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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Your 4x4 Ranger is a VIBRATOR due to its very design. Light truck with a HEAVY suspension, torsion bars (BORN to resonate) and relatively big tires = SHAKES. Also, the engine in this trucks (the pushrod 4.0) is a primitive, crude [BUT robust and strong]design that is bound to shake like a DEMON inside of its rubber mounts [narrow angle V-6's are major shakers]. You may get a little relief from a driveshaft balance/ lube, but most of the vibration is AN INHERENT PART OF THE DESIGN (a lousy design in terms of smoothness). Also, HAVE A SHOP CHECK THE EXTENSION FLANGE and SLIP JOINT SPINES to make sure their is ZERO SLOP in them. THIS IS CRITICAL. You might get a slight reduction in "aftershake" and suspension jitter by going to Bilsteins or other premium shocks (about 60 bucks per wheel). But , the "buzz" is the "dirty secret" Ford has been keeping about the Ranger 4x4's. The 2x4's aren't nearly as bad. You could also try an custom-made aluminum driveshaft (about $400 bucks) to help reduce the numbing vibes in the floorboard. If you want SMOOTH, buy a Tundra: the smoothest truck you can buy, overwhelmingly. Stay away from Chevy Shakerado's: they are as bad or WORSE than the Ranger 4x4. Sorry to hear of your problem; I share the same problem with a 2000 model I bought new. I don't care anymore, as I have written off Ford altogether and am simply waiting for the 03 Tundras to come out in late summer. I will stick to Japanese brands forever; I also own Honda and Nissan vehicles: superior to Ford in most ways. Just my OPINION, of course, and nothing to get emotional about. Peace, bro.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Here is a link to TSB's on your '99 Ranger. Note that there are MANY references to drivetrain/ suspension, some of which COULD relate to your problem. Good luck: I FEEL YOUR PAIN.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    no thanks on the torsion bar sized shafts off the tacoma. a ford truck owner expects to actually pull stuff, and i dont mean just trailers. some of us hook trees and other stuff up to our trucks to pull out of the brush. a little toyota sized driveshaft would snap in half with the work most ford owners exert on their trucks when needed. why you even on here you troll. dont you own a toyota?
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    I've got a Ford too. I also try to keep from detroying the areas I off road in, and thus, I don't remove trees with my truck.
  • thanks for the info frey. i like the truck, and besides the minor vibration, it seems to be very solid, so getting rid of it is not an option for me. i like the idea of the driveshaft balance and checking the EXTENSION FLANGE and SLIP JOINT SPINES. i will look into these options. i was also hoping to get midnight_stang's input here as well.
  • Just getting over a sinus infection and worlds of pain.

    I can vouch for Rangers 4x2's, the 2002 Edge extended cab I drove this last weekend had no vibration, and I got it to just under 80 (The sales guy was starting to get upset). This was with a manual and 4.0l as well. My old 93 2.3l regular cab 4x2 auto has no problems either.

    I am getting so close to getting a new one, but I am holding out on the possible remake for 2003.

    On 4X4's there isn't a whole lot more that could cause the problem, but from reading your post you seem to have a good start on figuring it out. You have a pretty precise read on the speed it occurs, so it has to be a small inbalance on one of the rotating parts. Next step would be to try to figure out the location it is coming from. Have someone ride along, in the back, in the bed, in a car along side to even try to see the source. No radio, no vents even, they may have to feel around the floorpan even listen for the source.

    It could be as simple as some fix-a flat liquid in a tire that sloshes around at that speed, an out of phase U-joint, un balanced drive shaft, or just a warped tire or rim.

