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Ford Ranger Transmission Questions

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  • Hey there;

    I bought myself a 1999 Ford Ranger XLT (2 wheel, 6cyl, A/C, pwr windows, manual trans) about a year ago.

    Good Feedback: Drives great, plenty of power for hauling small loads, the engine is the shared Mazda design - reliablity is HIGH with these - the 1999 Probe LX had the same engine (had one of those prior to this truck), easy to fix / maintain, plenty of parts at the local scrap yards, plenty of room in the cab, A/C is COLD, heats up quickly in the winter (thank the lords!), engine purrs even after 11yrs. I'm not exactly certian on this issue but mine has a tough time getting into gear from time to time. Its been suggested that this could be due to a poor slave cylinder where the clutching is concerned. I'm waiting for it to stick completely in gear before changing this though simply because I'm uncertain - I don't know that this is a common issue with this model / year but it is frustrating enough to mention.

    Poor Feedback: It's a truck & as such, winter tires are (just my opinion) a requirement - pretty greasey in the rain / snow - even with added weight in the bed. Due to recent electrical issues (minor) the reading I've done suggests that there may be a control module that requires replacing in the steering column, apparently this is common to this year of Ranger. Mine came with a single key and to have another key made they basically have to give me a new key system & that is expensive! This is due to the Anti-Theft technology they used at the time. If I had a second key, the third could be programmed from the original two but with only one, Ford has to work some magic I'm told (as per a couple dealerships).

    Would I purchase / recommend a Ford Ranger to others, YES definitely. At least the 1999 I would. I'm happy with the way it drives, it always starts and it's got plenty of power when hauling a load and gas consumption, full or empty is fair - at least comparable to the '99 Probe I got rid of to get the truck. Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
  • xscoutxscout Posts: 141
    I have had two Rangers over the years, both with manual transmisions. One was a 1983 when they first came out and the other a 2008 which I got last year. Both have been dependable and trouble free for the time I had them. I live where it does not snow, but keep in mind any pickup will be a little more able to break loose in the rear. On the other hand I have been hit hard in my 2008 ranger once already and the car that hit me paid a heavy price compared to the minor damage I received. A truck is also much easier to work on, better access.
  • ptombptomb Posts: 1
    While driving about 70 mph in 5th gear on the Interstate, there was a "clunk" and the engine began racing. Cut the throttle, stabed the clutch, pulled over and found that while shifter worked fine, only 4th gear would engage. 2nd makes a slight grinding like the gears are barely touching ... and nothing in 1st, 3rd, 5th and reverse. Anybody had such an experience? :sick:
  • klick1klick1 Posts: 2
    Just bought 2000 ford ranger automatic with 120000 miles drives great except when it get up to third gear it starts to slip and the rpm's start to red line. Do i need to rebuild my tranny or is it something else if any one can answer my question it would be great. I love the truck just wish i could fix this problem without dishing out tons of money,if anyone has had similar problems and know what to do it would be great if you could let me know what you did to fix it.
  • klick1klick1 Posts: 2
    My truck is a 3.0 4x4 if it makes a difference thank please give me any you have thanks
  • Yes. My orginal is 1993 (I bought new and still drive it) extra cab, 4l, 4x4 manual transmission, and the larger tires (at the time) currently 260km. Archilles heel is the slave clutch cylinder is expensive to replace and is known to fail. Front door mounts eventually wer and the door can sag. The box frame mts rust out (same problem known with F150) everything else is normal. I used it for 4x4ing camping, road trips, cruising, fire wood. Great all around down sized truck. Prefer crew cab next time.
  • My ranger is 1993 xlt 4x4 manual with 4L engine. The whining sound is normal or has been there in mine for years. It is slight or hard to hear.
  • tank9tank9 Posts: 1
    This also happened to me and it ended up being the flywheel.
    Before it happened I would hear a whirling sound when I accelerated and less
    of a whirling sound when I let up. As I kept driving the flywheel totally broke
    away from the transmission and the truck coasted to a stop. Where the flywheel
    attaches to the transmission was completely ripped off. ($97 for flywheel $400
    for labor.) Had to drop trans and exhaust. 1996 4x4 4.0 extended cab Ranger.
  • wenchrgswenchrgs Posts: 1
    My boyfriend keeps having problems with his 00 ford ranger not wanting to go into gear replaced steering colum now he thinks its the steering cable any suggestions before spending $120 on a cable that may not be problem
  • byrd2765byrd2765 Posts: 1
    I have a 1992 ranger with a 3,8 v6 and it shifts hard and very hard to down shift 5th gear and reverse is espacally hard any idea?s
  • 1991 Ford Ranger V-6, 4.0L: I have read the manual eight times but I am still not sure I have the proper amount of fluid . Checking it cold, without the engine running (is it supposed to be running when you check it cold?) the level is just below the hatchmarks on the dipstick; fluid covers both of the holes on the dipstick. Checking it after driving on the freeway for 25 miles, with the engine running, the dipstick is clean, no trace of fluid. I let it cool down for 30 minutes, checked it again (engine off), fluid reaches the bottom hole on the dipstick.
    I am not comfortable with the dipstick being "clean" after the freeway driving. Please HELP !

