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hayden55 11-28-2018 03:22 PM

New Whip. $500 96 Ford Ranger 2.3 5mt

My need to always tinker hit again and I had a relapse. Bought another junker to mess with. I'm now the owner of a questionable 1996 Ford Ranger 3.0 5 speed truck. Anybody have any recommendations on first mods?


Edit: Lady was misinformed, the truck was a 3.0 when i arrived. Truck isn't a 4 cylinder.

Piotrsko 11-28-2018 05:39 PM

Synthetic oil change, tonneau, airdam/splitter.

Daschicken 11-28-2018 06:11 PM

The oil filter may be in close proximity to the starter solenoid. I got a shower of sparks and two pinholes in my arm that time...

Swap to electric fan if it isn't already, grill block, half tonneau cover, warm air intake, lrr or at least tall and thin tires, taller axle ratio.

19bonestock88 11-29-2018 03:28 PM

Definitely swap to an electric fan, do some grille blocking, air damming, and some preventative maintenance (change oil, trans fluid and diff fluid)...

I’m in favor of switching to a taller axle ratio and a slightly smaller tire (ex. 3.73 axle and 215/70 tire to 3.08 axle and 205/65 tire... the slightly smaller tire will shed rotational mass and the taller axle ratio will still lower RPMs (the Lima four cylinder doesn’t need to rev too high)...

Since your truck is a 96, you could visit a tuner that uses SCT software and get a tune, maybe gain some power/mileage...

Taylor95 11-29-2018 03:41 PM

Good maintenance will get you far. I recommend replacing the distributor and spark plug wires with a performance set, new plugs (I run mine 0.01" oversized), new battery cables, new 4 or 12 hole fuel injectors, new air filter, and replacing all your oils with synthetic.

Beyond that I would get new headers, put exhaust wrap on them, a manual hub conversion set (I don't think the rangers have manual hubs), underbelly skid plates, some kind of hard bed cover, and lightweight pulleys (if you're comfortable with that). A higher thermostat may also be beneficial to you. If you are very mechanically inclined then electric power steering would be great. Or removing the power steering system.

Piotrsko 11-29-2018 04:43 PM

I think the starter and header are on different sides. I am proficient in 2.8 or 2.9 colognes.

3.08 diffs are rare as hens teeth unless you want to have them professionally swapped for $2500. I dont know what else in a 8" uses them. I would just use bigger diameter tires, not like space is limited in the wheel well.

Warn makes manual hubs if you have the one piece front end. I forget which year those ended. You can pull the axles if you dont need 4wd.

Autozone has the manual steering box and brake master cylinder, bit of a pita in parking lots.

What could I possibly know about rangers?

Keito 11-29-2018 08:03 PM

I had the same truck but a short bed.
When the donut gasket went in the exhaust I bought a Dynomax
exhaust for it. It was a hundred bucks.
My MPG's went from 25 to 28 overnight.
I was shocked!
Later I pumped up the tires and made a WAI and was getting close to 30 mpg's

steve05ram360 11-29-2018 10:27 PM

If there is an aluminum driveshaft option, swap it. Lighter wheels, skip taller tires unless your in the flat lands. Recent experimentation with taller tires of the same width made me miserable & mpg stank. Seattle area, so nothing is flat around here.

hayden55 11-30-2018 05:05 PM

Well, I went to go pick up the vehicle last night. I bought this vehicle on Wednesday over the phone with a credit card from a tow away place sight un seen and the truck was supposed to be a 2.3 5mt with a bad clutch (I figure for 500$ I could stomach the risk). When I got there the truck was of course a 3.0 v6 with the 5 speed, except 3rd and 4th are dead! Which surprisingly besides that... it actually drives just fine and the vehicle is mostly okay. Its a pulse and glider with 50 psi in the tires. 1st-2nd to 30mph, then throw it in 5th and it lugs down to 1100 rpms but tolerates it to pulse up to 50 and bounce 40-50. I need to make a kill switch then the scan gage should pick up on the tank mileage pretty well. I added more pics to the google drive link in the first post above of the vehicle in day light.
Excited to either flip the vehicle or start eco modding it! :)

19bonestock88 11-30-2018 05:21 PM

Eeeewww, 3.0... lol

Actually the Vulcan V6 is a solid engine, if a bit underpowered... if yours doesn’t have the distributor, you need to watch out for the cam synchronizer, they can fail and the oil pump loses its drive and then you’ve locked an engine...

Same ecomodding ideas apply though... if you can stay off the highway, P&G is your friend... though my Cologne V6/manual truck would get 23-24mpg on longer trips at 60-65mph...

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