. Haha)

I wouldn't mess around with a 3.0; same mileage as the 4.0 with the power of a 4 banger.

One thing to note about the 01-03 4.0ls is that they had an issue with the timing chain guides.
What is a tbar and ifs? I don't know much car lingo. Whats a live front axle vs pulse vacuum hubs?

Also whats the diff between a single overhead cam and a OHV...dunno what an OHV stands for.

Good to know on those 3.0 engines.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2016
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Originally Posted by Whoolyocto View Post
What is a tbar and ifs? I don't know much car lingo. Whats a live front axle vs pulse vacuum hubs? Also whats the diff between a single overhead cam and a OHV...dunno what an OHV stands for. Good to know on those 3.0 engines.
Tbar= torsion bar and ifs stands for independent front suspension. The ifs setup replaced the Twin Traction Beam (based on the twin I beam setup) on rangers in 98. The ifs is easier to work on and is a more conventional system. It utilizes an upper and lower control and a steering knuckle (rather than the "beam" in the TTB setup). The torsion bar is the "spring" in the ifs setup. There's nothing wrong with the TTB, in fact there are some advantages to it, but the ifs is more modern and cheaper/easier to work on.


Live axle means the front axle and cvs are always turning. The point of disconnect is at the transfer case. In the pvh system, there are two points of disconnect (at the hubs and at the transfer case). The hubs were vacuum actuated and prone to failure. The live axle setup is by far more reliable.


OHV = Over Head Valve. The SOHC replaced the OHV in 01. The SOHC puts out more power/torque and is a slightly more modern design. Although, what the OHV motors lacked in power they made up for in durability; they're a pretty robust engine.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2016
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Originally Posted by jimmyspy View Post
Tbar= torsion bar and ifs stands for independent front suspension. The ifs setup replaced the Twin Traction Beam (based on the twin I beam setup) on rangers in 98. The ifs is easier to work on and is a more conventional system. It utilizes an upper and lower control and a steering knuckle (rather than the "beam" in the TTB setup). The torsion bar is the "spring" in the ifs setup. There's nothing wrong with the TTB, in fact there are some advantages to it, but the ifs is more modern and cheaper/easier to work on.


Live axle means the front axle and cvs are always turning. The point of disconnect is at the transfer case. In the pvh system, there are two points of disconnect (at the hubs and at the transfer case). The hubs were vacuum actuated and prone to failure. The live axle setup is by far more reliable.


OHV = Over Head Valve. The SOHC replaced the OHV in 01. The SOHC puts out more power/torque and is a slightly more modern design. Although, what the OHV motors lacked in power they made up for in durability; they're a pretty robust engine.
Wow good info i really appreciate it
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2016
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Originally Posted by Whoolyocto View Post
Wow good info i really appreciate it
No problem
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