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Old 09-16-2004, 11:56 PM   #1
Fritz
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
4k limit. Ranger? orrrr....

Okay, i've been agonizing about this for a while... I need a car. No question about it. I have to go to work and school, both places in a day, and I'm running out of rides. Also I have to have a place to put books while i'm in certain classes ... in short, I just need a car...

I wanted to get a Ranger because the drivetrain is straight (simpler to work on than a front wheel drive car), it's high enough off the ground so I won't have to jack it up much to work on it, and it's high enough to see around SOME of the roadhoggin' SUVs around here. Also, I need good fuel economy, and a stick shift is a must ... ...

However, my friend who has a 4-cyl Ranger hates it. He says it's underpowered and gets around 17 mpg. It's a 1994 Ranger.

He says I should just get something cool (Nissan 240SX or some crud like that)

I want to know what I should be looking at. I've considered a Ranger, a Toyota Tacoma, a 6-cyl Mustang, even a Civic at one point. I'm confused now. I need good mileage and a stick shift, but I also want to get a relatively good car that I can do a lot of my own work on for under $4,000.

Any suggestions or help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 09-21-2004, 12:12 AM   #2
Kyle_C
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Some ideas

The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you want a car or a truck. I wouldn't think a 2wd 4-cyl 1994 Ranger would get 17 mpg...4wd might, I can't say for sure. Either way, if you're looking for gas mileage I'd stick with a compact car - a pickup or a V6 Mustang are probably not the best ideas. You're reasons for wanting a Ranger are interesting...is not having to jack it up much really a priority for you? If you've got a jack I don't really know what the problem is there. If you get a good car you probably shouldn't be worrying about it much.

So I would stick with a small car unless you absolutely need 4wd or need to be hauling stuff, in which case I would go with the truck. But it's gonna hurt your gas mileage.

Personally, I would say go with a Geo / Chevy Prizm or a Toyota Corolla. You should be able to get them cheaper than a Civic. They're reliable cars, get 'em with a stick and the power is acceptable...you should get high 30s mpg on the highway and low 30s in the city. I'd imagine you could get a mid to late 90s model with decent mileage for somewhere in your price range.
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Old 09-21-2004, 05:32 PM   #3
Fritz
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Yeah, main reason I want a Ranger is the straight drivetrain and accessibility of the engine components. I like the space under the hood of a 4-cyl Ranger. However, that gas mileage is a problem. Also, 90% of the time I wouldn't be using the bed. Unless I have to bring my drums around somewhere...

Anyway, main reason i've stayed away from Carollas or even some of the sportier 4-cyl little cars is Front wheel drive. If I get a Corolla with a stick and have to replace the clutch, I have to take the engine out. If one of the forks in the tranny is bent, *pop* out comes the engine. I dunno. Any car I get in my price range is gonna need work, that's the way I see it.

Also, I know a guy who might could get me a '72 or '73 Mustang classic for around $1,600. Sounds sweet but I don't know what kind of tranny it has or what condition the engine is in. I'll be looking at it though.

So the dilemma continues. What I need to know now is: How hard is a Front wheel drive car to work on? (for a shade-tree mechanic like me) I don't even have an engine hoist or anything.
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:41 AM   #4
KhanArtisT
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Maybe I'm being narrow-minded, but I would go with a 2nd gen SOHC neon with low miles...shouldnt be too hard to find.
I got my 2k neon SE in great running condition, with about 55k for $3800. I've had it for 2 years and put about 15,000 miles into it and its given me NO problems at all.

Its a roomy 4-door with OK performance, good gas mileage(28/35), maybe not as good as the civic, but...who wants to get a civic... Although some people do disagree and say its not reliable because it's a dodge, but It's your descision.
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:27 PM   #5
Fritz
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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The only auto manufacturer i'm really trying to avoid is Chevy... Our Astro is worthlessly hopeless and it's not even 5 years old.

Only problem with the neon is that it's front wheel drive. I need something I can work on pretty easily. Although now that i'm looking at more cars I'm realizing that I can't have rear wheel drive and gas mileage at the same time.

So, what are some other good little stick-shift, 4-cyl car that I can afford? :p
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