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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • Your pinging noise is in your timing chain tensioner or your cam shaft sounds like bad gas but it not.They had a recall on that motor for this problem and they didn't do a good job on leting everybody know.
  • Try to get them to discount the truck because of this problem.Then take the drive shaft out and put grease up inside the sleeve of the slip joint of the rear drive shaft.This is a common problem on ford ranger drive shaft they don't grease the slip joint from the factory and they don't slide in and out properly after a few miles when you take off and stop which causes a thunk.Also make sure that the front and the rear drive shaft joints line up properly.Use a good moly gease.
  • Yes take the drive shaft out again and put moly gease up inside the sleeve of the slip joint on the rear drive shaft and slide it back together. You will hear the gease penetrating back along the spines as you slide it back together.If they just put it on the outside spines that will not work because most of the gease come off when they side it back in.Also make sure that their is very little play in the slip joint when you twist it back and forth and that your joints front and rear line up.
  • That is really to much for that truck they are trying to get you because of the miles.Shop around even if you have to go out of town or wait till after the first of the year truck are high now because of winter.They had trouble in 99 with timing chain tensioner and cam shaft on the 99 explorer if that is the same motor.That is a pretty good size tire on your truck can probably go to a 30\10.50\16 which is probably close to what you have on the truck now.31\10.50\16 might rub.
  • smoothop1: I got a call this morning and rushed over because the tires/rims were in and there were some cancellations.

    After tires/rims were swaped out and the computer was re-programed, we took it out for a run and the vibration was GONE!!!

    You mentioned the dealer gave you 3 sets of tires, but did he change the size of the tires to P255/70R16?

    Also, it only takes a little out of specification for runout to cause a problem with the rims... have them checked again and get the allowable specification numbers and have them show you the readings for your rims.

    The Special Service Message(SSM), not special service bulletin that I mentioned previously is #17490. Ask the dealer if he followed the recommendation in that SSM.

    There is also the possibility of a driveshaft harmonic imbalance, but I have only heard of that problem, not familiar with it.

    This is all the information that I can provide and wish you luck in finding a solution for your vibration.

    Please keep me posted and again good luck.
  • ppborceb- Have gotten the truck back from dealer. Of course, it still has the vibration. They have decided to change the tires, but only the brand not the size. The 3 previous sets have been the same brand and size. Since you let me know this info., Iam going to talk to them on Monday, (again). Thank you sooooo much! I'll keep in touch.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    It sounds like either IAC valve as mentioned or intake gasket failure. Upper and lower intake gaskets on that motor were crap and cause the exact symptoms you're describing.
  • I have a 1999 Ranger, automatic transmission, 80,000 miles. My transmission just died, which sort of stunned me since it has been running fine with no clunking or slipping or anything. My guy quoted me $2100 to rebuild it. Any thoughts on that? The body is in good shape and, like I said, it runs fine. I'd like to drive it for another 80K with the new transmission. Any thoughts would be welcome and thank you. -- John
  • I'd try to get one at the junkyard.It would be a lot cheaper...Try to search junkyards in your area. Most will come with some kind of warranty....
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Which transmission? If it's the 5R55E I would rebuild it. If you get a used one you'll be buying a short period of time.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    I'm not sure that your technician performed the cooling system pressure test correctly, based on your description. The thing to look for is any appreciable loss in pressure over time, regardless of the paper towel test for fluid. In this case it sounds like he only tested cylinder number four. There could be another cylinder causing the problem.


    In the case of excessive oil flooding a cylinder overnight after shutdown, be aware that looking for the pressence of heavy exhaust as a sign of oil burning may not be very accurate. Catalytic converters will reduce a good portion of blue smoke.


    My first suspect would be a weak ignition coil or some other problem in the ignition circuit. I think your's has coil-on-plug. If so you don't have a plug wire to worry about.


    You could have a intake manifold leak, although I don't believe that's a common problem on the 4.0 engine. I'd have a good technician perform a cylinder leak-down test.



