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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    ...have a TSB that calls for a replacement of the driveshaft. Replace steel with an alumium driveshaft.

    If you have the 2 piece driveshaft, there is a carrier bearing in the center that might need replacing.... Since you seem to have replaced most everything else.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    Well, I just made an appointment to have the revised fuel pump assembly installed under warranty on my '01 Ranger. While not a serious flaw, having the gauge read "empty" with 7 gallons left in the tank is pretty silly.

    After this is corrected, I will not have anything else to complain about!
  • Took delivery of a new 2003 ranger with a 2.3 4-cylinder, 2-wheel drive about two weeks ago and couldn't be happier. Looks like about 30 mpg in mixed driving and about the same power-feel as my old 3.0 liter (kept to 267,000 miles)probably because of modern engine plus light weight. Noticed throttle sticking on idle, making for jerky starts and acceleration in town---easily cured by setting up the idle screw on the throttle body just slightly so throttle is cracked open a bit more on idle. Otherwise not a screw out of place. Happy with Continental tires--glad to get rid of Firestones.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I have a 2000 Range that vibrates at similar speeds, but it is a 5 sp auto; I think mine is from the drivetrain (the engine dancing around in its mounts and transferring energy into the vehicle). You won't get help from Ford; they will just deny that any problem exists. I think your problem is a drivetrain resonance that is incurable. You might as a last resort try attaching some weight at various places on your exhaust system to see if it is a strange pipe-flex resonance of some sort (this has been reported on GM trucks). I am solving my Ranger vibration problem by getting a new Tundra soon. No more Fords for me...EVER.
    Good luck.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    Frey, I know you have had vibration issues from the get-go, but I thought the new driveshaft solved that problem for you. You mentioned the engine and/or torque converter. Question for you: With the truck sitting in park, do you have vibration if you bring the engine speed up to 2500 to 3500 RPM? If the vibration is engine, torque converter, or even exhaust resonance, I would think you could duplicate that issue while sitting still.

    Another thing: When you are driving at 75 or so and experiencing the vibration, have you tried touching the brake to unlock the torque converter? Does that make a difference in the vibration?

    Vibrations can be a pain in the a## but it seems like the cause could be isolated if not fixed.
  • I am new to edmunds amd am hopeing someone can help me with a question. I have read numerous messages about the aluminum drive shaft. My ranger is also making a "thunk" but not while driving or slowing down. periodicaly after starting the "thunk" will some from the passenger front--sounds like it at least. Has anyone else had this problem? could this be the drive shaft eventhough i am not moving?

    Also, what is the "TSB" i have heard people refer too?

    Thanks alot
  • wrrwrr Posts: 3
    Well, today my airbag light started flashing and then stayed illuminated, even after restarting. So, now I have an appointment on Monday to have them look at that, the timing chain rattle, the defective windshield, the new rotational thump that has developed in the front end of late (did my brake rotors warp again?), hmm, did I forget anything? In the meantime, I hope to survive my commute for the next 2 days without needing airbags, and in Detroit during rush on I-275, that is a hope indeed :/

    kcowboy12: I've had that happen, and I've seen it referred to on many 4x4 boards. From what I understand, it's normal on 4x4 drivetrains due to their construction and the sudden release of tension which builds up in the combination of U-joints in the drivetrain when you start up. Of course, this may all be BS, but I have seen the same explanation many times.
  • Hey kcowboy12

    I can back you up on that one. I have a 2001 Edge
    4.0, ext cab, 4x4 Automatic with all the bells and whistles. And yea mine does the same thing too a "thunk", from the passenger side of the transmission. Not on a regular basis and varies on how loud it is. Mostly when it was cold in the morning. I haven't good guess on what it is either. I have been watching this post for a good year now. And this is first I've read about it.
    While I'm here I'll put my 2 cents on subjects I can relate to . I'll try to be quick.

