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Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:47 AM

There used to be a Ford manufacturing plant in St. Paul, MN.

It started out making Model Ts, and ended its life making Ford Ranger Pickups. It's finished, now. The land it was on is being redeveloped into mixed use status. That's why there are so man Ford Rangers in the Twin Cities area. People liked buying a car that was made where they lived.

If you are looking for a used small pickup truck in the Minneapolis St. Paul area, you're going to see a lot of Ford Rangers for sale. There's not a lot of point in looking for a different brand here. St. Paulites were pretty loyal to the local Ford factory. That's what I discovered when I needed a pickup to handle our house, garage, and yard cleanup hauling chores here this year. Here's what I ended up with:



It's a 1996 Ranger XLT. In its 23 years, it has accumulated 277,170 miles. I don't know its history beyond the previous owner, but it has been fixed up and had many parts replaced in that time. It still runs great, and has no real bad habits. Apparently, they built good trucks in St. Paul. There are tons of them driving around the area. A lot of them are red, which was apparently a popular color. Lots of white ones, too. These days they're all someone's work truck or trash truck or beater truck or whatever.

My wife asked me, "Would you drive it to California?" I had to think about that a little, but ended up saying, "Yeah. It would get there just fine, probably..."

It's a good little truck, made by workers who bought what they built. Maybe that's why it's a good truck. Our other car is a 2020 KIA Soul. The differences that 23 years makes are enormous. But, it's still a good little truck. Ford stopped building Rangers for a few years, which is probably why they shut down the St. Paul factory, but they're making them again now. Somewhere else. People need small pickups, and the full-sized ones have gotten all fancy and expensive. So, there's a market for the Ranger, still.

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Reply There used to be a Ford manufacturing plant in St. Paul, MN. (Original post)
MineralMan Nov 11 OP
RainCaster Nov 11 #1
RKP5637 Nov 11 #2
Arkansas Granny Nov 11 #3
MineralMan Nov 11 #6
pecosbob Nov 11 #4
MineralMan Nov 11 #5
pecosbob Nov 11 #7
MineralMan Nov 11 #8
pintobean Nov 11 #11
gratuitous Nov 11 #9
MineralMan Nov 11 #13
pintobean Nov 11 #10
MineralMan Nov 11 #14
pintobean Nov 11 #15
MineralMan Nov 11 #17
Niagara Nov 11 #23
pintobean Nov 11 #26
Wellstone ruled Nov 11 #12
MineralMan Nov 11 #16
Wellstone ruled Nov 11 #19
MineralMan Nov 11 #20
Wellstone ruled Nov 11 #22
MineralMan Nov 11 #25
Wellstone ruled Nov 11 #30
MineralMan Nov 11 #31
Wellstone ruled Nov 11 #32
Ohiogal Nov 11 #18
MineralMan Nov 11 #21
Peacetrain Nov 11 #24
MineralMan Nov 11 #27
Niagara Nov 11 #28
MineralMan Nov 11 #29
MineralMan Nov 11 #33

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:55 AM

1. There used to be a Ford dealership in my town

I bought my F150 there in '99.

It's now a used car lot and RV dealer.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:56 AM

2. Looks great! You and the truck! 277,170 miles. Hey, it's just getting broken in!!! n/t

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:59 AM

3. MM, is it a good idea to display your license plate online?

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:04 PM

6. I can't imagine any way it could hurt me to do so.

That's me. That's my house. I'm not anonymous online, anyhow.

I don't really understand the thing about not showing license plates, really. Who cares if I have an old Ford Ranger?

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:59 AM

4. I've had four over the years

All used the same familiar old engine, the 2.3L inline four cylinder 'Lima' or Pinto motor (had a Pinto as well) Love them to death.

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Response to pecosbob (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:01 PM

5. Yeah, that's the engine in mine, too, along with the Mazda 5-speed transmission.

The engine is pretty much unbreakable, apparently, and that manual transmission has worked out really well, too.

