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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    I wanted to add a few things here. My father-in-law has 00 4X4 w/4.0 and 5a tranny. 21K miles, no problems, upper break light still working on factory bulb. He has owned 3 other Rangers and 1 F150 with I6. His 1st truck was a Datsun 4X4, best he ever had, couldn't get out of it's own way, but couldn't get it stuck, either. His only problem,ever, was on F150, exhuast rusted out after 7 years. Traded it on the 00, in 99, still had factory battery, was 92, by the way. Only complaint on 00 Ranger, bed is too small, after coming from F150 what did he expect? I have driven and ridden about 2500miles in said Ranger, and I love it. None of the aforementioned problems. No driveline shaking or thumping, tires spin freely with lead foot. Truck works well in Pa mountains during hunting trips.

    Speaking of Lemons, growing up, we had a 78 "Dodge"(no nasty grams please, just making an observation) van, with 5.2l V8 and 4 on the floor manual. No power steering or anything else except the go pedal. Lasted 19.5 years, only replaced clutch and installed bigger carb. Went nearly 300K miles, and survived 3 teenage boys learning to drive. Dad did all maintenance and servicing himself. Just an observation, Domestics can be good vehicles.
  • Anyone out there know how to diagnose and fix Ranger cruise control? I have looked at the Haynes manual, and it wasn't very helpful. I have a 1994 Ranger supercab STX 4X4 and the cruise starting working intermittantly a few weeks ago, and now won't work at all. Otherwise it has been a great truck for 10 years. Not a single other problem. Thanks
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    -Just a chance here - but is it possible your brake light switch has failed in the 'on' position? This would disable the cruise. The usual failure is in the 'off' position, in other world it doesn't turn the brake lights on. If this happens, the cruise, when engaged, will not disengage. I've had 3 switches fail on my 94 in the 7 years I've owned it. I realize the switch if failed when my cruise will non disengage. Of course, this would also mean your brake lights are on all the time, because the switch is 'always hot'.

    -Go to ebay, under autos, literature, manuals. There is a guy always selling the factory manuals for Ford Truck, etc on CD. It is for something like $8.95 plus $2 shipping. I've bought one - it looks like it is a complete factory manual. Buying the complete manual is easier than me trying to copy it into this discussion area.....
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I've looked at my manual on CD. The speed control's tests/diagnostics are complicated, as I expected.

    Here are the main components of speed control:
    -Servo. This is the vacumn unit that pulls the throttle. It has electrical connectors to it also. Check electric and vacumn connectors.
    -Speed sensor. I think this is on the end of the speedometer cable where it goes into the transmission. It has an electrical connector you should check.
    -Switches, etc. Those on the steering wheel and the brake light switch on the brake. If a manual transmission, there is a switch on the clutch also. Check the brake/clutch switches. Those in the steering wheel would be tougher.
    -Speed Control Amplifer. This is a 'box', the brain of the speed control. (I think the main 'computer' controls some of the cruise control also.) This amplifer, I think (not sure about this) is found behind the folding jump seat in the rear of your extended cab. I think it is on the passenger side - in with the jack.

    You could check the electrical connectors on all the above components that your can easily reach, such as the servo, speedometer cable, amplifier, and brake/clutch switches. Maybe something is knocked loose or dirty/wet.

    Othere than this, buy the CD and buy a good multimeter and start reading the CD and the tests. One thing, for some reason, the speed control is in the 'Fuel' section of the manual, not the electronics????????
  • We have a 1995 Ranger XLT longbed, 5 speed, with about 90,000 miles on it. This has been the best little truck. We have replaced the original tires, but other than that, everything is still great. Still have the original brakes... NO KIDDING! And still have the original battery... SERIOUSLY! I keep waiting for the shoe to drop and something to break or a major repair, but this one is a gem.

    However, the back top brake light is not functioning.....not because the bulb is burned out, it still works. But because the plastic clip broke and it is just hanging there, but it works.

    We also hear the pinging noise, but figure it is nothing major, just the nature of the beast.

    FYI- our baby is the Cayman Green model. Where do they come up with the names of colors?

    Greetings all.
  • I am looking to buy a 2003 rwd pickup. Have a '94 S-10 Chevy. Hear the Ranger 4x4 extended cab still has drive shaft,trainy problems. Need helpful info. Have looked at S-10 and Dakota. Hear that Dakotas have ball joint problems. Need info.
  • Get a Toyota Tacoma. You'll be much happier since you'll be driving it instead of waiting to have your Ford or Dodge repaired.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I'm not aware of significant transmission problems.

