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  #1  
Old 11-10-2007
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thinking about buying a used ranger (2003)

Guys, I have a 2004 with close to 85,000 miles on it. It has been a great truck, but I really want 4wd to go up north in the winter, and a auto so the woman can drive too (if need be). Plus, we are talking about buying a camper and I don't want to ***** up the trans (manual) from over loading it.

Now, on with the questions. I have only bought one used vehicle in my life and though it only had 30k on it when I got it, it turned out to be the biggest piece of sh*t on the planet. I literally had a stack of service receipts an inch thick. That being said, what should I look for? I know carfax is a must, but what about under the hood and under the truck? What about while driving it, anything I should listen for? It is also going for less than a lot of other rangers in town with more miles, should this concern me? Its for sale at a local Buick dealer, and the salesman insists that they were asking 1500 more for it last month, and they are just trying to move it. It is a red 2003 with 17,000 miles on it and they are asking $13,995. Oh also, it has some oxidation on the wheel, my wheels have 85,000 on them, and they look brand new, is this any indication that the miles were tampered with on this? In any event, I was just going to swap my wheels and tires onto this because my tires are still new.

Thanks,
CB

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Old 11-10-2007
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get a CarFax....that will tell you if the miles are correct or not

Look at these things:
- oil (see how it looks, real black oil means the oil wasn't changed much)
- tranny fluid (darker red fluid means it has been hot)
- make sure the t-case shifts into 4wd without any problems or clunks
- make sure the steering is tight and the truck doesnt pull
- the wheel oxidation could be from it sitting so much
- the bed cover looks like crap in the pictures
- make sure ALL the lights work
- check the engine, see if it has been cleaned
- check the antifreeze, a darker green antifreeze could mean it has a foreign substance in it (ie: oil)
- push up and down on each corner of the truck seeing how much it bounces (that checks how good the shocks are)



i think they are asking too much.....if you are really interested, where are you going to get the financing from? if it isn't through them, then walk in with a $11,900 check and say i will take it and hand them the check.......if they are really trying to move it, then they will take that....i wouldn't pay anymore than $12,000 for it....
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Old 11-10-2007
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On top of looking at all the fluids, smell them. See if they smell burnt. Check if the tailpipe is black or fairly clean, could show how the motor runs. I wouldn't worry about the oxidation as a sign of much since this is michigan. Also seems reasonable that a Buick dealership would want to move a Ranger since thats not there main business, it would probably a trade in if I had to guess.
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Old 11-10-2007
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Maurice, you think thats too much? There are rangers all over town with miles like that in that year range that are for sale in the 15-16000 range. That seems to be the average price within 100 miles of me. As far as the bed cover looking like crap, thats ok because I would transfer my truck box and cover off my truck...

Edit: Here is the car fax on it, the salesman told me someone traded it in, and thats what it looks like...

http://www.carfax.com/cfm/ccc_Displa...ZR45E73TA04896

Last edited by greygooseranger; 11-10-2007 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 11-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greygooseranger
Maurice, you think thats too much? There are rangers all over town with miles like that in that year range that are for sale in the 15-16000 range. That seems to be the average price within 100 miles of me. As far as the bed cover looking like crap, thats ok because I would transfer my truck box and cover off my truck...

Edit: Here is the car fax on it, the salesman told me someone traded it in, and thats what it looks like...

http://www.carfax.com/cfm/ccc_Displa...ZR45E73TA04896
looks like it has had 2 owners......

if that is cheap to were you live, then buy it.....but around me, that is high...
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Old 11-10-2007
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Well, they aren't open on the weekend so I guess I will go and drive it Monday. I would really like a step side this time around, but for the amount of miles on it, it seems hard to pass on. As far as it having 2 owners, I wonder why someone only owned it for 7 months?? Makes me think it has gremlins and they dumped it...lol
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Old 11-10-2007
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could be....never know until you drive it.....
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Old 11-10-2007
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could the 2nd owner be the dealership? didnt the car fax say that they only put 12 miles on it?
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Old 11-10-2007
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No, it has 17,394 on it now, that 12 miles was the last reported before the dealer got it...
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Old 11-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumpncarstereo
could the 2nd owner be the dealership? didnt the car fax say that they only put 12 miles on it?
no cause the second owner purchased the truck in VT and it is for sale in MI...
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Old 11-10-2007
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It's possible the original owner did what I did when I was younger. I bought a vehicle and 7 months later traded it for something different. It wasn't the smartest thing I did, but atleast I learned from it ha.
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Old 11-10-2007
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i dont think those gauges are stock, they only came like that if they were a level 2, i mean i guess the factory could have goofed some parts but i have never seen one like that.

i dont like the visor thing and for that reason alone i wouldnt buy it. for 17k miles it looks dirty and old. id keep looking if it was me.

how much are they giving you for your truck?
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Old 11-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
i dont think those gauges are stock, they only came like that if they were a level 2, i mean i guess the factory could have goofed some parts but i have never seen one like that.

i dont like the visor thing and for that reason alone i wouldnt buy it. for 17k miles it looks dirty and old. id keep looking if it was me.

how much are they giving you for your truck?
Not in 2003. Even Value rangers had those guages in 2003. I have a buddy with a stripped down value ranger to prove it. I still worked at the ford dealer then and every ranger in 03 that I saw had those guages (At least XLT's I was never an Edge guy so I don't think I looked in any at that time).

