I recently purchased a 2001 Ranger with pkg. 394A. This is a 4x4, 4.0L, 4-door, and includes off-road options.
My question: Should it have been delivered with a skid plate in the front?
Mine has skid plates for the fuel tank and the transfer case, but none in front for radiator/suspension/oil pan. Various items that I have read are ambiguous - some mention the front plate and some only mention the other two, and most don't specify exactly what should be there.
Anyway, if any of you have a 2001 Ranger with the 394A package, and could let me know if yours came with the front skid plate, that would be very helpful.
Or, if there is a place that I could confirm absolutely whether the front skid plate should be installed or not that would be good too.
No, for some odd reason, Ford only put skid plates on the front in 2000. My 1999 also does not have it. I don't see why you couldn't go to Ford, and order the front skid plate for a 2000 model and slap it on there if you want to.
Same issue with the 2002 Off Road package. Some of the literature was not too clear on if a front skid plate was included. Bottom line- it's not. I gave a brief look at the FX4 skid plate; looks cool but there appears to be some interference issues with "stuff" forward of the motor. Anyone know for sure if the 2000 plate will fit?
I don't know for SURE that it will fit. But it is my assumption that Ford has not changed the Ranger chassis since it got a remake in 1998. The body panels, hood, etc. were slighty reshaped in 2001, but to the extent of my knowledge the chassis and frame of the trucks 1998-2003 should be pretty much identical. Anyone else think differently?
If this is the case, there is no reason a skid plate like the ones used on the 2000 models would not work.
I don't know why Ford used them for a year and then discontinued them. My '99 has the "0ff-Road" package, yet the radiator and transmission cooler are completely exposed and hang down farther than the front bumper. This is NOT good...especially if you really do travel off-road sometimes. So I'm going to check the prices on a skid plate for the front myself. The skid plate should not interfere with the oil pan drain plug or the oil filter for servicing...at least not on the 4.0 engine prior to 2001.
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