1996 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0 V6 from North America

Summary:

Good old 90s truck

Faults:

Thermostat and thermostat housing.

Odometer gear broke (easy fix).

Leaking radiator (replaced radiator, easy fix).

Timing cover gasket leak (replaced water pump at the same time).

Front brakes/rotors/bearings.

Stereo head unit broke (replaced with aftermarket stereo).

Replaced battery.

Replaced shocks all around.

Needs ball joints.

Possibly needs a new steering box.

Leaks small amounts of coolant and oil (need to top off the coolant every couple of months or so).

Hard to get into gear at times (not clutch related, bad input shaft or slave cylinder?).

General Comments:

Despite the list above, this truck has been pretty reliable; never left me stranded or had anything fail suddenly. Most of the repairs were cheap and easy to carry out by myself. Used this to make a 300+ mile commute every week, and other than the bad gas mileage (about 18 miles per gallon on average) and uncomfortable seats, it was a good vehicle.

The engine has OK power for something with as many miles on it as it has, though it ticks and idles a bit rough, way more pep than the anemic 3.0 V6 for sure. Has a lot of options for a pickup of the era, air conditioning (still works great), power seats (though they don't work very well any more), cassette deck, etc. Had only one owner previously, so I paid a bit more than I might have otherwise for it, but it's been worth it overall.

Beyond that it has the usual problems I've always encountered on 90s era Fords: loose steering and worn from steering/suspension components. Steering is not very precise and can be a little sketchy at high speeds (but nobody buys one of these things for high performance driving). The amount of money and work it would take to freshen the front end up probably isn't worth it at this point. Previous owner put on a 2 inch body lift which doesn't seem to have helped things much.

Good offroad (for a two wheel drive truck), but the manual transmission makes it easy to dig in the rear tires into the dirt more than you might like. Speaking of the transmission, this truck has the worst clutch in anything I've ever driven before; heavy and hard to find the right point of engagement. The transmission is the original Mazda unit, and it's really old and tired out, though it soldiers on like the rest of the truck. If the tranny fails or something big goes wrong with the engine, I'll probably just junk the old girl, but I won't be happy when it happens.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2019

20th May 2019, 07:48

Just try changing the transmission oil, and that may help it go into gear easier and shift smoother. This is often neglected maintenance.

26th May 2019, 03:03

+1

1996 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3 from North America

Summary:

Awesome

Faults:

The air conditioner never worked in any of my rangers (3, 2 94s and a 96). I'm not going to nit-pick every little thing that went wrong on a 20+ year old truck. But most of the things that went wrong were my fault. With basic maintenance the 93 to 96 Rangers are outstanding trucks.

General Comments:

Every Ranger I had came with a 2.3L engine and a manual transmission. They're not fast but won't die. I've loaded them up past the roof with firewood, loaded down with drywall and tiles, and they don't give up. They're simple and cheap to work on, and great on gas.

Inside they're as comfortable as a small mid 90s truck is gonna be, but I always had the XLT. The XL package is pretty basic and doesn't offer much, but I'm sure it's just as good of a truck.

Overall they have always been good, reliable transportation and ready to work.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2019

8th Feb 2019, 12:37

A 10/10 rating in "performance" for a 4-cyl Ranger?