Hey folks. I wanted to know what you all thought of your 4 cylinders. I want to know if these little machines are reliable. What kind of fuel mileage do you see? Do you live in an area with a lot of hills and mountains?
When I find a job (hopefully soon. pickings are slim) I want to retire my F-150. I might sell it, I'm not sure yet. Anyway what I want in place of the gas guzzler is a 4-cyl Ranger. I've been told that the 4-cylinders aren't powerful enough to run the AC and be able to take a mountain though? Is this true?
My second question. Because I do live where there is nothing but hills and mountains, would I be using MORE fuel by choosing the I4 over the V6? Would I just be using my foot more to make the hills?
fords 2.3 lima ohc engine is my opinion fords best engine,german origins, fords first metric and overhead cam engine , tough little engine the trucks chassis,tranny etc will die before this engine will,,if the 2.3 has an aluminum oil pan i worry about it as i hear the gasket on those pans tend to break down and plug the oil pump,,,its a noninterfrence motor also so if the timing belts snaps there is no damage to the valves, try to get a manual trans,a4lds are ok but you have add a cooler and do some mods to make them a bit more reliable
As has been said the 2.3L engine is one tough MF. It was fuel injector, carbed and turbocharged in the TBird, Mustang, and a many other Ford cars and was used in racing as well. I heard that with a for racing only aluminum head that Jack Rausch racing pulled over 800 HP from one. Ford of Europe also have some HP 4 cyl engines. The old Pinto 2.0L received a twin cam head back in the 90's and with a turbo put out 250 HP for the street and over 400 when modified a bit using the stock parts. Another Ford 4 cyl engine that was modfied was used in F1 racing back in the 80's.
In this country the 2.3L is the most common but the 2.0 Zetec is now showing up in the wrecking yeards and can be bolted up to any bellhousing that the 2.3L used.
2.3s are a bit sensitive to maintenance, when I got my Courier it was a bit neglected. The ones from that era have a few flaws as well- The cam is hollow, and oils the rockers through holes in the lobes. The original cam only had a single feed hole at the forward bearing journal. Without absolutely perfect maintenance and some luck, that passage plugs and it starves the lobes and followers. Replacement cams have a feed hole at the rear as well. Those early engines also like to spit out rockers under sustained high RPM operation.
These engines also use low tension rings, which are great for saving fuel, but can't handle higher cylinder pressures from larger intakes and larger carbs. I put a 2150 2BBL carb on mine, and it has so much blowby it just pukes oil out the valve cover. It'll dump all it's oil in 500miles on the freeway, less if I'm flogging it in town.
I live outside of NYC; the highway system is old - thus the acceleration ramps are almost non-existent. Power with the 2.5 takes a little planning in driving - though it's nothing like vehicles out of the late 70's to mid 80's...I would imagine that the engine would be adequate in mountain driving, and no, I don't think you'd push it to the extent where fuel economy suffers drastically.
The Mazda built 5 speed isn't geared well, so highway speeds produce high revs 2,600+ around 65mph.
Fuel economy around town is very good however, as is highway driving, provided that you keep your speed down. The lima engine, while not as refined as newer designs, is a really tough, reliable, and dependable engine.
Repairs are infrequent, and cheap.
I love my Ranger...If you're looking for a no frills truck that's built for the long haul, there's nothing better.
Good luck with your search for a truck, and a job !
Another quick thought: The 3.0L would be a step up in horsepower, but not so much in torque (30 ft-lbs)...I think it's average in terms of the mileage it gets, and it's geared for low rpm torque, not HP.
The 4.0L is quick, but sucks down a lot of gas.
There are no major trouble spots with the truck that I know of. If you get a 5 speed, make sure the rubber shift rail plugs aren't leaking. And if you ever get the rear end serviced, make sure it's from someone who knows Ford rear ends...I had mine done by a shade tree mechanic, who didn't replace a $6 sleeve/collar; 3 months down the road, I needed a new rear.