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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair

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  • So I've got a 2001 Ranger EDGE, 4x4 4.0 Liter, 4-Speed Auto with about 106,000 miles on it.

    First thing's electrical (I think). When I turn on my lights, all four lights come on fine. When I turn on my right blinker or hit my brakes, my back-right blinker and brakelight don't come on. I thought the brake light was just basically a brighter version of the regular light, so maybe a fuse? Dunno about the blinker though...

    Next is startup in the morning. I turn it on and the engine almost dies. It drops to about 100RPMs (Yeah, 100, not 1000) but doesn't die. If I pump the gas, the RPMs jump back up and stay up. It also doesn't want to go into gear when I put it in drive in the morning. It sits there until I rev it to about 2000RPMs and then catches. I just had a transmission flush a couple weeks ago, might be the problem? Both only happen after I've left it off for around 10-12+ hours.

    Last thing (thanks for reading all this) is a strange noise my truck just started making a couple days ago on my way home from lunch. It's like a metal dropped on metal sound (like if you dropped a quarter on a metal bar, or into a glass). It gets faster and louder the higher my RPMs. A couple people have told me it might be my fan hitting something, but anyone had the same problem? Thanks for all the help guys, I know this post is long!
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    "So I've got a 2001 Ranger EDGE, 4x4 4.0 Liter, 4-Speed Auto with about 106,000 miles on it.

    Well, at 106,000 miles, you, or previous owners, have gotten a lot of the 'good' out of this truck. But I will give you some guesses about what might be wrong. But first, is the 'check engine' light on? If so, have the 'codes' pulled and someone tell you what they mean. Some of the things you have going wrong might have some code/codes set that would give excellent guidance about repairs needed.

    "First thing's electrical (I think). When I turn on my lights, all four lights come on fine. When I turn on my right blinker or hit my brakes, my back-right blinker and brakelight don't come on. I thought the brake light was just basically a brighter version of the regular light, so maybe a fuse? Dunno about the blinker though...

    Electrical can be tough to find. If one brake light comes on, but not the other, its not a fuse problem. One is coming on, right?

    I would first go for the more simple things.

    Has someone cut into the rear wires and put a trailer light package on it? If so, this 'cutting' should be the very first thing to check. Or, the wiring in the tailer wires. If you have this, and do not intend to tow a trailer, I would recommend taking it off, making sure the wires are re-connected and taped well.

    Then look at the rear wiring. First try to find the grounds back there. One or more black wire probably is screwed into the body or frame for the rear grounding. If you find this, make sure this is secure and not rusted up.

    Next, take the lenses apart. Pull the bulbs out. Look for overheating, melting, etc. Look for corrision inside the bulb housings. Look at the back of the lens to be sure the wiring is intact. Look to see none of the bulbs are burned out. If you have any of these problems, the simplest thing might to be completely replace the lens, housing, and wiring - it is all one piece usually.

    If this is all good, it might be the 'multi-switch' in the steering column. One switch inside the column usually controls the turn signals, dimmer, wipers, washer, etc. It can fail. It's not easy to diagnois or replace, and not cheap.

    "Next is startup in the morning. I turn it on and the engine almost dies. It drops to about 100RPMs (Yeah, 100, not 1000) but doesn't die. If I pump the gas, the RPMs jump back up and stay up.

    Idle Air Control. A black and metal cylinder somewhat larger than a 35mm film cannister. On the left side of the intake manifold with two wires into it. This is the main controller of the idle speed. It has an electrical solonid and small valve inside. And can be take off and the valve cleaned with carb cleaner. DO NOT LET carb cleaner get into the electrical end of this thing, it will eat the winding up! Carefull removal should let the gasket remain intact - two small bolts hold it on. A new one is about $65.

    Something simpler - the throttle butterfly valve could be sticking in the intake. Due to 'crud' from gas fumes building up over this many miles. Or the throttle linkage itself is sticking in the cable. Have you ever 'pumped the gas' before cranking? If the idle is then ok, you have a linkage or valve sticking problem. You can take the big black hose apart and get into the intake manifold where the main throttle linkage is and scrub the 'crud' from the surface where the butterfly contacts the intake, and both the front and back of the valve itself. Using electrical or carb cleaner, clean rags, and a toothbrush. (Ford posts warning about using carb cleaner here for some reason - some c**p about 'special coating on the inside of the intake', but if crud builds up in here and causes problems, it's got to be removed.)

