Last post on Mar 19, 2004 at 7:54 AM
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Ford Ranger, Exterior, Tires, Engine, Interior, Transmission, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Truck
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#1027 of 1143 From the Frying Pan into the Fire?
May 07, 2003 (5:41 am)
I purchased a used 1999 Ranger XLT supercab w/3.0 6 (4x2)last Sept. and it has been a great truck. I stopped by the local Ford dealer and they had several 2002 XLT supercab's (4x4) with everything so I test drove a silver one and got it. Very nice truck - smoother, quieter and more powerful (4.0 ltr 6) than the '99 but the handling is not as precise. It may be the tires - 245/75/16 vice 225/70/15. The mileage was 21,715 and I paid 17,000 - truck has all options including Mach3 audio (what is that?).
Anyway, I hope I didn't get myself into trouble by getting a 4x4 since I've read on this forum that they have more problems than the 4x2. BTW, if the 2WD switch on the dash is engaged, will this help with getting better mileage. My '99 got 21-22 w/90% highway driving and I hope this '02 will get close to 20mpg.
Thanks - this is a great forum and I have learned alot about Rangers in general and think I made a great choice in a truck.
Regards - M. J. McCloskey
#1028 of 1143 '96 V6 XLT or the '98?
May 08, 2003 (6:52 am)
I'm looking at '96 XLT V6 with 40k miles or a '98 XLT V6 with 82k miles. Both are asking the same price ($7,200)and appear to be clean. Is there an obivious choice here?
From Edmunds, the only significant change I can see is a different trany implemented in '97. Does that mean the trany prior to '97 was prone to problems?
Appreciate any advice.
#1029 of 1143 MJ McCloskey: Not Necessarily!
May 08, 2003 (11:06 am)
Many things can affect the preciseness of steering. You noted the larger tires: That's one thing. The brand of tire also has an affect. Plus, in general, a 4x4 can easily feel less precise than a 4x2. Lots more stuff involved in moving the front wheels.
The reason you may have more problems with a 4x4 than a 4x2 is just that there are many additional components in the drivetrain of a 4x4 (transfer case; front differential; front driveshaft). Also, many 4x4 owners subject their trucks to more punishment than a 4x2 owner would: off-road adventures, etc.
Yes, keep your switch in the 4x2 position at all times, UNLESS the situation requires 4x4. Better mileage and less strain on the driveline. If you forget, you will be reminded the first time you back up and turn the steering wheel at the same time. If in 4x4, the driveline will "bind up", and it will feel like the brakes are on. Plus, you may hear strange noises.
Mach 3 is Ford's top-of-the-line stereo components.
I have a 2002 XLT 4x4 that I've owned for over a year. It now has 18,000+ miles on it and I have not had a single problem with it so far (knock on wood).
May 08, 2003 (5:45 pm)
Thanks for your detailed comments regarding my concerns about the 4X4 vice the 4X2. I selected the Ranger 4X4 since I had such a good experience with the 4X2 and expect good service from the 2K2 model. The MACH audio system is quite nice - very good clarity and bass reponse - this system rocks! There is a slight vibration on the outside in the left rear mini door due to the strong bass but I will fix this pronto.
I've driven about 80 miles since I acquired the truck on Tuesday and am very pleased. The ride is a bit 'jiggly' but that may be due to the 4-wheel drivetrain even though I keep it in 2WD. This baby has lots more power than the 3.0 V-6 - passing is effortless and quick. I checked my mileage and I'm getting 19.6mpg (95%) highway. If I can keep it at an average of 18mpg overall, I'll be satisfied.
I have attached a pic of my new 'rig' - I think the silver color makes the truck look a bit 'upscale' in overall appearance.
Happy motoring to all -
M. J. McCloskey
#1031 of 1143 Finally got tired of the soft cover and picked up a cap
May 10, 2003 (2:00 pm)
Not exactly the most stylish or elaborate thing around, but it provides the dry AND lockable storage Ive needed for awhile now. It's a used leer with a ladder rack. Couple questions... Anybody with the cheaper unpainted aluminum caps, how do you normally clean them? Can I run the truck through a car wash with the thing on there?
Also... anybody got a 93-97 longbed who needs a ladder rack for their cap? The fricking thing makes it look even more like a contractor's truck, and the dealer wouldn't remove it.
#1032 of 1143 Cargo Light
May 25, 2003 (6:05 pm)
Hi Everyone...this is probably a really stupid question...but...
I have a 2002 Ranger XLT FX4....just bought it about 2 months ago right off the dealer lot. It had been sitting on the lot since last May, so I got a sweet deal on it. Love the truck! Anyway....it appears to have a cargo bed light on each side of the high-mounted brake light.
I have checked the vehicle book in the glove box. It refers me to page 81 of the book for info on the cargo light. There is nothing on that page about the cargo light. I have looked all over the interior looking for a switch...nothing.
Is there a cargo light there? Is there some trick to turning it on? HELP!
#1033 of 1143 Cargo Light Switch
May 26, 2003 (8:58 am)
On my 2001 Ranger, to activate the cargo light you "roll" the dashboard light dimmer switch to the top. This will keep the interior lights on as well. I wish there was a separate switch.
#1034 of 1143 jkidd2 - not a stupid question!
May 26, 2003 (12:12 pm)
I had the same question with my 2001. The owners manual didn't say how to turn the thing on! Dmould is right - it is wired with the interior lights and there is no separate switch.
#1035 of 1143 2003 Ranger XL
Jun 16, 2003 (10:12 pm)
Just bought a 2003 Ranger XL 5 spd 2.3L (no frills base model) for $9.6K OTD rebates and all. Yes, I test drove it and realized that it was low on power to accelerate but I'm no speed demon. The price to too good to pass up compared to a Chevy S10, Mazda B2300 or Tacoma w/ the same std features. 1st 500 miles mpg was about 26 + both city/hwy.
Only peeve is that the Ranger sits up higher than the other P/Us (higher center of gravity) which causes the truck to want to tip when rounding a curve. Besides adding suspension parts or changing to 16 inch rims and lower/wider profile tires which cost some $$$, is there any other practical or cheaper fixes to alleviate this tendency.
Jun 17, 2003 (5:54 am)
There really isn't a whole lot that can be done, without affecting your vehicle in other areas. If you had a 4x4 or Edge model, it would be as simple as removing the rear blocks and un-cranking some torsion bars. You may still have some blocks on the rear axle that could be removed, but I am not sure what can be done to your front besides weaker or smaller springs. To truly lower your vehicle is beyond me as I've only considered to raise my Edge. Check out some Ranger sites that have dedicated forums as they will offer much more information than here. I can't give you a link because Edmunds will delete it.
Also, just to alleviate body roll, you could get some stiffer stocks.