My 1999 Ford Ranger XLT is starting to come under some serious wear. I got it a while back and thought it was good enough, an upgrade considering my dog grew to be 70 lbs and didn’t fit into the back of my immaculate 1996 Acura Integra hatchback. I needed to upgrade in size so I did.
Now, this truck came with a few ridiculous caveats. With 140k on the clock, it’s starting to enter my personal danger zone for cars. Additionally, it had a big tow package on it, a 2 inch body lift and big 33” by 12.5” tires on it. Did I mention it has the smallest 3.0 V6? The previous owner did not regear the truck and therefore it’s a bit sluggish. Upon inspection of the truck after removing the bumpers, which were improperly re-installed after the body lift, it looks like whoever did the lift cut parts of the frame near the rear of the truck. It’s looking worse and worse.
Yesterday morning I went out to the truck to drive to work and my clutch went to the floor with little resistance. After driving it around a bit and looking under the hood, it looks like the slave cylinder for the clutch is leaking in on itself. It’s a hefty job since the entire housing to the transmission needs to come out to repair it, and my reputable mechanic told me he’d be worried about the rest of the clutch needing replacement based on the slave cylinder wearing out and mileage.
It may cost anywhere from $750 to $1200 to replace this on a truck that Blue Books at roughly $4500. I’m going to have to get the repairs in any case, but should I be looking to sell this thing after repair? If I had $3000 to purchase something big enough for the dog to be in, is it worth it to go through selling the truck or should I look more closely into fixing the imperfections (getting rid of the wheels/tires and lift, etc).
Seems like there’s not much out here on Craiglist in Oregon that isn’t just as bad as my truck, if not worse.
Might you be suggesting that you’re a Lone Ranger in the Oregon car market? Considering this and the obvious wear items that come with a 10+ year old truck (with an aftermarket lift kit) you are in a tough quandary.
I would consider returning the truck to stock, posting a want ad on Craigslist asking for someone with a stock Ranger if they’d like all those goodies for the cost of the swap. There’s nothing better for fuel economy, durability, etc than a stock type of suspension on an older vehicle that sees frequent use. Your brakes, clutch, engine and your pocketbook will thank you for your effort.
Or maybe hit up the local junkyards and see if they’d like to do the honor. Odds are someone with a lot of land or a penchant for muddy fields would love those greasy bits. My point is, you got opportunities here.
At this age, at your budget, the old phrase “stick with your problems, don’t buy a new set of problems” comes to mind. I bought a 2011 Ranger and will keep it stock (ish) for a reason, to never be in your shoes. Ten years from now I suspect a new clutch/slave cylinder on my rig will be a rite of passage, not a fear that my truck isn’t worth the cash outlay. Do your best to return it back to stock. Odds are you will break if you find the right buyer-swapper for those parts, and save tons of cash on fuel and wear/tear in the long term.
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