As hard as it is to believe in the post-Cash For Clunkers era, there are still people out there giving away running and driving vehicles for cheap or free. This beat-up 2000 Ford Ranger is the first “just get it out of here” acquisition I’ve made in a long time, and it should be a good little truck for a few months’ worth of household projects before I flip it for a profit and pick up a more interesting project.
This particular example was a former company truck at a local property management firm, purchased by my father for cheap after a minor fender bender and then re-sold numerous times within a small group of family and friends; now with 176k miles, a slow-shifting automatic transmission and a number of fluid leaks, nobody else wants to deal with it. So it has become mine.
This Ranger is basically the poverty-spec contractor special, a 3.0L 2WD model with vinyl floors and seats, crank windows, manual locks, et cetera…more or less the cheapest Ranger you could get short of the luxurious air conditioning and automatic transmission the company coughed up extra for. Of course, that automatic transmission is the problematic 5R55E made infamous by blowing up in the Ranger’s cousin, the Explorer. Luckily this one doesn’t slip, it just needs some goofy throttle input to make it shift (a problem hopefully solved by some minor transmission work). It also leaks power steering fluid and uses some oil, but otherwise it actually starts up and goes down the road pretty well. Definitely need to fix the hood latch, though…
Overall it’s not a vehicle that I would have sought out myself, but I’m happy to take anything that has a title and moves under its own power free of charge. I’ll get some use out of it, and it’ll hopefully generate enough of a profit to help get me into a new sports car project.