1983 Ford Ranger Shortbed 2WD 2.4L diesel from North America


Underpowered, But Reliable


Heater Core needed to be replaced when I bought it.

General Comments:

Bought the truck used for $300, it had been sitting in a field for a few years so I had to go through it and give it a good tune up to get it road worthy. New glow plugs, thermostat, heater core, brakes, lights, and belts had it running. I Like the truck, but it I wish it was faster and had 4 Wheel drive. I think Ford put a way underpowered motor in this truck, It can move a heavy load, but loaded or not this truck is a real dog off the line. On the other hand it gets almost 30 MPG so it is quite cheap to drive. I know the later Diesel Rangers had turbos, I think a bigger engine with a turbo would make this truck fantastic! So far it is reliable and cheap to drive so it is working out for me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st January, 2007

30th Dec 2008, 16:40

I couldn't have said it better. Reliable but...

28th Feb 2010, 08:07

I just bought a 1983 Ford Ranger Diesel (Feb.15th 2010), and it is the 2.2, and I am pretty sure they all were a 2.2 made by Perkins, and yes it is a non-turbo, runs beautifully, will not win any races, but get currently 30mpg. But I plan to drop the gearing in it a bit due to the fact it struggles on hills, but not until I get the proper size tires on it first. Currently someone put over sized 4X4 alloy wheels off of a Bronco II on it, and it is not working out very well for me, IMO. I got my foot into it all the way all the time.

Pretty cool little truck to restore and play with. I have owned 6 Rangers, and this is the first one that I have touched with a factory diesel in it.


1983 Ford Ranger 4x4 longbed 2.8liter V6 from North America


The truck is a white elephant money pit


My engine burned oil and smoked immediately when I bought the truck, the air-conditioning didn't work, the heater shorted out.

The lifters ticked and rattled really bad.

I had to replace the tires.

I had the top end rebuilt and a new head gasket at 147,000 miles the week after I got it.

That same week I had to buy a new radiater, but my mechanic opted for me to buy a heavy duty radiator.

The same day I had to replace my water pump, and remove my emission control stuff due to pipes rusting out and poor idling.

600 miles later the top end went bad and the head gasket leaked. I still drove it. At that time my tail light shorted out and I had to re-wire the whole thing.

2 month later my u-joint broke on my driveshaft and I broke my slip yoke and I had to replace my drive shaft and slip yoke (which is hard to find for a long bed V-6 4x4 with a 4-speed manual)

3 days later reverse started to grind badly.

1 month later the clutch slipped bad and the engine began to smoke and have blow-by and used oil like it did gasoline!

The truck sat for 6 months.

6 months later I opted to drive it, I added oil, replaced the battery and drove it 60 miles and the motor got so weak it just died, it will idle, but it doesn't have enough compression to accelerate.

Hey. the body was good, and the sunroof never leaked!

General Comments:

The truck was slow, but it had torque when 4-wheel drive was engaged! the cabin was all black inside. and I had to custom the interior, the seats were uncomfortable, the rubber floor was severely worn.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th September, 2003

25th Mar 2008, 22:48

Hey don't dis the Ford Ranger. They're the best small trucks made. I have 5, and not one of them gave me problems like that...

26th Feb 2009, 20:26

He bought it used, then he didn't repair it. Of course it was going to fail! He was lucky that it lasted him that long!

28th Feb 2010, 07:56

Humn... you buy a truck used... take it to everyone else to work on, after stripping the emissions off and expecting it to run correctly, I have never owned a cheaper easier vehicle to work on myself (I am a female BTW).

Emissions are intertwined into the the design of the motors. You've got to go way back on the design to make them run correctly, then they get bad gas mileage? Taking these to a mechanic should have been an easy task for them, and if they messed it up, that means they were the cheapest idiots you could find. These trucks interchange with so many other Ford products it isn't funny, knowledge needed to work on these are not rocket science. Good luck to you in your ventures.


17th Dec 2010, 16:47

You're absolutely RIGHT!! A 28-year-old Ford should definitely not have those problems!! These vehicles are very unreliable. Our Ford cost us a whopping $500 in repairs in just 18 years and only 300,000 miles. That's highway robbery.

29th Nov 2011, 16:21

I Just bought the exact truck. When I got it, the previous owner had completely trashed the truck... $200.00 dollars later and a little common sense mechanics, and I have a great truck :)

26th Mar 2013, 09:26

Yeah, I got an 83 Ranger that I just blew the rod out through the oil pan in. You or anyone wouldn't know of any engines that can fit without doing mods to it? It's a 2.8L 4X4 4-speed.