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3.0 vs 4.0 3.0 junk??????

 
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:06 PM
stonerboys
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3.0 vs 4.0 3.0 junk??????

Hey guys, I found a 99 ranger extended cab 4x4 I am thinking about buying but im a little leary about it. The truck is a 99 ext cab w/ 125,000 miles and is a 3.0 automatic. From what I've heard/researched the 3.0 is junk? I was told that it does not have a lot of power. Im also under the impression that something with the heads & intake goes bad on these motors just after looking at a few of them-they had the heads and intake resurfaced/replaced? About the only good thing I heard about this motor is it's gas mileage. My buddy has a reg cab 99 with the 3.0 and he said it used to get around 21 mpg's but now its only getting around 11/12 mpgs and he replaced almost everything on the truck. The truck im looking at appears to be in decent shape other than it needs a tailgate and back bumper due to damage. I currently have a 99 explorer sport w/ the 4.0 auto but it is just not practical enough for me being an outdoorsman who also cares about his vehicles. I have no complaints about the 4.0 other than it is a little underpowered in the 4200lb explorer and it needs a tune up. So my real question is: how dependable are these 3.0's and how do they run? Is it going to be a complete dog in this ranger? I live in pennsylvania w/ a lot of steep hills and I like to occasionally haul in small loads of scrap(under 500 pounds). Would this truck have a 19.5 gallon gas tank? I like the 17.5 gallon tank in my explorer because it only takes about $30 to fill up and im in school right now so that's important to me. Do you guys think the 3.0 will be alright or should I just look for a 4.0? Let me know what you think. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:42 PM
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well between the two id rather have the 4.0, the 3.0 isnt a bad motor, its actually a pretty decent design, it just makes its power a little higher up in the rpm band than a 4.0 and doesnt make quite as much power. ive never drove a 3.0 in a ranger before, but i did have a '93 taurus with a 3.0 and it was excellant, got 28 highway, plenty of power for the car, bu it was a taurus, 3,000 pounds. my ranger weighs in at 4,300 and the 3.0 might have struggled with it compared to the 4.0 , i wouldnt consider a 3.0 junk, but the 4.0 is a better fit for the ranger chassis.
 
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:02 PM
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The 3.0 efi is total crap. The engine will continue to run if the oil pump stops. I will never own another one.

Ford decided to replace the distributor with a cam sensor for efi. If the distributor and oil pump stops, so does the engine. Not so with efi. If the cam sensor gear fails, oil pump stops and the engine eats itself. Horrible engineering.
 
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:29 AM
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You realize the 4.0 V6 utilizes the exact same style oil pump drive as the 3.0 V6, right? You also realize that every single modern engine from almost any manufacturer uses a crank-driven oil pump, that if it fails the engine will continue to run, right?

You have an oil pressure gauge/light for a reason.
 
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:56 AM
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This can tend to be a bit of a religious thing, in the sense that, though people tend to form strong opinions and loyalties, and once incline a certain way, tend not to be too flexible. But, there are pluses and minuses all round and in the end you have to decide whats right for you

The old 2.9 Cologne V6 had a bad rep for getting overheated, warping/cracking heads and blowing headgaskets. The 4.0 was a larger displacement later version of the Cologne design and supposedly refined the head design (as did the later 2.9s) to avoid this. The 4.0 is a beefier motor that makes good power and is in a ton(ne) of vehicles, including Aerostars, Rangers and Explorers (ie: loads of parts out there), but blown headgaskets are certainly not unknown.

Interestingly I am personally familiar with 2 rangers (actually 3 if you count my brother's 89 4x4 ranger) with well over 300,000 km (actually about 200 mi = 320 km) on each of them (the 87 and the 88 that is, the 89 only has about 170 km on it) still running the original 2.9s without major top end engine problems (the 89 has crapped the original auto tranny, and the 87 has enough wear in the mains to make the oil light flicker at low rpms when hot, but all 3 will start every time in all kinda weather and run pretty smooth)

The 3.0 Vulcan engine is a cast iron beast. 4.0 fans like to smirk at it and claim it has the mileage of a 4.0 with only the power of a 2.9, but it is a rugged dependable design that tends to go and go with little thanks or special treatment.

As you might notice, I'm pretty partial to the 3.0 in my '91 ranger - its been pretty reliable and hauled pretty much whatever I ask. Only I didn't realize when I got it 7 years ago the radiator was plugged up pretty heavily with external dirt (ie: restricted airflow). So one summer day on the highway with a big load, I overheated 'er pretty good and started a bit of a headgasket leak (overheating and puking coolant). Money and repair time was a little tight at the time, so I drilled relief holes in the thermostat to keep her limping till I could figure out something (pretty much 300 km on that motor, so I wasn't keen on sinking much money into it. Ran her like that for a couple of years with little mercy and few problems (except would never see much movement from the temp gage under normal conditions and would have to be careful in the winter if I was cardboarding that rad to get cabin heat - heater would kick out heat like molten lava, but I had to get the cardboard out or half cardboard it if the weather warmed up or the rad would boil).

