Help With A Life Changing Decision

Jesse26

New Member
G’day all i need some help deciding weather to keep my 2011 Ford Ranger or sell it and get something else.

I want a 4WD that is going to last me the next ten years. I recently bought a 2011 XL PX Ford Ranger with just under 200 000 km on it. It’s had some issues since i first bought it such as it needing a new battery and the RPM needle moving up and down on cold mornings after starting it. The other issue which is the main one is it has bad vibrations at highway speeds, i have taken it to a few different mechanics when one of them directed me to a driveline specialist mechanic. I have the car booked in next week but it sounds like I need to do something with the diff.

Other annoying aspects of the car is it was sold to me stating it had a 2 inch lift but i now understand that this model uses a torsion bar which the 4WD mechanics have stated its not worth doing a 2 inch lift and you wont get that much out of it. The car does have a 2 inch lift but its in the back meant for heavy loads which apparently wasn’t even installed correctly. The bloke i bought it off did say he did a few things himself to the car such as this and servicing it himself.

I want to use the 4WD as a tourer/camper and as a every day car, I’m not interested in doing tough crazy tracks that you see 4WD action do but i am unsure if this 4WD is reliable enough and if it will last. I am looking at a 2012 GLX R mitsubishi Triton tomorrow with almost everything i want (canopy, lift kit, roof racks, bull bar, snorkel, under 150 000km etc) I have also heard that Isuzu’s and Toyota’s are very reliable but can be a bit expensive. (My budget is around 20k)

Should I just keep the Ford and fix this diff issue and slowly build it up to the tourer and everyday car I want it to be? Or sell it for something better?

Please give me some advice its a very hard and life changing decision!
 
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Lost1?

Well-Known Member
How many km per year do you travel? For me a vehicle with 200,000km is a bit much to buy as a reliable tourer.

For $20k you should be able to find a Triton with a service history, a few mods and under 150,000km. That might be a better option.
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
One without the mods and lower kilometres would be a more reliable choice. Something close to stock usually has had an easier life. You could grab a base Triton for $30k new a while back so you should be able to snag one around $20k.
 

2luxes

Well-Known Member
i have taken it to a few different mechanics when one of them directed me to a driveline specialist mechanic. I have the car booked in next week but it sounds like I need to do something with the diff.

Did the mechanic say it was a diff problem? They usually make a noise, not a vibration when they wear out.

Another possibility is a balance weight has fallen
off the driveshaft. Way back in the days when I was working in the motor industry, I saw that happen a couple of times.

A worn universal joint can cause a vibration but any mechanic should be able to see that in seconds.

A badly out of balance rear wheel could also cause it. It would not shake the steering wheel like front wheels often do but it will shake the car
 

FrankP

Active Member
but i now understand that this model uses a torsion bar

Who told you that? It's BS. PX Rangers (and their BT50 brothers) are coil-over struts at the front and leaf packs in the rear. PK Rangers (the model before PX) have torsion bars at the front.

If it's had a 2 inch lift at the rear, that will cause drive line vibration. Don't ask me how I know;). I had to put 2 degree wedges under the rear springs and fiddle with spacer kits on the drive shaft centre bearing to nearly get rid of it. (Can't get rid of it completely.)

The diffs themselves are ok on these models, so unlikely to be your issue unless abused. In any case, as 2 luxes said, you'd get noise, not vibration with a failing diff. More likely the "need to do something with the diff " will be the wedges between the axle housing (sometimes incorrectly referred to as "the diff") and the springs. And you'll need a spacer kit for the centre drive shaft bearing - cheap as chips on eBay (link). There's a great discussion here about one guy's ( Gof379842 ) proper solution to the issue.

But the Triton you're looking at is younger, has everything you want (just about) and as long as you don't overload the back should serve you well if it's been looked after.

Just make sure that when you're setting up ANY dual cab ute as a tourer you don't overload the rear. And with leaf-sprung rear ends don't put airbags in to lift a saggy bum - use spring packs suited to the load and control the load. Weight is your enemy. Overloading the rear and trying to compensate rear end sag with air bags is a recipe for a bent chassis, the reason being that air bags impose a load on the chassis directly above the axle, where the chassis is not designed to take the load. The load should be taken at the front eyes and rear shackles of the springs.

