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2003 Ford Ranger FX4 Level II
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A month ago, I bought my 2003 Ranger FX4 Level II. I've since spent a great many hours trying to find out if it is real (it had been resprayed from Silver to Dark Blue, so the sticker on the side of the bed means very little). After seeing that it has apparently always had bucket seats (I replaced worn carpet), the Radio/Cassette/CD, the Torsen rear axle, a couple inches (5 cm) of lift, bright front tow hooks and Bilstein® shock absorbers, I concluded that it is a real one, or someone spent a great deal of time and money to make one. Many of these "markers" contradict the door identification plate and the VIN-based report I bought. The tire store where I bought a set of 31″/10.5″ tires didn't recognize that those are proper for a Level II, just that they are a good fit.

One of the rear dampers is leaking, and at 130,000 miles, I would like to buy a new set of 4. Does the lift change which (non-dealer) dampers I need? Which ones would be a good choice for a 90/10 truck?

This is long, but a couple more notes. I have never owned a pickup truck, and never really wanted one, but right now I need hauling ability, and the older Ranger is about the only one that will fit in my garage. The FX4 and Level II was a case of "in for a penny, in for a pound", and I will be taking it on "unimproved" roads.

The discrepancy between the VIN/door plate data and the actual truck makes me think back to 1969. GM did not want to diminish the Corvette's "halo", so 427s were not offered in the Camaro and Nova. Dealers, however, were willing to buy new 427s and swap out the 396s. Finally, GM agreed to sell them, but on the sly. If your dealer new exactly which boxes to check, you could buy one, but the changes were an attachment for the "official" build sheet. I wonder if Ford built the Level IIs by having an attachment to the FX4 build sheet.
 
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