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Sell or Keep/fix: 96 S10 2.2 RWD 5spd Ext Cab

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I'm sure most of you have been growning tired of my previous thread from last December about me looking for and fixing a 96 Sonoma (S10). I personally can't blame you, the thread is really long and kind of boring at this point. Just came back from the inspection station, discovered the left front frame between the steering box and the sway bar mount is badly rusted and it'll fail inspection because of this. I bought it as a semi-disposable cheap vehicle for work.

I have a few options here.

  1. I should be able to locate this piece, cut one off and weld it in place of the existing one. I have a welder and the tools to handle this except for a battery operated sawzall to harvest the piece. I do have the batteries though from the kit work bought me, guess at the cost including the sawzall: $300
  2. I can sell it and buy another "semi-disposable 5spd 2wd ext. cab small pickup". Clearly since it's failed inspection, this has greatly diminished the value.
  3. I can buy another semi-disposable 5spd 2wd ext. cab small pickup and then fix this one at my leisure, then drive which ever one is in better condition and sell the other.
  4. Buy another one and fix this one, maybe, if my 15 year old, soon to be 16 year old, acts likes she's 26 except for that whole responsibility/maturity thing ever gets her head out of her ass, I could give it to her, because she's not getting a Jeep Wrangler for her birthday next week like she would have if she remained the respectful, responsible, hard working child she was a year ago. Where's my boot?

I digress, aside from the poor attempt at humor at having a teenage daughter, what would you do? (don't have kids - too late for me!) I do have cash on hand to buy another. I drive this primarily for work, I've put 29,000 miles on it since buying it 11 months ago. During this time, most of my expense reimbursement has been placed into an account for just this particular reason.

The vehicle will not be legal to drive after 12/31. I have to have something to drive come January 2nd for work. I do not think I'll have it fixed by then. In a hypothetical situation, if I were to take my chances with getting caught by the law, come January 9, I have to go to a place that will not let me in with a vehicle that doesn't have current inspection, and yes, they check often enough that I'd probably get found out.

It has to be ext. cab. I have a bag of tools and battery operated drill/driver and now vacuum that I carry all the time for work. There's no way this stuff will fit on my passenger's seat and if it were there, it would invite a break-in. A truck box is fine by me, however, I need to haul a skid of equipment to be installed at a client often enough that a truck box is going to take up valuable space. The extra seats do come in handy occasionally too.

I want the 2wd for better fuel milage and 5spd is a must, unless it's free. I'll drive a slush box till it breaks if it's free. I don't see anything that fits the above for free.

I do think I got my money's worth out of this, but my judgement is a little tainted by the fact that in the last 1,000 miles I replaced a caliper and rotor as well as the EGR valve (again! bastard Standard Motor products can rot in hell!)

It has one cab corner patched by the PO with roofing flashing, various rust spots around the cab and bed and a hole in one rocker panel roughly large enough to pass a pack of cigarettes through - although that's not going to cause another inspection failure yet. I could always rivet more flashing over that hole to match the cab corner.

If it makes a difference, this is the only reason it failed, it passed emissions and all other aspects of inspection. Tires are decent, fuel mileage is OK at 25-28. Current actual miles is 201K, however, the odo reads 128K. Complete log of all work I did since I bought it in January is here The log shows the odometer reading respective to the current odo. I swapped a non-functioning speedo out and that changed the odo reading.

Budget is about $2,000 to buy.

Edited by Smacaroni
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If it's anything other than option 1, I found this about an hour away. I'm going to find out what "body rough" means, cause the photos look fine to me.

http://reading.craigslist.org/cto/5366493726.html

 

 1998 Ford Ranger - $2000

00a0a_92Hzcn67utc_600x450.jpg

98 Ford Ranger 2.5 4 cylinder 5 speed manual 2wd. 216,000 miles. Fresh tune up, 5% tinted windows, recent state and emission inspection. Runs and drives good, body rough, almost zero rust, recent alignment. $2000 obo.

Edited by Smacaroni

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If it's anything other than option 1, I found this about an hour away. I'm going to find out what "body rough" means, cause the photos look fine to me.

http://reading.craigslist.org/cto/5366493726.html

A picture of the rotted out place would be helpful. If it's not too big of an area I'd either use either rectangular tubing and tie it in to make fit or just use 1/4" plate. And just build off what's there. But the 2.5 in the ranger is a good engine. I've got a 92 with its little brother the 2.3 with unknown miles. It's either 280k or 380. It just won't die.

