I am considering buying a 2003 ford ranger XLT 2.3L. 5 speed manual. Looking for input on these vehicles. Thanks.
They were fairly tough trucks. But you are looking at a 16 year old vehicle. It may have a bunch of problems due to neglect or abuse by previous owners. So pay a mechanic to inspect the vehicle before you buy it.
We have a lot of these in our fleet . . . but with an automatic transmission
There is an extremely good chance that you’ll have to replace the intake manifold at some point. There is a part of the variable intake mechanism which tends to break, and it isn’t available separately. But the intake manifold itself is readily available, and it’s only going to be a few hundred and a few hours work. A guy could do it in his garage in an afternoon . . . which I’ve actually done.
At this point in its life, the interior will probably not be in good shape, but if you’re buying such an old vehicle, I suppose you’re expecting to spend a few bucks getting seats reupholstered . . .
No real problems with the suspension, steering and brakes, just wear and tear
Be forewarned, though, the front suspension, specifically the lower ball joints and upper arms, will probably not be in as good shape as you initially thought. If they are in fact in need of replacement, get moog parts with zerks. I’ve seen the factory parts wear out at very low mileage, less than 30K in some cases
I don’t know what you’ll be doing with this truck, but I advise you not use it for work, because it’s underpowered. The only saving grace in your case is that it’ll have a stick, which will make driving it tolerable. But for going to/from work, shoppping and church, it’ll be fine
I hope you’ll be inspecting the truck with a fine toothed comb, or paying a mechanic to do so . . .