But she ran good otherwise, and last December I flat towed an Aerostar 400 km with the truck, so I could salvage the 3.0 L out of the van, which I will be putting into the Ranger so I can get some more years out of it. So I myself am pretty OK with a 3.0 in a ranger.
 
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Lead Head View Post
You realize the 4.0 V6 utilizes the exact same style oil pump drive as the 3.0 V6, right? You also realize that every single modern engine from almost any manufacturer uses a crank-driven oil pump, that if it fails the engine will continue to run, right?

You have an oil pressure gauge/light for a reason.

On most cars if the cam sensor stops, so does the engine. By the time the light goes on, the engine is toast.
 
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:02 PM
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The 3.0 is the best engine I have ever been around and I have just a little experiance with one because I drove my 96 off the lot new with 13 miles on it and it now has 221,000 on it and climbing every day. Still has the original water pump and starter and gaskets (valve cover) and to date has no oil leaks and never has. The only thing on that engine that was not routine mantinance stuff that I have replaced is the alternator and that was at 180,000. I know you just heard they were junk but that is far from the truth. Will they beat a 4.0 in a drag race hell no! Are they a good engine hell yes!

AS far as the oil pump going out or just running out of oil your engine will give you a sign you will hear valves ratteling and your oil pressure will drop and a least my truck has a check gauges light too granted you need to react in just a few seconds but if you let the engine self destuct its your own fault and you need a bicycle.
 
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bankshot View Post
The 3.0 efi is total crap. The engine will continue to run if the oil pump stops. I will never own another one.

Ford decided to replace the distributor with a cam sensor for efi. If the distributor and oil pump stops, so does the engine. Not so with efi. If the cam sensor gear fails, oil pump stops and the engine eats itself. Horrible engineering.
I feel for your bad experience, however, this type of failure is almost always the result of either the oil pump failing first, or from the oil galleries that feed that bearing getting plugged with debris due to a shoddy filter.

I would consider your experience unfortunate, but also extremely improbable. I would not avoid this engine simple because this might happen under a very wrong set of unlikely conditions, particularly ones that can be avoided.

AS far as the 3.0L being a better engine than the 4.0L. Owned vehicles with both. Both engines are solid and bulletproof. The 3.0L of the two is more likely to blow head gaskets, produces less power, does not get significantly better fuel economy, and in my opinion, does not have enough merits over the 4.0L to justify its existence. I have pushed several 4.0L powered vehicles well beyond 200,000 miles. My 3.0L reached 205,000 miles, but had many problems along the way.
 
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:54 PM
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Unfortunately it's not just my experience. It's not an isolated incident. Search a little here on this forum and the net, you'll find plenty. The sensor shaft wears causing friction and the gear falls apart. It is a poor design.
 
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:39 AM
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Power has nothin to do with relieabilty
 
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bankshot View Post
Unfortunately it's not just my experience. It's not an isolated incident. Search a little here on this forum and the net, you'll find plenty. The sensor shaft wears causing friction and the gear falls apart. It is a poor design.
May not be an isolated event, I would still consider it rare. Any failure of that type is likely due to a lubrication failure to the bearing, which in turn is likely a result of either using an incorrect oil, a cheap filter, letting the oil run low, etc. There are many 3.0L out there with the same design that will never experience that type of failure.

In my opinion, the 3.0L is a fairly reliable engine. I still think it was a pointless antiquated design that was only kept in production because it employed union workers, and to a large extent, it was part of the demise of the 4th generation Taurus and the Ranger. An engine that does not produce a descent amount of power, while simultaneously not offering enough increases in fuel economy over its larger counterpart. The Ranger should have dropped the 3.0L a long time ago and only offered the 4 cylinder and the larger V6. This would have helped make the Ranger more competitive with other light trucks, and saved the company money in the process, money that could have been used to improve those vehicles in other ways.
 
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:56 PM
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91 2WD 3.0/5speed///289K and still trucking...has never been opened up, doesnt leak...stated to weep a bit a year or so ago but frame still clean...water pump done around 10 yrs ago, on its 2nd clutch, replaced alternator 5 yrs ago...on 3rd set up plugs..replaced earlier this year...Ive run it low on oil..to where not on the stick and it still keeps on going...its a class with mopar slant 6 engines...all but indestructable...
4.0...Ive heard hooror stories about head problems and horribly high repair bills for relatively low miles...
You couldnt give me a 4.0....except to laugh at...and use as an anchor or yard art...
fuel mileage...i get 25-27 mpg consistently...I almost sold mine 2 yrs ago...best thing I talked myself out of :-)


3.0 vs 4.0...no contest...3.0...its The Little Engine That Could....and does...
Oh yeah...which engine do you see more often in wrecking yards ????
I have a really hard time finding 3.0s....2.9s getting harder...4.0...the typical find...


