Ranger - pros/cons considering maintenance/reliability

Grassland

Well-known member
If you drive so much why don't you go find a used 2wd XL or 300a XLT F150 that's aluminum with the 3.5 or 3.3 cyclone? (2015-2020)
Nobody wants those because everyone thinks they need more power for all the things they don't tow because it's a pissing match for 80% of truck owners out there.
When nobody wants them, they go cheaper.
A guy in Chicago on the F150 forum I'm on put 200+ thousand miles on his 2016 3.5 cyclone without issue and no longer has it only because it was totaled in an accident.
Low trim has less other things to go wrong than higher trim.

I mean if you are considering a 1998-2012 Ranger then a cyclone bare bones F150 will do everything better, faster, and with better fuel economy.


Edit: I see that u mentioned needing 4x4

What do you do that your require a 4x4 truck and drive 2-3k miles a month? And you also mentioned 3000lb payload and high towing?

Maybe changing jobs is easier if you cannot afford two vehicles but need the high capacity payload and towing for personal use but also need a 4x4 pickup for 3000 miles a mo the at work
 
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Chorky

Observer
Gotta pay to play. If you need 300 horses you are gonna feed 300 horses.
can you (or anyone) provide figures of this? 15 mpg if your towing a 4-5K trailer is one thing, but if its more like 8 mpg with a 2K trailer, with a 19 gal tank thats a whole different story...
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
can you (or anyone) provide figures of this? 15 mpg if your towing a 4-5K trailer is one thing, but if its more like 8 mpg with a 2K trailer, with a 19 gal tank thats a whole different story...
Towing is so variable you will get nothing meaningful. A big lawn mower on a flatbed vs the same weight in a cargo trailer... its all different.

My F-150 (2v 5.4) with a 22gal tank pulling 7k tractor/car trailer combo does fine by me, I don't get all this fuel tank paranoia. Even at 10mpg or whatever by the time it is ready for a drink so am I. We used to go all over when I was into antique tractor pulling.
 

Chorky

Observer
meaningful. A big lawn mower on a flatbed vs the same weight in a cargo trailer... its all different.

My F-150 (2v 5.4) with a 22gal tank pulling 7k tractor/car trailer combo does fine by me, I don't get all this fuel tank paranoia. Even at 10mpg or whatever by the time it is ready for a drink so am I. We used to go all over when I was into antique tractor pulling.
Yeah highly variable for new vehicles - which is one thing I love about my OBS. Doesnt matter if I have 2K in the bed, or a 8K trailer - MPG only fluctuates maybe 3-4/gal compared to some reviews I hear of gassers dropping to single digits. I suppose thats the price one pays for a small engine vehicle though - however even the 7.3 gas does that I believe..

One thing I will say about the fuel tank size gripe though is, for someone like me this means filling up every 1.5 trips to work. Which is super lame. Whereas with a larger tank one might be able to last 3 days worth. Maybe not a total necessity, but there are places in my area where if you dont pay attention you could be walking the better part of 50 miles to get fuel. Which would suck, really bad. My TJ is like that - with 15mpg and a 19 gal tank, I have to really plan out a trip if I plan to do a decent weekend exploration route.
 

skrypj

Active member
can you (or anyone) provide figures of this? 15 mpg if your towing a 4-5K trailer is one thing, but if its more like 8 mpg with a 2K trailer, with a 19 gal tank thats a whole different story...

Yeah highly variable for new vehicles - which is one thing I love about my OBS. Doesnt matter if I have 2K in the bed, or a 8K trailer - MPG only fluctuates maybe 3-4/gal compared to some reviews I hear of gassers dropping to single digits. I suppose thats the price one pays for a small engine vehicle though - however even the 7.3 gas does that I believe..

One thing I will say about the fuel tank size gripe though is, for someone like me this means filling up every 1.5 trips to work. Which is super lame. Whereas with a larger tank one might be able to last 3 days worth. Maybe not a total necessity, but there are places in my area where if you dont pay attention you could be walking the better part of 50 miles to get fuel. Which would suck, really bad. My TJ is like that - with 15mpg and a 19 gal tank, I have to really plan out a trip if I plan to do a decent weekend exploration route.
I have a 2014 F150 Ecoboost and I tow a 5500 lb full width travel trailer. In ideal conditions I can get ~10 to 10.5mpg at 65 - 70mph. In horrific conditions(30 mph headwind for 9 hours straight at 65-70 mph trying to keep pace with 18 wheels on i-80 in Wyoming) I got 6.7 mpg.

