2003 Ford Ranger Overview
- Tremor 4×2 SuperCab audio package returns with the 485-watt audiophile sound system by PioneerTM
- FX4/Off-Road XLT 4×4 SuperCab package
- FX4/Level II, the “True Off-Road Enthusiast Package”
- Bright Appearance Package on 4×2/4×4 XLT Styleside SuperCab
- Wheels and Tunes package arrives early 2003
- New child safety seat anchors and tethers (LATCH)
- Improved brakes and ABS
- New seating fabric and top-grain leather steering wheel
- Cab quietness improvements
- New exterior colors: Arizona Beige on XL, XLT and FX4/Off Road; Sonic Blue on FX4/Level II
- Enclosed amp and 10-inch subwoofer
- Four 6- by 8-inch coaxial speakers
- AM/FM stereo dual media head unit, featuring single in-dash CD and cassette player
- Higher-output alternator
- White face instrument cluster
- Three monochromatic exterior clearcoat finishes: Chrome Yellow, Black and Sonic Blue
- Machined-finished, five-spoke 16-inch aluminum wheels on P235/70Rx16, All-season outline-white-letter tires
- 3.0-liter V-6 engine with automatic transmission
- Unique Tremor decal on tailgate
2003 FORD RANGER OVERVIEW
New for 2003
For 2003, Ranger has been improved and refined. The 2003 Ranger is tougher, more athletic and blends comfort and capability in a variety of configurations Ð two body styles, several trim levels, two- or four-wheel drive, manual or automatic transmission. Ranger’s various options packages continue to deliver to customers more capacity and content than expected. For example, the FX4/Off-Road 4×4 base package includes all-terrain tires, premium gas-charged shocks, front tow hooks, skid plates, limited slip axle and unique badging.
Ranger braking is improved for 2003 with larger front rotors (305 mm from 286 mm), new front brake calipers and larger rear-wheel brake cylinders.
The Ranger is built in Edison, New Jersey, Norfolk, Virginia, Ontario, Canada and St. Paul, Minnesota.
The 2003 Ranger retains its sharp looks, inherited from the F-series platform. The power-dome hood features a center break that splits the hood with two-side styling flares that lead into the painted platinum honeycomb grille. This grille is featured on the majority of models except for the XL, which features painted platinum grille bars, and the XLT, which has chrome bars. Integrated into the front bumper are recessed tow hooks, standard on 4×4 models. All Edge and 4×4 XLT models feature large recessed fog lamps. Ranger wheels are 15-inch or 16-inch and are available in chrome, cast aluminum or forged aluminum.
Sonic Blue and Arizona Beige are new exterior colors this year.
Interior changes for 2003 include a new lineup of cloth seating fabrics on selected models in Medium Prairie Tan and Dark Graphite. The XLT will feature new soft, contrasting headliner and trim components, revised interior door panels, new instrumentation and center panel bezel. XL SuperCab receives a new cloth 60/40 split bench seat. Edge and SuperCab Edge receive a similar cloth bench with additional cloth sport front bucket seats with black twill bolsters as an option. These bucket seats are standard on 4×4 SuperCab Edge Plus models, optional on Edge, XLT and FX4/Off-Road.
Ranger’s cabin incorporates a number of changes to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, including thicker glass, new door and B-pillar seals and a new drive shaft tunnel insulator shield.
Ride and Handling
In 2002, Ranger’s suspension was revised with better bushings, improved spring rates, new front-end geometry, stronger stabilizer bars, retuned shocks and larger wheels and tires.
Ranger’s two off-road packages feature proven heavy-duty equipment. The FX4/Level II is fitted with Bilstein shocks that improve control, handling and performance both on and off the road, and BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/AKO tires and Alcoa forged aluminum wheels.
Ranger is available with three engines, including a recently introduced 2.3-liter four-cylinder and two V-6 engines. The 2.3-liter produces a refined 143 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 154 foot-pounds of torque at 3,750 rpm, thanks to new intake and exhaust camshafts, exhaust manifold and engine calibration.
Ranger’s 3.0-liter V-6 engine produces 154 horsepower and 180 foot-pounds of torque. The torque profile of the 3.0-liter was modified in 2002 to provide better drivability and improved fuel economy and towing capability. The engine is available on 4×2 models. The 3.0-liter is available as a flexible fuel vehicle, meaning it can operate with ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two fuels in the same tank. This engine is standard on all 4×2 SuperCab models equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Ranger also is available with a 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 that produces 207 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 238 foot-pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm.
All three engines are available with a five-speed automatic transmission or a heavy-duty, five-speed manual transmission.
Versatile Configurations and Packages
Ranger has earned its reputation and success by being easy to customize.
For 2003, Ranger offers its customers expressive packages, choices of 4×4 or 4×2 drivetrains, regular or SuperCab body styles, various wheelbase choices, a traditional styleside or a more distinct flareside box and a number of payload capabilities to fit individual needs.
The Tremor 4×2
The Tremor 4×2 SuperCab package boasts a premium PioneerTM sound system producing peak power of 485 watts and a custom-designed subwoofer enclosure that fits in the rear floor area. The audio system complements the pickup’s youthful image, which includes bold tires, 16-inch wheels, 4×4 ride height and monochromatic exterior styling cues.