    First start would be to rotate the tires (and maybe rims separately), and see if the problem moves/changes. People say that first, because it's the cheapest to do. Then start looking at axles or driveshafts. Then all that's left is the engine or transmission, which could also explain the off-on nature you described. Good luck man, keep us updated with any new info, someone here is bound to be able to offer something new.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I just bought a subscription to AllData for my 2000 Ranger XLT 4x4 Ext. cab.
    It is WELL WORTH the 25 bucks. Lieterally REAMS of info are available: TSB's, shop manual procedures, exploded diagrams, etc. Here is something interesting I am going to pursue with Ford. It appears they recommend replacing the 3.5 inch steel driveshaft with an ALUMINUM 4.0 inch version.
    The part number is: 1L5Z 4602 JM for the 1998-00 Ranger. This is for the REAR driveshaft (NOT including the slip yoke). AllData lists a price for a rear driveshaft (although the same part number does not match up..perhaps this id due to older part number OR that is a number for a STEEL shaft) for extended cab Ranger at about $ 390.00 US. [I am assuming the alloy shaft would be priced in that ballpark, or slightly higher]. It may be worth it to you (if your truck is out of warranty) to consider simply buying this shaft outright from a Ford dealer and installing it yourself. Also, an outfit called "Denny's Driveshaft" can custom build a similar alloy shaft for about that price. My research is showing that these lighter weight shafts smoothe out these trucks a lot, and may be wroth a try, if wheel/tire/ aligment methods don't do the trick. Just a thought. ALSO, GET A SHOP WHO IS KNOWLEDGABLE to remove and check trueness [i.e. via runout gauge] and balance of your driveshaft and GREASE IT PROPERLY and reinstall. It can be done for about 60-80 bucks, and may also solve problems. Good luck to you, sir.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    who said anything about destroying the beaten path? im talking about pulling dead just cut down trees into areas that a person with a chain saw can cut them up more conveniently. you know, a tree falls and then you just pull it up to the area you're cutting. or do you ever cut wood? up here in iowa, it's nice to have a nice wood stove heat you in the winter. later

    ps. nice to see you at least have one ford.
  • I spent a few hours washing/cleaning my new truck last week, and in that time my battery went dead since I had the doors open while cleaning the inside. It seems to me the battery shouldn't be sucked down completely w/ only the dome light lit for a spell. I didn't have the radio on or anything else. I was told that at 60K miles, it might be time to replace. The charge indicator on the battery is still green though. Is it time to replace, and can I get a meatier battery that will last longer and let me have the doors open w/out being drained?
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    First, check to MAKE SURE your battery is charging properly. Put a multitester across your terminals with the engine running and see if you're getting about 14 volts of output from the alternator. Next, take the time to pull the battery out, go to your local Autozone, and have a load test put on the battery. You will be able to quickly determine if you have a battery or charging problem. If your truck is 2 or 3 years old, you could easily have a shot battery, or one with a bad (nonconducting) cell. Not that uncommon; the OE batteries are CHEAP.
  • Use to work there, delivering parts. The Rangers I used to drive there are still running(some probably over 300k now), but that's another story.

    First, make sure the battery hasn't dried up on you. I live in Texas, and the summers here are usually in the 100's. Maybe twice a year, I pop the caps off the battery, to make sure there is the water (and electrolyte) solution hasn't evaporated.

    If the battery isn't completely full, get some DISTILLED water and fill it up. You may have to leave the battery on a charger if you have gone a long time with a half full battery.

    If the battery is beyond hope, or just showing it's age, it's worth while and pretty simple to just replace it. You can check the battery for a sticker that will show the date the battery was made. It is usually a letter indicating month, followed by a one digit year. (A1) would mean January of 2001. B=Feb. etc.

    If you can't see the sticker, or it's unreadable, it's probably time to change it anyways.

    Things to look for:
    CCA=Cold Cranking Amps. This is the amount of amps your battery is rated to deliver, at or above 7 volts) for 30 seconds at 0 degrees F.
    You battery should always meet or exceed OEM CCA specs. Mine is around 900 CCA (Duralast-Gold), which is one of the biggest Autozone sells, and it has lasted at least 3-4 years. Never had a problem turning my 2.3l over. Also, the colder the climate, the more amps you need because a cold battery is not working at full potential. In warmer climates a high CCA battery might be overkill, but usually they are only a few dollars more.

