The third generation of the European Ranger took place in 2010 in Australia – in fact, the specialists of Ford’s Australian division were directly involved in the development. In this case, just the third generation removed the boundary between the European and North American name Ranger: since 2010, it was a single model sold around the world. True, the pickup returned to North America only recently, in 2019, but for us it is not so important. In fact, in Russia, the career of the pickup also proved to be short-lived: after the debut in 2010, it reached us only in 2011, but with a decent range of power units and cab options. And this Ford, as they say, had it all: we were not spared neither engines, nor transmissions, nor a choice of cabs.
The base model had a 2.5 liter gasoline engine and a manual, then came a diesel version with a 2.2 liter engine, and at the top of the range was Ranger Wildtrak with a 200 hp 3.2 liter diesel engine. Prices then started at about a million rubles and went as high as 1.4 million, but by 2014 had risen to 1.35 million to 1.6 million. As a result, in 2015, the Ranger fell victim to the reduction of the lineup along with the S-Max and Galaxy minivans. By the way, the Ford pickup has something in common with the previously mentioned Mitsubishi L200: Ford was also assembled in Thailand. But the trucks were coming to us from South Africa. Moreover, despite the withdrawal from our market of passenger cars, Ford even prolonged for 2019 OTTS for Ranger, thinking about the return of the model. But it expectedly didn’t go beyond thought, so the pickup can now be bought exclusively used, and from 6 years old. Let’s look how these years could affect its condition.
The age affects the body condition very noticeably. It comes to serious problems in the form of rust-through corrosion seldom, but there will be enough little things. The high front end, which is more aerodynamic and not so flat, still traditionally suffers from stones. Wheel arches, especially back, are actively frayed because of the “sandblasting”, and the upper edges of the cargo platform are quickly erased by loads and bodies. By the way, the cargo platform suffers not only from impacts. The Ranger does not like overloading, there are even cases of cracking of the outer part of the cargo platform, so the springs killed by life are the reason to go around the machine once again.
Bumper-fender joints are another typical area of paint damage, in neglected cases it can lead to rust. The paint here in general is quite fragile, especially for a pickup: peeling areas around the door handles clearly confirm it. Special attention should be paid to sills: they usually keep very decent look from outside, but it does not mean that they did not start to rot from inside. Often the secret becomes clear, when there is no more time to do without small bloodshed, and it is necessary to cut and digest thresholds entirely. To assess the condition, you need to look at the bottom of the sills in the seam area and assess the tightness of this area.
Continuing the inspection from below, it is possible to proceed to check the frame number – its damage is not frequent, but it is guaranteed to bring problems. The mounts of the suspension points and the bottom of the cargo platform are sure to have corrosion damage, but it is important that it is not deep. Another point of inspection is the body supports. They are only original, and cost not prohibitively expensive, but also not very cheap – 6-9 thousand for each, so taking into account the cost of works on replacement, they are often not changed until the knocking occurs.
The platform of the third-generation Ranger was formally new, but this does not mean that the Japanese past is over once and for all – Mazda BT-50 second generation was developed in parallel, so there are still interchangeable parts, and in some cases the neighboring catalog can be useful. Suspension designs are quite typical for a pickup truck: independent double wishbone up front and uncut axle on leaf springs at the rear. In the front suspension parts from Mazda come to the rescue – silent blocks at 2-4 thousand per unit are too expensive, but the ball joints for the same money can be useful, although a small range of non-original is available. Original levers, of course, are repulsed by the price: 10 thousand for the upper one and 18 for the lower one, but there are non-original variants for the upper one. Stabilizer rods will amuse you with the price of “branded” parts: 5-9 thousand per unit, although non-original can be bought for 500-700 rubles, and a decent one will cost a thousand and a half for each. Hub bearings are also suitable from Mazda BT-50, and for 2-4 thousand instead of 7 thousand you can buy an analogue of Ford parts. The choice of shock absorbers is not wide: the original 8-12 thousand per unit can be called here in all senses as equivalent replacement of alternatives from KYB and Monroe, though there are also frankly cheap variants. At the rear the range is somewhat complicated due to absence of non-original leaf springs: not every owner wants to pay 20-25 thsd. for the original, so it is sheets from Gazon, Gazelle and other cargo equipment. But there are bushings for every taste, and even original bushings are rather inexpensive – from 1,5 thousand. But the shock-absorbers are again without alternatives – for 10k apiece, which makes you to search the catalogs of Mazda or just to match their length.
Brakes here are also without any frills: if ventilated discs in front, then always “worker-peasant” drums in back. Consumables cost quite normal money, if traditionally for Ford not to pay attention to original components. Front disks, for example, start from 2,5 thousand, and you can buy a decent version for 3,5-5 thousand, and give another 1,5-2 for a set of pads. Behind the manufacturers aftermarket help even more: if the original brake disks cost 10 thousand, the drums – 25 thousand, on the other hand there are several variants of the non-original, and they cost from 1.5 to 5 thousand. By the way, it is worth checking the work of back brakes: frequently they are not examined for some years, and the frozen mechanisms and inoperative handbrake are not embarrassing. The steering of pre-styling cars is the usual, with booster, and does not make surprises until 120-150 thousands. In case of leaks, it is cheaper to repair the rack: a restored one will cost 40-50 thou, and the original with a price tag from 60 thou can be mentioned just for show. But it is necessary to pay attention to a hydraulic pump in any case. If it makes noise, it is a good bargaining chip: there are no non-original variants, and the original costs from 30 thou. So, as well as in case with a rack, it is necessary to reassemble, blessing that there are repair kits on sale.