Tritons seem to be the most susceptible, but all dual cab leaf sprung utes share the issue. Google "bent chassis" - you'll find all brands there, even the "unbreakable" Toyota 79 Series. All have been abused with bad load distribution, overloading and many with inappropriate use of airbags.
 
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Triton14

Well-Known Member
I am looking at a 2012 GLX R mitsubishi Triton tomorrow with almost everything i want (canopy, lift kit, roof racks, bull bar, snorkel, under 150 000km etc)
I know everyone who owns vehicles like Lux's, cruisers etc tends to bag Tritons out but they do meet a certain price point & I would take one any day
over a Great wall.

Cant comment on your other decision but depending on the price of the Triton if it has all that gear on it you only have to add up what all that is new to put onto a vehicle & it really starts to add up.
Also witha GLX-R you do get to higher end of the Triton specs, for memory as in standard rear rear locker, nav head unit & many other features over a standard GLX.
Here is a guide to look at-

.

One thing all current diesels suffer from & the Trition seems even more suseptable is the EGR sooting up the intakes a fair bit.

If this one you look at has a catch can thats a good thing, if it doesnt I would fit one straight away.
 

Jesse26

New Member
Who told you that? It's BS. PX Rangers (and their BT50 brothers) are coil-over struts at the front and leaf packs in the rear. PK Rangers (the model before PX) have torsion bars at the front.

If it's had a 2 inch lift at the rear, that will cause drive line vibration. Don't ask me how I know;). I had to put 2 degree wedges under the rear springs and fiddle with spacer kits on the drive shaft centre bearing to nearly get rid of it. (Can't get rid of it completely.)

The diffs themselves are ok on these models, so unlikely to be your issue unless abused. In any case, as 2 luxes said, you'd get noise, not vibration with a failing diff. More likely the "need to do something with the diff " will be the wedges between the axle housing (sometimes incorrectly referred to as "the diff") and the springs. And you'll need a spacer kit for the centre drive shaft bearing - cheap as chips on eBay (link). There's a great discussion here about one guy's ( Gof379842 ) proper solution to the issue.

But the Triton you're looking at is younger, has everything you want (just about) and as long as you don't overload the back should serve you well if it's been looked after.

Just make sure that when you're setting up ANY dual cab ute as a tourer you don't overload the rear. And with leaf-sprung rear ends don't put airbags in to lift a saggy bum - use spring packs suited to the load and control the load. Weight is your enemy. Overloading the rear and trying to compensate rear end sag with air bags is a recipe for a bent chassis, the reason being that air bags impose a load on the chassis directly above the axle, where the chassis is not designed to take the load. The load should be taken at the front eyes and rear shackles of the springs.

Tritons seem to be the most susceptible, but all dual cab leaf sprung utes share the issue. Google "bent chassis" - you'll find all brands there, even the "unbreakable" Toyota 79 Series. All have been abused with bad load distribution, overloading and many with inappropriate use of airbags.

Multiple mechanics have told me it has a torsian bar and I can't see the coil springs above the front wheels like you would on any other 4wd with a 2 inch lift.

Just wanting a simple set up in the back, draws, fridge, duel battery system, all the gear and water.

I have read online that diffs do make clicking noise and not vibration but I suppose I will find out on Wednesday when the driveline specialist look at it.

I ended up putting a deposit on the Triton and will pick it up later this week. Still unsure if I made the right decision the Triton seems like the obvious choice but there a few cosmetic issues that are making me second guess my decision.
 

FrankP

Active Member
Multiple mechanics have told me it has a torsian bar and I can't see the coil springs above the front wheels like you would on any other 4wd with a 2 inch lift.

Then it can't be a PX, mate. If it's a 2011 model it must be a late PK, just prior to the PX. 2011 was the year they changed over.

A mate of mine has a Triton. Loves it. Look after the weight and loading as I mentioned above and you should be ok. Keep heavy stuff as far forward as possible, so Battery, fridge and water up the front. Fridge might be a bit difficult, depending on the canopy it might have to be at the back. Is it a tradie canopy or something like a fibreglass one over the tub? If you're installing long drawers that pull out over the tailgate, again keep heavy stuff like tools and recovery gear up the front of them as much as possible - you get the picture.

