I would like to thank you for your website it is one of my primary sources for automotive information, I read new articles basically every day. And with that covered, this is for the most part a piston slap:
I currently own a 93 Ranger STX approx 108k on the 4.0L V6. I bought it used in about 2000. It has been a good truck and has served me well other than feeling quite sluggish and there being some slack in the transfer case (nothing abnormal from what I am told) It is in good shape and serves me well for driving around town and taking some miles off my 05 Focus ST.
I have been looking for and thinking about purchasing a used full size 1/2 ton pickup, so that I would have a truck more comfortable for road trips (I live 50 miles from the nearest 1000+ population town) and I would like to be able to lay 8’ panels flat. My current requirements are V8 (I need some pulling power for a boat, etc) anything other than a regular cab with an 8 foot box. Its tough to find such a machine being they end up so long and unwieldy. It would be in the garage more often than not and would be used more for the big jobs than anything.
Most trucks that I find people selling are asking 15k+ for a 4-5 yr/old truck approaching 100k miles. In the past 100k miles is the milestone where alot of vehicles like to nickle and dime ya to death so I have some concerns.
I have also been wondering if it would just be better to keep my ranger in good condition/spend some money restoring it.(transfer case rebuild, transmission when needed engine rebuild etc.) there is no noticable rust on this machine which makes that even more appetizing. Or should I just drive the ranger until the wheels fall off then weld em back on and do it again.
What are your thoughts?
Jeremy, your experience isn’t surprising. Vehicles considered throwaways in 2008 are now in high demand: probably to the same people now struggling to stay in our shrinking middle class. Which punishes the people who demand a cheap car, taking me back to a phrase in my favorite chapter in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath:
“Get ‘em in a car. Start ‘em at two hundred and work down. They look good for one and a quarter. Get ‘em rolling. Get ‘em out in a jalopy. Sock it to ‘em! They took our time.”
Frankly, if you are seeing “15k+ for a 4-5 yr/old truck approaching 100k miles” in your market, the smart money is on buying a NEW full size truck for eight to ten grand more. This is sheer lunacy!
But if you can’t justify the monthly payment of a new truck, keep the Ranger. Aside from the towing prowess (no 5000lb boats), the 4.0L Ranger has everything you need. The mileage is low, which is good. Rubber parts (hoses, O-rings, etc) in places you may not consider will be a constant source of problems due to vehicle age. But this is a problem I can stomach far easier than the insane asking prices for used vehicles these days.
I wouldn’t stop looking for a full size truck, but I would go grassroots: avoid dealerships, sticking with private sellers who you might know, trust and could get a great deal without involving the brutal markup of the car trade in this current economy. Good luck with that, enjoy the Ranger in the meantime.
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