Last post on May 15, 2013 at 6:47 AM
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Ford Ranger, Truck
#862 of 2986 re: my 2000 Ford Ranger
Jun 12, 2004 (7:21 pm)
Thanks for your post. I was seriously contemplating buying a new 2004 Mazda B 4000 4X4 truck with a 5 speed manual transmission. I test drove the truck and was not impressed. The shifter feels cheap and the throws are imprecise. The ride was jiggly and jittery, and power disappointing given an engine that supposedly puts out 207 horsepower. The cloth seats looked cheap and the front hood had visible dimples and imperfections in it. And the 4 door design with the jump seats stinks.
Your experience proves that buying one of these vehicles is a gamble: getting a lemon is probably more likely than with Japanese makes, e.g Nissan. This Mazda is not a Japanese truck merely a rebadged Ford Ranger, and nothing more.
BTW, you should feel alarmed about your transmission. I know somebody with an identical engine/transmission setup in an Explorer and his transmission failed for good after 50K miles.
I will keep my 95 Nissan SE V6 4X4. The 5 speed shifter in my Nissan is smooth and precise after 82K miles, ten times better than in this new Mazda (Ranger) truck. And I like the manual transfer case lever in my Nissan vs electronically controlled pushbutton system in the Mazda (I wonder how long will that work reliably?) I have had very few problems with my Nissan truck in nine years of ownership and I know people who have about 300K miles on these trucks with the original engine/transmission. I do not have time or patience to go through warranty repairs. I trust my old Nissan a lot more than I would this Mazda truck.
#863 of 2986 It's easy to bash any vehicle . . .
Jun 14, 2004 (10:07 pm)
but I'm very happy with my ranger. I looked at the Japanese trucks at the time, but to me there was no contest. The Japanese vehicles were too small and too expensive and too ugly. Lots of people on this board have gone many miles on their rangers with little trouble.
#865 of 2986 re:liman1
Jun 15, 2004 (6:16 pm)
It so happens that I bought a new 2 wheel drive Ford Ranger XLT supercab in 1989. I paid $8700 for this truck: 2.9 liter V6, 5 speed manual, cruise and tilt. Had no problems with the truck except with lousy Firestone tires that it came with. The transmission in this truck was made by Mazda and the shifter felt a lot better that the one in the 04 Mazda. Also, the seat cloth was much better in my opinion. The 2.9 liter engine was a gem - never had any problems.
A friend of mine has a 2.3 liter Ranger supercab with a 5 speed manual and so far has had no problems with the truck.
I guess I was not impressed with the 2004 4.0 liter 4X4 Mazda as compared to my 89 Ranger or the 95 Nissan.
#866 of 2986 re: my 2000 Ranger (vibration problems)
Jun 16, 2004 (9:34 am)
Michelin LTX M/S are probably the best truck/SUV tires you can buy. I had a set on my 95 Nissan and they lasted over 75K miles while delivering a nice smooth ride (when properly balanced of course). I would like to point out that one source of annoying vibration on your truck could be a bad driveshaft support bearing, which is encased in rubber. If the rubber sleeve gets damaged or torn, the driveshaft will move up and down and vibrate. This happened to my 95 Nissan truck but I found it rather quickly. This is a common problem on Nissans. The bearing itself was not damaged, only the rubber sleeve was torn. Something worth checking on your truck.
Jun 18, 2004 (7:37 am)
Thanks for your response, but there IS no support bearing on the one piece aluminum driveshaft (Ironically, this driveshaft was installed via a TSB that addressed issues of "thump, clunk, lash and vibration". It worked for a few thousand miles...back again. I am ready to get rid of the truck. One simply reaches a point where enough is enough. I'll get killed on depreciation (Rangers don't do well in that area !), but such is life. My mistake in buying it in the ifrst place. Four wheel drive Rangers, with the pushrod 4.0 liter, are "shakers". It seems to be an inherent characteristic of the truck (the old Explorer type "aftervibration"). So, if you test drive any used ones, MAKE SURE you get it out on the highway for a period of time to monitor the shakes; be forwarned.
#868 of 2986 driveshaft woes/solution
Jun 21, 2004 (5:51 am)
I, too, had the new aluminum shaft installed on my '01 Ranger while it was under warranty. About a year later, the symptoms returned. It was out of warranty so I took the driveshaft out myself and coated the splines with the Ford recommended teflon grease. That completely eliminated the problem. I am not saying that is a permanent "fix." It may need greased again every year or two, but at least that problem is fixable. Otherwise, my Ranger has been flawless.
#869 of 2986 High mounted brake light
Jun 26, 2004 (9:01 am)
For all of you Ford Ranger owners, here is an observation I've made but haven't seen addressed here. Probably 90% of the Rangers I see on the road have an inoperable high mounted brake light. Maybe you guys are unaware of it but have someone step on the brakes and go take a look. Chances are, YOURS is not working! It has become a pasttime of mine while driving now. I see a Ranger and tell my wife, "watch, his brake light will not work when he comes to that redlight". I am usually right.
#870 of 2986 question
Jun 28, 2004 (1:46 pm)
i read about transmission problems on this board. but it seems that is related to V6 models.
for 2004, are the 4 cyl/5 speed auto troublesome? looking at basic trucks, 4 cylinders with automatics. are the Ranger/Mazdas really that much worse than a Tacoma base model?
#871 of 2986 JUST NOTICED...FOOTPOUNDS IS RIGHT!
Jul 01, 2004 (12:31 am)
...THAT MOST RANGERS I SEE ALSO HAVE INOP HIGH MOUNT STOP LIGHTS INCLUDING MY 99. I will replace the bulb(s) but I noticed ford says to use a #906 in the owners manual and all the aftermarket sources recommend a #912 (sylvania and ge) Any idea as to which should be better or last longer?