1996 Ford Ranger Splash 4.0 V6 from North America

Summary:

Great workhorse

Faults:

Nothing has really gone wrong with the truck. Just some of the usual items.

Head gaskets replaced 4 times now; I can do it blindfolded.

Front ball joints, but mainly due to driving habits and local road upkeep.

Transmission is still original, as is the engine.

Replaced the power steering gear box at 325000 miles.

One of those vehicles that as long as you take care of it, it'll take care of you. I've also replaced the rocker arms due to them wearing out over time. Body is in great shape; only rust out I had was back bottom corner of driver's side on the cab. The bed fenders are fiberglass so no issues with them rusting out on me. I have had to replace the radiator as well, I forget when that occurred.

The rear main seal has finally developed a slight drip of sorts. I also had to replace the radio due to the buttons wearing off. The key is worn down to a blank with a curve put into it, and I've considered replacing the locks and ignition switch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2020

31st Mar 2020, 18:25

I owned a 1994 B4000. It was a great truck.

You have been doing a great job keeping yours going.

May I suggest replacing the heads the next time it needs head gaskets?

One of mine (passenger) had a tiny crack in it that caused coolant leak into the rear cylinder, and this caused one spark plug to foul and cause brief hesitation on acceleration.

You may also try radiator stop leak if you are using a small amount of coolant.

Those heads were notorious for cracking. Someone tested several from the salvage yard and they were all cracked.

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