Live Strong: 1996 Ford Ranger Stands the Test of Time

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1996 Ford Ranger

Redditor shares fascinating story about how his family’s Ford Ranger managed to stay strong and solid through the years.

We came across a thread on Reddit about a 1996 Ford Ranger that has not only held up over the years, but has consistently proven itself a badass truck. Even more impressive is how little work the Ranger has needed to keep it going strong. At 21 years old and 180,000 miles on the odometer, this rad red truck remains a tough, versatile, and durable daily driver.

1996 Ford Ranger

Redditor PeaceBay is the proud owner, and gave a little background.

“Back in 1996 my grandfather bought a Ranger XL for $12,000–vinyl floors, no tach, fixed steering wheel, no AC, and certainly no cruise. However, and most importantly, it had a 3.73 rear end, 5 speed manual tranny, and the V6 (the 3.slow, not the 4.0 unfortunately). He gave it to me around a decade ago, but I was just getting into high school and was too embarrassed to call it a daily. I traded vehicles with my dad during those years, and dailied a TJ Wrangler.

Fast forward to my college years, and I’m too broke and frankly fed up driving a 4.0 Wrangler on 33” mud terrains. By this time, my dad had gotten a brand new truck and the ranger had been sitting for a few years. I tuned it up and have been daily driving it ever since. I’m in a position now where I could easily finance a brand new car but I have no desire. I want to see how long I can keep this bad boy on the road. I’ve done absolutely everything myself except for the clutch.”

The Ranger has required minimal upkeep including 3 sets of brake pads/rotors, 24 oil changes, new radiator/thermostat, one tuneup (plugs & wires), 4 sets of tires, 3 (soon to be 4) leaf spring perches, new clutch, slave cylinder (done at a shop, needed to be bench bled), camshaft synchronizer, 2 alternators, new catalytic converter, new upstream O2 sensor and 2 serpentine belts and belt tensioners.

S.J. Bryan is an editor with Ford Truck Enthusiasts and regular contributor to F-150 Online and Harley-Davidson Forums, among other auto sites.

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