    1 Crappy mileage from the get go . The fix, Gibson cat back exhaust. K and N Generation II KIPK kit. The Big surprise was burning mid grade fuel. With all 3 I almost get the mileage shown on the window sticker. I get 200 miles to the 3/4 tank. whoope ding dong.

    2 Steel drive shaft got one, I haven't a clue about the vibration I read about. I do hear a slow pulsing noise at a steady speeds 35 on up. Sounds like tires to me. You really have to listen to it to hear it. Can't feel it though.

    Thats almost the end ,my goofy prob is the engine shuts off by itself mostly right after a short turn in a parking lot. Fires right back up after a turn of the key. Happens once every other month sort of . Anyone one wanna figure that one out?

    Other than that, its a Champion.
  • alright, thanks guys for the "thunk" answer. i have also heard that it was a motor mount that was making the noise so i really wasnt sure. And now i have another one for you guys. After i drive and get out of the truck i hear a faint hiss coming from the passenger side of the engine. sounds like something is relieving pressure. i asked a dealership about it and of course they said it was normal. what do you guys think? have you noticed this? is it normal?

    thanks again. kcowboy12
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    Transient, are you really getting crappy mileage or is your gauge just screwy? I had a new fuel pump assembly put on mine under warranty that corrects the gauge. There is a TSB for it.

    I have only had my 01 4x4 a couple of weeks and I have been pleasantly surprised by the gas mileage. At first I was shocked that the gauge dropped to "E" after 175 miles. However, I could only cram about 11 gallons in it. The new pump assembly has solved the gauge inaccuracy. I am getting around 16 MPG in mixed city/freeway driving. I am no feather foot so I am pretty pleased with that. I don't think my old 2 wheel drive 3.0 litre would do much better under the same driving conditions.
  • Yes I believe I have seen a note or two about the
    gas gauge, I try to fill up at 3/4 empty tank. Its always 13 gallons to fill. And I am bad, I try to cram in as much as possible. But 200 miles at 13 gallons, 200 divide by 13 gallons 15.3 miles per gallon. Not bad for a truck , but it was worse. I drive normal most of the time, But I'm not afraid to hammer it at times either. ;-) But Before the modifications. I was getting average 12 mpg babying it. Full size truck mileage on a mini truck , thats what get me I think.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    The 4.0 pushrod motor I have, with 4x4 and 3.73 rearend with 5 speed auto, has used 1460 gallons of gas in 23 800 miles, for an average of 16.3 mpg, mostly highway driving. I have an ARC fiberglass cap, and a KN filter, but otherwise stock. I usually drive 65 to 70 on freeway jaunts of 25 to 30 miles, a common commute. I estimate about 10% of my driving is stop and go. From what I can read, the newer 4.0 OHC motor is worse. Lousy mileage,'s a TRUCK. If I had Ford to do over again, I would have gotten an F-150 LSD, 4.6 V8. The mileage would be likely better ! Peace.
  • I really have not driven my SOHC 4.0 enough to fully judge the mileage. In mixed freeway/city, I have been in the 15.5 - 16.0 range but I was expecting worse. In a week or so, I will be taking a 500 mile highway trip so I can see how it does under ideal conditions. If I can get 18 - 19, I will be tickled pink. My old 2WD 3.0 with a 3.55 rear end got about 23 on a highway cruise at 75 MPH but the 4X4 is heavier, more powerful, has a 4.10 gear, and pushes a lot more air.
  • I wanted to put my two cents in on this topic. As the rest of you my gauge also reads "empty" around 15.5 gallons. while drivnig on the city i always get atleast 250 miles per tank 16.6 mpg. I also drive across Washington state about once a month. while doing this i get at least 300-320 miles per tank about 20 mpg. so hearing that you are all having trouble makes me wonder. What kind of gas do you use? While the ranger book recommedns only 87 octane, i usually use 89 and 92 every once in a while. i am sure most of you do the same. i have noticed that a huge difference in the brand of gas. i never use am-pm gas. i have swithed from shell to chevron three months ago after my emissions sensor went off. after the dealrship replaced the sensor i have never used anything other than chevron and have never had a problem since, either with lagging or low gas mileage.

    just curious what you all use, and have you noticed a difference in one kind from another
  • I've used this gas for over 60,000 miles and I get over 20 mpg in the city rush hour traffic. That is with 143,000 miles on a 93 Ranger Reg cab, 2.3l auto.

