By on September 17, 2014
H.Y. writes:
Hi Sajeev, the global Ford Ranger is still sold overseas now.  What are the challenges for a person to import a modern used Ranger these days?
  • how much addedcostsontopofthepurchase/transport price?
    • 25% truck import duty?  even with a 4-door model ?
  • how much paper work?  US customs, EPA, State safety inspection, DMV plate?
  • what if the truck has a broken or no engine/transmission, would that make the import any easier/cheaper?
    • if it has no engine, install a local used engine in the US?
  • does it matter if the truck is from Mexico,Thailand, South America…?  any easier rules?
    • RHD personal vehicle is allowed in the US?
Thanks.

Sajeev answers:

Importing a Global Ranger?  Oh hell no!  As per NHTSA:

“As a general rule, a motor vehicle less than 25 years old must comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) to be imported on a permanent basis.”

There’s a reason why I imported my Sierra.  Well, aside from the sheer stupidity of wanting a brown jellybean-shaped hatchback from London: it was also over 25 years old.  It just comes in like any other car, and depending on your state, obtaining a title involves extra paperwork, classic car insurance and a (sometimes) basic vehicle inspection. No need to get federal approval over emissions tests, crash standards, noise regulations and who the hell knows what else?

So it’s time to give up. Instead buy one of the Last Great Compact Trucks in the USA:  especially since I got 30.1 MPG in my 2.3L Duratec 5-speed Ranger on a recent trip to San Antonio/Austin/Round Rock in mostly highway driving.

The time, money and stress you’ll avoid makes you forget about that cool Global Ranger.  Console yourself with one of these 25 year old beauties:  it sure worked for me.

 

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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66 Comments on “Piston Slap: A Grey Market Global Ranger?...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    From that photo, it looks like the global Ranger is about the size of a Dakota. Perhaps he should start there..

  • avatar
    Hummer

    So everyone lambasting the full sizes as “too big” tell me, where is it they can go? Certainly not down as the midsize is all over the fullsizers in dimension.
    At least we don’t have to deal with shoddy looking suspension and plastic bumpers.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Hummer,
      Something to aspire to, read below;

      “In particular, the Ranger’s 81% pedestrian score is the highest score recorded for pick-ups tested by Euro NCAP so far and therefore sets a new standard in this area. This performance is the result of a softer and well-engineered front end, absorbing the impact energy and better protecting pedestrians.”

      Here’s the link.

      http://www.euroncap.com/Content-Web-Article/bab01277-a8d0-4185-b071-4f09031da9cc/euro-ncap-awards-first-5-star-rating-for-a-pick-up.aspx

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Don’t walk out in front of me, why do I need to spend money for engineering to protect stupid people.

        Walk out in front of me and if I can’t stop, your going to get hit hard enough to remember, or hard enough for it to never be an issue again.

        Don’t feed the bears.

        Edit: that also means an actual accident will incur more damage because the front end has to have different levels of energy absorption. Forget that, give me plate steel all day long.

        • 0 avatar
          pdieten

          Because said stupid person has medical and life insurance, and those companies don’t care to make six-figure payouts just because you don’t like the way trucks look nowadays.
          Paying to fix a vehicle is usually a four-figure payout, maybe five at the most. Paying to fix a human is much more expensive. If we’re choosing whether the human or the vehicle gets to live, we’re picking the human every time.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            That’s not my problem, I drive slowly where the chance of people walking is, if your going to dart out in front of me, then good luck, otherwise there’s no risk.

            Medical companies don’t make automobiles, and thus that has little bearing on auto makers.

            If I had to take my truck to get fixed every time I hit a deer, I would either have insurance issues or have a much lighter wallet. And if a person can cause the front end to collapse so can a deer.

          • 0 avatar
            pdieten

            Well, you’re only one guy. Whether you know it or not, it actually happens that other people do drive trucks in places where they can and do damage insured people.
            It also turns out that since insurance companies have lots of money, they tend to be able to use it to find a way to ensure that their concerns will be heard and addressed. So yes, they very much do have a say in how vehicles are designed.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    That photo really hammers home why global compact pickup trucks are completely pointless in North America.

  • avatar
    redav

    *gray

  • avatar
    JK43123

    The article about TTACs dream vehicle made me wonder, so I looked on EBay. There I found several on sale “No engine/North America only” models on sale. Made me wonder if no engine makes it easier to import.

    John

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    An XL Ranger alongside what Ram???

    Maybe at a minimum an XLT would have look equal.

    These two links will give you an equal view of the Ram and the Ranger.

