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Ryan_V

Ford 3.0 vs 4.0

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I'm looking at downsizing my full size ford for an older Ranger with a V6. I'm thinking I want to be strict and get only the 4.0. is this a good engine?? what kind of milage can I expect with one with 150K on it?? How about power? my dad has a '94 with that engine in a regular cab and loves it. I'm looking at an extended cab (preferrably stick shift).

what about the 3.0?? In looking I've seen quite a few of those around also.

Thoughts...suggestions???? 80% of the use is trips back and forth to/from Mille Lacs ice fishing.

thanks!!

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4.0 SOHC (2001 and newer) can be great or a nightmare. There is no in between. There are issues with intakes leaking vacuum. We have run into a few that have broken valve springs. They funny part is they have one timing chain in the front of the motor and one in the rear. In order to do any head work the motor comes out! These are not do it yourself friendly but not impossible to work on.

4.0 OHV - pushrod engine (2000 and prior) was pretty good. Every once and a while we'll see one with a burnt valve or a bad injector but overall not to bad.

3.0 OHV has been around forever and is own of fords better motors! About the worst thing you'll see is the water pump going bad.

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What years are you thinking of?

The 3.0 engine doesn't have the power that the 4.0's have, but it is a very dependable motor, and if something breaks down, parts are cheap. As for the 4.0's, depending on the year you are looking for, there are 2 totally different 4.0 motors. One is a over head valve motor, the other is a single over head cam (SHOC) engine. The SHOC engine has a lot more power then the other, but costs more to repair when they do break down.

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I had a 92 explorer with a 4.0L a/t. I had over 230,000 miles on it when the trany went out. the engine never used any oil and averaged 15 city 20 or higher on the highway. I pulled a 2 place aluminum snowmobile trailor with 2 slides on it cruised right along. Gas mileage dropped off while towing though. The 3.0 is a 12 valve which is basicly built proof. I have 2 Taurus's with this motor and both are at 150000 miles and run great with no oil use.

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Don't know much about fixing them, but I had a 2.9v6 in '87 Ranger, and a 3.0 in an '86 Taurus. Everything about the Ranger was a POS except the engine itself. I solf it off at 168k with a junk tranny, but the engine was great. It did go through 02 sensors like I go through Slim Jims though wink

The 3.0 in taurus was good engine. Tranny was pos, and suspension was pos, but the engine was good. Last about 130k when a one armed drunken women hit it while it was parked on road in St. Paul. No kidding... Heh, that was the end of that.

I will say, the v6 with 5 speed Ranger got worse mileage than my '98 k1500 with 350. I personally would not go back to small truck, ever, especailly with the mileage big trucks get nowadays, but I know some folks like the smaller trucks.

Good luck whichever you get.

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1992 Ford Ranger 4x4 4.0L ext. cab AT. When I had light duty tires I used to get 23-25mpg highway (60mph). I couldn't believe the mileage. When I went to 30" BFG AT/KO my mileage dropped to 20. Best "truck" I ever owned, traded it with 138K miles for a full size truck.

1993 Explorer 4.0L auto, bought from original owner (friend) and drove to 160K miles before I sold it. Used a fair amount of oil somewhere, no leaks, didn't burn oil...suspected bad ring(s) or valve(s)? Never let us down. It's still going down the road with 200+K miles. 20-22mpg highway.

I am partial to the older 4.0L motors. Trannys were very strong in both vehicles, originals too. They were maintained well too.

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What years are you thinking of?

The 3.0 engine doesn't have the power that the 4.0's have, but it is a very dependable motor, and if something breaks down, parts are cheap. As for the 4.0's, depending on the year you are looking for, there are 2 totally different 4.0 motors. One is a over head valve motor, the other is a single over head cam (SHOC) engine. The SHOC engine has a lot more power then the other, but costs more to repair when they do break down.

I'm looking '94 or '95. Will the 3.0 handle a wheeler or maybe a 16' boat?? When I do use the truck, there is usually something heavy in the bed and/or a trailer behind it. that is why I was leaning twards the 4.0, but want to hear what people think of the 3.0, since I've seen alot more of those around!!

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One four wheeler won't effect it much, or a light 16 foot boat with a small motor.

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I pulled a 17' Alumacraft Tournament Pro 170 CS, it pulled it ok without overdrive. 16 mpg pulling it. I would get the 4.0 if pulling...

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One other thing about a Ranger sized truck... I have had a 16' alum boat with a 90hp motor push me through a stop sign. The trailer did NOT have brakes, and the small truck is not very heavy. If you are used to a full sized truck, just give your self a lot of extra braking time. It will use it.

Now, granted, I was younger then, and drove differently than I do now wink

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watch what gearing the rear end has. that can have a HUGE effect on power and gas mileage.

I have the 3.0L, 5 speed and 4:10 gears in my ranger. it pulls plenty good for a small truck. its no speed deamon, but it gets it done.

and I agree. the 3.0 is a dead reliable simple engine.

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I had a 3.0 in a 92 Aerostar and 4.0's in two more. I am a sales rep for a carpet manufacturer. Load them up with samples and your heavier than any boat you will pull. I have also had them fully loaded and pulled a 17.5' Stratos. The motor is not the problem. The issues to look into are brakes,drivetrain,springs and shocks

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