It's certainly no racing truck, but it will get where you're going just fine. I might put 1000 miles a year on it. It might even outlast me.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:05 PM

7. Saw a photo of the new series Ranger (curb weight 4,145-4,441 lb)

Why do we have to super-size every darned thing in this culture? As soon as they find something that works and that people will buy, they always make it larger and more profitable and screw it all up.

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Response to pecosbob (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:07 PM

8. Well, now it's a mid-sized pickup.

I did notice that you can buy a base trim one for about $25k. Of course, finding one might be a problem, as it usually is.

The '96 Ranger weighed between 2,927 and 3,197 lbs. Hmm...

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Response to pecosbob (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:28 PM

11. Supply and demand.

 

They build what sells.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:17 PM

9. Who's that old guy standing next to the truck?

Keep an eye on him; he looks like trouble.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:32 PM

13. Yeah, he needs watching, for sure.

Looks like he's assembling something there. Who knows what it might be?

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:26 PM

10. I always buy American, new or used.

 

I support American workers, especially union workers.

If I remember correctly, you've had a couple of other threads bragging about buying new Kias.

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Response to pintobean (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:34 PM

14. Oh, OK.

I buy vehicles that suit my needs and budget, wherever they are made. I needed a small pickup truck, and there were more Ford Rangers than any other for sale. I found a good one. Did you know that Ford Rangers have a Mazda transmission? You do you. I'll do me, if you don't mind.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:39 PM

15. "You do you. I'll do me, if you don't mind."

 

I don't know why anyone would think that that wasn't happening.

Just pointing out some facts. No need to get defensive.

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Response to pintobean (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:41 PM

17. Nice of you to drop into the thread.

I know exactly what you're doing.

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Response to pintobean (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:48 PM

23. I use to think like you

About 10 years ago, my then husband (now ex-husband) purchased a new Chevy Silverado. The sticker inside the driver's door read "Made in Mexico".

Also around that time, I worked at a U.S. Toyota manufacturing plant that employed American workers. It wasn't a union job, but it was a job so that I could at least pay bills and put food on the table.

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Response to Niagara (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:07 PM

26. My Silverados were built in Ft. Wayne Indiana.

 

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:30 PM

12. Got yourself a winner in that one.

Noticed the Pin Stripping,hmmm,might know the original owner. Remember doing that on a rainy Saturday.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:39 PM

16. Really? That'd be cool.

Someone liked the truck, for sure. It has a name, now: "Old Red."

There's a rust-out on the driver's side in the panel in back of the driver's door. It's covered with red duct tape now. Repairing it properly would cost more than the $1100 I paid for the whole truck. I did put a set of new tires on it, though, and some retractable tie-downs in the stake holes. I still need to replace the blower resistor pack so I can have more than full speed on the heater.

Other than that, I can't find anything that needs fixing. Someone has done the brakes and exhaust system recently.

When I bought it, it had been parked for about nine months in a driveway. Ran rough and the clutch was grabby. Both cleared up some after about five miles on the test drive, so I took a chance and bought it. A fresh tank of gas and some STP fuel system cleaner got it running smoothly again, and the clutch is just fine now. I consider it a very good deal.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:15 PM

19. If it is the one I think it is,

it was purchased from the Midway Ford Dealer. Then Traded to the Midway Chevy Dealer. Owner lived in "Swede Hollow".

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:21 PM

20. No way to check, I think.

The pinstriping is blue and white, if that helps. I noticed it right away. I bought it from a woman whose husband had died. In Little Canada. He hadn't owned it long before being diagnosed with a terminal cancer. But I'm sure he did the brakes and exhaust system, given their new appearance. Overall, it's in very good shape, given the high mileage. My wife drove it the other day for the first time. She thought it was fine. It's the second car, so she'll drive it occasionally if I have the KIA out.

I really need to get the battery tested to make sure it's not going to give out this winter, although that's no guarantee.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:30 PM

22. If this is the One,

the owner was a Mech-ka-nech,and it was his pride and joy. Remember him going over to the Ford Plant to drive it back to the Dealer for Prep work. Pin Stripe came from the a Auto Store on the Midway. We messed up one and had to go back and purchase another pack.

