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Old 07-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
frantic29
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Default F150 Vs. Ranger switch. My thoughts

Hello guys just thought I would give some of my thoughts for the people thinking they may want to switch to a Ranger. Seen a few people around mulling this decision and since I just did make the switch I figured I would put my thoughts here now that I have driven the Ranger for a few months and hopefully it can help somebody. These are just basic thoughts without getting into difficulty to work on and stuff like that. Although what little I have done the Ranger is easier so far.

First off I had a 2006 F150XLT Supercab 4 door 4x4 with the 5.4. It was an extremely nice and reliable truck for me that I loved so this opinion doesn't come with a bad experience. My Ranger is a 98XLT 4.0 4X4 Supercab 4door, 5speed. So with the exception of the tranny they are pretty similiarly equipped trucks.My reason for the switch was I just needed out from under the payment but still wanted the versatility of a truck.

First thing people talk about is mileage so thats where I will start. The Ranger is about 4mpg better than the F150. For my driving that equates to $50 bucks a month cheaper than the F150. Not a lot but it does pay my insurance every month. Keep in mind this is bone stock for both vehicles.

Driving is really no different for my Ranger. Only thing is now I have to shift. My Ranger drives just as good or better than my F150 did. Also the 4.0 in the Ranger has better power than the 5.4 did in the F150. The power to weight is much better and I am sure it helps that I can manage it how I want with the 5 speed. But if the interior was the same in both trucks I wouldn't be able to tell which I was driving. Both drive very well.

Maintenance cost. If your looking to save with a move to a Ranger this is where it gets a lot cheaper to own a Ranger. Brakes, shocks, spark plug change, etc. I have yet to pay more than 1/3 of what it cost me to fix or replace the same things on my F150. In some instances I paid less than a 1/4. And these are same manufacturers on the parts and when I did have a shop do it like in the case of the spark plugs it was the same shop. This is also just using local auto parts stores. No internet crazy deals or anything. In any case a whole hell of a lot cheaper to work on than a F150 which to me was a pleasant surprise because I was not expecting that.

The only big plus I can really give the F150 is room. I do miss that. The front seat in the ranger offers ample room for most people but the back is tiny. I took my back seats out because really they are useless. Right know I am getting around the lack of covered storage with a tonnaeu cover. It works well enough so far and just rolls up if I need to haul something bigger. But I still miss my big cab in the F150.

I have yet to tow anything with my Ranger but the only thing I ever towed with my F150 was a couple of four wheelers. I am sure the Ranger could handle that just fine. My uses for both trucks are the same. Daily driving and hunting. Haven't been hunting yet in my Ranger and this is where the lack of room is the most concerning to me. By the time I throw in my bow, all my cloths, a deer dolly, deer stands and whatever else I may decide to bring there won't be much room left in the little truck but I'll manage. This so far is the only real sacrifice I have had to make with the switch.

In the few months I have owned my Ranger I must say it has made me a fan. The 4.0 doesn't use a drop of oil, it runs and starts great and it has 187000 miles on it. It makes good power and the tranny and rear end seem to do a good job of getting the power to the ground. For people out there who are looking to save some money in repairs, don't have kids to haul around, or just need a truck that can do those smaller truck jobs then Rangers are wonderful vehicle to have sitting in the driveway. Also have an advantage of navigating tight parking lots better than a full size truck can. I was very afraid I would regret not going back to a full size truck after selling my F150 and I can honestly say I am glad I got my Ranger and really haven't missed my F150 a bit except for those occasions I have stuff I want to put in the cab that just won't fit. But thats few and far between. All in all Rangers are excellent alternatives to F150s if your situation calls for a change like mine did.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
robertc1024
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This is funny. I did just the opposite. I agree with your assesment whole heartedly. I went looking for a newer Ranger, and couldn't find any without a zillion miles, beat to death or more expensive than an F150. I ended up getting a super clean 08 F150 with 50k. I much prefered the Ranger's convenience and size. The F150 has the 4.6 and it gets ~3 MPG less than the Ranger and equates to ~$30/month for me. It is also a slow pig.

The real game changers for me were:
1. It's a lot newer vehicle and will probably be more reliable.
2. Ownership costs are almost the same - insurance is a little higher, but tolerable.
3. It has A/C.
4. It can tow my boat.
5. I can carry more that one passenger unless somebody wants to be a contortionist in the jump seats.

If I had found a newer Ranger, I probably would have jumped on it. I certainly like driving it better than the F150. In the end, I kept my old Ranger to play around in.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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When I went the other way:

1. I was going to keep my '85 Ranger.
2. As it sat a brand new Ranger couldn't really do any more than my old one.
3. They got about the same milage as a fullsize if not a little worse in the Ranger (compared to my college roomates '00)
4. Why have two trucks that are basically the same thing?

So I got my 2002 5.4 4x4 F-150, three years old with 25k miles for a hair less than they wanted for a brand new '05 Ranger. It flirted with 20mpg on the stock tires, had oodles of room and I no longer had to borrow a truck when I wanted to haul my tractor.

