Newer Ranger lust

Again, I have it.
I see these little trucks and covet one. They come in so many different varieties! I want an '02-'04, less than 50k, and would be cool with a
clean I4 2WD ext cab., but of course go YEAH YEAH when I see 3000 V6 4WD models. I mean, without the V6, it doesn't seem (based on the new ones) that you could even get a limited slip rear end (???). I could deal with snow tires and no 4WD (I do live in a suburb) if I had limited slip... but open, aaaahh!!! I guess it would be ok but I have never driven one newer than 1994, and never in the snow.
Anyhow, I am just asking you guys for your opinions and experiences with these trucks. Is there anything BIG to watch out for? Are I4s with open diffs ok in snow? For a "city truck", would you go ext. cab or 4WD, if you had to choose? I know in 03 there was a suspension improvement done (so said a review) but aside from that, I don't know these vehicles.
TIA
--
Wound Up



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I love the Rangers... and have owned four of them from the 93's to the 02's. Of those... only one of them had the I4 engine and I didn't like it. It was in a 94 model. The 3.0's are solid engines and what I made sure that the others had in them.
As far as single/extended cab... once again all of mine were single cabs, but I've always wanted an extended.
I'm now driving an 04 F-150 Supercab... but still admire the Rangers for their looks and durability!

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different

4WD

ones)

with

How about trying on ford-trucks.com too?
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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I have a 97 SuperCab Ranger 2.3 (I4) 4x2. The newer 2.3 engine in the models you mentioned is more powerful than mine. However, I've never been displeased with my 2.3 It has a 4.10 open rear axle. If it had a 3.73, I'd have a different opinion, I'm sure. I also had a 92 Regular Cab 4x2 with the 4.0 V-6. I was a horse! Honestly, I don't think limited slip helps much with these trucks. They're very light in the rear end. Limited slip will just mean that both rear tires have no grip.
Other things to consider: If you just have to get a V-6, getting the 3.0 is silly. Why? Because for the same gas mileage, you can get the 4.0 and have TONS more power. The 4.0 has proven to be as durable as the 3.0 also. The 4 bangers are usually cheaper used simply because they're not as desireable for some. If you want to haul all the time, avoid the 4 cyl's. If you're using yours as a daily driver with occasional trips to Home Depot, the 4 cylinder is ideal. That's what I use every day in suburban DC.
CJB

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Having had a couple Mustangs with limited slip.. also ass-light.. and driving in winter, i question your thoughts on this, W.U.
I had a couple thrills while turning corners on busy rush hour intersection on packed snow.... and also a very harrowing thrill doing a 360 at speed on a freeway after hitting black ice.
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wrote:

I can be kinda thick when it comes to reading between the lines. Your second paragraph seems to support my opinion that limited slip can and does often make things worse on a light, unloaded vehicle. However, your first paragraph seems to say that you disagree with me.
Since I'm obviously not getting it, let me elaborate on my opinion to clear up any confusion I may have caused. These trucks turn tires over easily in low traction situations (except my 4 banger :-). Up to a point, limited slip will help a vehicle have traction when it might not otherwise. However, once that point is reached and both rears start to slip, you have MUCH less control than you'd have without limited slip because now neither rear tire is sticking to the road.
If a person knows how to handle a vehicle in these conditions, it's not a problem. If they don't, limited slip gives them the potential to get in over their head very quickly. Frankly, I've never needed limited slip much. The thoght that I had was that the original poster was so concerned about having limited slip, and obviously relying on it, that I have concerns about his ability to handle a 4x2 Ranger with both rears spinning.
If you know what you're doing, goosing a LS axle in slick conditions is great fun, I agree. If you don't know what you're doing, you'll be paying at least a towing bill...
CJB
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That is EXACTLY what I meant...If I were going to be driving in the slick a lot, in suburbs especially... the LAST thing I want is limited slip.
I wasnt going to take it OUT of my mustangs... but, after I did that 60 mph pirouette on I-675, I sure dumped in an extra dose of friction modifier.
Need more traction on a rwd PU, get better tires and more sandbags.
BTW, TBird MN12's are GREAT with decent AW tires.
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wrote:

Interesting perspective

Cripes...
Yeah, I see what you mean, just make the drive wheel slip less, and enjoy the stabilizing effects of the stationary wheel when the drive wheel does spin...
Cool... thanks for dicussing this, I hadn't thought it out all the way through. Like I said, I have driven both and am familiar with how both are... and you're right, open is just more predictable, if not frustrating sometimes... "push! rock it back and forth!" =)

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wrote:

I've owned a number of -cars- with both limited-slip and open, and have actually done a bit of amateur racing. I grew up back East so I was taught to drive in snow and ice fairly well. I've just never owned a truck. I did drive auto parts trucks with both kinds of rear ends, and bigger pickups too at other jobs.

Yeah, I know what you mean, it's good to a point, but you sure can swap ends un a hurry... but for climbing traction, limited slip is better IMO. Watch the tach, though, and pay attention...

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CJB wrote:

I know what you mean... sometimes it makes no difference

Mine would be used for exactly what you describe. I can find manual 4x2 I4's all day long, with the extended cab, for about ten grand in decent shape (after I look, I hope).
I just want to be able to get up a slippery hill. The 4WD extended cabs? Well... too much... extended cab is good because of our violent thunderstorms, to keep everything inside. Add 4WD, and I don't see spending even $13,000 to be worth it. I HATE PAYMENTS. I would use 4WD maybe 500 out of every 10,000 miles, right? I need that storage space more... yeah... just get good tires and sandbags, sound better??
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I really think that the SuperCab 4x2 Ranger will do a good job for you. If you put a couple hundred pounds of sand in the back, it'll go about anywhere a suburbanite ought to go.
Also, I'm not sure of your financial situation, but let me make another recommendation. The old 2.3 which was increased to 2.5 in 98, and replaced by the aluminum 2.3 in the early 00's, is a great engine. It's extremely durable. A number of people at the ford-trucks.com forums have put well over 200k with no problems. When I see them at the junkyards, they all have 200k
My 97 is spotless, rust free, and runs like a top. I bought it with 92k, it now has 106k. I fully expect it to run for years. Oh, and I paid $2700 for it. That's for an XLT with AC and everything.
CJB

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