1983-11 Ford Ranger Bronco II Vehicle History
Introduced in March 1982 as a 1983 model, built at the Louisville, Ky. plant. The Ranger was a scaled down F-Series. Double wall construction hood, doors, roof, box side and tailgate made the Ranger as sturdy as its big brother. Available as a 4x2 and 4x4, it came with three variations of 4 cylinder engines and one V6. From its introduction the Ranger was America's best selling compact truck for 8 of the next 10 years.
Ranger styling was left alone. Trimwise the XLS and XLT models were offered. The Ranger S model was the stripped down value model.
232,771 Rangers were sold in 1985. A 2.3L 143 cid EFI Turbo Diesel 4 cylinder was offered. Styling remained unchanged.
The new Super Cab was an immediate success. With 17 inches of additional room behind the front seat, the Ranger now had the same configuration as the F-Series.
The High Rider 4x4 model was offered. It included a bed-mounted light bar, front Bush Bar, and improved handling. New styled white painted wheels were optional. All radios had an electronic display and included a clock. ABS rear brakes were standard on all models.
America's best selling compact truck set a sales record of 367,212 trucks sold. The GT Package now joined the Custom, XLT and STX options. Both ground effects front spoiler and rocker panel skirting with sportier suspension made the GT package unique. 1988 was the last year of a carbureted engine, the 2.0L 122 cid, in a Ranger.
A new front restyle made the Ranger style match the F-Series. Aerodynamically Flush Halogen headlights, wraparound turn signals, wraparound front bumper, all new hood and cowl and reshaped front fenders completed the update. The first Ford engine not to have a distributor was the 2.3L 140 cid EFI. It came with two spark plugs per cylinder and was the standard engine in the Ranger. All Ranger engines now came with EFI, electronically controlled fuel injection.
A 4.0L 242 cid EFI V6 engine was offered and only available with the automatic overdrive transmission. The DANA 35 replaced the DANA 28 front axle.
A sport model was added to the Ranger lineup with special paint, tape stripe package and special aluminum wheels. The 3.0L 183 cid EFI V6 was introduced.
The big 4.0L 242 cid EFI now came with a 5-speed overdrive manual transmission. As the best-selling compact truck in America, Ford made few changes for 1992.
The Ranger was completely restyled for 1993. The boxy look was dropped for a new streamlined appearance. The front end became more rounded and the front bumper wrapped around the fenders. Wheel wells became more pronounced with a wider flare. The new Flareside Splash model was introduced. Access to the cab was made easier with wider front doors. The 2.9L V6 engine was replaced with a 3.0L 182 cid.
The Splash was now available as a Super Cab. For improved side impact safety, side door guard beams were added to all models.
A driver's side airbag was added. All wheel ABS became standard for all four-wheel drive models and models with the 4.0L engine. A new electronic 4 speed automatic transmission was now available. The instrument panel received a facelift as well as the front grille.
The Flareside bed was no longer exclusively available as a Splash model. Passenger side air bags were added as an option.
A new five speed automatic transmission was offered as an option. A stereo with a single disc player was added as well as an extra power point for accessories.
The Ranger increased its standard cab depth by three inches adding more legroom. The front of the truck received a new look with a new bumper, valance, grille, front lights and a steel or aluminum hood. A 2.5L 153 cid engine replaced the 2.3L engine. A wishbone type coil spring or torsion bar front suspension replaced the old coil spring Twin I-Beam. An all-electric Ranger EV was introduced for fleet sales only. The four-wheel drive could now be engaged on-the-fly with a dash switch.
The Super Cab now came with four doors. The Splash model was dropped leaving available trim levels as the XL and XLT with optional sport appearance packages. A fully boxed frame now made the Ranger a tougher truck all around.
Minor trim level changes were made for the Ranger in 2000. The XL received a new Trailhead package and the XLT received a new 4x4 Off-Road Group package.
A new grille, front bumper, valance and crystal clear headlights gave the Ranger a custom appearance for 2001. The Ranger added a new trim level called the Edge. The Edge came standard with aluminum rims and color coordinated bumper, valance and wheel arch moldings. Both the 2WD and 4WD Edge models had the same ride height and came standard with a black vinyl floor. XLT Super Cabs now offered a premium off road package. The 4.0L OHV was replaced with a 4.0L 242 cid SOHC. Four wheel ABS became standard on all models.
A fuel-efficient 2.3L 143cid DOHC engine was added and the 2.5L was dropped. A new FX4 off-road model was introduced with forged aluminum wheels, heavy-duty suspension and added skid plates. The FX4 came standard with the 4.0L engine. Standard trim levels remained the XL and XLT.
A FX4 level II was introduced with a manual transfer case, a torsen® limited slip axle, heavy-duty shocks, forged aluminum wheels and stainless steel tow hooks. The Tremor trim level was added to the FX4 lineup with a 485-watt sound system.
New front valances and grille designs were added to give the Ranger a rugged new look much like the F150. Interior changes were minimal. The Tremor was given a new 510-watt sound system, sporty interior design and custom cast aluminum wheels.
Interior changes were minimal. Trim levels offered were the XL, XLT, Edge, FX4 Off-Road, FX4 Level II. The Tremor trim level was dropped. A stylish STX trim level was added that had a custom grille, valance, aluminum wheels, running boards, tail lights and fog lights. Ford Ranger has been distinguished as the best selling compact truck for 17 years straight.
A new grille with horizontal bars, squared off mirrors and boxed in emblems now gave the Ranger the look of a small F150. Park lights and taillights were changed as well. Minor changes were made to the front bumper and fenders. The Edge was replaced by the Sport, which came in 2WD and 4WD.
Minor interior changes were made. The crash safety service was upgraded. A tire pressure monitoring system and a passive anti-theft system were also added as an option. SIRIUS satellite radio and an auxiliary MP3 input jack were added to the premium sound system.
A new front bumper with better aerodynamics was added to improve fuel economy. With the new front bumper, fog lights were also redesigned. The FX4 Off-Road Ranger received some performance upgrades and the FX4 LEVEL II and STX trim levels were dropped.
Minor interior changes were made. Trim levels offered were the XL, XLT, Sport and FX4 Off-Road. A trailer hitch receiver became standard on all models. The 3.0L engine was dropped leaving the 2.3L and 4.0L as the two engine choices.
The FX4 Off-Road model was dropped. Trim levels offered were the XL, XLT and Sport. Front seat side airbags and Roll Stability Control™ are now standard equipment on all models.
No major changes were made in 2011. The last North American Ford Ranger rolled off the assembly line on Dec. 16, 2011, at Ford's Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. Over 7 million Rangers were built since 1982.