    RC=Reserve Capacity. This is the number of minutes the battery can deliver over 20 amps, until the voltage falls below 10 volts. More RC is better, always!
  • I had a 2001 Ranger 2.3 that keeped leaking coolant because of a high pressure coolant system. It qualified as a lemon and had screw clams added to all the hoses and replaced 4 yea FOUR radiators. I bought a 2002 2.3 and already had a hose come off and replace the radiator 1 time, so far. I Don't recommend buying a Ranger 2.3 until FORD fixes this issue.

    Comments or Questions welcome to
  • abhairabhair Posts: 8
    My Ranger drips slight amounts of oil from time to time. It may go a week with out a drip them a small puddle. The Ford dealer says $650 to $750 to pull the engine and fix. At this point is not feasible or necessary. No one can spot the location of the leak but Ford dealer wants to use a blue dye in the oil to find. - a possible.
    Today I saw to brands of oil (Penzoil & Valolene) that state they will stop or reduce oil drips.
    I have been using Mobil1 5-30 for 94000.This is a 4.0 L engine.
    Does any one have info on these reduce drip oils?
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    A likely place to leak is the REAR SEAL, a well documented leak, especially if you are experience any vibration in the tranny-drivetrain that would impose a seal-eating vibe into the rear of the engine. The shakes can induce leaks, especially on rotating shafts.
  • abhairabhair Posts: 8
    Thanks to frey44 - I was very surprised to find these procedures involve pulling the engine or at least very complex. At this time I am going to try the new Valvoline Maxlife oil that is supposed to seal and prevent leaks. I got the specs from the Valvoline web sight and they look good. I still am very interested in any info on the new oil. I see that Pensoil also has this.
  • First, thanks for the battery info. Now, I have an issue w/ replacing the front disc pads. First, I need to know what is involved in replacing a broken stud on a front hub? It appears that you ought to be able to punch the broken one out and just replace, but I can't see from the back where/how this would be done. Whoever put the lug on last time cross-threaded it since I couldn't get it off w/out it snapping off, so now I have to replace it. Second, my pops (longtime Ford man) said that in order to do the front brakes properly, you must open the bleeder valve when spreading the caliper to insert the new pads, then shut right away of course to avoid air entering the line. This is preferred over opening the master cyl reservoir cover to allow for backflow of brake fluid in the system. It will screw up the system somehow by doing it this way supposedly, but I just wanted to verify w/ someone that this is true before I go at it myself. Other precautions when replacing the front pads would be cool if they're out there. Thanks.
  • But I believe it's just like you say. You remove the whole assembly and punch it out with an impact chisel.

    The way I prefer to do brakes is open the bleeder valve only after everything is back in place, and have someone press the brake pedal. This obviously takes two people, but you can bleed the brakes pretty well. Just close the valve after a fair amount of fluid bleeds out. Make sure you close it before it stops bleeding out.

    Doing that at all four corners will ensure fresh fluid in all the lines. Just place fresh fluid in the master cylinder before and after bleeding the brakes.

    So only open the valve after you have the caliper and new pads in place.
  • What knowledge can you all give about installing/using a K & N air filter for my '99 4X4 4.0L? Where to get a good deal on one? Pro's & Con's, etc? Thanks.
  • I can't get the new pads in place w/ out spreading the caliper open, and by doing so backflushing a small amt of fluid into the lines? I would think I would have to have something open in order to spread the caliper enough for the new pads to fit, but I could be wrong. I've only done this on my '71 VW bus.
  • jouiejouie Posts: 1
    My 1999 Ford Ranger 4.0L makes a slight chattering noise while idling. It only has 36,000 miles. A local mechanic tells me that my timing chain is loose and it needs to be tightened before it breaks. Is he telling the truth?
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