Weight really isnt the big factor. Aerodynamic drag is, especially at speed. If you are towing a 8000 lb flatbed trailer vs a 4000 travel trailer, its entirely possible to get worse MPG with the 4000 lb trailer.

Also, comparing to an old truck that gets dog crap for gas mileage loaded or not is not a great way to look at it. They get crap mileage unloaded because they are inefficient in the first place. If I double the weight, aerodynamic drag, and rolling resistance of my truck by hooking a trailer behind it, I would damn sure hope my MPG's cut in half too. Otherwise, I am just wasting fuel all of the time I am not towing. My F150 is 6200 lbs unloaded and is on 33" Duratracs and could still get 21-22 mpg freeway in good conditions. So mine roughly cuts in half when I tow.

The other part is power. Take the Ram Ecodiesel you were talking about. It really not that powerful. It makes 240 hp and can only ever burn 240 hp worth of fuel. If that 240hp means I can only climb a hill at 50 mph with my trailer, thats all I can do. My MPG's can't be any worse than the injection limits set by the tune. Then take an Ecoboost with 375 hp. I can now tow that same trailer up the same hill at 70 mph and I am burning WAY more fuel simply because I can. I am sure this could be true of an OBS Powerstoke. My neighbor had one that was tuned and towed his mini-excavator around with it. He would be foot to the floor at 35 mph on some of the hills around here. I could have hooked that same trailer up to my F150 and climbed the same hill at 65 mph without even breaking a sweat. Which one you think will get worse gas mileage?

The tank size thing is an issue. I live in Utah so we also have some big gaps between stations. Tundra has a 38 gallon tank, F150's have a 36 gallon tank, and Ram 1500's has a 33 gallon tank(non-diesel I believe). Non of the mid-sized trucks have a large tank. They might get better MPG's which will make up for it a little, but still, you won't get the same range as an F150 with a 36 gallon tank. I have been able to do 730 miles on a single tank and still had a little left.

I believe GM 1500's used to have a larger tank but since they 2019's came out they only have a 24 gallon tank I believe. I literally would not buy a GM truck because of that.
 
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85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
The other part is power. Take the Ram Ecodiesel you were talking about. It really not that powerful. It makes 240 hp and can only ever burn 240 hp worth of fuel. If that 240hp means I can only climb a hill at 50 mph with my trailer, thats all I can do.
Just shy of 500 lb-ft of torque makes it not "just another wimpy 240hp engine" That is within spitting distance on both hp and torque of the vaunted old 7.3 Powerstroke.

260hp/480lb-ft Ecodiesel vs 250hp/505lb-ft 7.3 Powerstroke (in automatic trucks, 275/525 in manual)

Never been around one but with diesels don't let lower hp ratings fool you, usually the torque number makes up for it. For economy the fuel that the Ecodiesel burns has more energy in it than what an Ecoboost burns. Torque is on par with a new 3.5 Ecoboost (470 lb-ft)

Interesting video here:


They mention an emssion snafu at the time, it has seen a powerbump since then.
 
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Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
we picked up our ‘21 2 months ago. Not saying I’m loving it but pretty excited. Overall our xlt 4x4 drives very nice, has plenty of power and does what we ask it to do.
here are my observations that kind of bug me.
1. with child seat in place, there is no way to access the underbench storage. This means behind the drivers seat is a mess of shopping bags, tie down straps and other crap that could be in under the bench.
2. to get heated mirrors you need to order heated leather seats. We have cloth...
3. the arm rest storage box is “ loud”. Having anything slide around in there is very annoying. A 20cent piece of fabric / felt would be great.
4. The cargo box is very short! Come on ford, at least make it a true 5’.
5. where the heck do you put your phone? There is no logical place for it.
6. fuel tank is way too small. I guess ford did that to have a higher payload. But in daily life it sucks to fill up every week.

our previous car was a 2013 outback. That car had more features in the base model...

im not complaining. we knew the features when we custom ordered ours. But now that we drive it everyday there are just these details that could be easily considered by ford. Those details would only cost a minimal amount but would make a difference.

in any case, would I buy it again, for our purpose, yes.
If yours is like my neighbor's the rear leafpack consists of one leaf and a short overload bar. It's an XLT 4-door with the micro bed. The Chevy 11's of the 60's had one leaf. At least Ford gave them a short overload bar on the bottom.
 

skrypj

Active member
Just shy of 500 lb-ft of torque makes it not "just another wimpy 240hp engine" That is within spitting distance on both hp and torque of the vaunted old 7.3 Powerstroke.