    Another tip: Never fill buy gas if the station just had it's tanks refilled. This means that the contents of the tanks are mixed up, and that includes and silt or other garbage that may have found it's way into the tanks. This is sure to hurt fuel filters, injectors and the like. I had to constantly clear out the jets on my old motorcycle until I figured the above out.
  • I'm finding that I'm getting worse mileage on my 2002 Ranger V6 3.0 than on my 2002 Explorer V6 4.0 driving the same routes :( Will putting a cover on the bed of the truck do any good?
  • redzx3redzx3 Posts: 16
    My gas mileage on my new Ranger Edge with the v6 3.0 is not very good . I am thinking about putting a nice bed cover on it and see if that will help with the gas mileage . So far i like the Ranger Edge alot so i hope that a bed cover will help with the gas mileage.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    How much better gas milage do you expect?

    How much will a cover cost?

    Do the math, see how long/how many miles it will take to just recover the cost of the car cover.

    You (and I) own a truck. It's a brick on wheels. It gets terrible gas milage. Live with it or trade it.
  • <<How much better gas milage do you expect?>>

    That's what I'm ASKING. If I already knew the answer to that, I'd know whether or not to buy the cover already ;))

    <<You (and I) own a truck. It's a brick on wheels. It gets terrible gas milage. Live with it or trade it.>>

    Or find ways to improve the mileage - which was the reason for my post :)
  • I would think your differences would be in the Aerodynamics of your "bricks". Air on your explorer, bounces off the grill and over the roof and down and away. On your Ranger the air hits the grill up and over, back down into the bed. Then has to slam into the tailgate,up and over again. So A tonneau cover will help out. How much is any ones guess. But I would think a better question to ask yourself is do you really use your truck as a truck? Throwing stuff in the back all the time, with the items that are taller than the bed sides. Or more like once a month. If you use the bed alot of the time is it worth the hassle to take the tonneau on and off? Or lets say if you get a tonneau take it off and loose the habit of putting back on. You end up leaving it off and for sure you wasted money. For Grins you might wanna leave the tailgate down and note your mileage.
  • So that is also hurting your MPG. There are lots of small perfomance modifications you can do, like using a less restrictive air filter, taking off the air box "snorkle", installing a cold/ram air kit, and cat back exhaust. These items are pretty economical, and can open up a few extra ponies from your motor. The trick is not to open it up as much, but to use the new power to run through less RPM's. Driving style is always the biggest factor.
  • I have a 2001 supercab 4x4 with a 5spd auto. My gas gage does the same thing, reads empty after I've used about 15.5 gallons. The check gage lite comes on with 3 gals left in the tank. I thought about taking my truck in and getting it fixed, but after taking several long trips ( 700 miles one way) I changed my mind. I would rather have gas in the tank, than run out. Also driving 75mph I average between 19 and 20 mpg. Combination city highway is 17.5. I think you guys who drive strickly in town probably do get bad gas milage, but driving with a heavy foot will really kill gas milage.
  • redzx3redzx3 Posts: 16
    Thanks for the info on MPG your right about my Edge being like a 4x4 .I do like the Edge alot and so far it has been a fun truck to drive .Maybe i just need to slow down and not speed so much .
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    >A tonneau cover will help out.<

    I'm not sure about this.

    Several years ago Consumer Reports looked at the various configurations of pickup trucks.

    Opening/taking the tailgate out: This actually hurt milage. Their explaination was that the tailgate in place and 'up' forced the air flow up and over the truck more, giving better milage.

    They tested a cab-height topper: There was no measurable difference in milage. They thought any better air flow was probably cancelled out by the additional weight of the topper.

