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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • david6david6 Posts: 75
    I recently had to replace the tailgate handle on my 2001 Ranger XLT, and prior to doing this found no real info on the web as to what this would take. So here is what I found out (not having a repair manual) . . . I hope this helps others and is generally useful:

    It's quite simple. The part itself cost me $35 from the local Ford dealer, although some websites have it for cheaper, and another local dealer wanted $50. I got an exact replacement for the original black plastic handle, although there are chrome options, apparently, and probably others.

    All that I had to do was unscrew 8 screws from the inside of the tailgate to remove my plastic bedliner, and underneath that, a metal plate covering the mechanics. The handle itself is attached with two nuts which I removed using a socket wrench, since they are an inch below some of the levers. I pulled the handle off the tailgate, and reversed the process. I wasn't working quickly or uninterrupted, but I would guess that this all took me maybe a half hour, while the dealerships wanted to charge me an hour (at the good one) or two (at the expensive one) to do the work.

    One key point is that my handle broke because one of the bolts that slides back and forth to hold the tailgate to the body became stuck in it's casing. I made sure to grease this up and spray some WD-40 on the springs of the mechanics. If other Ranger owners wish to avoid replacing the handle (as I also have to do on another Ranger my company owns) they may wish to do preventative maintenance in this area.
  • david6david6 Posts: 75
    While I was recently focused on replacing my tailgate handle, my air conditioning died on my 2001 Ranger XLT 4.0L 2x4 with 94,000 miles. I was surprised by this, since it seems a bit early. Understandably Ford corporate didn't feel any need to help me out with the costs, but I've heard that Honda has helped out CR-V owners when their A/C compressors died at similar mileage.

    It turned out that the air conditioning compressor clutch died. As a result, the shaft seal began to melt, so the dealer is replacing both of those, and as a result has to recharge the unit. Total cost just a bit less than $800.

    I felt that the truck was due for something like this to happen given the mileage, and since it is under $1,000 I'm not too upset, but I am disappointed. I had hoped my suspicions would not be justified like this, since I believe the Ranger is pretty reliable.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    " I was surprised by this, since it seems a bit early"

    Why does it seem to be a bit early?

    At 6 years and 100K miles I suspect that a lot more items will need replacing. It is the nature of things.
  • My '95 Ranger has been giving me some trouble with wear on the inside edge of both my front tires. The steering is really stiff. I don't know if it needs an alignment adjustment for camber or if something else might be wrong. I don't think it's the bearings they seem to be intact. Anyone else have any ideas???
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 116
    you need to have the caster, camber adjusted to stop the wear. i had the same problem i took it to an alighnment shop now both front tires wear evenly
  • I took it down to two separate shops and they both said my ball joints are shot! I've got to get new camber sleeves and tie rod ends too. In essence a complete overhaul on my front end. The cost is going to be $1,100!
  • did you get this resolved? I'm having the same problem and wanted to know how you fixed it. We changed bulbs, fuses and check wiring.
  • same problem, did/how you resolve it?
  • I had this exact problem (abs light on and hard shifting in second) with my 2000 ranger and the speed sensor replacement worked like a charm! I know this post is 2 years old but wanted to express my sincere gratitude! Thank you!!!!
  • I took it down to Midas and they told me it was the steering gear and bearings needed to be replaced for $750. Someone is off base here I wonder who??? :confuse:
  • My truck battery will not charge after I start the car. I removed the alternator and took to Pep Boys who tested and said was fine. I can charge manually with a battery charger and drive as long as the battery charge lasts. I am not sure what else it could be, please any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Oh I also tried with a new battery and still this battery would not hold a charge.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
  • tracy13tracy13 Posts: 2
    I find that unlike the repair manuals say the heater hose and lower radiator hose attach to a approx 8" pipe that inserts into the pump body. This pipe runs behind the belt tensioner and through the generator bracket. There is a brace welded to this pipe that bolts to the generator bracket. To remove the pump this pipe must be pulled out of the pump body from underneath the truck OR the generator and everthing assoc with the genrator bracket and belt tensioner must be removed so the pump with the pipe still attached can be removed. The question is "What holds the pipe in the pump body?" Is it just permatex or is it pressed on? HELP before I break something. Thanks
  • 1995 Ford Ranger 2WD 2.3 L, 5 spd manual trans. I need to replace the bushings in the transmission crossmember where it bolts to the frame. Ford claims there is no replacement that the entire crossmember needs replaced. Any ideas on how to find replacement bushings.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Is this some kind of mounting bushing for the crossmember, or is it the 'radius arm' bushing for the front suspension?

    Radius arm bushings can be bought anywhere.

    If it is a mounting bushing for the crossmember, what kind of abuse did this truck go thru that would knock these out?