- cs65
 
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by camperspecial65 View Post
91 2WD 3.0/5speed///289 and still trucking...has never been opened up, doesnt leak...stated to weep a bit a year or so ago but frame still clean...water pump done around 10 yrs ago, on its 2nd clutch, replaced alternator 5 yrs ago...on 3rd set up plugs..replaced earlier this year...Ive run it low on oil..to where not on the stick and it still keeps on going...its a class with mopar slant 6 engines...all but indestructable...
4.0...Ive heard hooror stories about head problems and horribly high repair bills for relatively low miles...
You couldnt give me a 4.0....except to laugh at...and use as an anchor or yard art...
fuel mileage...i get 25-27 mpg consistently...I almost sold mine 2 yrs ago...best thing I talked myself out of :-)


3.0 vs 4.0...no contest...3.0...its The Little Engine That Could....and does...
Oh yeah...which engine do you see more often in wrecking yards ????
I have a really hard time finding 3.0s....2.9s getting harder...4.0...the typical find...


- cs65
Riiiighhht!!!
 
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:15 PM
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I know I am...facts is facts...oh yeah...Im 2nd owner...bought with 120K on it...


- cs65
 
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by camperspecial65 View Post
91 2WD 3.0/5speed///289K and still trucking...has never been opened up, doesnt leak...stated to weep a bit a year or so ago but frame still clean...water pump done around 10 yrs ago, on its 2nd clutch, replaced alternator 5 yrs ago...on 3rd set up plugs..replaced earlier this year...Ive run it low on oil..to where not on the stick and it still keeps on going...its a class with mopar slant 6 engines...all but indestructable...
4.0...Ive heard hooror stories about head problems and horribly high repair bills for relatively low miles...
You couldnt give me a 4.0....except to laugh at...and use as an anchor or yard art...
fuel mileage...i get 25-27 mpg consistently...I almost sold mine 2 yrs ago...best thing I talked myself out of :-)


3.0 vs 4.0...no contest...3.0...its The Little Engine That Could....and does...
Oh yeah...which engine do you see more often in wrecking yards ????
I have a really hard time finding 3.0s....2.9s getting harder...4.0...the typical find...


- cs65
Thats one opinion, and you are certainly entitled to it. I have owned both, I've had more 4.0Ls than 3.0Ls. The 4.0L are solid and bulletproof. Yes, the heads do have a tendency to crack, but only if they have been overheated. The earlier ones more so because the open chamber design used more timing advance, which left more potential to ping or detonate is substandard quality fuel was used or other problems came up like a dirty MAF sensor. The later 4.0L used a closed chamber design that could produce as much or more power with less advance, making it more resistant to that problem. The problem I've seen witht he 3.0L is their tendency to blown head gaskets, even if they've never been overheated. Beyond that, I agree, it is a solid engine. But being reliable is not the only merit an engine needs to have. In this world, fuel economy is a must. The 4.0L has more power and torque, yet can match or nearly match the 3.0L in fuel economy and reliability. The 2.3L produces less power, but gets much better fuel economy. The latest generation Duratecs produces enough power than the 3.0L literally became obsolete, and Ford dropped it front he Ranger. Think about it, why offer an engine that only marginally produces more power than the smallest engine, without being even close to its fuel economy.

Take this however you wish, but the Vulcan 3.0L isn't exactly known to be that great in the Taurus either. Sure they might run for a while if cared for, but there are many other engines that are just as reliable, that produce more power per liter, better fuel economy, smoother broader power curves, etc. Its an antiquated pushrod engine that has long outlived its usefulness.

For the record, which ones you find in the wrecking yards has little to do with their reliability. A lot of it has to do with how many were sold in the first place. Sure you will find lots of 4.0L, its because it was a popular engine option. This also does not tell you why the truck is in the wrecking yard. Most of them are there because of trans failures, not engine failures, if not due to collisions. As the trucks get newer, the 3.0L became more and more unpopular, especially once the 4.0L switched to the 4.0 SOHC, and then the DOHC. Those engine produce so much more power than the 3.0L, which between its original design, to its dying days, only managed to increase its output by a mere 20 hp. This is with all the technology that had been developed. When Ford approached Yamaha about building a high performance head for the Vulcan for use in a planned mid engine sports car back in the 80's, Yamaha engineers determined that it would be too involved to do so, and that they were better off building a new engine for the purpose, which they did. When the Ford mid engine sports car was canned, they decided that since the engine was designed to be used in place of a Vulcan (same bell housing pattern), that they could put in in a Taurus and the Taurus SHO was born.
 

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