1999 Ford Ranger - How to soften ride?

Ray love your column in the San Jose Mercury. My question is, I have a1999 Ford Ranger pickup, love the vehicle, though it has 215,000 miles. It is an extremely rough riding vehicle. I feel every bump on our roads and highways. I have had the shocks replaced, does not help. What can I do to soften the ride?

As far as anyone knows Ray does not post here . Want better ride ? Change vehicles.

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Check to see if your tires aren’t overinflated. New shock absorbers might give you better ride control. Also, a load in the bed might help. Trucks are designed to carry loads.
I once owned a 1950 Chevrolet one ton pickup. When I thought it rode too hard, I would go mow the pasture with an International Harvester F-12 with a sickle bar. When I got back in my pickup, it rode like a Cadillac.


Pretty much nothing… it IS a truck, after all.

Ouch, but we love that little truck. It just has such a stiff ride.

Thank you Mustangman. I just sold my 1957 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery. It got to dangerous to drive, when you are 73 and cannot see outside the right side to lane change, it was time. I going to look for a safer classic, possibly an older Thunderbird……. 57?

I think back to one line in the lyrics of the theme song for the TV show “All In The Family”: “Girls Were Girls and Men Were Men”.
I could modify this line to read: “Cars Were Cars and Trucks Were Trucks”.
When Consumer Reports tested trucks, they gave points to trucks that were “car like”. If I want a truck, I will buy a truck. I don’t want it to be like a car. Our first minivan was a 1990 Ford Aerostar. It rode on a truck frame. It had rear wheel drive. Consumer Reports downgraded the Aerostar because it was truck like. That’s what I liked about the Aerostar. Of the four minivans I have had since, a Ford Windstar, a Chevrolet Uplander, and two Toyota Siennas, I preferred the Aerostar. I had a hitch on the Aerostar and pulled trailers with the Aerostar. With my later minivans, I don’t feel comfortable pulling trailers and have not bothered to install a hitch. I had a truck license plate on the Aerostar which I have transferred to my later minivans. The later minivans are an insult to that license plate.
Trucks should be trucks. Don’t expect them to ride like a car.


A 57 T-bird with the top up will have terrible right hand vision unless you install a right hand mirror… cars didn’t always come with one back then. There will be no safety gear anywhere on the car… seatbelts, door side beams, or even have a dual master cylinder.

Bottom line is it is not really any safer than a 57 sedan delivery. And it really won’t ride very well.

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we live on the coast of central california, we are a year round top down area. I would garage it and put a car cover over it.

thank you for the insight though.

20 years old, maybe some of the suspension bushings are rock hard now. Control arms stiff, etc…

Had a buddy complaining about harsh ride, took off wheels, upper and lower control arms stuck big time. Couldn’t move them by hand after ball joints separated.

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I think Twin Turbo is on the right track here, as are others who are telling you: not much. But control arms that can move and rubber bushings that can flex a bit will help.

The other thing is tires: look for tires that rate highly for comfort. Consumer Reports has good tire test reports. tirerack.com, too. They are good folks to buy from, too, if your local tire shops can’t do right for you.

Throw a couple of dead bodies in the bed

Good news . . . the ride will probably improve

Bad news . . . the smell


Hey. Here it is already a matter of the car itself. It’s pretty old already. Therefore, you will have to endure if you really love this car. Or you have to buy a new one