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mgbinspect

G'bye Ole' Paint...

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As a part of this drastic repositioning of my life, I'm retiring my Ford F150, which is going to be hard to part with.

She's got 269,000 miles on her an runs perfectly. It even has the ORIGINAL clutch and water pump, and doesn't, burn or even leak, a drop of oil. It's a crew cab, but the the only seat that's ever seen any action is the driver seat. I Linexed the bed the day I bought it. I think that the best testimony I can offer regarding this Ford F150, is that, with the exception of dead batteries, this truck has never once died on the road or failed to start. That's truly amazing. But, 16 - 19 MPG, is unacceptable now.

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So I'm resurrecting my previous work horse - a 1984 Ford Ranger, which I was just using for dump runs - etc. She's got 127,000 on her and also runs like a top. She just needs a paint job. But she goes into full service tomorrow morning, and 22 - 28 MPG is more like it.

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Goodbye $88.00 fill-ups and hello $47.00 fill-ups.

The quest to pinch pennies continues...

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I have a '97 F150 4WD, but it only has about 146K on the odometer since I've generally had another vehicle to drive also. I bought it new, and have only had to replace two items: the radiator and a power window motor. That's it. As you experienced, I have no leaks or other "normal aging" problems.

Before that, I had a 1989 Bronco II -- same basic vehicle as the Ranger. I sold that one with 200K on it and it was still all original except for a water pump and a set of valve cover gaskets.

I know others will have different stories, but I have no complaints --except for gas mileage -- and that's no better with any vehicles of similar size. But it's been paid for soooooooo many years now, and it feels like part of the family...

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Mike, is the Ranger a 4 or 6 cylinder?

2.0 CC Four-banger. And, I gotta tell ya. I've owned and worked on a lot of vehicles, but I think a strong four cylinder vehicle is tragically under-rated. They're typically tough and dependable little engines that will get the job done.

I had a Datsun four-banger that I sold with 209,000 miles on it, and the things I put that truck through are shameful (in terms of hard work). It was rated half ton, but I fooled it often into thinking it was a 5/8 ton truck. Hey, brick are heavy! I just kept the majority of the weight forward of the rear axle. ;-)

Truth be told, I'll take a four cylinder over anything else. There's very little one can't do, for themselves, on one. I've even lowered a whole manual transmission, bell housing and all, on my chest and rolled out from under the truck on a creeper. And, it's pretty exciting to pop the hood and actually see a little street, instead of mangled spaghetti (wires and vacuum hoses). Everything's so easy to get at: plugs, wires, the distributor, even the starter! You can't beat 'em for being mechanic friendly.

The Datsun had an overhead cam and solid lifters. I used to keep the valves adjusted perfectly, which makes one heck of a difference in how those little power plants run. Every time I ever adjusted the valves, it brought the tiger out in it.

At any rate, if you couldn't tell, I love the little engines. Among the big pluses with them - they HAVE to work hard, so the heads and valves don't get anywhere near as fouled up.

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When was the last time you put a timing belt on it?

Hm.. I think it was around 77,000. No! actually, I think it was pretty recent. I accidentally put some diesel in the the darn thing last summer, from an improperly marked can, and had to drop the tank and drain it, along with cleaning out the whole system and rebuildling the carburator. I believe the shop talked me into doing the timing belt then, so this belt only has a few hundred miles on it (2000 miles max).

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Well, due to age and the way rubber can dry rot, I'd toss another one on there soon.

Is that 2.0 a free running engine? I mean, will the valves smack the pistons if the belt comes off?

A free running engine can survive a belt toss and all you need is a new belt to repair it. An interference engine will usually have valve and piston damage if the belt breaks.

Oh..ok then..new belt = good to go.

Does she use any oil?

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Well, due to age and the way rubber can dry rot, I'd toss another one on there soon.

Is that 2.0 a free running engine? I mean, will the valves smack the pistons if the belt comes off?

A free running engine can survive a belt toss and all you need is a new belt to repair it. An interference engine will usually have valve and piston damage if the belt breaks.

Oh..ok then..new belt = good to go.

Does she use any oil?

Good point, I'll check. I honestly don't know, but I suspect that it's an interference engine becuase that's why the shop pressed me hard to have it done.

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NO oil. Not a drop. I don't know why, but my vehicles never loose oil. I drive them so easy. I guess that's why. As I stated, the Ford has 269,000 on one clutch. That's all me, I think. I do religioulsy change fluids when I'm supposed to - even transmission and axle fluids. I don't fool around with lubricatio (Cue the Bain...).

I've got a Hemi Durango that's been running synthetic since the first day it turned over.

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I have a Ranger with 225K+ miles on it, I only drive it a few hundred miles a year, hauling mulch, lumber, etc. It can sit for months without moving and then start right up when needed.

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I had a Ranger once. I bought it new in '90. At 60k one of the damper springs flew out of the clutch disc. The new throw out bearing lasted 5000 miles, the new slave cylinder went shortly after replacing the bearing. When the tranny came out for the third time it was the last. I dropped in a 300HP chevy 350 with a vintage Carter AFB and Turbo 350 automatic. The drive shaft from the '77 Monte Carlo that donated the tranny was fitted with the conversion U joint used by all the Chevy guys that run Ford rear ends and was a perfect fit. A Hurst ratchet shifter, a custom tranny mount, and custom dual exhaust rounded it out. It'd do 130 (almost 60 miles an hour faster than the 4 banger) and still average 19 MPG (the best I ever got with the 4). It was way more fun to drive too.

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I had a Ranger once. I bought it new in '90. At 60k one of the damper springs flew out of the clutch disc. The new throw out bearing lasted 5000 miles, the new slave cylinder went shortly after replacing the bearing. When the tranny came out for the third time it was the last. I dropped in a 300HP chevy 350 with a vintage Carter AFB and Turbo 350 automatic. The drive shaft from the '77 Monte Carlo that donated the tranny was fitted with the conversion U joint used by all the Chevy guys that run Ford rear ends and was a perfect fit. A Hurst ratchet shifter, a custom tranny mount, and custom dual exhaust rounded it out. It'd do 130 (almost 60 miles an hour faster than the 4 banger) and still average 19 MPG (the best I ever got with the 4). It was way more fun to drive too.

Sheesh, Tom. A 350 V8 ( a great engine. Got 284K out of one before it lost a hydrolic lifter) in a Ford Ranger? That' not a truck. That's a chariot hooked up to a tfeam of wild horses. [:-thumbu]

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