I think it is a stretch to say that the Aerostar is based on a Ranger. I
know Ford included them in the same workshop manual set, but I think this
was because of the engineering group responsible for the design.
Aerostars were designed by Ford Truck Engineering, while Windstars were done
by Ford Car Engineering. Aerostars don't share anything more than engines,
transmissions, rear axles and corporate switch gear with Rangers. The basic
chassis is different. The front suspension is completely different. The rear
suspension (except for the actual rear gear) is different. None of the major
interior bits are shared (seats, instrument cluster, dash, etc). So while,
Aerostars may share design team members with the Ranger, very little else is
shared and certainly no more than might be shared between other Ford
Whether this makes the rear wheel drive (or in some cases AWD) Aerostars
trucks or not I can't say. For truck like applications (hauling loads,
towing), I believe RWD is preferable, which makes the Aerostar closer to a
truck than the front wheel drive Windstar.