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  1. #1
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    96 Ranger Ext Cab Crapalicious MPG

    I have a 96 Ranger Extended cab with the 5 speed.

    I have it for about 3 years now and it has 110,000 miles on it.

    It routinely gets 18 MPG City and 20 MPG Highway.

    I've done almost everything possible to try to increase the MPG.
    new O2 sensors, MAF cleaning, new spark plugs, new tires, new timing belt, hoses, and drive belts, seafoam.....

    I have a hard time believing a 4 cylinder 2.3L engine gets this low of gas mileage.

    My last option I was considering was to check the temperature upstream and downstream of the catalytic converter to see if it was clogged as I understand this could lower MPG.

    Is this MPG normal or should I keep investigating? Because if it is normal I am ready to get rid of it....
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  2. #2
    Ranger Addicted matt167's Avatar
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    my '98 2.5/ 5spd runs very close to 30 MPG.... those numbers would be normal for an older 4.0L V6.. keep checking, it's wasting fuel somewhere

  3. #3
    Built to Outlast Tumbler's Avatar
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    People always tend to forget, BRAKES. they can create drag, especially if your rotors are even the slightest bit warped...
    Freedom Isn't Free, Remember the Blood That Bought This Right.


    ..1998 Half Bagged..

    Auto w/ 4.10's
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  4. #4
    Blue oval blood cells BlueMan's Avatar
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    What size gears does it have, and tires that are on it now, and the stock tire size as listed in the driver's door sticker?

    How do you typically drive it, mostly highway or stop-n-go?

    What speeds do you typically drive?

    How much additional weight besides the truck do you usually haul around?
    Need to change your timing belt on a Lima? (2.0/2.3/2.5) Look <HERE>.

    MOMS RACING
    MUSTANG ON MUSTANG


    ------
    '12 Escape - daily driver, with the '97 F150 for the heavy haulin'
    '00 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 stepside - MM#5

    '97 XLT reg cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#4
    '02 XL reg cab 2wd 3.0 - (sold) MM#3
    '98 XLT X-cab 4wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#2
    '09 Sport X-cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold)
    '94 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 -(sold) it's just a moneymaker!
    '04 XLT std cab 2wd 2.3 (sold) w/Edge & Thunderbolt styling mods: The buildup
    '96 XLT x-cab 4x4 4.0 (sold)
    '86 STX x-cab 4x4 2.9/2.3 twin stick (sold)
    '85 std cab 2wd 2.3 prerunner (R.I.P)

  5. #5
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    I don't know about the gears size.

    Tires are 15".

    I drive it easy mostly on back roads to work (8 miles one way).

    I drove it on a road trip last week and drove the speed limit (70 mph).

    I have a camper shell on the back but with it off the MPG is the same.

    I wonder if there is a vacuum leak somewhere in the engine compartment?

    Thanks.

    Quote Posted by BlueMan View Post
    What size gears does it have, and tires that are on it now, and the stock tire size as listed in the driver's door sticker?

    How do you typically drive it, mostly highway or stop-n-go?

    What speeds do you typically drive?

    How much additional weight besides the truck do you usually haul around?
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  6. #6
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by StarScream98 View Post
    People always tend to forget, BRAKES. they can create drag, especially if your rotors are even the slightest bit warped...
    New brakes installed with new drums and rotors about a year ago.
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  7. #7
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by matt167 View Post
    my '98 2.5/ 5spd runs very close to 30 MPG.... those numbers would be normal for an older 4.0L V6.. keep checking, it's wasting fuel somewhere
    I've heard the 2.5L gets better gas mileage than the 2.3L. Do you have dual spark plugs?
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  8. #8
    Blue oval blood cells BlueMan's Avatar
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    When I asked about tire size, I didn't mean just the rim size, but the whole thing (like P235/75-R15). Also the original tire size and axle ratio can be found by looking at the sticker inside the driver's door.
    Need to change your timing belt on a Lima? (2.0/2.3/2.5) Look <HERE>.