    "It also doesn't want to go into gear when I put it in drive in the morning. It sits there until I rev it to about 2000RPMs and then catches. I just had a transmission flush a couple weeks ago, might be the problem? Both only happen after I've left it off for around 10-12+ hours.

    Did it do this BEFORE the 'flush'???? If not, then the flush screwed you up. This is the reason most knowledgable people do not do 'tranny flushes', especially on high milage trannys. It can break crud loose which then becomes lodged in small holes where it should not be. And cause problems. Most of these are ripoffs at oil-change places. Bet this is where you got the flush, right?

    In any case, you've got tranny problems. Another thing about 'flushes', they probably did not drop the pan and change the filter. If this were my truck, I would check the owners manual for the correct tranny fluid, buy a case (or two) and two new filters. Drop the tranny pan, replace the filter, refill the fluid and drive it for a week. Then drop the pan, replace the filter and refill. This MIGHT help the shifting problem. And it MIGHT NOT!

    "Last thing (thanks for reading all this) is a strange noise my truck just started making a couple days ago on my way home from lunch. It's like a metal dropped on metal sound (like if you dropped a quarter on a metal bar, or into a glass). It gets faster and louder the higher my RPMs. A couple people have told me it might be my fan hitting something, but anyone had the same problem? Thanks for all the help guys, I know this post is long!

    If this is from the middle of the truck, Rangers about this time had some problems with noise from the drive shaft. Ford replaced a lot of these, under warranty. Different splines, different material in shaft, not sure exactly what changed. You probably also have a 'split driveshaft'. It other words, there is a big bearing in the center of the shaft, with actually two shafts under there, a front and a rear. This center bearing can wear, making noise.

    Do you think you can do any of the things I've discussed above? If not, then stop asking questions about them, start saving your money, and take the truck to a mechanic for repair.
  • My '01 Edge Ranger 4.0 L V6 with 63k miles also blows the #2 fuse - three 10 amp fuses in the last two weeks. Adjusting the fan speed seems to proceed the blown fuse. I'm looking for the causes now, so I'll be looking for shifting actions that proceed the blown fuse. For now, I only change the fan speed with the engine off. My hunch is the voltage regulator for the blower is the problem.

    Besides the blower problem, my left blinker blinks rapidly, and the dash board light near the fuel gage is out. All of these electronic problems started over the last 6 months. Something definitely wrong with the electronics.

    I'm taking the truck to the Ford dealership Thursday. Trying to narrow the problem down would require a few electronic gizmos I don't have. This is probably the last of my Ford Ranger as things are starting to fall apart. Too bad, the truck's in excellent condition.
  • You're not going to get rid of it for those little things , are you ? If so , let me know know what you are asking ! thx Brian in nvanc
  • I had a 454SS Chevy truck (less than 20K miles at the time) that did the hesitating and jerking thing during accelerating. Turned out to be the fuel pump.
  • Update to my repeated blown fuse #2. The fixes that were done to my truck are easy to do if you have time and a good area to work.

    Problem #1: Fuse #2: Problem narrowed down to wires shorting out on the steering column leading from the Overdrive (O/D) button at the end of the shifter. Thanks to those on this and other reader boards that gave me that knowledge to relate to the Ford mechanics. Not sure how much that saved me but I'd of bet they would of replaced the blower before fixing the obvious. I remember the O/D light on the instrument panel going off and on at times. Shifting and bumpy roads would result in a blown #2 fuse. The blower not working was just a symptom.

    Problem #2: The rapid blinking of the left blinker light was fixed by replacing the bulb.

    Another problem the Ford dealership found was a faulty sensor in the driver's side female portion of the seat belt buckle resulting in the flashing air bag light. I had that replaced by a recall warranty years ago, but apparently it still had trouble.

    Problem #3: No repaired. The dash board light near the fuel gauge would cost over $300 to replace the wire cluster.

    I forgot to put the on/off switch to the truck's interior light on the repair list. The on/off switch is activated by opening and closing the doors. For some reason, my switch gets stuck and the interior light stays on.

    It's interesting that all these electrical problems occurred within the last few months.

    We'll see if the repairs worked.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    "Fuse #2: Problem narrowed down to wires shorting out on the steering column leading from the Overdrive (O/D) button at the end of the shifter."