Other standard Tremor equipment includes:
Ranger Edge features 4×4 ride height even on 4×2 models, raised power dome hood, fog lamps and mesh-pattern front grille. The Edge Plus on the four-door SuperCab comes standard with aluminum wheels, keyless entry, power windows, locks and mirrors. For 2003, Ranger Edge has standard step bars on 4×4 models. Step bars also appear on the XLT 4×4 SuperCab. Edge comes with either a 6-disc in-dash CD player or an MP3 player, depending on the model.
FX4/Off-Road 4×4, 4-door SuperCab XLT is equipped with heavy-duty shocks, skid plates, front tow hooks, all-terrain tires, limited slip axle and nine
The Bright Appearance Package, featured on the XLT styleside bed SuperCab model, includes chrome step bars, exhaust tips and bedrails with platinum-colored end caps. This package is only available on 4×2/4×4 XLT styleside, 2- or 4-door SuperCab models.
New for 2003 is the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system for installation of child safety seats. Ranger maintains its second-generation air bags and advanced safety belts with outboard pretensioners, side intrusion door beams and the theft-deterrent SecuriLockTM system.
Ranger Wheels and Tunes: Styled and Tuned to ‘Rock and Roll’
The Ranger Wheels and Tunes package, available in early 2003 on the sporty XLT 4×2 SuperCab models, is guaranteed to attract attention both visually and audibly on the street.
It includes machined 16-inch, 5-spoke cat-eye aluminum wheels, Michelin Pilot XGT H4 P235/60R16 tires and an AM/FM single CD/MACH® MP3 player or an optional AM/FM in-dash 6-disc CD changer.
The wheels and tires provide an aggressive tuned street styling and stance to the Ranger’s already tough exterior. The cat-eye spoke wheels are recessed and trimmed in gray, while the low-profile Michelin Pilot XGT H4 high-performance tires offer an excellent balance of dry traction with the needed grip for wet weather and light snow. This performance is the result of a specially-formulated tread compound, large, stable tread blocks with aggressive shoulders and an computer-designed anti-hydroplaning tread pattern. The variable-width lateral grooves and wide circumferential grooves work together to help push water from under the contact patch.
The MACH® MP3 music system plays CDs in traditional and MP3 encoded formats, offering consumers 10 hours of personalized music on one CD. The system combines traditional compressed file playback technology and efficient memory storage to integrate all sources of audio use for the home, vehicle and personal computer. Additional features include anti-shock control, fast-forward and full-disc shuffle modes and “MACH® Track,” a technology that enables listeners to quickly scan through 10 hours of music.
Also available is an in-dash six-CD changer. It features a slot that allows all six discs to be feed directly into the receiver, similar to a traditional single-disc player. This modern format eliminates having to mount an external disc changer, allowing access to the songs you want when you want them.
Ranger FX4/Level II: ‘True Off-Road Enthusiast Package’
For 2003 the Ranger lineup even tougher with the FX4/Level II, a true off-road enthusiast package for off-road enthusiasts. To better understand how the Ranger FX4/Level II came to be, one need not look further than real-world off-roader truck meets. It was from these events held across the country that information was gathered and incorporated into a concept, which later became the production Ranger FX4/Level II.
At the core of the package are Bilstein shocks, a Torsen limited slip axle, Alcoa forged aluminum wheels and BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/AKO tires.
Bilstein shocks deliver superior performance from advanced technology. Bilstein’s shock bodies are precision formed using a unique seamless extrusion process that provides superior strength. These bodies are then mated with a solid, induction-hardened chrome-plated and polished steel shaft, machined valving components and high quality seals. These gas pressure shock absorbers feature a self-adjusting working piston with spring-steel valving discs that precisely regulates oil flow for optimum compression and rebound control. These features along with several others take the Ranger’s existing suspension to the extreme, providing excellent control, precise handling and durable performance in any off-road situation.
Ranger’s Torsen axle is a high-performance limited-slip differential. Instead of clutches, the Torsen design uses parallel helix gears to keep the torque balanced to each drive wheel. It acts in similar fashion to an open differential while cornering, but sends power to both rear wheels as one begins to slip. With the Torsen differential, the power from the 4.0L SOHC V-6 on FX4/Level II is maximized in all conditions.
The All-Terrain T/AKO (“KO” stands for Key benefit On- and Off-road) is BFGoodrich’s Off-Road All-Terrain light truck tire designed to deliver go-anywhere traction along with improved durability and wear. The All-Terrain T/AKO was selected for FX4/Level II because it meets the needs of pickup truck drivers who desire maximum confidence and control, on-road and off. The tread design is computer-optimized to generate less noise.
The 31 inch x 10.5 inch tires are mounted to 15-inch, eight-hole Alcoa forged aluminum wheels designed for high strength and great looks.
Completing the exterior of the FX4/Level II package are stainless steel front tow hooks, black wheel lip moldings, skid plates that cover the front suspension/differential, transfer case and fuel tank. Inside, two-tone ebony/blue or ebony/red extra thick bolstered bucket seats with FX4 badging and ebony interior trim lends a distinctive look, while deep-groove “slush” floor mats help protect the carpeting. These and a host of other standard interior features make the FX4/Level II package the ultimate off-roader.