2003 Ford Ranger - Fix the rust or no?

My best friend of the last 50 years wants to fix the body of his '03 red Ranger to get a good trade-in or sell it to me. The only BIG problem is big rusted-out holes behind and above the rear wheels. The holes are large but “clean,” not raggedy. He won’t take it to a collision shop for an estimate so I was wondering if anyone might be able to “ballpark” a range of possible costs. He seems to think it would be cost-prohibitive. I think the holes are maybe 4-5 inches around. I want the car for myself because of the low (under 50,000) mileage and because I don’t think he’d get the value on a trade-in.

Gerald , you need to just pass because rust is like icebergs . You only see 1/3 of it. He doesn’t think it is cost-prohibitive , he knows it is . And no , it is impossible to ball park a price for this without actually seeing the vehicle in person.


That is one of the last places I would expect to see rust on a Ranger, Get under the truck and check the mounting of the rear leaf springs, the brackets and shackles are usually the first things to rust, followed by the frame.

Get a used truck bed from a wrecking yard/ auto recycler , can find beds for less than $250, probably even same color.

As to trade in value, most lots probably won’t even want it if it’s rusted.


​Thanks for the prompt response. I thought that there might be some well-established price ranges for age-related repairs on models that have been around for lots of years.

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The older the vehicle the higher the cost of body work. More rust and frozen bolts. Harder to match paint.

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If you want a range of prices for rust repair on a Ranger…

It will cost between $2000 and $20,000.

As others have posted, there is always more rust than you can see. The repairs always cost more than the estimate because of that. Metal work and paint work are very expensive.

Several popular older model cars have reproduction BODIES available for them ('69 Camaro, '57 Chevy, '65 Mustang, 1965 Mini) because rust repair is so expensive.

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