    MOMS RACING
    MUSTANG ON MUSTANG


    ------
    '12 Escape - daily driver, with the '97 F150 for the heavy haulin'
    '00 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 stepside - MM#5

    '97 XLT reg cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#4
    '02 XL reg cab 2wd 3.0 - (sold) MM#3
    '98 XLT X-cab 4wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#2
    '09 Sport X-cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold)
    '94 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 -(sold) it's just a moneymaker!
    '04 XLT std cab 2wd 2.3 (sold) w/Edge & Thunderbolt styling mods: The buildup
    '96 XLT x-cab 4x4 4.0 (sold)
    '86 STX x-cab 4x4 2.9/2.3 twin stick (sold)
    '85 std cab 2wd 2.3 prerunner (R.I.P)

  9. #9
    Ranger Addicted matt167's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by tradosaurus View Post
    I've heard the 2.5L gets better gas mileage than the 2.3L. Do you have dual spark plugs?
    yep

  10. #10
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by BlueMan View Post
    When I asked about tire size, I didn't mean just the rim size, but the whole thing (like P235/75-R15). Also the original tire size and axle ratio can be found by looking at the sticker inside the driver's door.
    CRAP! I have the truck at work. Let me go look....

    Sticker on inside drivers door says:

    Tires: 225 70 R14 SL
    Rims: 14 x 6

    I have 225 70 R14 tires (Road Hugger Radials G/T) on the truck now. They are virtually new.

    Axle ratio I could not find. It is a 2WD 5 spd extended cab.
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  11. #11
    I wonder if whatever is causing your truck to use gas so bad is affecting mine as well. Im about to do a tune-up on it(just bought it lil over a month ago) and ive been using my phones Mileage calculator and im averaging 23 with mixed city/hwy driving.

  12. #12
    It's Log, Log, Log! PickupMan92's Avatar
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    No way someone with a 2.5 gets 30mpg, sorry, unless they are driving all highway at 55mph.

    With that being said, I usually get 22mpg but mine is mostly city. I never really get over 55mph. Do you use engine braking or do you put it in neutral and press on the brakes?
    -Quentin aka "Q"
    92 Ext-Cab in progress
    98 ext cab 4dr 2.5 5speed

    01-03 Front Conversion w/Billet Grill | Chrome XLT Bumper | Cut Edge Valance | 06 Corners | Sport Trac Gauge Cluster | Hurst shifter | Vinyl Floor | 08 grey/black Bucket Seats

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  13. #13
    Blue oval blood cells BlueMan's Avatar
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    It won't say the ratio on the sticker, but it should list a code for the axle

    Ranger Axle Codes

    Since you've got the same size tires as stock though it really shouldn't matter. The ratio really comes into play when you start putting bigger wheels & tires on than where there from the factory which lowers your final drive ratio, and affects the how the engine has to work, and makes your speedo/odo report incorrectly too.
    Need to change your timing belt on a Lima? (2.0/2.3/2.5) Look <HERE>.

    MOMS RACING
    MUSTANG ON MUSTANG


    ------
    '12 Escape - daily driver, with the '97 F150 for the heavy haulin'
    '00 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 stepside - MM#5

    '97 XLT reg cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#4
    '02 XL reg cab 2wd 3.0 - (sold) MM#3
    '98 XLT X-cab 4wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#2
    '09 Sport X-cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold)
    '94 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 -(sold) it's just a moneymaker!
    '04 XLT std cab 2wd 2.3 (sold) w/Edge & Thunderbolt styling mods: The buildup
    '96 XLT x-cab 4x4 4.0 (sold)
    '86 STX x-cab 4x4 2.9/2.3 twin stick (sold)
    '85 std cab 2wd 2.3 prerunner (R.I.P)

  14. #14
    Ranger Addicted matt167's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by PickupMan92 View Post
    No way someone with a 2.5 gets 30mpg, sorry, unless they are driving all highway at 55mph.

    With that being said, I usually get 22mpg but mine is mostly city. I never really get over 55mph. Do you use engine braking or do you put it in neutral and press on the brakes?
    generally pulls 26-28.. I just drive it normal. I do downshift thru every gear but sometimes I do just push the clutch and use the brakes down hill, but nothing really out of the ordinary to attempt to get better MPG.. 28 MPG was on a trip to Vermont on the highways between Albany NY, and Bennington, Vt... this is also running stock wheels and tires. 225/70 R14


    my '92 2.9 V6 truck got 18 MPG no matter what I did

  15. #15
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by PickupMan92 View Post
    No way someone with a 2.5 gets 30mpg, sorry, unless they are driving all highway at 55mph.

    With that being said, I usually get 22mpg but mine is mostly city. I never really get over 55mph. Do you use engine braking or do you put it in neutral and press on the brakes?

    I normally put it in neutral and press on the brake as I come to a stop.

