So I finally said it is time to buy. The explorer (whole story here: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...06#post3122306 ) is on its way out, of the DD duty. She just needs too much to be worth while economically for me, with a bad combo of mechanical and body rust issues. So, i went out looking and saving for another vehicle. But what to buy? I thought about 3rd gen rangers, 1st gen and 4th gen explorers, expeditions, 90s f150s, escapes, I even considered getting a freestyle until I read up on their transmissions... I ended up settling on either a 1st gen explorer with a 5 spd and no rust, or a 90s expedition or f150 with no rust and a 4.6. So I bought a 98 ranger, ugly front end, torsion bars, trashed interior, and plenty of rust, with 244k miles with the small 3.0 v6 (wanted a 4.0 if I bought a ranger) but it does have a 5 speed that I can't figure out how to drive! Victory? Is it what I planned to buy? no. Does it have many of the things I specifically wanted to avoid? yes. But, the price was right (700$) and heres the thing, it runs really well. with a quarter of a million miles, the engine runs 3x smoother than my explorer, it shifts good (when I don't dump the clutch and stall it) and from what I could tell without having it on a lift, the suspension is in very good shape. The only structurally unsound rust is the lower radiator support, I will have to pull that apart and rebuild it from scratch (parts are expensive) but all of the other rust I could see, was solid, just surface rust, no holes (other than tailgate, easy to replace) and most can be fixed with a lot ( aka craptons) of sanding, grinding, and buffing with a nice thick coat of truck bed liner. So, even with all its faults, I can fix all of the rust (also have a welder for bad spots) myself and have until the end of april to do it. By the time I need to register it, the truck should have no more rust at all and a nice new coat of paint with untextured bed liner underneath. Anyways, I don't have pics as of yet due to the only functioning camera in the house no longer functioning, but I will get some soon. She isn't much to look at right now, but time will tell. Thanks for reading guys, and sorry I deceived you all with a lack of pictures and so much text, I was going to hold back until I had a camera but I couldn't help it. I promise though I will get pics asap. Not sure of mod plans as of yet. Edits: Ahaha what a joker with all this not-that-bad stuff.... I have moved the current list of all the major projects I need to complete on this truck to this post to make it easier for you guys to keep track of progress. The List: Completed projects will be colored in RED 1. Rebuild rear 3ft of frame 1.5. drop gas tank, remove/disconnect rear brake and fuel lines 2. plate up/reinforce the rear frame half 3. Grind off rivets holding front and rear of the frame together, either plate up or rebuild the upper cross-member that attaches there. (Turns out that I am lucky and will not have to do this) 4. Replace cross-member in front of gas tank with new one, likely made from angle iron. ---Mostly done aside from skid plate mounts, pg.6 5. cut out rust and add plate to area of frame rails where the gas tank x-member attaches 6. Disassemble front clip and replace lower 1/3 of radiator support. 7. Replace parts of cab floor (pg 6) 8. Grind down surface rust on rocker panels/door jambs 9. Replace metal around wheel arches and fix hole on bed floor 10. Full tune up, plugs, wires, oil, trans fluid, differential fluid and gasket (I have the gasket though I might have bent it, not sure if that hurts anything?), radiator flush,clean MAF sensor, maybe brake pads up front. 11. Install proper, safe seat belt buckle mounts on the floor to go with the seats. 12. Replace the clutch , they are cheap and mine is probably 2/3 worn out, as well as the throw-out bearing. (Thanks Rick for helping me figure out what that noise was). 13. New rear fuel and brake lines, new charcoal canister. (not really sure if this is actually needed?) 14. Patch and repair rust and holes on front fenders (1 of 2 done, 2 is in progress, holes patched, needs more finish work,body filler, and paint.) 15. Remove rust and repaint wheels Buy new wheels. This list may change or grow if I remember anything else but right now, that's the plan.