New Brakes and other work done in 04 or 05,most of the miles were to Sodak and back as well as his daily driver to his job in Shakopee .

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:59 PM

25. Well, if it's that one, I'm glad of the owner's pride in it.

What happens early in a vehicle's life makes a big difference in how long it lasts. Sounds like it comes by its miles honestly. that could be why it looks better inside than I'd expect for the miles. I think the brakes got redone again by the most recent owner and I know the exhaust system was done by that owner. It's just too pristine to be more than a year old. The tire guy checked the brakes, probably hoping to sell me a brake job. "They look brand new," he said. I like the wheels on that year's Ranger, too. Very nice looking.

The truck has some dings and dents, but that's to be expected. I'll take good basic care of it. But, it's not going to get a lot of money spent on it. I can fix any minor problems that come up myself. In fact, i have a couple of parts waiting to be installed. They'll wait until warm weather returns, though.

It certainly could be the same Ranger you're thinking of. That exact pinstriping wouldn't be a common addition. Thanks for the info!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:15 PM

30. The replacement for this

rig went to the bone yard last fall. Did not have many miles on it,70k or so,but it just rusted out and the Drive Line was a mess. Tranny took a dump as well as the steering and brakes. Yup,going to be buried in this Truck. Well that is not going to happen.

Do remember him changing oil every fifteen hundred or so miles and being picky with everything mechanical. And his comment last fall was,should have kept the Ranger.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:16 PM

31. Well, tell him it's in good hands.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:27 PM

32. Will do.

Supposed to be here Thanksgiving weekend.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:14 PM

18. Nice photo, MM!

Your town was the opposite of mine. In the neighborhood where I grew up, almost everyone (with the exception of my father) worked in some capacity for GM. In every driveway up and down the street was a late model GM sedan. Back then most people bought a brand new car every 4 years and could easily afford to do so. And we were solidly middle class -- my neighborhood consisted of city sized lots with a 3-bedroom ranch house on each one. Most had single garages, a few, like ours, had a double garage.

My Dad was a Ford man, and I sometimes wonder if any of the neighbors whispered behind his back while giving baleful looks to our Mercury Montego and Country Squire station wagon. This was in the 60s, for the most part.

And, absolutely no one owned a pickup truck. Sedans were the thing. The only time you saw a pickup truck in anyone's driveway was when a guy came over to do some kind of construction or home repair. How times have changed ....

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:28 PM

21. Thanks!

Places where cars were manufactured tend to be very loyal to that company's cars. St. Paul is an unlikely place for a car factory, but there it was.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:54 PM

24. Wow, that truck must have spent some time out of Minn.. the body looks GREAT!

and salt on a 23 year old truck body usually gets you a little more aerated as it were

we had a ranger.. and it was a good truck.. hubby had ac and heating in it right to the end.. it was hot in summer and cold in the winter.. both gave out..but the truck kept running.. I think you are right .. it would probably make it to Ca

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:08 PM

27. Well, it does have one rust-out on the body, and the tailgate is

rusty on the bottom. I put red duct tape over the rust hole on the driver's side. and I'll just ignore that. It would cost more than I paid for the truck to fix it, and it's going to be my beater truck anyhow.

Based on how the powertrain sounds, I'm sure it would go to California without a problem. However, that's not a likely trip it will take. I don't drive to California, really. Takes too long, and an airline ticket isn't all that much really. It's just a way of assessing a car. "Would you drive it a couple thousand miles as it is?" If the answer is "yes," then it's probably an OK old car to buy. That has always been my test question.