260hp/480lb-ft Ecodiesel vs 250hp/505lb-ft 7.3 Powerstroke (in automatic trucks, 275/525 in manual)

Never been around one but with diesels don't let lower hp ratings fool you, usually the torque number makes up for it. For economy the fuel that the Ecodiesel burns has more energy in it than what an Ecoboost burns. Torque is on par with a new 3.5 Ecoboost (470 lb-ft)

Interesting video here:


They mention an emssion snafu at the time, it has seen a powerbump since then.
HP is everything once you are moving and have left first gear. It is a reason that the Ecodiesel was so slow up the Ike Gauntlet compared to literally every other gasoline 1/2 ton engine, turbo or not. Same with the Colorado diesel. It makes 100 ft-lbs more torque than the V6 gas mid-sized motors and yet was much slower up the ike than any of them.

HP tells you how much twist your engine can make at the rear axle, once you have accounted for gear reduction via the transmission, compared to another motor. A motor that makes 200hp can put 2x more twist to the ground than a 100hp motor. It is as simple as that.

Torque is great, its why I own an Ecoboost, but you need the HP to go with it, which is why I own an Ecoboost. A truck that makes 1 hp and 1000 ft-lbs of torque isnt gunna get anywhere fast.

My point was, if you have a truck like the EcoD or old 7.3L, you can only consume 240 hp worth of fuel, because that is all the engine is programmed to inject. That 240 hp might mean you can only travel up the hill at 50 mph. If you then jumped in the Ecoboost truck with its 400 hp, it can consume 400 hp worth of fuel. If I climbed the same hill at 80 mph and used all 400hp, I would consume far more fuel than the Ecodiesel. If I used self control and climbed the hill at 50mph with the Ecoboost by letting off the gas, I would consume far less fuel.

Basically, I am saying the Ecodiesel(and 7.3L) are basically self limited in MPG's. You can easily use all the power they have to give towing.
 
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85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
HP is everything once you are moving and have left first gear. It is a reason that the Ecodiesel was so slow up the Ike Gauntlet compared to literally every other gasoline 1/2 ton engine, turbo or not. Same with the Colorado diesel. It makes 100 ft-lbs more torque than the V6 gas mid-sized motors and yet was much slower up the ike than any of them.

HP tells you how much twist your engine can make at the rear axle, once you have accounted for gear reduction via the transmission, compared to another motor. A motor that makes 200hp can put 2x more twist to the ground than a 100hp motor. It is as simple as that.

Torque is great, its why I own an Ecoboost, but you need the HP to go with it, which is why I own an Ecoboost. A truck that makes 1 hp and 1000 ft-lbs of torque isnt gunna get anywhere fast.
It is funny a pickup needs 400+hp and a semi truck might have 600hp...

With your using "twist" to describe horsepower I am starting to have a hard time taking you seriously.
 
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tinhippo

New member
I currently have a 2015 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Ecodiesel, it's the Outdoorsman Edition 3.96 gears 4x4. 1.5" lift. Does not have Airbag suspension. Overall MPG is 19.8 since new including some towing 4500lb camper and flat trailer with small tractor. Truck currently has just under 200,000 miles. Cost of maintenance has been: Oil change every 10K for about $185 each. Brakes, tires, etc. same as any other truck. Non-standard repairs are expensive. Had to replace "swirl valve" $2200 with labor (this motor requires a completely new intake manifold for replacement). Had one sensor for the DEF go out at 72K miles $20 part and $600 labor(special tool needed). Entire DEF system and EGR had to be replaced including exhaust filter, luckily this was done under a recall or it would have been $4-5K. The recall reflashed the computer to burn exhaust at a much higher temperature, this has caused the most annoying as well as dangerous problem. What the dealer told me was that the crankshaft position sensor is on with 3M VHB tape which was originally fine but it is not rated for the new higher temperature. So I was driving at 50 MPH on a 2 lane highway in Michigan's UP, went to pass a semi and the tape melted, lost ALL power truck went dead and had to put the truck in the grass to avoid oncoming traffic. Had the truck towed to the nearest Ram dealer. That was in late September of 2020, due to so many trucks having the issue there were no parts available, I actually picked the truck up in March of this year. (Ram would not reimburse for rental vehicle either) The position sensor was replaced with the original part number so according to Ram customer service it may happen again but they will let me know when they have an actual fix. Other than these issues the truck has been very reliable. My buddy Steve has a 2016 Ecodiesel 4x4 just under 60K miles but is on his 3rd motor. Long Story Short... kind of a crap shoot on EcoDiesel motor reliability. I also have a 2020 Gladiator Rubicon manual trans. Have had three or four recalls already and have to go in for a steering TSB and another trans recall yet for some reason I almost feel the need to trade it in on a Ecodiesel Gladiator? Let me know if you have any specific questions.
 