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I'll post a photo tomorrow (bit dark right now), it's beyond a patch job, IMHO. Although you're right, you can fix anything, the question is, "how much time, money and effort does one want to invest?".

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Not the best photos, but I hope this illustrates how far gone this piece is. Also, since it's right next to the steering box, patching would require a significant amount of fabrication compared to cutting and welding in a section from a donor frame.

post-181884-0-22558700-1450964128.jpg

 

post-181884-0-98429800-1450964245.jpg

 

post-181884-0-97990400-1450964261.jpg

 

The holes large enough to stick a finger in, I can feel dried grass. I bet this has been a problem since the lick-it and stick-it inspection the PO had done last year. If I were to cut and weld a section in, the cut would need to be rearward of the steering box mounting holes because the rot is larger than those points. At least the lower mounting hole anyway, it's hard to tell with the upper mounting point because I can't see it without lifting the truck.

I could get lucky and just be able to cut out a "C" shape from the rotted area and weld that back in, or I could get very unlucky too and find the rust damage is just as bad up to the point where the A-arms connect into the frame but its not visible yet. I'd bet on the former, but be prepared for the latter when I harvest the frame piece.

IMAG0540.jpg

IMAG0541.jpg

IMAG0542.jpg

Edited by Smacaroni

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Not the best photos, but I hope this illustrates how far gone this piece is. Also, since it's right next to the steering box, patching would require a significant amount of fabrication compared to cutting and welding in a section from a donor frame.

post-181884-0-22558700-1450964128.jpg

post-181884-0-98429800-1450964245.jpg

post-181884-0-97990400-1450964261.jpg

The holes large enough to stick a finger in, I can feel dried grass. I bet this has been a problem since the lick-it and stick-it inspection the PO had done last year. If I were to cut and weld a section in, the cut would need to be rearward of the steering box mounting holes because the rot is larger than those points. At least the lower mounting hole anyway, it's hard to tell with the upper mounting point because I can't see it without lifting the truck.

I could get lucky and just be able to cut out a "C" shape from the rotted area and weld that back in, or I could get very unlucky too and find the rust damage is just as bad up to the point where the A-arms connect into the frame but its not visible yet. I'd bet on the former, but be prepared for the latter when I harvest the frame piece.

IMHO it's not worth it. Seeing exactly where it's at and to do it right and get it welded good your pretty much going to have to strip the entire front of the truck. If it was mine I'd see just how much I could get for it and cut my losses.
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Yup, that's what I was thinking when i posted this thread. Waiting for interior photos from the Ranger, going to try to check it out this Saturday if the interior isn't trashed.

I love hard deadlines.

I'll post the Sonoma for sale after I get something else.

Glad I did not do the rear end swap, wish I had realized how bad this was before putting in a new EGR and caliper and rotor. Even so, the Sonoma was a good deal for a year long beater, IMHO.

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Reading the Ranger station thread "98+ problems" http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19690

Right now, what should I look for when I check it out and are there any deal killers I should be aware of before I head out?

i remember reading on the other thread when you were looking at the Rangers the plugs on the back of the transmission leak. I replaced them with the steel freeze plugs from the top after I lifted the carpet and pulled the plate for the shifter hole. Other than the basics for every vehicle I don't know of any problems. At least not with the 4 cyl 5 speed.
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i remember reading on the other thread when you were looking at the Rangers the plugs on the back of the transmission leak. I replaced them with the steel freeze plugs from the top after I lifted the carpet and pulled the plate for the shifter hole. Other than the basics for every vehicle I don't know of any problems. At least not with the 4 cyl 5 speed.

You're right. Someone did mention that. I'll re-read the first few pages of that thread again.

Most of the problems I'm seeing on the Ranger Station thread won't apply to me 4X4 problems - hubs that go bad, transfer case problems, what ever the heck a GEM is. Also complaints about automatic transmissions being weak, not shifting right - there's a reason I like to stir my transmission and this is one of them. I do hear problems with slave cylinders, but that's something I can fix if it becomes a problem.

