Image1998 Ford Ranger, 90,000 miles, uses no oil between changes. Solid cab, but a few frills of rust at the bottom of the doors. But what’s up with the frame? The rusty brake line laying there just popped a leak, and most of the wheel end parts of the brake system have just been replaced… For the 2nd time! They were rusted out, not worn out.

This is actually one of the more rust free Rangers… Do a google search and you’ll read of mere decade old Rangers being scrapped ’cause of rusted through frames. Toyota’s having the same problem, but at least their doing the right thing and recalling them. It’s to the point that a whole cottage industry has grown up providing patch panels for Ranger frames.

And just to add insult to injury… That rusted through brake line ties the rear axle’s brakes to the master cylinder. The Ranger is a 1980s design, but the rear axle looks suspiciously like an escapee from a 60s 6 cylinder Falcon. Yup, the front of that brake line has a metric fitting, and the rear has an inch fitting. Now you’d think around the 80s or so when Ford switched from inch to metrics they’d have told the rear axle folks at Ford T&C to get metric… But Nooo, that would have cost precious profits. The partsman at my local Ford/Buick dealer says he’s seen the same on GM products. That partsman was one of several local ones that this Ford failure has stumped, thought one has come up with a metric fitted line joined by a union to a metric to inch adapter line that may do the trick.

Then I’ll just have to replace the two rustier yet lines to the wheels, all the rusted away a decade ago emergency brake cables, figure out why the fuel system loses “prime”, and maybe bet the price of a set of new tires that this Ranger will see it’s 20th birthday… While my unit body ’86 VW Golf saw it’s 20th birthday and a couple more before the seat went through it’s rusty floor!!

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