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Is it okay to get a car before OBD2, 1991 Ford Ranger 5 speed 3.0L


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Hey, I am looking to get a new car. I found a 1991 Ford ranger sport 100252 miles 5 spd 3.0L engine. The seller wants 2500. Now it looks to be a pretty good deal. Minimal rust being in Iowa. My only question is this car was made before 1996 so it doesn't have an obd2. Is that a big deal or is this truck going to be pretty easy to work on as I like wrenching on my vehicles. 


Thank you

3 Answers

The main consideration is whether you are ready to deal with the needs of a 30-year-old vehicle. Lots of potential issues caused by decades-old worn and deteriorated parts. A 1991 model will have OBD1 diagnostics which while not as comprehensive as OBD2 can provide clues when things go wrong.


The 3.0 in the Ranger is a pretty solid engine, my 1999 has 274k on it. I put 275 miles more a week on it. OBDI isn't as thorough as OBDII and requires more mechanical aptitude, but it's doable if you know a little bit about diagnosis. My old BMW 540i was a 1994 and had OBDI, the CCV valve blew out and the engine started sucking oil out of the sump and burning it. The CEL light flashes a number of times to indicate the error on some cars after pressing the accelerator a set number of times. My BMW said O2 sensors were bad. Starter fluid revealed the broken CCV valve and vacuum leak. There was nothing wrong with the O2 sensors, once I replaced the assembly, it all stopped. If you're somewhat mechanically inclined, OBDI shouldn't be a problem. 


With this Ranger being as old as it is, replacing all of the vacuum lines and just about everything else under the hood that's rubber is practically a must. My '99 blew up a heater core hose over the summer and leaked out 1/4 of the coolant in less than a mile. You don't want this happening to you. I was lucky and was near home, not the Interstate. Flush the coolant and put new in. You may as well replace the thermostat too. 

Thank you!


You won't have all the electronic junk to worry about that new vehicles have.  Lots of weird vacuum and thermal vacuum switches to be sure but few sensors.