I have tweaked with the Ranger enough it feels a lot spunkier than the F-150, proper gearing (3.31 gears + 32" MT's = dog) and moving a ton less of steel and plastic helps a lot. On paper it gives up 110hp and 65 lb-ft so I know it doesn't have as much or more power.

I love both trucks, the Ranger as a toy and the '150 as everything else.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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My F150 will outwork my old Ranger any day. My main reason for switching was because my 3 daughters won't fit in the back of a Ranger. My Ranger got 15-17 mpg, and I've been getting a solid 15.8 out of the F150 the last 3 tanks. My insurance is about 2 bucks more per month than my Ranger was. I also like that my F150 has a manual transfer case (I know it's changeable on the Ranger though).

I do miss the ability to park the Ranger in the space you can fit a car. The F150 requires parking next to someone who can park between the lines properly, which leaves very few available parking stalls at a Utah Walmart.

Overall, I'm happy I switched. It's a great truck - even being a 4.6 it does well.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:57 PM   #5
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I do miss the ability to park the Ranger in the space you can fit a car. The F150 requires parking next to someone who can park between the lines properly, which leaves very few available parking stalls at a Utah Walmart.
I always park out in no-mans-land so it isn't a big deal for me.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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I agree with pretty much everything you guys are saying that went the opposite way from what I did. In a perfect world I would still have my F150. Well, really in a perfect world I would have new Raptor but I digress. My main point was moving from a F150 to a ranger is not the end of the world like I thought to may be. Its a capable little truck. For me I don't have anything to haul around except for hunting equipment, the occasion four-wheeler, and if I'm lucky a dead deer so this does the job for me great. If I needed towing and/or had little ones I would have never gone this route. But its working for me so far.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 85_Ranger4x4 View Post
When I went the other way:

1. I was going to keep my '85 Ranger.
2. As it sat a brand new Ranger couldn't really do any more than my old one.
3. They got about the same milage as a fullsize if not a little worse in the Ranger (compared to my college roomates '00)
4. Why have two trucks that are basically the same thing?

So I got my 2002 5.4 4x4 F-150, three years old with 25k miles for a hair less than they wanted for a brand new '05 Ranger. It flirted with 20mpg on the stock tires, had oodles of room and I no longer had to borrow a truck when I wanted to haul my tractor.

I have tweaked with the Ranger enough it feels a lot spunkier than the F-150, proper gearing (3.31 gears + 32" MT's = dog) and moving a ton less of steel and plastic helps a lot. On paper it gives up 110hp and 65 lb-ft so I know it doesn't have as much or more power.

I love both trucks, the Ranger as a toy and the '150 as everything else.
I didn't mean the Ranger literally had more power. Just that particular engine tranny combo and the smaller stature of the Ranger gives the illusion of more power in better acceleration than what my F150 had with the 5.4. Really I don't believe the 5.4 was a very good engine. Especially the early ones. Cam phasers and spark plug issues and I know of a lot that just up and blew with very few miles on them. And really the F150s with those motors were underpowered can't imagine what the 4.6s are like.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by frantic29 View Post
I didn't mean the Ranger literally had more power. Just that particular engine tranny combo and the smaller stature of the Ranger gives the illusion of more power in better acceleration than what my F150 had with the 5.4. Really I don't believe the 5.4 was a very good engine. Especially the early ones. Cam phasers and spark plug issues and I know of a lot that just up and blew with very few miles on them. And really the F150s with those motors were underpowered can't imagine what the 4.6s are like.
My 4.6 F150 would smack my 4.0 Ranger in a run. I did drive some 5.4's that were dogs when I was hunting for an F150, but most of them had bigger tires. The cam phaser issue wasn't on the early 5.4's, rather it was the 3V version. Both versions had spark plug issues, but more common on the 3V version.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:47 PM   #9
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Honestly the only reason i have a ranger is for gas mileage and its a parts runner for the lightning.
Its small, cramped, and slow as hell.

Its amazing to look at the quality difference between my f150 and the ranger.
The sheet metal is thinner, the doors shake above 70mph, and theres a lot of other little things ive noticed.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by frantic29 View Post
I didn't mean the Ranger literally had more power. Just that particular engine tranny combo and the smaller stature of the Ranger gives the illusion of more power in better acceleration than what my F150 had with the 5.4. Really I don't believe the 5.4 was a very good engine. Especially the early ones. Cam phasers and spark plug issues and I know of a lot that just up and blew with very few miles on them. And really the F150s with those motors were underpowered can't imagine what the 4.6s are like.
My brother works at the local dealer, the only 5.4's they have changed out are the ones that have an intake leak and try to run without coolant or try the 20k mile oil change program. He has been doing since '06 and I don't think they have had one come in that "just up an died" without neglect being a factor.

Stock my 5.4 wasn't really noticable different just driving the truck around vs my brother's 4.6. Towing however is a totally different game and the 4.6 comes out on the losing end...
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