    THANKS !
  • cfowleroncfowleron Posts: 14
    Interesting. I don't know a whole lot but there should be fluid present on the dipstick both when cold and hot although when hot it may be extremely low! Keep in mind that once the engine is running the fuild is moved about via pumps so there will be less from the point you are measuring from. Although it sounds like your truck is a manual transmission which means you should be checking the fluid when the engine is OFF & cold (takes a lot longer than 30mins for an engine to be cold to the touch).

    First off, cold means that the engine hasn't been running and is cold to the touch.

    Automatic transmission - check the fuild level while the truck is running.
    Manual transmission - check the fluid while the truck is off.

    Remove the dipstick & wipe it clean - re-insert & remove again & the fluid level should be between the high & low marks on the stick - the two holes. Keep in mind that when the truck is running pumps circulate the fluid which means less in the area you are measuring from - perhaps a LOT less.

    Bottom line... if you're not experiencing hard shifts or noises while shifting then you're probably okay but if you've a real concern about it, you should take it to a mechanic & have them check it or for what little it costs, have them change it out. They can also tell you about the color - red=healthy, brown to black = time to change.

    Hope this helps & cheers!
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Well, the post's title says 'automatic transmission'.

    I assume, like most auto trannys, the manual tells you to check after being warmed up with the motor running, in Park or Neutral. Right?

    You said 'Checking it after driving on the freeway for 25 miles, with the engine running, the dipstick is clean, no trace of fluid. '

    I think the manual says to run the vehicle until warmed up, then check. Running this far, if the outside temps were high (90 or more), might make it hotter than the manual is requesting. But, hotter would just push the fluid level higher.

    Anyway, after 25 miles, engine running, no fluid on the dip stick means obviously YOUR FLUID IS LOW!!!!!

    Look in the manual for the correct tranny fluid to use, and go buy some and add some. Add a little at a time, one cup, and recheck. When it starts to show on the stick, it will come up quick while adding a little fluid, a few ounces. Of course, with it off the stick you might have to add more than one quart.

    If it's this low, you have a leak somewhere. Or, the vacumn modulator for the transmission has a busted diaphram and the fluid is being pulled up the vacumn hose and burned in the motor.
  • Thanks for the advice. It is an automatic transmission. Here is the back story: a while back, the truck was serviced at a garage. Sometime after that, I checked the fluid level (after a 25 mile drive on the freeway); it read really high. Truck was shutoff for 4 hours. Drove it back home (25 miles on the freeway); still read really high, way up from the top of the hatchmarked area. Soooooooooo, and this is where I must have gone sideways, I assumed too much fluid was in the reservoir. So I removed about 1.5 qts of fluid (so stupid). Having re-read the manual now, it specifically states that after freeway or hot day driving, let the vehicle rest for about 30 minutes prior to checking. I put fluid back in yesterday.
    Question now is: have I done permanent damage to the transmission or do I get a pass on this blunder? Drove it around 200 miles or less on the LOW fluid.
  • cfowleroncfowleron Posts: 14
    I think you're okay. Sounds like you caught it in time & although you took quite a bit out you left enough to do the job so I don't think there's any permanent damage. The only real way to tell is to drain a bit in a glass & check it for color & impurities - metal shavings, dirt, etc... but I think you're fine.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I also think you are probably ok.

    Low,low fluid will cause 'drivability' problems. Harsh or sloppy shifts. Not 'going into gear' quickly. If you drove it a while with symptoms like this, you might do damage.

    My somewhat simular story - A previous wife, before she became a wife, had a 69 Camero that everyone in her family drove and no one maintained. It was a 3 year old car. When we go so close that she would let me grope her car, I checked the tranny. Nothing on the stick. I buy a quart of Dexron and slowly start adding it. And adding it. And adding it. Got the entire quart in there - don't remember if it was on the stick or not. But it took about another half quart to get to the mark. I then jacked it up and looked at the bottom. For some reason, most of the bolts on the tranny pan were loose. One was gone. Tightened up the pan bolts and replaced the missing one and the fluid then stayed in it.

    And the car never missed a shift and was very smooth - with 1 1/2 quarts low.
  • I did not notice any problems with shifting while driving on LOW fluid. Maybe I did get lucky this time. Thanks to both of you for your assistance.
  • thm728133thm728133 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 ranger does the same thing, I have installed heat deflectors, and wrapped hyd clutch line in tin foil. but on 85 to 90 degree days I had better not drive over 20miles or the clutch will act up, Let it cool 15 min and away you go.. I now carry a jug of water...for cooling..
  • alan60alan60 Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Ranger 2wd 4 cyl 5 speed. This will be my 2nd transmit ion replacement. I will be driving along and it just seems to go to neutral. I try to engage the clutch but it is not there. I roll to the side of the road. After about 15 mins my clutch comes back but the transmission does not.
    I would like to know what is going on? What transmissions can I look for to replace it. What years will bolt up and if a different make like Masda would also work?
  • mwillisjr57mwillisjr57 Posts: 1
    edited June 2010
    hey guys, new member here.............I recently had my reverse band break in my 99 3.0 v6 ranger automatic tranny, I am having financial troubles right now so I decided to pull the tranny out myself....everyhing was going great till I got to the top bellhousing bolts...........lol now I have no idea how to get to them......any tips???? I can't reach from the top or bottom and I am really frustrated cause once they are out so is the transmission!!!!!!!!!
    does anyone know where I could get a picture or the tranny or where all the bolts are????
    thx guys

    Mark
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