2nd Nov 2010, 23:35
I just bought a 99 Ranger 3.0 auto 4x4 today. I paid $500 for the truck, and know that it needs an oil pump, a brake line, and the passenger side hub so the 4-wheel drive will work.
Going to be pulling the engine to change the oil pump, and while it's out, I'm going to take care of the timing belt to freshen up the engine a little bit. Total parts cost is about $230, and it should only take a weekend to do the work.
I bought the truck for the upcoming winter, because my other Ranger, a 96 2.3 5spd with 185653 miles, is only 2x4. I paid $150 for the 96 Ranger three years ago. When I bought it, there was no 5th gear, the windshield was cracked, and the clutch wasn't working.
The guy was getting ready to take the 96 Ranger to the junk yard, because he was quoted $1800 to change the transmission. I bought a transmission from a junk yard for $100, and changed it in my driveway. I then just bled the clutch and paid $150 for a windshield.
I have driven this truck on three day long trips across the US, and wouldn't hesitate to jump in it now and drive 1000 miles away.
I think the Ford Ranger is a great vehicle, and can see myself buying more of them if I can find them for the right price. After a weekend worth of work and another $250 for parts, the KBB value of the 99 is right around $5000, but I won't be selling it anytime soon.
My advice to anyone buying any vehicle, is to go to the auto parts store and get a book on your vehicle. They cost about twenty dollars, and will tell you everything, from how to change a light bulb, to how to rebuild your engine. I am not a mechanic, but I have done just about every bit of work on every vehicle I've owned. For those of you giving all your hard earned money to a mechanic, don't be afraid to get your hands a little dirty, and keep most of that money and buy yourself something nice.