Triton14 mentioned sooting from EGR. If it doesn't have a catch can the intake manifold could be quite gummed up with oily soot and needing a clean out. You could go further into the head, but $$$. Then put a quality catch can on it. Don't fall for an eBay cheapie, most of those are useless. Get a Provent 150 or 200. I have a 200 on my BT50 and the intake is as clean as a whistle. There are a couple of others that are good but I don't know the names - I just read about them or saw them on Youtube in a test. Of course, if it already has one (a good one) you're on a winner.

Good luck, the adventure begins.
 
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cam04

Well-Known Member
PX is coil, no argument. Frank above has given spot on advice with regards the driveline - common prob with bigger lifts. That and the monstrous harmonic balancer on the rear shaft getting filled up with crud off road and vibrating(if yours doesn't have one, it is definitely a PK - post up a pic of the car). We have one PK left in the fleet with big kms on it. It's about to die, but given the life it has had, it is allowed to.
 

Jesse26

New Member
PX is coil, no argument. Frank above has given spot on advice with regards the driveline - common prob with bigger lifts. That and the monstrous harmonic balancer on the rear shaft getting filled up with crud off road and vibrating(if yours doesn't have one, it is definitely a PK - post up a pic of the car). We have one PK left in the fleet with big kms on it. It's about to die, but given the life it has had, it is allowed to.

Sorry guys I can notice the coil now it's kinda of hidden in there. Ok so it is definitely a PX as that what it says on the owner's manual. When I rang up to ask about lifts I must of been referring to it as a PK. My mistake. This still doesn't answer the big question of getting this vibration fixed and keeping the ranger with 196k km on the clock or selling it and getting this Triton with 107k km and all the bits and pieces. I feel like I should of waited to see how easy this fix was but I have already put this deposit down for the Triton and feel I am in abit of a pickle.
 

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Jesse26

New Member
Then it can't be a PX, mate. If it's a 2011 model it must be a late PK, just prior to the PX. 2011 was the year they changed over.

A mate of mine has a Triton. Loves it. Look after the weight and loading as I mentioned above and you should be ok. Keep heavy stuff as far forward as possible, so Battery, fridge and water up the front. Fridge might be a bit difficult, depending on the canopy it might have to be at the back. Is it a tradie canopy or something like a fibreglass one over the tub? If you're installing long drawers that pull out over the tailgate, again keep heavy stuff like tools and recovery gear up the front of them as much as possible - you get the picture.

Triton14 mentioned sooting from EGR. If it doesn't have a catch can the intake manifold could be quite gummed up with oily soot and needing a clean out. You could go further into the head, but $$$. Then put a quality catch can on it. Don't fall for an eBay cheapie, most of those are useless. Get a Provent 150 or 200. I have a 200 on my BT50 and the intake is as clean as a whistle. There are a couple of others that are good but I don't know the names - I just read about them or saw them on Youtube in a test. Of course, if it already has one (a good one) you're on a winner.

Good luck, the adventure begins.

Sorry Frank yeah it has coils and is a PX I'm brand new to four wheel drives and have only just started getting into cars since buying this one.

It's a Mitsubishi fibreglass canopy. That's the thing with the Ford ranger it's been used a work horse and has next to none service history as the bloke who sold it to me did that stuff himself but I have built up this vision of what this car is going to be. I prefer the shape and style of the Ford but the kms are abit high and the other stuff I mentioned. The Mitsubishi has been well looked after and has all the mods and only 107k km on the clock. It seems the mitsubishi is the obvious choice but I just have this weird feeling about it all and it's hard to make a decision when I only spent 20-30 minutes looking at the car
 
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FrankP

Active Member
Jesse,

Here's my 2 bobs worth:

Ranger minuses
  1. You're worried about the drive line vibrations
  2. Lots of km
  3. It's been worked hard (workhorse?)
  4. No service history
  5. DIY service - could be good, could be crap. Very important if it's been worked hard.
  6. Rear DIY lift done incorrectly suggests less than competent mechanic which further casts doubt on the DIY servicing.
  7. Needs $$$ to build it to what you want. (I'm thinking $4k-$6k)
  8. Sounds like you'll always be feeling uneasy with this car
Ranger pluses
  1. you like it
  2. It's larger, better for a family
  3. Clean slate - you can build it the way you want to
Triton minuses
  1. It's not your preferred vehicle appearance wise
  2. It's a little bit smaller (but still adequate)
  3. Brand has a generous share of bent chassis. Care needed with total weight and load distribution. Not a deal breaker, IMO, you just need to be aware.
  4. Brand has a generous share of gummed up intake systems, but can be cleaned (unknown by me $$). You may not have the issue - it's an easy check for a mechanic to do. Prevention (decent catch can) is about $250 if not already done.
Triton Pluses
  1. A bit over half the km of the Ranger.
  2. Apparently known good service history
  3. Upper model range, possibly more bang for buck
  4. I have heard the 4WD and traction selection system is very good, possibly better than a PX Ranger but that is hearsay on my part. Triton14 might like to comment on that
  5. Most of the build has already been done. Big $$$ saving (possibly $4k-$6k or more). You can do a lot of maintenance (intake system) and extras if necessary with that money.

Sounds like you might end up with two vehicles for a while. Ideal opportunity to use each for a bit to help with the decision. While you have both, get on the forums for each make and see what folk are talking about, ask a few questions. Newranger.net is excellent for the Ranger. There will be one for the Triton.

Your heart appears to say buy the Ranger, but looking at that list, both my head and yours say the Triton.

It's always your decision, but on the face of it that particular Ranger's minuses are too big for me, I would go with the Triton.

Best of luck

PS: I found this. Might be worth a read. Ask the Triton seller about how he's used it. Has he towed much? What weight? Occasional, or the Big Lap? etc
 
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Jesse26

New Member
Jesse,

Here's my 2 bobs worth:

Ranger minuses
  1. You're worried about the drive line vibrations
  2. Lots of km
  3. It's been worked hard (workhorse?)
  4. No service history
  5. DIY service - could be good, could be crap. Very important if it's been worked hard.
  6. Rear DIY lift done incorrectly suggests less than competent mechanic which further casts doubt on the DIY servicing.
  7. Needs $$$ to build it to what you want. (I'm thinking $4k-$6k)
  8. Sounds like you'll always be feeling uneasy with this car
Ranger pluses
  1. you like it
  2. It's larger, better for a family
  3. Clean slate - you can build it the way you want to
Triton minuses
  1. It's not your preferred vehicle appearance wise
  2. It's a little bit smaller (but still adequate)
  3. Brand has a generous share of bent chassis. Care needed with total weight and load distribution. Not a deal breaker, IMO, you just need to be aware.
  4. Brand has a generous share of gummed up intake systems, but can be cleaned (unknown by me $$). You may not have the issue - it's an easy check for a mechanic to do. Prevention (decent catch can) is about $250 if not already done.
Triton Pluses
  1. A bit over half the km of the Ranger.
  2. Apparently known good service history
  3. Upper model range, possibly more bang for buck
  4. I have heard the 4WD and traction selection system is very good, possibly better than a PX Ranger but that is hearsay on my part. Triton14 might like to comment on that
  5. Most of the build has already been done. Big $$$ saving (possibly $4k-$6k or more). You can do a lot of maintenance (intake system) and extras if necessary with that money.

Sounds like you might end up with two vehicles for a while. Ideal opportunity to use each for a bit to help with the decision. While you have both, get on the forums for each make and see what folk are talking about, ask a few questions. Newranger.net is excellent for the Ranger. There will be one for the Triton.

Your heart appears to say buy the Ranger, but looking at that list, both my head and yours say the Triton.

It's always your decision, but on the face of it that particular Ranger's minuses are too big for me, I would go with the Triton.

Best of luck

PS: I found this. Might be worth a read. Ask the Triton seller about how he's used it. Has he towed much? What weight? Occasional, or the Big Lap? etc

Thanks for all the help frank. If I didn't already own this ford I would be jumping on the Triton but because of this awkward transition between the two cars it's making me think twice. I think it's the right choice to go with the triton I've organised to pick it up tomorrow.
 

Jesse26

New Member
Hey guys heres an update if anyone is interested.