    One additional thing about tailgate down or taken out. The tailgate is an intergal part of the bed structure. If it is not up, the sides will flex and, over time, probably bend inwards, possibly making it impossible to get the tailgate closed easily.
  • redzx3redzx3 Posts: 16
    my 2002 Ranger V6 3.0 with 6,400 miles on it is not running right . It's auto, and when you stop at a red light and keep your foot on the brake it run's rough and the tack move's from 1 to almost 0 .But when you take off from the red light it run's good .I have been useing 87 gas so i was thinking it could be the gas so now i'm useing 93 gas and it's still doing the same thing .I took it into ford and they had it for 4 day's and told me it's fine . well it's still running rough when you stop at a red light .I guess i will have to take it back to ford this week .Has this happen to any of you yet ?
  • pinettedpinetted Posts: 104
    I have a 96 Ranger 4X4 XLT and when I switch it into FWD it keeps engaging and disengaging. I also notice a high pitched whistle for a while after the FWD is engaged. I am thinking that the vacum line has a leak but, I was under the truck yesterday and could not see anything. To be honest I was not sure what I was looking for. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
  • This truck has 33,500 miles on it and the engine noise(clatter) when you first start it up in the morning is terrible, almost embarrassing. Even hear alittle engine noise (I think valves) when driving, but not bad. I bought the truck with 26,000 miles on it and within the last 1,000 miles this racket has started.I have tried synthetic oil, oil additives, which seem to help a little. Different brands and weights of oil, etc. The truck runs fine but this engine is NOISY! Got any ideas on why this is happening? I try to take care of my vehicle's but this is driving my nuts.
  • wmw28wmw28 Posts: 2
    I just got a 1998 ranger xlt. I was having a problem with the door ajar and dome light coming on, or not turning off. I found this sight and registered and so on to maybe get some advice on the problem. but after reviewing the postings all I found was a lot of " I say this " well "I say that" or mines better,no mines better. why dont you guys get each others phone nos, and argue your points. that way some of us don't have scroll through a lot of uneeded postings looking for one that is close to our problem. Just thought I`d say Hi.............
  • wmw28, Sorry you had to go through that. You were probably reading messages going back and forth between Ranger and Tacoma guys. It's kinda a big competition here unfortunately, but it should be good to hear that it's over (for) now.

    rangertime, I believe the earlier SOHV 4.0l's had a cam tensioner issues, which could be the cause of your engine noise. It could also be the oil dipstick coming into contact with the crank. See WWW.NHTSA.GOV for info on TSB (Technical service bulletins), and also see your local dealership for advice on servicing it(it may even be under an extended warranty, as I think it was a fairly common issue, but don't quote me on that)

    pinetted, Can you set the parking brake, or have someone stand on the brakes while you check for the source of the vacuum leak? That may or may not be the full reason for your 4WD disengaging, but it definitely is a good place to start checking.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    1) Noisy motor. You have the dreaded 1997 to 1999 4Liter 'Marble Noise' in the motor. It's a well known problem in these years. Ford changed something in the motor and caused this noise in many motors. In all my reading of message boards, I've never seen a final definition of what this problem is. 'Piston slap' seem to be one of the most quoted ones.

    With much complaining, people have told stories of Ford replacing these motors. And several of the replacements soon developed the same noise. Ford dealers all probably know of this problem, but there seems to not be a lot of support for a fix. And there does not seem to 'be' a fix. Ford also seems to say that the noise is 'normal' and will not effect the performance of the truck. Probably the worse thing would be resale value, if a future purchaser heard this noise before buying. People write of driving the truck for lots of miles, with this noise, and no other problems with the motor.

    2)Dome lite/door ajar. Another well known problem with these years. The switch in the door needs to be replaced. A lot of people WD40 it, but I think Ford may have a better made switch you will get from parts, so I would recommend replacing them. Replace both doors. And, the switch is inside the doors, not in the door frame. The door panel has to be removed to get to the switch.
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