I almost didn't buy this truck, as it had a lot of miles on it. After a lengthy test drive, the truck felt solid, shifted nice, and drove very well, so I did buy. I've had it for some time now (a few months - actually it's my winter beater/rainy day driver), and it's just passed over 250,000 miles. The 2.3 liter engine uses no oil between oil changes, and makes no funny noises. It's a little short on power, but it's more than made up for that with it's relentless reliability. I see these trucks everywhere, and they are, figuratively speaking, a dime a dozen. I looked at Toyota, but they resale they hold is insane, which I'm told is due to the longevity of their engines. I know I haven't owned it for an extended amount of time (years), but I would say, money spent, the four cylinder Ranger is as good, or better than the, incredibly overpriced Toyota's out there.
I bought this truck 2 years ago. I knew it needed a slave cylinder just didn't realize it was inside the tranny. So I had a mechanic buddy do it and replace the clutch and rear main seal while he was at it. Has run great since. Only problem is the A/C. It wasn't working when I got it. Found a big hole in the condenser and then it worked for a couple days but then sprung a new leak in another line with the new found pressure. This seems to be a pretty common problem. Engine runs great for its age. I see a ton of these on the road
I purchased my 1997 Ranger XLT Flareside in 2003 with about 60,000 miles. 5 speed manual. It now has 198,000 miles.
The only time I had any trouble that prevented me from running was around 120,000 when the alternator went out. That was an easy repair.
Other issues: Replaced original clutch two years ago around 175,000 miles. Instrument cluster lights started going out around 150,000 and are all out now. I haven't seen a way to get to them besides taking apart the dash. Door chime issue hasnt' been solved, but I haven't spent time on it. I believe now the fuel injectors need to be replaced.
Manual transmission, good low end.
Even I can change the oil myself.
Handles good enough even in the snow (add extra wt. over rear axle and slow down).
Runs well on highway.
So far has always started and run with one exception above.
If Ford could produce this exact model again (I wish they would), chase away the electrical ghosts.
Figure out a way to keep the radiator support panel from rusting out.
I bought the truck in june of 2011. It was a decent looking truck , i have put brakes,tires,shocks,fuel pump,sending unit. timing belt,cam shaft seal,cam seal,rear main seal, oil pan seal, valve cover seal, water pump,all dashboard lights,AC asymbaly line, still has leak somewhere in AC, door switch due to inside light stayed on, new battery,new cataylac converter, i have put so many parts on this truck, its cost me over 17,00 in parts alone. Friend did work, when will it end. I know i am forgetting many parts. when is it going to stop, suspension on truck is horrid. front end jumps when hits small anything in road, nothing wrong with it. its the way it was built,now needs window regula
Favorite features, honestly i can't say anything. The ashtray for us smokers is all wrong, due to cup holder, i just don't really like anything with truck, i didn't have enough room to say i changed out both sides with new window regulators. I changed the spark plugs, expensive plugs and wires and still not any better on gas. I hate the way the suspension is due to jumping exspecially on rail road tracks. I really don't have anything nice to say about this truck. Head lights got so fogged up and could not be fixed so had to do that. It cost a fortune due to oilpan gasket took taking it off the motor mounts, rear main seal took taking tranny off ,
Sorry but i must say the suspension is number 1 that needs to be changed. I had fuel pump and sending unit changed and now it takes forever to put gas into it. A monster truck pulled in at same time while i was gassing up, he said dang, your still pumping and i pumped 42 gallons and payed for it already. Its a decent looking truck but its not cost effective in fixing things. Motor mounts must come off to change oil pan gasket. wow and water pump and timming belt is a huge job on this. I had a 94 honda civic that was cheaper and much easier to fix.
My truck is single cab, 4 cylinder which needs better gas milage, and it only has 120K on it. Fl vehicle and rust all over bottom
I purchased my 97 Ranger in 2004 with 75,000 miles, in 2011 it now has 145,000. The clutch needed replaced when we bought it, also had the slave plate fixed in 2009. Those were the 2 biggest expenses. Being in Ohio, rust has been my only enemy. I've replaced rusted broken parts as needed, and this thing still runs like a champ. You will be in the shop 2-3 times a year as it gets older, but they're not expensive trips. Gas mileage is excellent around 23-24 with mostly city driving.