Not many posts on the newer engine. Most are about the Lima-bean. Though they don't call it that... I haven't heard many complaints about the engine at all, everything has been positive. Great gas mileage, powerhouse compared to the lima, nothing to complain of.
My old Ranger is about due for replacement, but I can't justify it as it only has 60k on it and I only put on a little over 2k per year any more. Just replaced the original spare when I got 4 new tires. Had some 21 year old air in it. Needs paint, too. But it gets 25mpg with putting around on errands, and the occasional trip on the interstate. It was uncomfortable driving on a 400 mile trip, cramming my foot down by the gas pedal hurt after a while, but got close to 30mpg. I was impressed that this big block could do that going 65, while my old Pinto with the same engine, carbed and a 4-speed got 24mpg max with the 55mph speed limit. Just think what it would get now, with overdrive and a dohc engine. Everybody put it down, but it never let me down, and hauled all the shingles when I re-roofed. Kinda wished I hadn't sold it. Live and learn.
Tomw, keep it. I had a '99 Ranger with the 2.5 Lima engin, and I loved it. I put 137,000 miles on it in 3 yrs flat. I had no, zero problems, just routine maintenance. I like my twin cam so far, and I think I'll try the Ranger forum and see what they have to say. Thanks for the input.
I've got a 2002 2.3 Duratech with 105,000 miles on it. Just regular maintenance like oil, plugs etc. When pulling a boat trailer or in hilly terrain it feels underpowered. But as a daily driver it's good.