    A really nice(?) looking Ram 1500.

    http://blogs.cars.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e201774454e7c5970d-pi

    A mid spec XLT.

    http://www.carinfographics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ford-ranger-2014-overview-delauto91–ford-ranger-limited-crew-cab-wallpaper.jpg

    Maybe these two side by side would have looked a bit different.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The Ranger link didn’t work. This XLT is in black like the Ram.

      I hope this link is more successful.

      http://images.exchangeandmart.co.uk/images/mmo/trade/BSK/24371/BSK3942/ford-ranger-2014-50-miles-21825_image1_400.jpg

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    There are three basic ways to permanently import foreign-market vehicles into the US:

    *spend a few million dollars to do the crash-testing and emissions certifications that Ford didn’t do for you.

    * bribe people, falsify documents, and associate with organized crime to bring in the vehicle illegally, and hope that DHS doesn’t seize and crush it later.

    * wait until it is 25 years old.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @bumpy ii,
      Read the link that I placed under Hummer’s comment. You might want to restate you comment regarding the safety of the Ranger.

      • 0 avatar

        Nobody is questioning the Ranger’s safety (I think), rather questioning the need to spend countless hours and who knows how much money to make a Euro NCAP compliant vehicle go through DOT testing.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The Ranger might be the safest truck in the world, but you still have to document that to the satisfaction of the USDOT by wrecking half a dozen of them to start with. If any of the crashes come up short, you hire some engineers to figure out what changes need to be made, modify another half-dozen trucks and crash those. Repeat until every test passes.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      You wouldn’t need to crash test it yourself. But you would need to establish that it is EPA and DOT compliant and pay the cost of getting it into compliance, which makes it an impossible proposition.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    It would be cheaper to find a used Ranger/Dakota/S-10 and rebuild it. Hell drop a SBC in the S-10 and have fun. http://www.jagsthatrun.com/Pages/Chevrolet_S-10_V-8.html

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Just buy one of those rare Suzuki Equator things and be done with it. Everyone will think you imported something.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Or a Mitsubishi Raider (2005-2009) another truck that was barely on anyone’s radar during production.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Look at this, the base midsize everybody says they want. Don’t get no baser! And it’s cheap.

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Suzuki-Equator-Base-M5-2011-suzuki-equator-base-truck-extended-cab-nissan-frontier-2-5-l-/111460147498?forcerrptr=true&hash=item19f38ae12a&item=111460147498&pt=US_Cars_Trucks

        Funny, I had always assumed the Equator was either a) a third-world truck brought here which was actually a Suzuki, or b) a Mitsubishi variant which we didn’t have. The Nissan steering wheel and this web address told me otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I was THIS close to buying a 5 year old Isuzu i290 in April. 2.9 I4, 5MT, 4×4, extended cab, burgundy, high mileage and low price (something like $4000)

      By the time I satisfied myself it was legit, it was gone. Clearly, the weirdo stature of being an Isuzu really furthered the depreciation, and I was just too slow on the uptake.

  • avatar

    If you really want a small Ford truck I can’t imagine too many jobs that a Transit Connect wouldn’t do better than a Ranger. And 99% of you don’t really need 4×4. If you really need an open bed… Get a saw and start cutting.

  • avatar
    Onus

    21 years for emissions, 25 years for everything else. You could in theory bring everything in to compliance but all of it would have to be tested, lighting will have to be redesigned to meet us standards, destructive crash testing must be done. The list goes on.

    No restrictions on RHD, or LHD. Both are permitted in the US. We have quite a few LHD vehicles for postal workers. Jeep sells the Wranger in RHD and LHD in the us.

    My recommendation. Buy some land / house / etc in Mexico. Register the car there drive it home for awhile. You can only keep the car in the US for a year.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    Didn’t guys do the whole “Import a body shell and motor separately and then install the motor” thing with Nissan Skylines? And the cars got crushed? Makes me wonder if how many pieces it would take to get it registered as a kit car?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think people did this with some LR Defenders as well?

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Probably the engine did them in. You can’t import non-epa compliant engines, and you cannot import the shells with non compliant equipment. Aka no seat belts, hoses, lighting, etc. The transmission also can’t be in the car.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        There is no limited import quotas as exist elsewhere outside the US, You can import non-compliant US Diesel Pickups into Australia as long as they are converted to RHD and meet the restricted quota for the importer

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      The LR’s where imported under the 25 year rule as complete vehicles, their was just some questions about the legitimacy of them being just a 25 y/o VIN or the whole vehicle.

