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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • my 97 ford ranger has a rough idle more noticable when engine is cold. I had IAC module changed(Idle Air Control). Changed air filter, plugs, and fuel filter. Still not corrected. Had to dealers and independent mechanic. No one can seem to pin point. Any suggestions. My ranger has only 43k miles, 4x4, 4.0L v6 auto
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I would make sure there is not a VACUUM leak somewhere, especially in the intake tract. Check ALL joints and hoses for leaks. This can be a hassle, but I had a throttle body leak in a Nissan motor that I solved (by trial and error) by re-torquing the bolts (very carefully !!!) that hold the throttle body assmbly onto the cast intake plenum. I had the same rough idle for over a year !! To this day (with 167 000 miles) it runs very smooth.
  • frey44,

    My 01 (built 11/00) 4.0L, 5spd auto, supercab has a Large aluminum drive shaft.
  • Found this TSB on your Truck:

    Service Bulletin Number: 12174
    Bulletin Sequence Number: 132
    Date of Bulletin: 9811
    NHTSA Item Number: SB613224
    Make: FORD TRUCK
    Model: RANGER
    Year: 1997
    Component: ENGINE

    You should investigate with the dealer and go through the list of TSB's with them since there are several TSB's related to rough noises from the engine for 1998 (you can check them out at The TSB I'm posting could be the one for you but again there were a bunch...just a matter of finding which one it is.

    Good Luck,
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Very interesting. I am satrting to conclude that Ford's "dirty little Ranger secret" is driveshaft vibration problems !! All of the early 01 Rangers (4.0) that I looked at had the steel shafts (all rusted to heck in Ford's typical "rust under the Ranger" fashion !! [Something I wish Ford would fix is the huge amount of ugly rust on all the steel drivetrain and suspension members under the Ranger...very ugly.] Aluminum shaft !! Very interesting ! Maybe Ford knows something that "we don't", eh ?? I wonder if the alloy job would fit my older 2000 model, of course with a different 4.0 motor ?? Maybe that would help solve the vibes. Of course, they won't recall them; they will let owners battle to get what is already owed to them. They will be forced to go back to the dealer 7 or 8 times to get a replacement shaft. {A joke: "Get the shaft to get the shaft"...get it !!??} But, I am ready to unload my Ford and don't care anymore anyways. I hope you get many enjoyable miles out of you truck !
  • frey44,
    you are right there. My 01 was built 11/00. I bought it 4/30/01 in Jax FL with 7 miles showing. It had been sitting on the back lot and not touched in months. Battery was stone dead. I was surprised at all the rust underneath. Solved it with 3 cans of spray on undercoat from Walmart $2.93ea. I have not experienced any vibrations. Have however had two trips to the dealer for binding/chattering window. The got silicone grease all over the weather stripping & it gets all over the window. Oil driped out the bottom of both doors. Really sloppy work. Also had one head light replaced (warranty) as the reflector started to discolor. Both are doing it now, so will get new ones before warranty expires. I had a 90 2.3L with 167K on it. Ran, looked great. I'm almost sorry I sold it. I'm still learning to like the 01 4.0. I will keep it for a while anyway. When I look at the GMC pages it really scares me. Looks like Trundras have their share of troubles as well. Good luck with yours as well.
  • As this one Dealer here in Louisiana told me. After the 36,000/3 year waranty FORD has meet all obligations. (Meaning) F.U.
    Through my experience's with my Ranger and Taurus. I will never concider buying another Ford Product.
    My past experience's and troubles come back to the people whom are repairing our vechicle's have shown me poor craftmenship. Either they are simply retarded, or most of my experiences with them are intentional.
    With all this I am choosing to buy from another auto maker. With my past problems with the service dept, Ford Motor Co them same problems was never dealt with nor corrected. As a result they loose me. Loosing me isnt gonna hurt them. But its silly that ford hires a bunch of retards to work on them FOUND ON ROAD DEAD PRODUCT OF THEIRS.
  • I purchased a 2001 XLT, supercab 4.0L, 5 speed manual, 4x4 in April. I have had nothing but problems with it! For starters, I ordered the truck from the factory, when it arrived there was a laundry list of problems. The passenger side door is hard to open with the outside handle, the power window "chatters" on the way down, there is marks on the inside of the instrument cluster glass, the carpet in the rear seat is bunched up, the drivers side view mirror vibrates at anything over 45mph, worse yet, when I checked my air cleaner for the first time, I found 2 cap screws inside the housing. But yet it still gets worse! The clutch is about ready to go and I only have 9000 miles on it! I have been to 4 different dealers all tell me that there is no adjustment for the hydraulic clutch! The friction point to disengage the clutch is about 1/2" into the pedal. In 1st or 2nd gear, you can slip the clutch with the brakes! But no dealer will even drive it. There is excessive play in the driveline that makes a rather loud and annoying clunk when shifting from 1st to 2nd. After all this, I have decided I no longer want this vehicle and am looking at stepping up to a F150. The best trade in offer I can get is $15000! Remember, the truck is only 5 months old with 9K. Sticker is $23000. Maybe ford needs to consider making there own power train rather than Mazda. I am a long time ford owner and have been more than satisfied with my previous vehicles. If ford keeps building trucks this way, they will surely loose the "#1 for 20 years" Any advice?
  • I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to get 2 child seats into my '95 Ranger extended cab. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. One child seat fits in the passenger seat (after disabling the air bag) but I'm not sure if there is a place for the second seat. Has anyone heard of a way to do this?
    Thank you.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    <<Maybe ford needs to consider making there own power train rather than Mazda.>> ....Wiat a minute !! FORD DOES make their Ranger powertrain !!