    Ummm what exactly does this mean? wires shorting out on steering column leading from OD button at end of shifter to where?
  • Does this happen when you first start the truck, if it does, mine does the same thing as it is normal. when you start it, the engine revvs up to do a quick warmup, then it idles down to about 1000 rpmsh :)
  • if your engine light is on the high idle could be caused by the crank sensor. not sure if they work the same on the V6 but that was the problem in my 97 4 cyl. the idle was at 1000 rpm!
  • just wondering if you found the problem with your truck. Mine just started doing same thing.
  • I know it's been a while, but if you still remember how to install a timing belt on a 93 Ranger (2.3 Liter, manual), it would really help me out!!
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 98
    first of all you need to get the crank at TDC then the distributor gear that one is easy i useualy took the cap off and set the dist. pointing at the # 1 wire on the cap the gear should have a small notch on it pointing toward the top, and the cam will have 2 marks on it one will point to the top and the other will be about 10 deg. to the right from bottom center. hope this helps!
  • I bought my 2001 3.0 2wd xlt ext. cab stepside ranger about 5 years ago with about 36,000 miles on it. Now its around 85,000. In that time period, countless things have broken on it.

    1. It used to make an awful high pitches squealing noise whenever I'd accelerate from a stop, and get worse the faster I went until i reached about 35mph.
    2. I was coming to a stop sign one night, and it just died and would not restart. Apparently, a wire melted somewhere.
    3. Both power window motors have gone out.
    4. The driver door panel broke so I can't use the handle to close my door. They want $500 to fix that, so its probably going to stay broken.
    5. Multiple problems with the brakes.
    6. The button for my cruise control just fell of my stewing wheel.
    7. CD player skips cd's like crazy, esp when I hit bumps.
    8. AC went out and they want $900 to fix it. I can do without it.
    9. Transmission is slipping like crazy. Had it serviced and it began doing it again 2 weeks later as I was merging onto the interstate.

    Can you imagine how I feel about fords now? In the process of selling it now. Sharp looking truck but I just can't take it anymore. I'm sure there are few more issues I've had with it that I just can't think of. Any one else have some of these problems?
  • allanjallanj Posts: 1
    99 Ranger XLT - extended cab w/ 1/2 doors

    I get the "door ajar" problem with the passenger door occasionally, and the dome light staying on. From other posts I was going to try cleaning the door switch. I thought it was the black plunger located just inside the outside return bend of the sheet metal at handle level, but when I pulled the interior panel off all that it appears to be is a clip which is securing the lock cylinder. No electrical goes into it.

    Probably a stupid question, but where is the sensor? I didn't see anything else that looked like one on the door jamb, but I know it's there somewhere.

    Thanks
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 98
    the rangers have a relay for the interior lights i had a 97 and the relay went bad on it i never did replace it, i am disabled so not able to fix these things myself anymore i did get a differant truck with everything power. mainly for cruise control. if i remember correctly the relay is behind the speedometer cluster. hope this helps!
  • OK This is a weird one.

    Starts maybe one in 10 times.
    Turns over normally.
    Runs rough when it does start.

    Replaced distrib cap, button, coil, plugs, battery and alternator.

    No joy.

    Battery tests good, alternator tests good.
    No check engine light.
    I can hear the fuel pump when I turn on the ignition.

    Here's where it gets weird.
    Everything works fine when hooked to charger. Starts and runs fine. Sometimes dies when charger removed, sometimes continues to run.

    When a battery load tester is hooked to battery, truck dies when battery loaded. Checker shows 13.5 volts when running. 12 not running. Maintains 12V when loaded, and not running.

    :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:

    Any help would be most apreciated.
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 98
    make sure all cable ends are clean, check for a broken ground strap from the engine to the body if ground wires look ok run a second wire just in case one might be broken inside the insulation. i remember a long time ago i had a car with an amp guage it was going crazy, it was charging but battery would still go down after driving a while. turned out to be the ground wire going to the firewall. put a new one in worked great after that.
    hope this helps!
  • Hello,
    I've been having problems with my gears shifting manually on my truck, It's an automatic. I took it to Advance auto and they found out by the readings that I needed to have my speed sensor replaced. I'm of course trying to do it my self and have no experience with working on cars. I found and managed to get the old one off. However the part that I bought does not look the same. Waddle-I-do. Can someone help a lady out. Is there another name for this part. Maybe they gave me the wrong one. :confuse:
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 98
    the new speed sensors do not include the gear and clip the clip needs to be removed from your old sensor and the gear pulled out, install the gear in the new sensor then push the clip in place to hold the gear in the sensor housing. the clip will be u shapped with a lip on one side just place a small flat screwdriver between the lip and sensor housing to remove the clip
    hope this helps you !
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