    Also I forgot to mention that I checked the fuel pressure and it was normal.
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  16. #16
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    One more bit of information:

    I bought the truck 3 years ago with 94,000 miles on it. I picked it up in Missouri and drove it about 300 miles home.

    I could have sworn that I got 27 MPG with it.

    I did a timing belt change at about 95,000 miles and thereafter the MPG has been 19-20 MPG.
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  17. #17
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    According to the following website at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/bymake/Ford1996.shtml

    the 1996 Ford Ranger 5 spd had an EPA of 18 City/ 23 Hwy MPG. If that is the case then I am not far off anyway.
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  18. #18
    Blue oval blood cells BlueMan's Avatar
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    Have you since checked your static timing on the belt to make sure it's not a tooth off? If it is, that could certainly affect your power & mileage.
    Need to change your timing belt on a Lima? (2.0/2.3/2.5) Look <HERE>.

    MOMS RACING
    MUSTANG ON MUSTANG


    ------
    '12 Escape - daily driver, with the '97 F150 for the heavy haulin'
    '00 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 stepside - MM#5

    '97 XLT reg cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#4
    '02 XL reg cab 2wd 3.0 - (sold) MM#3
    '98 XLT X-cab 4wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#2
    '09 Sport X-cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold)
    '94 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 -(sold) it's just a moneymaker!
    '04 XLT std cab 2wd 2.3 (sold) w/Edge & Thunderbolt styling mods: The buildup
    '96 XLT x-cab 4x4 4.0 (sold)
    '86 STX x-cab 4x4 2.9/2.3 twin stick (sold)
    '85 std cab 2wd 2.3 prerunner (R.I.P)

  19. #19
    The Real Splash rangersplash2.3's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by BlueMan View Post
    Have you since checked your static timing on the belt to make sure it's not a tooth off? If it is, that could certainly affect your power & mileage.
    that should have thrown a red flag right there. you changed it and then it went down.
    93SPLASH:18x9 chrome bullitts,245\45\18nexen tires,hurst shifter,painted 4x4valance,fogs,pioneer DEH-9800BT,hard bed cover,flowmaster delta 40,01 cobra leather\seude buckets,C.A.I.,cone filter,vent visors,niteshaded tails, black projector lights,repainted,8000k HIDs,140mph speedo,OHC,tweeters, kicker1000.1 rl-i10 sub.
    future mods:roll pan(ready)20%tint,dream beams(ready) 8.8 axle,racer walsh cam, turbo,new windshield,2tone paint body mounts.
    84ranger: sold
    95Tbird 4.6 auto

  20. #20
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by BlueMan View Post
    Have you since checked your static timing on the belt to make sure it's not a tooth off? If it is, that could certainly affect your power & mileage.
    How do I do dat?
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  21. #21
    Member Jethro Bodine's Avatar
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    Take the timing cover off and the dots on the crank and timing cam up top should line up with some dots on the engine. Also, check your ignition timing, that can make a difference like what you are seeing assuming you have a distributor and can change it. The book says like 5 degrees advance for my motor, I wonder why so little?

    Heck I had a hopped up 5.0 mustang with 3.90 gears, 289 heads and F303 cam that I was getting 20 mpg on so I would hope you could get around 25 with a 4 cyl.
    '88 Ranger 2.0L 5 speed, 32/36 DVG weber carb, Cannon intake, big CB radio.
    '95 F-250 Powerstroke Diesel
    '00 Kawasaki ZRX1100

  22. #22
    Blue oval blood cells BlueMan's Avatar
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    '96 means no distributor.
    Need to change your timing belt on a Lima? (2.0/2.3/2.5) Look <HERE>.

    MOMS RACING
    MUSTANG ON MUSTANG


    ------
    '12 Escape - daily driver, with the '97 F150 for the heavy haulin'
    '00 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 stepside - MM#5

    '97 XLT reg cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#4
    '02 XL reg cab 2wd 3.0 - (sold) MM#3
    '98 XLT X-cab 4wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#2
    '09 Sport X-cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold)
    '94 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 -(sold) it's just a moneymaker!
    '04 XLT std cab 2wd 2.3 (sold) w/Edge & Thunderbolt styling mods: The buildup
    '96 XLT x-cab 4x4 4.0 (sold)
    '86 STX x-cab 4x4 2.9/2.3 twin stick (sold)
    '85 std cab 2wd 2.3 prerunner (R.I.P)