 

I saw this and it's something I'd be willing to drive four hours to get, but it's not worth $4500 to me:

http://lancaster.craigslist.org/cto/5354623240.html

 

 

Diesel Ranger 1983 - $4500 (Peach Bottom, PA)

00w0w_izBlf9en94O_600x450.jpg

 

1983 Ford Ranger Diesel

Recently painted

4 speed manual

2.2l perkins

Body and frame in very good condition

Interior needs work

Fuel pump just rebuilt along with a lot of other work done to pass inspection

It's also a regular cab, but mostly, it's not worth $4500 to me. Still cool, just not that cool.

Edited by Smacaroni
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And this is what "body rough" means. A PO repaired a section of the bed with body putty:

post-181884-0-06962900-1451015661.jpg

 

If I get it, first thing I need to do is get rid of the multi-colored body panels. I still have white paint rattle cans from last time around. I think like three cans should make this red tailgate white.

post-181884-0-42373000-1451015649.jpg

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And this is what "body rough" means. A PO repaired a section of the bed with body putty:

post-181884-0-06962900-1451015661.jpg

If I get it, first thing I need to do is get rid of the multi-colored body panels. I still have white paint rattle cans from last time around. I think like three cans should make this red tailgate white.

post-181884-0-42373000-1451015649.jpg

Looks good. A can't tell from the picture but it looks pretty decent to me.

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My first thought was weld er up - or find a backwoods body shop and pay to have it fixed - at the Toyota dealership I work at we had an old 4runner with huge rusted out sections of the frame, and a local body shop welded up patches and plates for reinforcement for like $500 and it looked great.

That said - for $2000 that ranger looks decent, and the ranger dangers aren't a bad little truck at all. Especially 4cyl 5 speed - not so much 4.0L auto !!

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My first thought was weld er up - or find a backwoods body shop and pay to have it fixed - at the Toyota dealership I work at we had an old 4runner with huge rusted out sections of the frame, and a local body shop welded up patches and plates for reinforcement for like $500 and it looked great.

That said - for $2000 that ranger looks decent, and the ranger dangers aren't a bad little truck at all. Especially 4cyl 5 speed - not so much 4.0L auto !!

I've got both the only trouble I've ever had with the 4.0 was a thermostat. Other than it doesn't get great mileage its a great truck.

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My first thought was weld er up

...

That said - for $2000 that ranger looks decent, and the ranger dangers aren't a bad little truck at all. Especially 4cyl 5 speed - not so much 4.0L auto !!

Depending on how fast the Sonoma sells, I may still fix it (and adjust the price accordingly after getting a new sticker). in the mean time, I'm going to buy something else.

The Ford looks better, little newer, hopefully I won't lose too much in fuel milage with the extra 10% displacement.

Looking at the Ranger tomorrow at noon.

We'll see.

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One often overlooked milage gain is tires - there are a number of low rolling resistance tires that can gain surprisingly big MPG without sacrificing ride or traction - best example I can give is the Yokohama ENVigor, which was a 75 km gain per tank over the original Goodyear RS-A on my Dads impala company car....

Just a thought, obviously this only makes sense if tires are required anyways and the pricing isn't too prohibitive

Is that.a 2 spark plug per cylinder engine in the ranger?

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One often overlooked milage gain is tires - there are a number of low rolling resistance tires that can gain surprisingly big MPG without sacrificing ride or traction - best example I can give is the Yokohama ENVigor, which was a 75 km gain per tank over the original Goodyear RS-A on my Dads impala company car....

Just a thought, obviously this only makes sense if tires are required anyways and the pricing isn't too prohibitive

Is that.a 2 spark plug per cylinder engine in the ranger?

Yes, that was one thing I switched early with the Sonoma, ditched the light truck tired for cross over tires, forget which ones I bought, but I won't be using them again, way tracking traction was lousy, but I gained a free miles per tank. They were six pounds lighter than the ones that were on there when I got it. But the first set of tires were practically shot and the bad upper ball joints finished them off.

The Sonoma was in pretty bad shape when I got it, I think I did several people a favor when I bought it. Without immediate attention, it was a hazard on the road. But it was $900, so I jumped right in. No regrets.

No idea how many plugs per cylinder on the Ranger, I'll let you know.

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