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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 1990 Ranger XLT 2.9L V6 Just rolled 140k

    I have been getting between 160-170mpg. Is this normal for these?? If I remember correctly I was getting a lot better mileage before I did the tune up (spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor, air filter, fuel filter) The spark plugs where gaped correctly. I have a tonneau cover on the bed (soft, not hard), I would think that would help the mileage. Does anyone know about what mileage the oxygen sensor goes out, or know of a way to test it, that is my only other guess as to why the mileage is so bad, any ideas??

    Also it seems to be shifting quite hard between Reverse, 1st and 2nd (auto), is there anything I can do?? I have changed the filter, and I put Lucas stabilizer in it, but it made no difference.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Just because it didn't show up in any of the reports, doesn't mean that it wasn't in an accident. They only obligated to report the accidents that have significant amount of damage not the minor things that are like $1k or less is what my understandings is.
  • Thanks for the info, although if the frame was bent I would consider that significant amount of damage...the dealer replaced the driver side ball joints and needed a shim kit to get it to align properly. So that tells me they never aligned it right the first time or never bothered doing a 4 wheel alignment when the invoice said they did...guess I'll have to see how it holds up.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    It's entirely possible Ford bolted the axle on off-center when it was manufactured! Don't think they can't do it. It's pretty unusual but if the frame checks out OK and they can set the axle straight, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    You mean 16-17 MPG right? (Personally I would be pretty happy with 160 MPG)
    Gas mileage on something that old is tough. It could be anything and everything. Does it use a Mass Air Sensor? Check all the electrical connections for clean+tight.
    Does it ping? Run rich? Check engine light? Any other symptoms?

    As far as the transmission, you may be looking at a rebuild at some point with that age+ mileage.
  • I meant 160-170 per tank, I was tired.

    The check engine light used to come on for like 5 minutes, and then just go off, or if you shut it off and started it right back up, it would go off. But it doesn't do that anymore. The sensors are all good as far as I can see. It doesn't seem to be running rich, I have noticed that it has been like shuttering at stoplights. The engine seems to surge, like it will go up about 3oo rpms or so, then drop back down, and over again. My main question is, if it's the O2 sensor, I think the Throttle Position Sensor may be the cause of the surgeing. But with the check engine light not being on, there isn't any trouble codes to look for.

    I figured I would be needing a new transmission...
  • ppborcebppborceb Wallingford,CTPosts: 61
    Help out there!
    I brought it back and the dealer rebalanced all four wheels and the vibration is still occurring at 60+ mph.
    Does anyone out there have any suggestions???
  • Like you, I also have the same problem with my FX4, the have done countless front end alignments, replaced the driveshaft, and have put on a 3rd complete set of tires on the truck and still have not resolved the problem ! It goes back to the dealer on 12/13. It has been doing this for nearly a year, and 18000 miles. It currently has 22,000 mi on it. Hope this helps, let me know how you make out
  • ppborcebppborceb Wallingford,CTPosts: 61
    I too am going in on 12/13 for the third time in less than two months and with only 800 miles on the odometer.

    I'm curious as to where you bought it, when was it built, and what year is your FX4?

    I bought mine in CT, it was built 13Aug2003, and it's a 2004.

    I'll keep you advised as to the progress as we go.
  • soco4soco4 Posts: 9
    I have a 2000 Ranger 3.0/AT Supercab with 22,000 miles. Does anyone know if the 2001 front suspension changes can be fairly readily and inexpensively fitted? I remember reading that Ford softened the front springs by 27% and made some other changes. Experience with a rented 2001 Ranger Supercab indicated a noticeable improvement in ride quality; the front suspension was more compliant than my 2000's.


    The Michelin LTX tires and Monroe Reflex shocks I installed have given a more stable and controlled ride, but further improvement would be welcome. Information/details about Ford's suspension changes will be much-appreciated.
  • Well...turns on the truck still goes down the road sideways...its had 3 aligements in less then 3 weeks so I dont think that is an issue...the dealer currently has my truck and they are looking into whether or not the frame is bent or not...talking to them this afternoon they still where not sure what the problem is but they want to keep it overnight...atleast this time several people from the dealership finally road behind the truck to see how out of wack it is. If its a wrecked vehicle looks like they may be buying it back...
  • The mystery:


    I have a 99 Ranger XLT ex cab 4x4 with the 4.0 and 5 speed. It has 75,000 miles.


    About 4 months ago I noticed it ran very rough (like misfiring on one or more cyclinders) for about 30 seconds after starting if it's been sitting more than an hour. This doesn't happen every start, but about half the time.


    A tune up didn't help. The mechanic (not Ford) then diagnosed a head or head gasket leak - based on fluid in # 4 cylinder. Took it to another mechanic for a second opinion. He kept it 3 days and disagreed with 1st mechanic's diagnosis. (He even kept 25 lbs pressure on the cooling system overnight and stuck rolled up paper towels in the # 4 spark plug hole - no fluid.) He agreed it ran rough, but had no idea why.


