2.3: Solid, dependable, easy (and fairly cheap) to get parts for, good fuel mileage capabilties, respectable power for its size (unless saddled with an automatic) and excellent hop-up potential. Main weakness that I can think of is a tendancy to break cam followers.
4.0: Many of the above strengths apply, mileage isn't quite as good as the 2.3 (duh!) but can still be in the low 20s in a light truck with a 5-speed. Not many hop-up parts available and have a tendancy to crack heads when overheated (though not as bad as the 2.9 V6).
Anybody else want to add your thoughts?
"alot" is not a word...
Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
Never had a truck with the 4.0, but my current daily driver Ranger has a 2.3. It has no performance upgrades, but makes decent power for what I use it for (mainly as a highway runner, but it also does some light hauling). My truck had some minor troubles that were'nt related to the engine itself (electronics and ignition), but after addressing those it has been very reliable. Started when the temps fell to -15 degrees, and has been on day-long trips in 100 degrees. Mileage is consistently around 23-25 mpg, which is the reason I bought this truck, but I have'nt been disappointed by any aspect of it, really. I'm sure that the 4.0 also has its high points, and hope that somebody who has experiences with that engine will post here to give you another side of the story. I looked at Rangers with the 4.0 when I bought my 2.3 version, but after deciding what I would be using the truck for 90% of the time, the 2.3 became the best choice. In the end, I think, that's what it will come down to in most cases.
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how much can an 86 2.3 5spd ranger haul or pull. i just bought one with the idea of later down the road swapping a 4.0 and 4x4 in it. plan on buying a junt explore for donar. but for now i was going to put this 2.3 to the test. i know having the 5spd tranny to be the biggest plus here.
what r ur ideas
i have an 85 2.3 5spd 4x4 ranger, i can never get it stuck and provided the engine is in good running order it can pull quite a bit if you drive it right but one problem i am having with it at the moment is that it is missing, bad it is only running on two cylinders. i will let you know what the problem is when i get it fixed
2.3 is very dependable. I have a 93 extended cab 2 wheel drive with 248,000 + miles, nothing to the engine, 1 alt. , 2 serpentine belts, 3 timing belts( luckily its a non interference engine), fixing to need a starter, 2 clutches( you can try to back too much weight( a Trailer load of block up a hill at 173,000). other than that nothing. Have an 1990 Aerostar with a 4.0 auto. Great little van 198,000. has an odd miss at idle but runs great. I used it for a delivery van for a while. They will crack the heads though
I've got a 2.3 in an 81 Courier, and it's been holding up decently. Starting to burn a bit of oil, but I've been making 200mile trips hauling 750-1000lbs at 65+ with a 4.10 rear end.
It's coming out in favor of a small diesel in a few months, about when I'm also converting the truck to a 4x4.
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