  • It's the 4R44/55E. Thanks, but at this point my question is moot. I'm getting the work done because 1) I trust the guy doing it and his diagnosis and 2) $2100 bucks is better than $15K for a new or used car. I'm just kinda shocked by a tranny dying at 80K. I do "nomal" driving, occassional homeowner small loads. I've lost them in lousy cars (Renault Alliance at 160,000) but not in a Ford Truck with only 80K.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The Ranger has been a good vehicle overall for a number of years now. The mechanicals have been around for quite a while in an evolutionary form. The automatic transmission series used in these vehicles has been pretty reliable. I've known of other Ranger owners that have had premature transmission problems or complete rebuilds. But a lot depends on how they've been maintained, too. I have also known a number that have gone in excess of 125K without a transmission problem at all.


    If you have changed the transmission filter and fluid at the recommended intervals, have not taxed the vehicle beyond it's rated limits, never over heated the engine or are driving in high temperature weather at highway speeds, then there was probably something not assembled, adjusted, or something out-of-spec during initial assembly.


    I agree with your decision to have the transmission repaired. One caution: all transmission servicers are NOT alike. A quality repair or rebuild can make all the difference in long-term reliability. If there are factory authorized modifications, upgrades, or retrofits, make sure they get installed.


    Best regards,

  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Okay, here is what has happened to fix my son's car that I mentioned earlier with the exact same problem. It was the IAC valve and the MAF sensor which needed to be cleaned with a shot or two with electric parts cleaner. Problem solved. This is the first winter that the car has actually had trouble idling when it is cold out. It only used to sputter (30 secs. after starting) and throw a fit, which it still did plenty of so far this winter, but also started stalling this winter as well.


    On the intake manifold suggestion. Could be possible, though most people have more symptoms of this failure with the 4.0L. Loss of coolant, and high revving idle or just stalling right from the get go.


    On head gasket failure. I haven't ever heard or seen of one with these motors. I know they do happen but I tend to believe it's rare with this particular motor. If this were true you would quite possibly have a whole slew of other issues. Possible overheating, loss of coolant, rough idle all of the time, very sweet smelling exhaust (not to be confused with the normal smells encountered at start up), a check engine light, etc etc.


    best luck,

  • johneeljohneel Posts: 11
    Well I have to say I baby my cars, taking really good care of them. The '99 Ford just bit it. I'll ride it until it falls apart for good and then it's "Hello Tacoma." A new transmission at 80K is just unacceptable.
  • liman1liman1 Posts: 7
    I don't blame you for being p.o.'d about your tranny. But I looked at Tacomas before I bought my Ranger. Not for me. Too small, ugly, too low to the ground, cramped interior with space wasting floor mounted transmission selector, too much money. Maybe you'll feel differently after some time passes.
  • I was looking into a 2001 ranger standard cab xl with 77000 miles 5spd manual 4x2 2.5L - its in good condition and comes with one of those diamond plate tool boxes in the truck bed. The seller is asking 4200 - basically I was wondering what a good price is or is it worth buying the truck at all?
  • Sometimes when I start the truck it won't catch and I have to add gas to it for about 30 sec before it will continue idling. its a 2001 4.0l 5sp automatic. I notice the problem mostly when its cold and wet out, but I haven't been able to isolate the exact conditions that create the problem. Mechanic told me to try premium fuel for a tank and see if it gets better. So far so good, but I wondered if anyone else has had this issue.
  • I had a problem similar to yours, but it kept stalling unless I revved it a little at start ups.

    It turned out to be the Input Air Control(IAC) valve. I ended up replacing it... the dealer, not me... only to find out that it could have been cleaned out with carb/injector cleaner. I kept the old one, cleaned it, and now I have a backup if needed. By the way, premium gas really doesn't get rid of the problem; it's just costing you more and it's coincidence.

    Question: Does the mechanic own the gas station and has a boat payment due?... just kidding!

    You might want to ask Click & Clack about this problem on their call-in show..."Car Talk".

    When you finally get this resolved, please post your solution on this board so that others can learn from your experience. Good luck.
  • smoothop1:

    It's been several weeks and three holidays, and I haven't heard from you regarding your discussion with the dealer about the vibration and new information contained in the SSM.

    What's UP???
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