Four-wheel drive was not the strong side of Ranger: it lost the competition to L200 and other peers, as it offered only one scheme with hard-wheel drive of part-time type. There are two conclusions. Firstly, fans of permanent all-wheel drive did not buy Ford, and secondly, transfer gearbox, step-down and transmission as a whole should be checked with a pinch of salt, because not all owners know how to use part-time scheme. In absence of interaxle differential, it is possible to switch on front axle only at lack of roads and on slippery surface, otherwise transfer gearbox and drives suffer. Actually, it is necessary to examine them first of all, and also to pay attention to universal joints – here the crosspieces lose play and splines break. The oil in transfer gearbox should be also checked – there should be neither blackness, nor emulsion.
The Ranger was fitted with three different transmissions. The base petrol engine came with a five-speed manual, while the diesel units had a six-speed manual and an automatic. The manual transmissions – both the five-speed MT75 and the six-speed MT82 – are quite reliable, but the five-speed still wins in terms of life and durability. It is familiar from commercial vehicles like Ford Transit, and six-speed – from, for example, canonical Land Rover Defender. Telling the truth, relations with Defender do not mean, that the gearbox perfectly endures off-road: just sharp loadings it does not like, in the most unsuccessful cases it is possible even to damage gears. With it the probability to buy alive “contract” box on the scrap is not high: on Transit it goes in even tougher conditions, and the mileage is even higher. Thus the repair will not be cheap – remember it during test drive, listening to possible crunching, noises and hums. And also we should take into account that Ford has expensive flywheels: if it is possible to buy non-original clutch for 12-15 thousand instead of 40 thousand, the new flywheel will be original and will cost 30 thousand anyway.
The automatic transmission with the name 6R80 is nothing else but Ford’s variation of 6HP26 from ZF. It cannot be called completely unsuccessful, but it is already very modern: with early and active lockup of hydraulic torque converter, high working temperature and, accordingly, quickly aging oil. If to change it every 40-50 thousand kilometers, the box is quite capable to go 200 thousand before the first opening, but in practice not many people bother with it. So now it is better to budget for quality diagnostics and future repairs, as well as for the installation of an external radiator.
There were three engines available for Ford’s pickup, and all three were available here. The base engine was a 2.5 liter 166 hp Duratec, and for extra money a 2.2 or 3.2 liter diesel engine was available. The gasoline engine is a good and bad option at the same time. On the one hand, it is a simple unit, which traces its roots back to not young and proven by Mazda L-family engines. There are cast-iron liners in the aluminum block, not bad chain timing and simple distributed injection, which promises a decent service life. If one can keep track of the cooling system cleanliness and use good oil, the potential life span is over 250000 km. However, the engine is not the best choice for a pickup. Firstly, it does not provide a heavy vehicle with decent dynamics, and in addition it makes you to push the pedal heavily, which leads the fuel consumption to the horizon of 17-19 liters. Secondly, it loses even to 2,2-liter diesel engine in torque and a half time, that is important both on lack of roads and when transporting cargoes. Well and thirdly, its rated capacity is 166 horsepower against “convenient” 150 for the younger diesel engine. It is not surprising, that the overwhelming majority of buyers have overpaid hundred thousand for a diesel engine. The secondary market clearly confirms it: at the time of writing, there were only 3 petrol cars on sale on Avito out of 36.
Diesel engines are another matter. Already the junior 2.2-liter T22DD0P produces 375 Nm of torque (gasoline – 225), and the top 3.2-liter five-cylinder T32DDOP, offered for Wildtrak, – 470. Both engines hide under unnamed name Duratorq and belong not to more recent TDCi, developed on the base of French DW engines, but to even older range Puma. In general, the engines are not bad: if on Transit they suffer because of high mileage, on Ranger the operation is not so tough and maintenance is not so poor. However, here it is still worth paying attention to the EGR system, which is often fairly plugged, as well as to diagnose the fuel system, and especially the fuel injection system. However, the cost of error here is not fatal: a high-pressure pump can be bought as non-original from 30 thou rubles, and injectors cost 20 thou, which is expensive, but acceptable by diesel standards. The timing mechanism here is also chain and quite reliable, although it is better to change it every 150 thousand, rather than as noise occurs.
Well and now, having briefly found out what engineers of the Australian division of Ford have created, it is possible to try to form the portrait of a good copy. As we already know, petrol cars with all good luck of the engine are not the best variant, and besides it is extremely rare, so it is more logical to look for a diesel car. The best variant will be well-groomed Ranger from the first owner – approximately such. The run of about 200 thousand kilometers is not critical: the service life of a piston is much more, so pay attention to the fuel equipment, supercharger and condition of the gearbox.
And if you want to get everything from Ranger, including dynamics and equipment, it makes sense to look for a pickup with 3.2-liter 200 hp Wildtrak engine. Here, too, there’s still a chance to find a car from the first or second owner with about 200,000 miles – like this one. And if you will like Ford’s vision of a mid-sized pickup, then, maybe, love will come to a restyled Ranger Raptor – thank goodness, they already bring such trucks from the USA to us to order.