  23. #23
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I can't believe it took me 3 years to figure this out.
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  24. #24
    Member Jethro Bodine's Avatar
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    did you get it figured out/fixed? What weight oil are you running? Some folks put in 20/50, but that will kill your mileage and power.
    '88 Ranger 2.0L 5 speed, 32/36 DVG weber carb, Cannon intake, big CB radio.
    '95 F-250 Powerstroke Diesel
    '00 Kawasaki ZRX1100

  25. #25
    96' Ranger, 5spd tradosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by Jethro Bodine View Post
    did you get it figured out/fixed? What weight oil are you running? Some folks put in 20/50, but that will kill your mileage and power.
    I was out of town this weekend but plan to check it out by the end of the week.

    I run 15W/40 Diesel oil in all of my vehicles (2 Fords and 2 Hondas).
    1996, 2.3L, 5-speed, 110,000 miles

  26. #26
    CRX and Ranger driver TAAGMAN's Avatar
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    I have a 97 with a 2.3l and I'm getting the best mileage I have ever gotten... 17 mpg after just turning over 80K (I got it 3 yrs ago with 38K). I guess it should be noted that I have an automatic and A/C AND CA reg with CA smog.
    Not to hijack the thread, but I have been having a problem with my tranny as of late. It is the AOD tranny for this year range and when the O/D has been defeated (manual button for that), it "falls out of gear" when it goes to passing gear, i.e. it just acts like it's in neutral; I have to let it settle down, try again and it generally finds the passing gear. Any suggestions?
    Vehicles:
    97 Ranger
    87 Honda CRX
    93 Harley Davidson XL1200

    "There is only one difference between genius and stupidity; genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein

  27. #27
    Member Jethro Bodine's Avatar
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    Quote Posted by StarScream98 View Post
    People always tend to forget, BRAKES. they can create drag, especially if your rotors are even the slightest bit warped...
    Semper Fi Marine!
    '88 Ranger 2.0L 5 speed, 32/36 DVG weber carb, Cannon intake, big CB radio.
    '95 F-250 Powerstroke Diesel
    '00 Kawasaki ZRX1100

  28. #28
    Built to Outlast Tumbler's Avatar
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    Today for gits and shiggles, I removed the entire intake & tb on the lil 2.5. Looked like clogged arteries, from the carbon. Had almost 1/4" build up. Cleaned,re-installed, smoother startup, runs better.

    done that lately?
    Freedom Isn't Free, Remember the Blood That Bought This Right.


    ..1998 Half Bagged..

    Auto w/ 4.10's
    10,000k H.I.D's
    Cobra XRS r7 - 10% Smoked tint
    Drop In K&N
    DEI remote start.
    Garmin Nüvi 205W
    Sport Trac Guages
    Slam Specialties
    Viair

    Semper Fi

  29. #29
    Built to Outlast Tumbler's Avatar
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    always.
    Freedom Isn't Free, Remember the Blood That Bought This Right.


    ..1998 Half Bagged..

    Auto w/ 4.10's
    10,000k H.I.D's
    Cobra XRS r7 - 10% Smoked tint
    Drop In K&N
    DEI remote start.
    Garmin Nüvi 205W
    Sport Trac Guages
    Slam Specialties
    Viair

    Semper Fi

  30. #30
    Blue oval blood cells BlueMan's Avatar
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    If you had bad carbon build-up there, you probably have it internally too, so a SeaFoam treatment might help it even more.
    Need to change your timing belt on a Lima? (2.0/2.3/2.5) Look <HERE>.

    MOMS RACING
    MUSTANG ON MUSTANG


    ------
    '12 Escape - daily driver, with the '97 F150 for the heavy haulin'
    '00 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 stepside - MM#5

    '97 XLT reg cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#4
    '02 XL reg cab 2wd 3.0 - (sold) MM#3
    '98 XLT X-cab 4wd 4.0 - (sold) MM#2
    '09 Sport X-cab 2wd 4.0 - (sold)
    '94 XLT X-cab 2wd 3.0 -(sold) it's just a moneymaker!
    '04 XLT std cab 2wd 2.3 (sold) w/Edge & Thunderbolt styling mods: The buildup
    '96 XLT x-cab 4x4 4.0 (sold)
    '86 STX x-cab 4x4 2.9/2.3 twin stick (sold)
    '85 std cab 2wd 2.3 prerunner (R.I.P)

 

 
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