"Where do I start with this truck? It's a 94 2.3L/manual trans XLT SuperCab that I picked up from a friend (his dad's company truck) just after spring break 2003...with 209,500 miles on the ticker. I just had a great feeling about this truck as I really needed the extra cab space for my restaurant deliveries.
All I have had to do was really one all-out tuneup and a going through of all the brakes. One coil pack went bad and I had to get it swapped to pass emissions, needed a cat converter because of that, a heater core (~30 minute job) and little else other than gas and oil changes. Oh, that driveshaft carrier bearing that grenaded and had the driveshaft flopping around underneath...eh, 279,000 miles or so was a good run for that one.
I have had offers to buy this truck and maybe I'd upsize, but I can't find it in myself to do so. It does all I need it to do and it does it well.
The trans is solid. No leaks from those rubber plugs near the shifter yet. Did rebuild the bushings, since I knew the one time I could spin the shifter around was not a good thing. Easy job.
Engine...all I have owned is 4 cylinders up to my Crown Vic Police Interceptor, so to me the engine is more than adequate for A to B driving. Heck, it still doesn't use a noticeable amount of oil at this point. You just can't be afraid of 4000-5000 RPM shifts, which you'd see if you have a tach cluster (I swapped one in and kept the correct odo reading--easy job). It will peg the speedometer, but won't do it quite as quickly as say a Mustang GT. Oh well.
Quality? Eh, mostly hit, but some miss involved. The center armrest? Like almost all the others, cracked in half. Actually, that's about he only thing on this truck that was a miss. No auto trans with the vacuum modulator that goes bad...and destroys the trans.
I think the engine is tired, though, so until I start keeping track of fuel consumption again, I don't think it's seeing ~25 MPGs average of days past, but I do drive enough to where it seems it sucks down gas a little more these days when I glance towards the fuel gauge. I think a valve tap is present and some days the truck seems to respond to the GO pedal just a little slower than others. The alignment is off, so I have to check that out as well.
All in all, I ignore family when they say I should get a newer Ranger. I don't have to deal with 7-hour heater core changes on the 95-later trucks, I can pull check engine light codes with a couple of paperclips, I don't have the DOOR AJAR problems with the sticking door jamb switches, I don't have the AC vacuum and blend door issues that crop up in the later trucks, nor does the odometer stop working because the cheap plastic gears strip off and although I'd think of swapping a v6 into my truck one day (the v6s do chug some gas, though), the 8 spark plugs on the 4 cylinder aren't that bad to deal with.
This has been a tremendous truck. Period. At worst, I use the cop car and rest it some more until I toss another engine in it. I just may keep my promise to drive this one until the wheels literally fall off of it."
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