Chorky

Observer
Just shy of 500 lb-ft of torque makes it not "just another wimpy 240hp engine" That is within spitting distance on both hp and torque of the vaunted old 7.3 Powerstroke.

260hp/480lb-ft Ecodiesel vs 250hp/505lb-ft 7.3 Powerstroke (in automatic trucks, 275/525 in manual)

Never been around one but with diesels don't let lower hp ratings fool you, usually the torque number makes up for it. For economy the fuel that the Ecodiesel burns has more energy in it than what an Ecoboost burns. Torque is on par with a new 3.5 Ecoboost (470 lb-ft)

Interesting video here:


They mention an emssion snafu at the time, it has seen a powerbump since then.
Boy those two guys sure do have a obvious level of hate for each other. It is pretty surprising though like you said how many gas engines now have the same or more power as diesels of days past. Although, gas is never going to be as efficient as diesel. I doubt I'll be towing regularly enough of a +5,000lb trailer to truly 'need' diesel anymore.


er a recall or it would have been $4-5K. The recall reflashed the computer to burn exhaust at a much higher temperature, this has caused the most annoying as well as dangerous problem. What the dealer told me was that the crankshaft position sensor is on with 3M VHB tape which was originally fine but it is not rated for the new higher temperature. So I was driving at 50 MPH on a 2 lane highway in Michigan's UP, went to pass a semi and the tape melted, lost ALL power truck went dead and had to put the truck in the grass to avoid oncoming traffic. Had the truck towed to the nearest Ram dealer. That was in late September of 2020, due to so many trucks having the issue there were no parts available, I actually picked the truck up in March of this year. (Ram would not reimburse for rental vehicle either) The position sensor was replaced with the original part number so according to Ram customer service it may happen again but they will let me know when they have an actual fix. Other than these issues the truck has been very reliable. My buddy Steve has a 2016 Ecodiesel 4x4 just under 60K miles but is on his 3rd motor. Long Story Short... kind of a crap shoot on EcoDiesel motor reliability. I also have a 2020 Gladiator Rubicon man
Yeah so I did a very extensive cost analysis for the 1500 ecodiesel. Spoke with several different dealers and even corporate to get the skinny on maintenance over a 200K mile period. The end result is that it's quite darn expensive - like, expensive enough, with including the vehicle itself, to price me out of even being able to buy one. Not to mention some recent reviews had me on edge, such as a plastic oil filter housing. What a horribly terrible idea. I had forefitted the idea of a ecodiesel a few months ago, but also realized I don't have a true need for the towing capacity of one, or my current truck. Hence, the Ranger discussion.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
Modern gas engines strike a pretty good balance for me, as far as upfront cost, reliability, cost of maintenance, and efficiency.

Gas engines these days all get over 20mpg highway, towing power is a non-issue, and usually have better payload.

The only reason I’d look at a diesel, and for the record, it’d be a HD diesel, not 1/2 ton, is if I were constantly towing. That’s it. And maybe depending on the size of the trailer, maybe not even then.
 

nickw

Adventurer
It is funny a pickup needs 400+hp and a semi truck might have 600hp...

With your using "twist" to describe horsepower I am starting to have a hard time taking you seriously.
Never heard of twist either! The real difference at the end of the day is 'rated' vs 'continuous' and associated longevity....HP is HP, torque is largely a useless direct metric relative to ability to perform work, but can aid in drivability particularly when it comes to torque rise, luggability and gear driven drivetrains. But throw a Corvette engine in a situation it can run full HP, maybe as a generator supplying power to an electric motor....it's going to do the same work as a 15L diesel engine with same HP.
 
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