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Old 04-11-2012
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Just bought a low mileage 98

This one has the 2.5 and automatic. 81,000 miles and apparently one-owner who went south in the winter because there is no rust! (except for a little on the bottom door ledges). Nice fiberglass topper, never had a ball on the bumper hitch. Regular cab and I think the longer box.

I've never owned a Ranger before, but have driven VWs and high mileage SAABs most of my 63 years. So I know and appreciate the value of regular maintenance, and a long term design.

This one spent most of its life in Pine Island, MN, but doesn't have any maintenance records in the glove box. Which is typical. But I'm assuming it was serviced at the Pine Island dealer. Can they provide me with records by VIN? Or is there some sort of national database that I can significant records from?

Anyone be willing to suggest some must-do maintenance at this age in order to avoid any near or long term preventable problems?

TIA
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Old 04-11-2012
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Not sure about how records and stuff work where you are... but welcome to the site!
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Old 04-14-2012
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Old 04-14-2012
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Old 04-14-2012
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Take good care of it.
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Old 04-14-2012
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So far so good

I did notice a pretty oily tie rod end boot and low PS fluid. Worth putting some additive/conditioner in there?

Tires are in order and I think shocks...any suggestions for good price performance on shocks?

Doesn't look like she's ever towed anything, and just a little rust on the lower quarter panels. What's the best way to treat that little bit of rust that's showing up?
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Old 04-14-2012
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Old 04-18-2012
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Old 04-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyd View Post
I did notice a pretty oily tie rod end boot and low PS fluid. Worth putting some additive/conditioner in there?

Tires are in order and I think shocks...any suggestions for good price performance on shocks?

Doesn't look like she's ever towed anything, and just a little rust on the lower quarter panels. What's the best way to treat that little bit of rust that's showing up?
People on this forum have had good experience with the Monroe Sensatrac shocks.You can sometimes find them on sale too just have to look.

Not sure about the low PS fluid or tie rod boot hopefully someone else can chime in and help you out there.

As for the rust... sand to remove it all, maybe a little body filler, sand again then primer and some touch up paint. Should be able to find some good how to articles online.

Not sure if you noticed, but in your photos your truck is missing its lower valence. (Plastic thing that goes under the front bumper)
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Old 04-18-2012
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I dont think 2wds came with a valence
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Old 04-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford04Ranger4.0 View Post
I dont think 2wds came with a valence
Oh okay. Did you look at his first posted pic though? Definitely missing something on the bottom of that bumper. There are bare mounting holes.
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Old 04-18-2012
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^They did come with them.

Truck looks good. Might want to consider changing the timing belt in the near future. I don't know if they told you or not when you bought it if it had been changed or not but it needs to be done on these engines. Don't want that thing snapping.

2wd valance
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Old 04-19-2012
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Yeah, I don't know much about the 2.5L but if the timing belt breaks and that engine is an interference style engine, that will really ruin his day.
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Old 04-19-2012
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Timing belt

Thanks for the input...I don't remember seeing anything in the maintenance manual about the timing belt. If it's so critical...why doesn't Ford specify replacement at xxx miles?

Also, this '98 2WD has 14" wheels. There is a limited number of tire styles available for 14" rims so I would like to find used steel 15" rims. What other Ford vehicles have 15"X6" rims that would fit this Ranger. I'm thinking of going the salvage yard route.
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Old 04-23-2012
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Tires and shocks help handling?

Thanks for the input on the Monroe Sensa Tracs. Also, after a lot of research on this board and others, and my need for some off-road and snow use, it looks like I'm best off with 14" ATs, and it looks like both Firestone (Destination AT) and General (Grabber AT2) offer decently priced tires.

The question is: Will AT tires inflated to 45 lbs or so and new Monroe Sensa Tracs all the way around (coil-overs in the rear) decrease the Ranger's tendency to drift sideways when hitting washboard on gravel roads? If you drive gravel roads you know what I mean. Or will it only get worse?

This sideways drift is a little scary. You can be going along perfectly fine at 45 mph or so and if you hit washboard, you start bouncing and just about swerve sideways out of control. So what I want to know is, will stiffer shocks and harder tires help or hurt? Keep in mind that this is a 1998 2WD 2.5 liter auto with 82K, OEM shocks, and bald Firestone Destination LE tires on.

I don't mind a harder ride and some tire noise in exchange for good traction off road and in snow and ice, it's a truck after all, but this sideways drift has me worried.
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