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  #1  
Old 12-11-2008, 05:14 PM
oldred1988 oldred1988 is offline
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1990 Ranger and Ford's 2.8 Liter V6

hello, i have been told by a couple people to stay away from the 2.8 Liter 6 cylinder engines that ford put in the rangers. i have also been told that they are a good engine. ive heard good and bad about them. i've heard that they can tend to ruin heads because of a poor design, and because they were very thin cylinder walls. any input would be great, as i am looking into buying a 1990 ranger with this engine and a 5 speed manual transmission with 128,000 miles and 4 wheel drive. i was planning to use it as a primary gas getter daily driver to drive about 50 miles a day. also wondered what kind of mileage i could get out of it. thanks. i am supposed to go look at the truck on saturday.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2008, 05:21 PM
99F150 99F150 is offline
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1990 actually has the 2.9 L V6 a redesign of the 2.8.

I bought a 1988 4x4 supercab with the 2.9 5speed 3.73 rear gear new.
Great truck, I averaged 20mpg on a work commute and could get 23 with cruise set at 60mph on trips.

As long as it never gets hot it should run well past 200k miles.
Just have to rember it is going on 19 years old.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2008, 06:40 PM
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if you really want to get down to it the 2.8 has a better record for longevity, 2.9s have cracked head issues leading to premature demise. My 2.8 in 84 4x4 ranger went 310,000 miles before rebuild. 2.9s good motor as long as you dont let them get hot.
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2008, 07:05 PM
wendell borror wendell borror is offline
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You should be fine, just don't overheat it. Yeah, you should get around 20 mpg, maybe even a little better with the 5-speed, not bad for a 4x4. Actually, the 2.9 has better lowend torque than a 3.0.
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2008, 07:25 PM
matt's2.9STX matt's2.9STX is offline
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I grew up on carb'd autos which screams at me this is one very old truck for carb. Still that's a 2-edge sword. If you get any trouble with it, it would be wise to simply try for minimal fix - ie new floats, choke & power valve. That is assuming you want the best fuel economy. As I've known them rebuild shops usually don't have the exact generic builds as the OEM unit on your ride. The jet size being the single biggest issue, but also set screws as well. Also, if your state isn't too fussy about smog, it's usually easier to tweak for power & economy than EFI. Long as you only disable what the engine doesn't actually need. Of course, you could also do something radical with it.
O yeah, '90 really is MFI, so this probably moot. 2.9L easier to build up for big power gains if the engine top-notch such as perfect heads.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:16 PM
wendell borror wendell borror is offline
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Matt, I believe he was mistaken when he said 2.8. I believe he meant 2.9 as thats what came in the 1990 rangers and they were fuel injected.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:37 PM
matt's2.9STX matt's2.9STX is offline
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True, but a 2.8l can be swapped in, 1 in a million maybe for a random used truck. The 2.9l may be a little less rugged overall, but I liked mine. And the block had some big improvements. I have pdf's of the some good stuff on Colognes. Sound ways to make them much better given patience & cash flow. Either way, long as it's sound, should be worth every penny.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:31 AM
matt's2.9STX matt's2.9STX is offline
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I know, but he could have found an O so rare swapped thing...
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:31 AM
oldred1988 oldred1988 is offline
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yes, sorry i did mean the 2.9 Liter, don't know what i was thinking when i wrote the thread...apparently i wasnt lol i greatly appreciate your input. i am still a little weary on it tho because i dont know how well it has previously been cared for. but definately understand its going on 19 years old so i cant expect anything great...what should i look for when i go check it out? like some signs of wear and tear...and so on? or if it has previously been overheated? any way to tell really or no?
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:14 AM
wendell borror wendell borror is offline
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Just make sure it runs smooth, no antifreeze in the oil. Let it warm up for awhile to make sure there's no steam comming from the engine, check the temp gauge to make sure it's normal after warming up. Check the heater to make sure it's putting out correctly. The 2.9 is over all a good engine and people get many miles out of them. I wouldn't be too leary of it unless there's something that really sticks at you. If the engine is sound, of course check out tranny operation and what not. If you find some minor flaws, use that to haggle the price. I wouldn't stay away from the truck just because it has a 2.9, I've had a couple of them with no issue's. The only real flaw is the heads and thats not a problem with everyone, just because a head may crack doesn't mean it will or has. Just use common sense like looking at any vehicle. There's lot's of 2.9's still running around after all these years, so they can't be that bad and there not.
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2009 FORD RANGER fx4 off/road, 5-speed manual, torson diff and rancho's!

2008 mercury mariner 4x4 V-6, automatic.

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  #11  
Old 12-12-2008, 11:53 AM
99F150 99F150 is offline
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Look in the over flow tank for the radiator. If it is low not a good sign. Try to look at it with cold engine from overnight. When you start it up look for excessive white smoke, this would be coolent being burt off from a craked head.

My 88 had a habit of oil leaking from the intake, plan on replacing the upper and lower gaskets for the intake.
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2008, 03:51 PM
matt's2.9STX matt's2.9STX is offline
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Another thing to look at is for brown residue in that overflow tank. It's usually ignored by mechanics on repairs, so it'll be like looking at a tree's growth rings. On my trucks, I'm careful to keep that as clean as possible, esp with system flush.
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2008, 12:16 PM
tomw tomw is offline
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matt, what is the brown residue in the coolant overflow tank? I've seen it now and again, but never connected it to any specific problem area.

Oh, back on topic, you might want to let the engine get to operating temperature, well warmed up, and then check idle oil pressure. (with a gauge, not the instrument panel dummy) I have read that the 2.9 can get looseness in its cam bearings, leading to lower oil pressure, and possible lifter tap at idle.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2008, 10:01 PM
matt's2.9STX matt's2.9STX is offline
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Brown residue? Engine rust in the coolant. After a good flush, I take the overflow inside for patient overnight effort. All that work & leave that seems like a waste of time & resources. I haven't worked with aluminum head engines enough to recognize much about those, but I believe they are usually less tolerant of poor maintenance than the 2.9L, whether it's GM, Ford or Chrysler. Either has issues from aluminum bolted to cast iron or blows studs out of aluminum block from pressure. Either way, I get the impression the 2.9L more dependable for same level of care. given use of modern coolant from fresh rebuild & distilled water. Then the World Products heads can take that to a much higher plain of toughness - on 2.8 through 4.0. I hope these little torquers survive a long time. Sweet treasures. Keep us posted. OldRed, that thing sounds like fun. I want to find me another prime Cologne to go with the Vulcan mule.
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2008, 05:19 PM
oldred1988 oldred1988 is offline
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went to look at this truck, and i must say that the pictures did it much justice, the thing was a piece, it had more problems then i do time to mess with it. i was rather disappointed as i was looking forward to a new toy to the collection. i thank all of you kind peoplefor the pointersand tips. i also must say that i am pretty sure all ove the above suggested was wrong AND MORE!!! LOL thanks again. appreciate it.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:19 PM
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