What to look for in a used Ranger? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-18-2011
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What to look for in a used Ranger?

I don't mean to beat a dead horse, I'm sure this question has been asked before. I'm not new to forums, been on them since I could drive. But, I'm in a rush. I'm selling my car and looking to buy tomorrow. I've got two for sure trucks I'm looking at, one maybe (if the dealer stays open late enough for me).

I'm a full-time student (I'm on a break in class right now!!) and I work full-time. I've been trying to research and I'm looking at threads, but I'm just not finding that "golden thread". And with such little time, looking for some help. Usually there's a sticky...or maybe I missed it .

I'm not looking to spend more than $5k for a used 4x4 Ranger. My goal is to pay it of in 4 months and spend about $2k fixing up common problems/maintenance/personalizing it. So, my question is....

What should I look for that's common to Rangers? I'm not an automotive newb, so I can check the common stuff...fluids, suspension, etc. But, until I have time to read all the threads and catch common issues...I'm a complete Ford and Ranger newb. I've owned Nissans, Chevy's and 2 Bimmers (the car I'm selling now).

TIA, can't wait to start contributing to the forum.
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Old 01-18-2011
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Problems to look for are pretty much year/generation specific, so what are you looking at?
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Old 01-18-2011
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Oops, sorry I forgot to post that! It was in my head, but like I said...I'm in class right now. I'm not paying attention right now because he's talking about fire safety in his community...I'm in Accounting.

98-99 Ranger 4x4 Ext Cab/SuperCab...whatever you guys call it. I see there's a difference with a door, but since I'm looking at Rangers under $5k...they don't post very many photos or info. I don't know if it's XLT or XL, but I'm sure it's XLT. I read that XL 4x4's are super rare.

I'm also looking at automatics. I like manuals, but I need my wife to be able to drive the car if need be. That was the problem with my current car...she can't drive it, and she's afraid to drive it. ('99 BMW M3).

Sorry about that.
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Old 01-18-2011
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Here are a few I'm looking at. Second one I think might be sketchy, they lower their asking price a few $100 every day...

1998 Ford Ranger Super Cab Pickup 2D - 4WD

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/ctd/2164803883.html

I'd love to get this one tho. I love this color, it's almost like my M3...it's lifted a bit, interior is solid...but, I'm not looking to spend that much. :(

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/ctd/2165438145.html

Last edited by badquenga; 01-18-2011 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 01-18-2011
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With a auto trans, Def. watch that especially with 140k on it. Body looks clean on that truck, i think it is a XL thought, judging by the color of the bumper and grille.
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Old 01-18-2011
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Another question I just thought of...where do you guys buy all your parts from? I'm pricing out parts for stuff I'm going to replace right off the bat, and want to know where all the "locals" shop.
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Old 01-18-2011
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Factory replacement stuff or after market?
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Old 01-18-2011
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Both...

I'm looking at brakes, cooling system parts, power steering stuff, floor mats, simple things like interior pieces that might need to be replaced or repainted (I like all black looks), seat covers (not cheap one size fits all....a recovered seat, if I don't buy new ones).

Or stuff that's simple upgrades for factory flaws. Suspension issues, MAF, gaskets, fuel injectors, etc.
That's why I'm asking what too look for. What almost always fails and what shouldn't be replaced with factory parts, but should be upgraded right away.

I plan on keeping the car pretty stock until I finish college. Maybe a lift, new speakers...maybe a small subwoofer, window tint, tires...etc. Basic stuff. Once I finish...this is gonna be a weekend car/fun off road car....which is why I don't wanna spend more than $5k. This will be a project car in 2 years.
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Old 01-18-2011
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An example of what I'm looking for is...as soon as you buy a used BMW, you replace the cooling system. It fails all the time, there's a new thread about it every other day and if you put it off...you're doing a headgasket. My wifes failed, fixed it..but it was too late. When I bought mine, that was the first to go...and good thing. The t-stat was broken open and the water pump had way too much play in it. Etc, etc...

...or like when I had my Nissan, you bought an alternator and fuel pump right away, because they always failed. And, when you did simple maintenance like a fuel filter, you didn't put the one for the car back in, you put one from a 300zx in your car. Same price, but it was larger and filtered smaller particles.

...or on my wifes car, you don't put stock struts back in, you upgrade to Bilsteins. They are cheaper and last 2-3 times longer. Almost all BMW shops sell Bilsteins, no one even recommendeds stock shocks for the cars (and if you know BMW owners, they LIVE by stock/OEM parts...)

Last edited by badquenga; 01-18-2011 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 01-18-2011
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Check out rockauto.com for replacement stuff..
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