    There does seem to be some noise problems with the split driveshaft. I think for the trucks with the problem, if you push enough, Ford will replace the driveshaft with an aluimum (SP) one that is a 'cure'.

    Buy the Ranger. Enjoy several thousand dollars left in your pocket over the Toyota. And, you get a nicer looking truck.
  • I had the same CONSTANT vibration in my 2000 ranger also. One day I went over a bump and the steering nearly shook out of my hands. I took the tire off, the brake rotor off. I took a look at the hub and pushed on it from the top and the bottom. It rocked back and forth. I popped the cap off the hub, pulled the cotter pin out, took the safety cap off the nut. I then could tighten the nut by hand. I was able to turn it at least two full turns by hand. I got a 30mm wrench out and tightened it as much as I could, probably another half of a turn. I backed it off and then tightened by hand. The hub didn't move anymore and it still spun freely. I re packed the bearing with grease and put it all back together and I have NO MORE VIBRATION. It was the front passenger side wheel. This may be something you want to look at.

    At least lift the wheel off the ground and press on the top and the bottom to see if the tire moves in a way that it shouldn't. Try it with both front tires. I would be surprised to find out if it was the passenger front as in the same with mine. I would then wonder who was working on the line at the plant tightening that bolt.

    I've also have a problem of not being able to idle when it is first started each day, especially if the A/C is on.

    When that happens, I pop the hood, take a hammer or similar tool and tap lightly on the Idle Air Control Valve. It will either die or idle right up. If it dies, the next start idles right up. This lasts for 2 to 3 days, then I have to get the hammer back out. But, at least it will no longer die sitting at a stop light and refuse to start again.

    I hope that helps.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Take the IAC off and clean it. Use carb cleaner. Be careful and do not get cleaner into the 'electrical' part, keep the electrical part pointed up so it does not run down into it.

    Just clean up the carbon in the valve portion, and clean the passage in the intake. Be careful removing and not damage the gasket.

    This should help idle problems. A new on is about $60 at part stores.
  • autonutsautonuts Posts: 138
    I would have posted this on the discussion pertaining to this question, but it's a "read only" one.
    Can anyone out there give me some "heads up" about the Ford/Mazda 2.3l engine with auto. tranny? Specifically, how reliable is it's engine and tranny compared to the Toyota Tacoma 2.4l w/auto. tranny?
    From what I read on the Edmund's used car post, there seems to be problems with the Ford/Mazda tranny. Is this true? I'm referring to the "new" 2.3l Mazda built engine. Who makes the auto. tranny that goes into this truck? Thanks to you all for your replies! Take care.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I have had several cases of idling problems (i.e. the 4.0 L pushrod motor would only idle at stoplights ONLY IF I gave it gas). Ford replaced the solenoid (the silver cannister [about the size of a 35mm film container] on top of the driver's side valve cover). No more trouble since. My Ranger now has 45000 miles on it, and other than constant vibration, and the unsolvable driveshaft lash problems (it requres nearly monthly re-greasing of the slip joint spline), the truck has run for about 11000 miles with no trouble (a record for this truck). Thanks to NATEWOOD for the tip on loose passenger side wheel (pathetic quality lapses..Ford should have learned by now !!). I will indeed check mine. Peace, all.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    CORRECTION. My apology i.e. the solenoid is not on the valve cover proper, but on the top left of the engine attached in plain view on the intake plumbing. My mistake.
  • I had the same problem on my 97 2.3L. It turned out to be the mass air flow sensor
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Clean both of them - IAC valve and MAF.
  • tsugatsuga Posts: 13
    More of a question than a problem, but...

    How well will 4.0 auto Ranger hold up to regular towing of +/- 2000# to ~3500#. Most days closer to 2000 than 3500. (for small lawn-care business)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Good. You are far less likely to have a transmission problem with the 4.0 Ranger than the S10.

  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    What transmission? I wouldn't tow that type of weight with the 5-speed automatic (5R55E)
  • tsugatsuga Posts: 13
    How will the longevity of Ranger compare to F150 or C1500? Will Ranger require modifications (other than trailer hitch) or is stock OK?

    I have been using a '91 K1500 5sp (rated to tow up to ~3800# I think)with no serious problems - other than having to use low 4wd to back up steep driveways with a trailer.
  • tsugatsuga Posts: 13
    ***I wouldn't tow that type of weight with the 5-speed automatic (5R55E)

    Please explain. Most sites rate auto. trans. for higher tow weights.
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