Here is a 2WD XLT with those guages:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MINT-...QQcmdZViewItem

I remember being PO'd that he had cool guages and I didn't (I had my 01 at that time)

~HJ
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Old 11-10-2007
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late 03 then? that is news to me, mine is all black like 01-02 rangers. i have also read on here that only the lvl2s got different clusters. maybe its the xlts too.
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Old 11-10-2007
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I consulted my 03 Ranger brochure (Don't ask why it happened to be handy) and it appears Silver gauges are an XLT thing. XL and EDGE got the black gauges. Since I never looked at any edges and I don't even think the dealer I worked at would order an XL I just assumed all 03 rangers had those gauges. Also Since a Value ranger is an XLT (Very small step above XL in that case) then they would have the silver gauges.

Oh and For my $.02 I wouldn't buy it because It is Red! Other than that flaw in all seriousness when you buy used no matter how well it appears to be taken care of, or how low of miles it is a huge crap shoot. Just use your best judgment and pray for some luck. I have a buddy that has a 1995 Explorer sport with 35K miles on it that is rust free and looks new. He could sell it for a good penny more then the average 12 year old explorer. But it was used to plow almost all of those 30K miles and I am sure the tranny will go because of it. There are absolutely no signs of the plow on there anymore either.

~HJ

Last edited by HAZZARDJOHN; 11-10-2007 at 10:00 PM.
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  #16  
Old 11-10-2007
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i have those gauges in my 03 fx4.. and i dont know what you guys are talking about it being overpriced, 13,995 isnt bad at all, i bought my 03 fx4 for 15,500 with 23k miles, and i bought my old 03 4x4 edge for 14,999 with 27k miles, and both were cheaper than all the other trucks like them within 300 miles of me. as far as it looking dirty or old, i dont think so at all, paint looks great, interior looks great, wheels look like **** but who cares. i say get it and lose the visor and the beat bed cover.
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Old 11-10-2007
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I, too, don't care for the cluster. The cover looks like crap. I also know people that had a vehicle a short time. Maybe the guy died and his wife or parents didn't want a truck -- rather a car.

It could be that their was a problem with the vehicle. That is why you have to test drive.

I did some research and I have been hearing horror stories about Carfax -- that they can't keep up with all the entries, etc. People have found that their car was actually in a wreck -- eventhough they ran a carfax. I know no system that is 100%, but I was researching it and I found online that their is actually a class action against Carfax??
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
i dont think those gauges are stock, they only came like that if they were a level 2, i mean i guess the factory could have goofed some parts but i have never seen one like that.

i dont like the visor thing and for that reason alone i wouldnt buy it. for 17k miles it looks dirty and old. id keep looking if it was me.

how much are they giving you for your truck?
Zack Those are not lvl II gauges. Lvl II gauges are black with silver rings around the gauge.
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Old 11-11-2007
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Originally Posted by casfz1
Zack Those are not lvl II gauges. Lvl II gauges are black with silver rings around the gauge.
Chad thats only 04+


those gauges and bezel are what looks to be an 02+ explorer sport.. the wheels are from the tire weights and probably not washing them good... the weighs crack the clear coat..

and 1000% wouldnt buy it because of the visor...

Last edited by Redneckstone; 11-11-2007 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 11-11-2007
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I didn't know that.

Chris what options are you looking for and what is to many miles, because there are few down by me for sale.
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Old 11-11-2007
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Old 11-11-2007
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Old 11-11-2007
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Anytime you buy a used vehicle you pretty much need to look strictly at the actual condition. Yeah the carfax will help to know the history... but it tells you nothing about condition.

Fluids: Look, feel, smell.

Body: look for repairs. Factory orange peel should be seen everywhere. Panels still in factory alignment.

Interior: Non smoker is important to me. As are no stains.

General wear: Here are the key indicators!! Look at the tires. On a vehicle w/less than 35k on it. IMO it ought to still have factory rubber. Look at the LH side of the brake pedal on a auto tranny car. High milage will result in high wear. The door sill. As you get in and out this area sees wear from peoples feet. The drivers side LH seat cushion bolster. If they were FAT or got in / out a lot.. the bolster will be softer and even flatter than it should be. Is the area just under the outside door handle scratched up a lot.
Look for signs of someone breaking into it. Has the rear window been replaced. Are there scratches around the door frame from someone trying to get at the inside handle.

OH btw, if you do get a auto tranny version. I'd suggest a X-cal 2 from either rogue performance or from Henson performance. The tranny improvments alone are worth it IMO. Not to mention the milage and power improvements.

Rich
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  #24  
Old 11-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneckstone
and 1000% wouldnt buy it because of the visor...
Chris....if you get that thing, and don't like the visor...I'll the visor from ya. zach is just a visor-player hater.

Walk into the dealer with 12k cash and drive out.
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  #25  
Old 11-11-2007
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Carfax can provide helpful information, but it should never be relied upon as 100% accurate. Nor should it be a person's only source of information when purchasing a used vehicle.

Another type of background check that can help a lot is an OASIS report. It will show a service record of the vehicle with regard to work performed by any Ford dealership. The Ford Techs at the FlatRateTech website used to provide summaries of OASIS reports, I don't know what the policy is over there now, though. Or maybe you can sweet-talk a local Ford dealership into printing one out for you if the Buick dealership can't/won't do it.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to hook up a decent scanner to check for pending codes and maybe even get a sensor readout (depending on the scanner of course).
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