Power Ranger: ’80s Diesel Trucks Regain Popularity (Video)

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Most People Don’t Even Know Ford Ranger Diesels Exist. But They are Becoming a Cool Novelty Item for Truck Enthusiasts

The Ford Ranger was originally rolled out in 1982 as a 1983 model. Interestingly enough, it could be had with more than just a gasoline engine. Unknown to most folks, customers could order a Ford Ranger with a diesel engine up until 1987. For 1983 and 1984, the Ranger received a 2.2 liter, 4 cylinder Mazda/Perkins diesel engine, which produced 59 horsepower. In 1985 through 1987, Ford’s choice was a 2.3 liter Mitsubishi turbo diesel producing 86 horsepower.

As you can imagine, not a lot of these diesel Rangers were produced over that time frame. As a result, that makes them a pretty rare sight today. However, quite a few have been popping up for sale as interest grows. Gasoline prices have spurred a lot of interest as well, since the diesels reportedly achieve between 25 to 30 miles per gallon.

Now, these diesel Rangers were definitely cool and returned decent gas mileage, but boy were they slow! A quick YouTube search turns up a number of hilarious 2.2 liter 0-60 mph runs, which range from 28 seconds to one full minute. Furthermore, the 2.3 wasn’t much faster!


Ultimately, these rare rides are cool novelty items,
and their 2.3 liter engines can be made to produce decent power if you so desire.


With the rarity of these trucks also comes scarcity of parts. If you do find what you need, you’ll pay a hefty premium. Ultimately, they are cool novelty items, and their 2.3 liter engines can be made to produce decent power if you so desire.

This gentleman, who goes by the name of Nascar3244888 on YouTube, has a bit of a “thing” for the Ford Ranger diesel. He’s owned a couple of them, including this 1983 2.2 liter that wasn’t running when he bought it. He claims that less than one percent of Rangers built in 1983 were equipped with the diesel motor, which in turn makes this a real unicorn!

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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