92 Ford Ranger3.0 manual - Fuelly Forums

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Old 12-08-2016, 04:42 PM   #1
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92 Ford Ranger3.0 manual

Picked this old truck up almost on a fluke, $1000 and drove it home without any issue needing immediate attention. 221.000 miles, with only 1400, since 2011. It was rather nasty so I spent a day and a half cleaning and waxing.

It had been well maintained with oil change stickers running up the top half of the drivers door jamb, but the last few years that maintenance dried up.

First time I filled the tank it leaked about a quart of gas on the ground. Good old rockauto for the outer filler hose. Removing the 25 year never been touched bed bolts(6) was the hardest part, but they finally surrendered to my persistent persuasion. Even with the leak the first tank was over the EPA highway rating of 23 mpg.

Next was the coolant leak around the thermostat area. New stat, Ford gasket and some permatex, mixed with some experience got her working. The secret to stopping the leak was to thoroughly clean all surfaces, especially the inside of the ORIGINAL upper radiator hose, Spreading a thin film of silicone on the inside of the cleaned hose and the outside of the thermostat housing as well as both sides of the thermostat gasket, insured the the problem was solved. I think the radiator cap is still original.

The tachometer was sticking at 3500 rpm. Back in my old shop owner days when a early 80's 280ZX digital dash customer came in with an intermittent dash, thinking they needed to replace the dash itself, we were heroes when we resoldered the pin connections on the power amp and made it work perfectly for two hours labor.

Pulled the tach out, not even requiring removal of the cluster, just the bezel and lens, I resoldered the 4 bad connections, plugged it in and VOILA, some of the old magic was back, tach working perfectly.

The Mirage is resting for a while, two years old May 9th and already 26k miles, only needed about $900 in fuel since May 9th 2015.
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Old 12-08-2016, 11:13 PM   #2
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Sounds an interesting project, if not a little dangerous?! My concern would the inspection test, would it be declared safe to use on a public road? My next concern would be emissions, old gasoline engines have high N0X emissions, especially when compared to diesels, how will you make it pass the emissions tests?

If it's been sitting a while, I'd overhaul and check all the brakes too, they're pretty important!
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:03 AM   #3
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Inspection is no problem, they just write me a sticker, since I worked on cars for 30 years. Even the fuel filler neck leak would have passed. In May 17 it's 25 years old, which makes it legal for antique tags, with no further inspection required and permanent tags, no taxes or annual registration.

It's fuel injected and I have observed no oil consumption. All emission controls are there and working, no CEL. Where I live rust is not a serious issue, the underneath surfaces are basically rust free with no structural issues whatsoever.

It does not have ABS, air bags, or other more modern safety components. Factory Ford bedliner from new. Even the drivers seat is not torn, original carpets have no bare spots. Even has the original windshield.

I'd drive it anywhere right now. Even the cruise control still works. It just had the AC compressor replaced, clutch replaced and two new tires. I put two more new tires on to match the ones that were there (Hancook). One owner from new until a little over a year ago.

Property tax is 79 cents every 6 months. I could hypermile the truck to 30 mpg if I wanted to work that hard.
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:49 PM   #4
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I was going to pull the distributor cap and plug wires to do a visual inspection. Found the passengers rear plug wire not connected to the plug, but resting about 1.5 inches from the plug. It's supposed to be one of the best ignition systems of it's era and I have seen a coil arc over 5 inches when I pulled the coil wire off of Pop's car when the ignition switch stuck on with the engine running.

I can certainly feel the difference in power and it idles smoother than before.
This truck is running very close to how it ran when new, probably within a couple of percent even after 222k miles. Learned new respect for the Ford product line of that era. They were really terrible 20 years prior to 1992. I even saw assembly line sabotage in 1974, with a brand new truck with a hole drilled into the oil gallery behind the flex plate, dumping a quart of oil in a minute on a just delivered brand new Ford truck a week before a UAW strike. I never understood the logic behind destroying customer loyalty as a bargaining chip.
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Old 12-12-2016, 04:48 PM   #5
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I had an old road sign I got for scrap from the recycling yard in Hampton. Blocked about 80% of the radiator opening. Painted it black and put the grill back on. Staggered it to the drivers side to allow air to pass through to the air intake. Yesterday it was about 23 degrees in the morning. I had warm air coming out of the vents in .7 mile from a cold start and go (no warm up for me). That's about 1/2 the previous distance. There were several places where I could put speed-nuts and use the original 6x1.00 MM fasteners to hold the sign in place. Last two refills were 23.6 and 23.7 MPG. With the weather getting colder it will be hard to maintain that MPG. Current EPA highway is 23. I need to check the air in the tires, temperatures down into the teens tomorrow night (-10C).

I had a 4 cyl 5 speed 97 Ranger that would regularly do 30-32 MPG a couple of years ago. Also considering an aero cap made from a geodetic pattern of aluminum strips riveted together covered with canvass saturated with urethane paint.
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:00 PM   #6
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I have a now retired 2wd 91 Ranger with a 4.0 and an auto. It has a 3.08 rear end in it and I could consistently get 23 mpg on the freeway during the summer. Those early 90s Rangers were quite reliable and got pretty good economy for being a square vehicle. Mine has in the neighborhood of 270k on it with the original engine and tranny. Hopefully this one treats you as good as my old one did.
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:47 AM   #7
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Mine is a 3.45 with the Mazda 5 speed overdrive, 5th gear, of .79. It works out to a 2.73 overall 5th gear-final drive ratio, about 2150 rpm at 60 mph. It sure is nice to not have to worry about a timing belt or valve adjustments. I do need to replace the original valve cover gaskets eventually. Virtually all my driving is local, until the wife decides she can "stand" to ride something that old on a longer road trip.

Most of the import pickups of that age have frame issues, even here in a low rust environment. I found a nice 1990 Toyota for my younger brother with 94k miles that gets about the same mileage.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:02 PM   #8
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New radiator $51
Front shocks KYB gas $38
Valve cover gaskets $12
Platinum plugs $7
Resoldered printed circuit board for tach $0 (intermittent)
Resoldered printed circuit board for cruise control $0 (intermittent)
You have to love Rock Auto parts prices
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:22 AM   #9
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Pretty much done with necessary repairs. We have a snow event coming this weekend. It will be nice to just drive the old truck, which sits at the top of the driveway 10 feet higher than the garage door. I use a piece of plywood and my waist to improvise a "snow plow" for the driveway.

Maybe I can get some pics to post.

Voila, Photos!!!!!!!

Last photo shows the elevation, top of the driveway is basically level with the floor of the front porch. Drew the plans and built the house myself, with some help from subcontractors and a lot of help from my youngest brother (of 4 total).
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:40 AM   #10
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Cute little house, I reckon it would fit snuggly in my parents Hallway, although you'd have to take the Christmas tree down first!
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