    I finally took it to the only Ford dealer within 60 miles. (I've had VERY bad experiences with them before, and so try to avoid them.) They put it on the computer. Came up blank. They finally diagnosed it as a bad spark plug "sucking oil into the cylinder," and replaced #4 plug. It ran fine for a week; then started all over again - and seems to be getting worse.


    I've pulled the #4 plug and it looks clean. The truck does not smoke, and it has never overheated or tripped any warning lights.


    Sorry this post is so long. Does anyone have any notions?




  • My FX4 is a 2004 as well. I bought it in N.J. I'll have to get back to as far as when it was built. Final assembly point was Twin Cities. It has the new 4.0 engine. Pleas keep me informed, and I'll post back soon with more info.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I am trying to solve a similar problem with a different vehicle. My son's car (1996 Ford T-Bird 4.6L V8) is at home for the time being while he is at school, so I drive it from time to time. Now that the weather has cooled, the condition has become much more pronounced.

    I talked to a ASE mechanic that has worked on many different vehicles. He said that after 30 seconds, the computer takes over the functions of the car. Which is why after this 30 second period, the idle goes down. While the car is in this 30 second open loop, it is burning with a rich condition to keep the vehicle going until the 02 sensors, MAF sensor etc, can get heated up and take accurate readings. Anyway, the problem remains. Once the car gets about 2 minutes into operation, it runs just fine. I have done a lot of searching on the internet for similar problems, with the hope of finding a solution. Two things I will be looking into, is a Mass Air Flow sensor cleaning (with electric parts cleaner) and I will also check out the Idle Air Control Valve.

    My son had the MAF sensor replaced about 20,000 miles ago to eliminate a check engine light and rough idle. Since then, the car runs much better, but lately has been getting back to its old ways. (Check engine light included)


    Do you notice that if you take off and drive right away after start, that you are confronted with a huge lack of power for about 10-20 seconds?
  • I wouldn't say a huge lack of power, but the truck stumbles a bit and shakes like crazy, as though it's running on only 5 of the six cylinders. (If I was trying to beat another Ranger of equal specs off the line, I certainly would lose.) But as the engine becomes smoother, the power does return.


    My concern is if this is a coolant leak into the engine, I want to attack it before I have to rebuild the entire engine.


    But so far there is no condensation on the oil filler cap and pulling the #4 plug showed no fouling. I guess I should try pulling the other plugs, but what a pain some of them will be!!


    The problem used to rear its ugly head whenever the truck had been parked overnight. Then it was half a day. Now it's an hour.


  • ppborcebppborceb Wallingford,CTPosts: 61

    I brought it into the dealer on 12/14, and the service manager called later to tell me he had good news/bad news.


    It seems there was a 'Special Service Bulletin'(the step before a TSB) about premature tire wear and rim runout that caused vibration.


    The good news: They are going to put on a new set of tires(upgrading from P245/75R16 to P255/70R16) and a new set of rims(they had a little runout).


    The bad news: They couldn't do it today because they have to wait for the parts to come in from the distribution center.


    Now I'm waiting for the call to come in and I'll wait while they swap the tires/rims and re-program the computer because of the change in tire size. After that, the service manager and I will go out and give it a test run to see if the vibration is GONE!


    I'll keep you posted.



  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Unless you are loosing coolant, or you see oil and coolant in your coolant reserve tank, then you have nothing to worry about. I know the problem I am dealing with in the T-Bird is not a coolant leakage problem. I remember reading in my Haynes manual about what the causes of a rough idle might be, and there in black and white it does say that one of them is a bad or leaking head gasket. However, there is an extremely long list accompanying that one cause. I think my first plan of action will be the MAF sensor cleaning, because unless the Idle Air Control valve is sticking open, it shouldn't hamper the performance once I am driving. If that doesn't work, I am going to look for a vacuum leak.

    I have also done an intake manifold cleaning with a product called Seafoam. Did wonders for the power and gas mileage.
  • ppborceb- My truck was built on Oct 29,2003. My dealer has given me 3 differant sets of new tires, and I asked them if it could be the rims and he told me they did check them. He said they were o.k. Maybe they didn't really check them, who knows. Mine is still at the dealer, I'll let you know as well. Thanks
  • Go to a drive shaft repaire shop and have your drive shaft spines removed and replaced this will fix the problem.Ford made a junk drive shaft for these super cab ranger trucks.I have a 97 super cab ranger with the same problem.I am having my fix today at a joint,clutch and drive line repair shop.Take it out yourself if you can it will save you some money.
  • Your pinging noise is in your time 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.
  • 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.
  • ppborcebppborceb Wallingford,CTPosts: 61
    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.
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