Ranger I-4 or V6, best fuel economy

Hi
I'm intending to buy a Ranger and would like people's opinions on which engine gives the best fuel economy. I won't be doing any hauling with it, it will be my daily drive. I'm looking anywhere from 1995 to 2002
give or take some years.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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I have a 2002 Ranger Edge Supercab that I bought new in February 2002. It is equipped with the 3.0 engine, 5 speed manual trans with a 3.73 axle. The best fuel mileage it got then was 19 to 20 mpg on the highway at 70 mph. After installing a soft tonneau, a Ravin performance muffler and K&N air filter, I got a best of 24.6 mpg on the highway at 70 mph. The soft tonneau alone gained me 2.5 mpg so which ever engine you choose, definitely look at some sort of tonneau cover for your Ranger if you're going to be driving on the highway. I had a set of tires installed that had a more aggressive tread pattern to them and mpg's dropped to a best of 23.3. From testimonies I've heard over the last 4 years, the I-4 gets the best fuel mileage and the performance is not that far from the 3.0. The 4.0 gets the worse gas mileage of all. I hope this is of some assistance to you. I will say this, mpg's aside, I've got 74000 miles on my Ranger and that 3.0 is a low maintenance engine. I change the oil and filter at 5000 miles (owner's manual recommendation) and the only thing I've replaced is the serpentine belt at 60000 miles and it actually was still in good shape. Dan Edwards
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By far, the best fuel economy of the three available powerplants will be found in the I-4 engines. The 3.0 V-6 has less power and hardly any better fuel economy than the 4.0. I really don't know why anyone who wanted a V-6 would get a 3.0.
Be aware that there are basically 2 different I-4 engines. The older engine, the cast iron (aka Lima) 2.3 and it's slightly larger twin, the 2.5, is rock solid. There are MANY reports of those engines going 300+ thousand miles without problems. The newer aluminum 2.3 (it might also come in a 2.5 flavor) is also a good engine from all reports, and has a smidgen more power. For longevity, there's just not enough data to compare the two fairly, but I know that the older Lima 2.3/2.5 is a long proven, reliable, durable engine.
I have a 2.3 powered 97 Ranger SuperCab 5 speed and like it very much. It has enough power for my suburban Washington DC driving, and is barely broken in at 105k miles.
CJB

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I liked the older rangers with the 4 cylinders that had 8 spark plugs, I had one and it got really good gas milage, and it had plenty pulling power.

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Adam wrote:

I had a 94 standard cab, standard bed, 2.3L. It seemed to have pretty good power for a 4 cyl and was rather "peppy". On the other hand, my father has a 95 standard cab, short bed, unsure if it is a 2.3 or 2.5. That poor thing can't get out of it's own way. It's just plain wimpy. I suspect a differnce in the rear gearing. Both are/were 5-speed manual.
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My 97 is the same Lima, 8 plug, 2.3 you guys are talking about. Mine is 4x2 with 225/70R14 tires and a 4.10 rear gear. Also, I have A/C, P/S, SuperCab and a fairly heavy fiberglas topper. It pulls all that around very well, imho, even with the A/C on.
It winds up a little at highway speeds, but not what anyone would consider high rpm. I think that some folks are used to more torquey truck engines, and aren't used to revving up a truck engine, which you have to do a little on this one.
I think if it had a 3.73 or higher gear I'd be much less pleased. In fact, I nearly bought a new one just like the one i have now back in 1995. It had, iirc, a 3.73 and seemed very underpowered. Of course, at that time, I was used to driving a shortbed 4x2 5 speed Ranger with a 4.0, so just about everything else seemed underpowered. ;-)
CJB
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 18:00:06 GMT, CJB wrote:

Does it run above 2000 (or 2200, max) rpms? :-)
The 300 CID in my F-150 and the 4.0L in my Jeep (both I-6 with manual transmissions) would certainly affect my perception of a 4-cylinder Ranger.
-D
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Honestly, I don't know since I have a tach. However, understand that your 300 is about the lowest revving engine you could have short of a diesel. Any of the newer OHC engines, i.e. the entire line of engines in the F series including the V-10, will rev higher than your 4.9.
CJB

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CJB wrote:

I've never owned a 300-6 but the LMC1500 Snocat ("BearTrac" actually) at work runs a carbed 300 and C6 combo. LMC specs a "running" redline of 3200 rpm but says you can run it up to 3600 for *very* short bursts. I can see why after seeing the crank design.
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On Tue, 07 Feb 2006 09:04:12 +0000, nobody rearranged some electrons to form:

You have a job where they use a Snocat? Now that's cool (literally)!!!
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David M (dmacchiarolo)
http://home.triad.rr.com/redsled
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David M wrote:

It's a mixed blessing.
This is a "work cat" made for rugged terrain; like radio towers and transmisssion lines. It's not a wide and hi-speed cat like the groomers you see around ski areas.
Our 'rides' are slow/bumpy/scarey (but at least warm).
We've had the combination of little snow and/or lack of microwave/LMR system problems for about the last 3 years. The only times that the tracks have spun is on gravel when it's been off the trailer for maintenance. We fire it up on the trailer about twice a month just to keep everything moving.
The last two times I've been out were ordeals; the last half-mile of the route is a road cut into the side of a severe (as in ~1400ft) dropoff. The snow builds out so that what 'looks' like the road cut is actually 15 feet out from terra firma. Forest service won't let us cut a trail above that; blading could set off a slide; so we have to snowshoe in and pull the tools/test equipment from there.
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I have the '04 ranger standard cab short bed with 5 spd 2.3 L 4 engine. I'm not sure, but this engine may have been used in the later part of the range you're after. It is not the same 2.3L as in older versions. I am glad to report, I get no less than 26 mpg in normal driving and I've reached 31.5mpg in hiway driving. The 3.73 rear end helps. John
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