      Non-EPA approved engines are imported all the time from Japan for swaps, maybe the EPA was just looking to bust those guys. Interesting that it can only be the shell, that would be alot of work to put it all back together.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Correct, but if you import that Japanese engine you are required to re use all of the emissions equipment to include things like intake and exhaust manifolds from your US spec motor to be legal. Now if this is actually happening is another matter but from a strictly technical standpoint the only thing you should use on a JDM import motor is the long block.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Get one of the Canyon / Colorado trucks… Perhaps if enough people put their money where their mouths are Ford will get off their butts and bring the Ranger back.

  • avatar

    “RHD personal vehicle is allowed in the US?”

    I sometimes have to go and pick up my mother from work or swap cars with her while she’s at work. It appears that one of the managers there has an older (than 25 years) RHD Wrangler for her daily driver. Another of the managers has a DeLorean that he seems to drive fairly often…

  • avatar
    mkirk

    I drive these a couple of times a week…most in the same basic trim as pictured. They are good and decent trucks. Is there anything great enough about them to go to the trouble of importing one versus driving my current Frontier or getting a Tacoma? Not at all. good solid truck but so is the stuff you can actually buy in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Where would you see the Global Rangers?

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. It’s the one positive of coming over here…I get to drive all sorts of midsize trucks, Land Cruisers, Land Rovers and other vehicles. The trucks tend to be new Rangers, HiLuxes, or TaTas with an occasional Navarra. The Ford and Toyota are in a class above the TaTa in terms of refinement and how well they are put together…The TaTa shifter always feels like it is in Neutral for example. We get some of the smaller vans, mostly Nissans and some old junk too including some little Honda clown car sized van with I believe a 600cc motor. We have an older Ford Everest that from what I gather is on the previous generation global Ranger platform and it has had a rough life (some damage from a rocket at some point) but it still runs and drives well. It is an honest vehicle and honestly I prefer it to the new Rangers except for the lack of AC.

        I will say that we get some US spec stuff too and with the exception of the trucks (the F150’s hold up just fine…The GM stuff knocks like hell on the MoGas here though) it does not hold up. You definitely want a diesel here and I think all the gas powered stuff is going away anyway. I wrote did a piston slap question on our Trailblazer which was replaced by the Everest. We had fixed the hesitation but it was still falling apart and it didn’t have the miles or battle damage of the Everest.

        For the record, what I see this time of local vehicles tends to be older HiLux Surfs (4-Runners) and Corollas. Actually saw a brown, diesel, manual Corolla wagon which I thought would make some folks heads explode on here since on the one hand, it was the rare brown, diesel, manual wagon but on the other, it was the much loathed Corolla.

        • 0 avatar
          spreadsheet monkey

          What happened to the Trailblazer in the end? Did you get it running any better?

          Presume this is the “little Honda clown car sized van” you mentioned.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Acty
          600cc engine, mounted behind the front wheels. Not much power, but capable of some scary lift-off oversteer if provoked (Youtube is full of videos demonstrating this).

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Tata’s are similar to the Mahindra. That is what you would have got if they had been imported to the US. The older Toyota Hilux well and truly outsells the Ranger here

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Yes, I can’t see TaTa as a brand being taken seriously in the US due to alternative meanings in our vernacular. I see some Mahindras but I think they are an older model. It’s hard to find fault with the Hiluxes here. The same can be said for the Rangers but on the whole I think the Rangers are all newer. The Hilux has that reputation as the go to vehicle in this part of the world and I have seen nothing to make me think it isn’t well earned. The 70 series Land Cruiser is my favorite but it is really a different sort of vehicle. Luckily they have built them forever so If I really want to own one I can just drive one down from Canada or bring one over. Too bad they busted that whole VIN swapping deal…One of these troop carrier models from over here would be the dream ride for me.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @mkirk,
            They the diesels with the beefed up chassis’s and considerable payloads are very useful
            http://images.tradingpost.com.au/TBBKYTJ2/CU331/KDRDL2-Resized320x240.jpg

            Newer vehicles will be even more car like. You would be getting a very basic vehicle as a military vehicle

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    What about something like the explorer sport trac? It’s pretty much what I want out of a small truck only it is a ford so all the pieces have a tendency to fall off or break… Not a big fan of the pieces falling off or breaking…

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Might as well say What about something like the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt since both of them are out of production.

      I don’t think the Sport Trac did anything the other midsize trucks you can still buy can’t do. Yes they had the V8 they kind of had to since the V6 was the old Cologne version that had graced every Ranger since, well forever (I think it went back to the Pinto and Mustang II in 2.8 form). The bed IIRC is also smaller than the Tundra/Frontier but for some that isn’t an issue admittedly in this type of vehicle.

  • avatar
    Hank

    After traveling in SE Asia and seeing diesel global Rangers every day…I’m a bit ticked with Ford’s decision.


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