    Also, Ford makes MAZDA'S trucks !! (The Mazda PU is just a Ranger in drag...) You've got it backwards, friend ! Also, I am amused that you would even consider another Ford truck after having had those quality problems !! What is your logic ?????? Sorry to hear you're having ranger troubles; I am too, and am trying to sell a very clean 2000 model. I will get KILLED on the depreciation !!
    Good luck !!
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    which is sourced from Mazda, the rest of the drivetrains are Ford.(4 cylinder, all v6's and automatics)
  • Maybe I am wrong about the other powertrains but I know for sure that Mazda manufactures the 4.0L engine and the 5 speed manual transmission out of Mexico. As for my logic for another ford truck, well, I plan on stepping up to a F-150 which I have owned before and was very happy with. Good luck with your sale, the dealers have tried to put me over the barrel on trade in. 15K for the truck that stickers at 23.5K Ahh well.
  • The 4.0l V6 is manufactured by Ford in Cologne, Germany.

  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    My Ranger motor is a 4.0 pushrod; I think it is German because the month of maufacture is written in German on the valve cover (I love this motor, actually; it's just a shame the darn truck shakes so much). So, thanks for informing me about the Mexican made motors; I didn't know that. Are you getting a 2x4
    F 150 with LS rearend ? Does Ford sell that LS with a high (numerically low) gearing ? I am planning on a Tundra, but may be forced to buy an F 150 if the Toyota man doesn't give me enough on a trade. Do you recommend the small 4.7 V8 in the Ford ? (I assume that is the old 302 block ???). How have the F 150 auto trannies been holding up ? What kind of mileage can you get in a 2x4 F 150 small V8 with automatic ?
  • "WAS" considering a 01 Ranger XLT W/4.0 AT etc., Then I read your column...should I go see the Toyota man instead??? Help me out here?
  • My previous 150 had the 4.2L V-6, I was by all means pleased, it got around 22mpg city with a 2 wheel drive. I did have the manual transmission. If you are considering the v8 opt for the larger (5.4) as it is overflowing with power and really screams when you punch it. I do think you will be happy with the v6 as long as you stay with the 4x2. As for spavlas, I am not saying that all rangers are bad, I really liked this truck, I maybe just got a bad one. Make sure you take yours on a 30min test drive to really give it a workout. I think you will be happy with it. All things mechanical are bound to have problems. My biggest upset is the fact that I cant find a dealer to service the thing without feeding me bull. If you are looking for a sporty truck, check out the 2002 FX2 it has the 4.0L, manual transmission, some upgrades in the suspension along with a one of a kind interior. Take a look.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    Where do you get your info???

    Here's mine:

    I don't see any Mexico made Rangers and I'm pretty positive that not since the courrier has there been a Mazda motor in a Ford pick up. (if you name the diesel Ranger back in the 80's I'll give you a cookie for being more knowledgeable than you're letting on)

  • Good General Rule to follow: Give it a test drive before you buy. 2001 Rangers are so popular that they were the 4th best selling vehicle in the United states, April 2001, so I don't think you should take all above accounts as gospel. As with every mass produced product, some are just destined to be names "Christine", so take it for a good test drive before purchase and make sure the radio doesn't turn itself on.

    Also remember that every vehicle is affected by it's owner's driving habits and maintenance conditions.
  • So I thought these were related...they're not. I went out and picked up a 'door ajar' switch from the local dealer. Since they are common left to right I figured no big deal for $9. Now the dumb dome light is fixed, but my alarm still goes off randomly every time I use the lock button from the remote. If I manually lock the truck, obviously there are no problems. I picked up a Haynes yesterday and there's not one mention of the 'Anti-Theft' system anywhere...even in the wiring schematics.

    I don't really mind manually locking the truck, but its kind of silly to have to do that. Anyone had this problem or know if the fix? Anyone know where the 'Disarm Switch' is?

    I am going to be putting my Ranger up for sale within the next week so I figured I'd pick your collective brains first before taking it for the $80/hour dealer service.

    Its a 97 STX Ext Cab with the 4.0L

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