    And - is this crossmember bolted or riveted in? If rivets - you are going to have to grind or torch this thing off.
  • that sounds like the actual transmission failing. hopefully its a fluid problem, but likeley it is the "clutch" that is failing for specific gears. automatics engage/disengage cylindrical clutches to select different gear combinations. every acceleration/deceleration which causes a gear shift adds wear. ive heard of auto trannys failing on the mazda b4000, which is nearly the exact same truck.
  • Are the voltage regulators built in to automotive alternators now? Aviation vregs are separate units and tend to fail in a no-charge state every several years.

    If anyone knows more, please share.
  • This is the crossmember mounting bushings, Bolt passes through bushings and became rusted solid to sleeve in bushings. Had to torch the ends off the bolt to drop the crossmember. So I could pull the transmission.
  • If it is of interest, on the subject of grabby drum brakes, I own a 97 Dodge 1500 extended cab, as well as a 99 Ranger XLT 4x4 crew cab with the 3.0 FFV, both of which exhibit violent locking of the rear drum breaks. It is normal, and only happens upon first application of the breaks after the car has sat for ~12 hours. In my case, its caused by slight rusting of the brake drums.
  • The voltage regulators are built into the back of the alternator and are fairly easy to change once the alternator is removed from the vehicle.
  • My 2001 ranger blows # 2 fuse constantly. I replace the fuse and the truck works for about three trips, then blows blower for a/c. Dealer has no clue or my repair shop. Replaced blower help.

    Any suggestions?
  • I am sure this has been asked before, but I have a 1988 Ford Ranger where it seems to have a problem with staying running and starting.

    I have attempted the following remedial actions to help resolve the issue:

    Changed Fuel Pump (thought was the cause)
    Changed Starter (went bad)
    Changed Battery (went bad)
    Changed ignition Coil (thought was the cause)
    Changed Distributer Assembly (screws on cap were rusted and broke)
    Changed cap, wires, rotor (Was done as tune up)
    Changed Starter Soilinoid (went bad)
    Adjusted timing (was necessary and done correctly)
    Used carb and choke cleaner as well as fuel cleaner (Tune Up stuff)

    Essentially, the issue seems to be electrical related. However since the issue seems to happen whether I am going down the highway or just sitting at a stop light... It is frustrating to say the least.

    I have also noticed a few things. The Oil, Gas and temp gauge all rise together from time to time and is followed by the engine stopping as if the key was shut off shortly after and on occassion the truck will just simply not start. It may turn over and over or it may seem like it is starting, but will fire briefly and stop almost right away...

    At this point in time, I am at a loss on what to do or else what can be done... Any suggestions or ideas that people may have would be most helpful and very appreciated.
  • HI

    1st time posting here. I have a few issues with my older , but clean, '95 pick up, and I am wondering the best place to post, so I'll start here.

    1- I get a rattling sound ,when going uphill , usually between 2nd and 3rd gear , from the lower , back end. Any idea's ?

    2-My blower motor is not working , although no problems with the defrost or fan. I did contract dragging a ballfield for a few years , with a lot of dust. idea's?

    3- The clip on my armrest is shot.How can I get at it , to remove and/or replace ?

    4-What is the best , cheapest way to improve the ride in my truck ? The shocks could definately use replacing, based on the bounce test.What is the best shock type to replace with, or is this the best answer to maximize a comfortable ride , on an older truck (105,000k's) ?
    Thanks-Brian in North Van
  • eharri3

    did you ever get a new armrest-I have the same problem-broken clip. thx
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 116
    the rattle could be from the main bearings, one of the bearings has a flange on it to keep the crank from moving back and forth. try moving the crank back and forth using the front damper pully pushing and pulling if there is a lot of play then replace the main bearings.
    there is a way to test your blower motor just unplug the wires and run a jumper to the battery to see if it will run if it does then your problem is probably in the fan switch or control. some of the older rangers had a heater control rely. you can find information at your local library most new manuals don't cover things like that. hope this helps
  • thx wookie1

    i have a Chilton manual , and I will research your advice, and see if I can correct the problem. I am on long term disability , with little money , so my '95 Ranger could be the last vehicle that I will own.

    Thus , i really appreciate any help on how to prolong its life,and now that i have found these forums , i am confident that with help and some elbow grease , i'll be able to do that. Thanks again-much appeciated !!
  • fixitrodfixitrod Posts: 67
    Hello darxxx,
    I am having a problem with my 98 Eddie Bauer, as the A/c motor only blows on high speed and its been suggested its the fan motor resistor. Any idea where this is located on the Explorer(Ranger probably similar). If not too much trouble find my message in Expl. forum #5863 and reply. Thanks
  • I get about 3 days on my #2 fuse only controls the blower motor (which I replaced) has no clue...can anyone help ????
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Under the hood. On or near the firewall. On passenger side.

    Find the blower housing. It probably will have a large black wire feeding into it, to power the blower. Trace this backward, it should go into the resistor pack, which should have several wires going into it.
  • Would anyone know the most common reason for the blower motors to breakdown on old Ford Ranger trucks?

    Also, any idea what it may cost to fix-ballpark-and can it be done by a Layman , following directions ? I do have time , when I CAN walk , unfortunately not money.

    Thanks Brian in Vanc
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