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2018 Ford Ranger XLS long-termer gets more gear: 4x4 shed

By Matt Raudonikis, 05 Oct 2019 Reviews

2018 Ford Ranger XLS long-term review part 4 feature

The Ranger gets its first service and more accessories.

With the Ford Ranger back in town after the Central Australia trip, it was way overdue for its 3000km service. This is a complementary service from Ford and is basically a check-over to make sure everything is running right. We had a couple of small things that needed attention while it was in the shop.

We ordered a set of factory colour-coded flares to cover the bigger Maxxis tyres we’d fitted, but they didn’t arrive before the trip so the Ranger was running with a bit of tyre poke on that run. These arrived at the dealer and were fitted while it was in for the service. The flares cover the tyres now and it shouldn’t spray so much mud up the sides when driving off-road, as it did in the desert.

While we were away we had a sway bar link rattle loose from the front left upright, and this allowed the bar to drop onto the CV joint and tear the rubber boot. Most of the outback trip was done with the sway bar removed which wasn’t a problem, but the torn boot let dust into the CV joint so we asked Ford to replace that. This is a $690 part and replacing it along with refitting the sway bar meant that the service set us back $980.

The Ford dealer also replaced the inverter under warranty, as it started showing a fault and stopped working while we were on our trip.

More accessories arrived at the office while we were away, so after the dealer visit we sent the Ranger back to Ontrack Automotive in Ferntree Gully to have the GME XRS 330CTP UHF kit ($629) and King Brown three-inch cat-back exhaust system (from $760) fitted. With a lack of space for additional switches in the Ranger’s cabin, we also fitted switch-panel fascia from Lightforce ($135) that gives us that facility while retaining a factory-fit look.

Lastly, a set of tough 3D floor mats from Tru-Fit carpets were installed to protect the factory carpets from dust and mud. We should have fitted these before the dusty Red Centre trip, but we’re heading to South Australia next month so they’ll be put to good use. These hard-wearing, waterproof ‘Maxtrac’ 3D mats fit like they were moulded directly to the floor pan, and the clever hook system on the back of them grips the carpet so they don’t move around in the footwell like many other mats do. The full set of mats for front and rear sells for $279.

With this new gear onboard we’re again loading the Ranger up for another adventure. This time we’re off for two weeks in the Flinders Ranges

Follow the journey of 4x4 Shed's Project Ford Ranger
Gets loaded with accessories
- Hits the tracks

4x4 Shed Log: 2018 Ford Ranger XLS
Current mileage: 6434km
Date acquired: June 2019
Price: N/A
Mileage this month: 322km
Average fuel consumption: N/A


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