A Few Ranger Questions

Just got a '98, 3.0 V6 manual 2 wheel drive ranger. 74,000 miles. Extended cab. Intended use is daily driver and regular hauling and towing. Not going to off-road at all.
What are the common problems to look for? What are a few things that can be done to increase mileage? Not looking to make an economy car out of it, but saving gas is still nice. I intend to put in a better exhaust system soon since the current one is badly corroded and will need to be replaced anyway somewhere in the next year. What are the trade-offs in various after market exhaust systems? What to look for? Texas/Travis county emissions. Quiet preferred. Also, it has the stepside bed, which I'm not very fond of. I'm pawing through junkyards and auctions to see if I can find a regular bed that'll work. Anyone know if other makes, like Mazda, are also candidates? Any other differences between the beds? Gas cap still in the same place? The truck is faster than I need it to be, has a 7.5" 373 rear end. I'd like to switch to a 410. About a 10% speed drop. Is there any advantage or drawback to getting an 8.8" rear end vs. the 7.5"? I've read that it's a direct replacement, so if it's a wash I'll just use whatever I find first. Any way to figure how much of a hit my mileage will take?
--
B.B. --I am not a goat! thegoat4 at airmail dot net

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B.B. wrote:

What kind of mileage are you getting with it now?
Bob
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On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 11:47:41 -0600, "B.B."

Clutch slave cylinder leaking. AC compressor clutch goes to pieces. Vehicle speed sensor on differential fails -- inexpensive. DPFE sensor causes EGR fault code P0401. Mass air flow sensor gets dirty and out of calibration. Keep a quality well-fitted air filter on the truck, NOT K&N!! Throttle body and idle air control valve get gummed up causing idle problems. Otherwise not a whole lot of trouble with these.

Clean well-fitting air filter, tires inflated to Ford spec, fires on all 6 plugs, proper oil in crankcase, minimal wind drag from whatever you are planning to tow -- all these will prevent gratuitous loss of fuel mileage. Enhancing it above factory will be very difficult and with minimal gains -- for sure NOT cost effective.

Might as well stay stock. Leave the catalytic convertor alone if it is in good shape. By the way it is covered by federal emissions warranty for 8 years/80k miles so might still be barely under warranty depending when the truck was originally purchased. Unless you modify the engine for performance with higher RPMs etc. you have little or nothing to gain (except noise) with exhaust system modifications.

Probably a Mazda B series will bolt right on.

Why? Your mileage will suffer, your engine will be louder, your maximum speed will be decreased but to what advantage? If you don't want to go 110 MPH nobody is forcing you to. Only advantage would be a little more zip -- particularly from a standstill. All of this is contrary to your interest in mileage. The only possible reason I can see for doing this is if you are taxing the truck to the limit with whatever you are planning to tow.

That would not be easy to calculate, but it will be more than you could ever recoup with allegedly enhanced freer flowing exhaust system components.
Don (also in Travis County) www.donsautomotive.com
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Thanks. I did look it over today, flushed out the engine, put on a decent oil filter, changed plugs and topped off the fluids. The clutch reservoir was empty. Filled it back up and got bubbles for a while as the line refilled, but the pedal doesn't seem spongy. Bleed it anyway? DPFE sensor? Whazat?

OK, then I guess I've got it covered. Oh, one thing, how do I get the fuel filter off? Fought with it for about ten minutes then decided to leave it be for now.

Would I be able to get it fixed at a Ford dealership under this warranty? Could they at least tell me if it's covered? Or is the warranty strictly on the converter itself and I'm on my own for the remainder of the exhaust?

I just might. (: As I drive it around I'm getting more used to it, so I may very well nix that idea. Depends on what happens after I put a hitch on it. Mostly pulling around friend's boats, farm crap, and dead vehicles. And Uhauls. But reverse is still way too fast for my comfort.

If I find I actually need a lower gear then the fuel economy impact isn't a concern anymore. Gotta have priorities.

Howdy.

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B.B. --I am not a goat! thegoat4 at airmail dot net

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B.B. wrote:

You're putting a lot of money in to a toy truck. replacing rear ends and boxes etc, theres no reason a mazda box shouldn't fit. they're the same truck. the ranger boxes from 93-05 will fit the 91 rangers for sure, because i helped my buddy put one on.
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8.8: No advantage unless you're pulling stumps or whatever....
4:10 : On the one hand you want to improve gas mileage, on the other you want more 'scratch'. Reason ford went to low rpm at cruise is to save gas.
Faster engine goes under light load, more gas it uses for same work.
Finger in air, I'd say 5% hit for 10% increase in RPM at highway cruise. May actually get a little better while getting up to speed depending on accel and shift habits.
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you pay..DEAL with it!
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