The driveline specialist couldn’t figure out the vibration problem, all he could suggest to do was rebuild the diff which was going to cost $1500. He said i could spend thousands trying to fix the problem with no avail. So i put it up for sale mentioning the problem hopefully i can sell it with not too much of a loss. Maybe i should take it to ford? They quoted me $100 an hour just to look at it. A little bit unbelievable that 3 different mechanics looked at it and cant figure out the issue.

I have had the Triton for a few days now and I’m pretty happy with it. The interior is the only thing that’s letting me down compared to the Ranger but that’s not a big deal. The turbo lag is virtually non existent in the Triton too, where as the Rangers turbo lag was almost dangerous.

I cant wait to start adding the rooftop tent and draws etc and hopefully finish my lap of Australia some time next year.
C1056E60-768B-4AE8-8412-7BED1936554E.jpeg
 
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FrankP

Active Member
Pretty tidy looking vehicle, Jesse. And I think, given what your mechanics have said about the Ranger's driveline vibration, you've made the right choice between the two. I'm a bit surprised that the driveline specialist couldn't pick it.

They look like NSW plates. If it is to stay registered in NSW, a picky examiner probably won't pass that lightbar. AFAIK the rule is that the bar is not allowed to protrude into the driver's sightline over the bonnet. See how you go, but be prepared to take it off for the annual rego check.

Where are you going to put the RTT? Turret or canopy? Turret for weight distribution, especially with drawers going in the back, but check to see if the roof can take it first. If you choose the canopy, make sure there is an internal load bearing frame. In either case get the lightest RTT you can.

It might be an idea to get your car weighed. Nothing in it, just a full tank of fuel. I think your GVM is about 2930. Subtract your weighbridge figure from 2930 will give you the weight you have to play with. If it's had a GVM upgrade, subtract the weight from the upgraded GVM.

Just watch the weight distribution. It is too easy to get any of these 4 door utes tail heavy, especially when setting up for touring.

The adventure begins. Good luck
 
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Jesse26

New Member
Thanks Frank :) It does clean up nicely and I'm glad I went with it. I think it was a good deal at 22k.

Thanks for the heads up on that.

The RTT I'm going for is a hardshell one so it will cover almost the whole length of the cars roofs. The RTT I'm looking at is 69kg so pretty light I reckon.

Thanks mate I'll look into it. The car does have a ironman suspension lift and the previous owner mentioned it can take heavier loads but not sure how much heavier.
 

Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
C
Sorry guys I can notice the coil now it's kinda of hidden in there. Ok so it is definitely a PX as that what it says on the owner's manual. When I rang up to ask about lifts I must of been referring to it as a PK. My mistake. This still doesn't answer the big question of getting this vibration fixed and keeping the ranger with 196k km on the clock or selling it and getting this Triton with 107k km and all the bits and pieces. I feel like I should of waited to see how easy this fix was but I have already put this deposit down for the Triton and feel I am in abit of a pickle.
Check the compliance plate in the engine bay to be certain. You'll find it stamped there somewhere.
 

2luxes

Well-Known Member
The car does have a ironman suspension lift and the previous owner mentioned it can take heavier loads but not sure how much heavier.

When you are loading it, don't thInk weight only. Weight is just a measure of the pull of gravity. You can't buy a kilo of weight but you can buy some material that weighs a kilo. It is where you place material in your car, and how much of it, that will determine whether it gives you many years of trouble free driving or breaks things like the chassis, axle housing, wheel studs etc.

The distance between the front axle to the front of the car is a lever and so is the distance between the rear axle back to the end of the car or tow ball.

Loading up the front with things like a bull bar will alter handling to some degree but it is usually minor. Excessive heavy material down the back behind the axle can easily break things and the chassis is on the top of the list. The net is full of broken chassis photos.

Many owners don't stop and think that what they put behind the rear axle is constantly being lifted rapidly from rest when the wheels rise suddenly. When they fall, so does the material. It builds up momentum and hits the end of the chassis hard when the wheels are lifting it back up again.

If the stress in the chassis is within its design limits then all is well. If not it will bend down behind the axle and no amount of suspension modifications can stop it as long as the compressed springs and chassis can pivot on the rear axle bearings as the back goes down and the front gets jerked up


Keep in mind that a full load in a car means a full load in the seats, fuel tank and rear tub with the heaviest items in the the tub as far forward as possible.
 
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