When my wife and I moved from California to Minnesota to look after her parents, I bought a former UHaul 24' moving truck. It had a couple hundred thousand miles on it when I bought it from UHaul. I test-drove several of the ones they had for sale, and the one I bought passed the "Will it go to Minnesota without breaking down?" It did. I did take it to a shop and have them inspect everything and fix what needed fixing. That cost me $600. I paid $6000 for the truck. We loaded up our house and separate office into it, drove it to Minnesota, then parked it in a storage yard until we picked out a house to buy. We hired a couple of moving guys to move everything from the truck into the house, and then I put the truck on Craigslist here. I sold it for $4000, so the entire move cost me about $3000, plus gasoline (lots of gasoline.). Storage was only $100 a month for two months. It was a good decision.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:09 PM

28. Nice ride, MM

I purchased my first used Ford last October.

It's not a Ford Ranger, but a Ford Escape and way better built then the previous vehicle that I had. I've been looking at Ford Rangers for my son, I think it would be a great choice for him.



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Response to Niagara (Reply #28)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:12 PM

29. Pickups are a good kind of vehicle to own.

That's particularly true if you're young and likely to move around. It's amazing how much you can put in one and take somewhere else. If you need more space, you can rent a trailer from UHaul and tow it.

Plus, you'll keep busy helping other people move. I met my first wife while moving her and her roommate to a new apartment with my pickup at the time. I guess I seemed useful to her, so we paired up.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:35 PM

33. Writing this thread made me think about all the pickups I have owned.

I don't keep them forever, but when I need a truck, I generally find a used one and buy it. I hang onto them until I don't see a need for a truck coming soon, and then I try to sell them for what I paid. Here are all the Pickups I've owned since 1963:

1948 Dodge 5-window w/ 4-speed non-syncromesh crash box tranny - Paid $100, sold for $150

1952 Chevy 1/2-ton - The Truck of Many Colors. Almost no body parts were the same color. All from the junkyard - Paid $50 for it. I gave it a coat of red paint and sold it for $200 six months later.

1954 International 3/4 ton - Paid $150. Named "JOAT" for "Jack of all Trades," this one was muddy boot brown in color. I put new rod and main bearings in the engine in my driveway. I used it for my FREE garage clean-out, swap meet business in college. Folks would call me from my newspaper ad for FREE GARAGE CLEAN-OUT. I'd clean out their garage, sort through the junk and sell what was sellable at the swap meet on Sunday. On Monday, what didn't sell and the junk I didn't take to the swap meet went to the local landfill. I averaged about $250 per week in sales at the swap meet. I sold the truck for $400 to pay for a ski trip for me and my wife, and that was the end of that business.

1966 Ford 3/4 ton - Paid $200. The truck was an ex-state highway dept. Truck. Blaze orange in color. Didn't work out for long. it had a cracked block. Sold it for $100 to a drunk guy.

1948 Crosley Pickup - bought for $100 and sold quickly after I got it running for $600 to a car collector guy. Not a practical vehicle, but fun to work on. Wish I had it now. They sell for a bunch.

196? Datsun 720 - This was one of the early Datsun pickups that I bought from some guy who had bought it in Japan and shipped it back, for some weird reason. It wasn't the US model and had the steering wheel on the right side. Paid $100 for it. Sold it about 6 months later for $100, after hauling some firewood in it.

196? Toyota Hilux - I never learn. I paid $250 for this blue pickup. I kept it for about a year, and sold it for $300.

1984 Dodge D50 short bed - the first Dodge small pickup. Mitsubishi engine and transmission. I paid $500 for it, replaced the clutch, used it for about a year, and then sold it for $750. Nice little truck.

1986 Ford Ranger Regular cab - Gift from my father. It was his old farm truck, and had been owned by a water company before that. The thing smelled like old man sweat at all times. I never could get rid of the smell, and my wife wouldn't even ride in it because of the smell. Aside from that, it was a good truck. After a couple of year, since my wife wouldn't ride in it, I donated it to a charity and took a tax deduction. I liked the truck, but it did stink bad.

1986 Chevy 24' box truck: ex-UHaul, bought for $6000 to move to Minnesota in 2004. Sold it after the move for about $4000. Everything got stored in it until we found a house to buy. A great way to move!

1996 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3 5-speed - My current pickup. Paid $1100 for it. Bought four new tires for $300. No plans to sell it.

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