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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    You probably know more than the bums at the dealer. They could have easily swapped a unit for you, but they just figured that they had you hooked.

    My experience is that repairing car radios is a waste of time - the repair lasts only a few days. I hope you have better luck.
  • I need some advice. My '98 4.0 Supercab 4X4 has 40,000 miles and Ford has already replaced the Drive shaft at 20k miles as a TSB warranty item. I feel the same problem beginning again at about 35k miles if not 30. It was greatly accentuated last weekend on a trip to the Nevada heat. My purchased warranty expires at 48k miles and I had planned on getting attention to this problem before the warranty expires. I am convinced another replacement is a band-aid and will occur again. I had planned on keeping this jewel until at least 100k miles. I don't want to be spending the $700 out of pocket every 20,000 miles to buy a new drive shaft. The dealers work order listed the new shaft as due to "binding splines" It's very aggravating in stop & go traffic which I do quite a bit on the freeways. Should I trade it in or keep it? I really cant afford to do this but I will if needed. -Thanks
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I have had similar troubles with my 2000 model Ranger (long cab, 4x4). I had a new alloy aluminum 4 inch job installed at about 13K miles. So far, so good. I could have bought the part for about 300 bucks, and I was ready to even though the truck was under warranty (I have a Blue OVal Dealer...what a joke). If you like the truck, MAKE SURE you get the latest ALUMINUM shaft, which is totally redesigned. I posted the TSB in an earlier post. It would be much cheaper to buy a shaft AGAIN rather than to get killed on depreciation (Ranger owners already have one of the fasted depreciating small trucks as it is). Good luck.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Driveline - Thump/Clunk Noise
    Article No.



    1998-2001 RANGER

    This article is being republished in its entirety to update the model year applications for the service parts required.


    Some 4X4 Super Cab vehicles may exhibit a low frequency "thump" type noise/vibration on light acceleration from a stop, and/or when
    coming to a stop with light to moderate braking. This may be caused by axle wind up during acceleration or deceleration and creating a
    stick/slip condition at the rear driveshaft slip-joint splines causing the "thump"/"clunk" sensation.


    Replace 3.5" steel driveshaft with 4.0 "aluminum rear driveshaft. This requires installation of a revised fuel tank skid plate. for vehicles built
    before 1/15/2001 equipped with the 4X4 Off-Road package. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.


    Reference yellow balance mark on existing steel driveshaft. Using chalk, paint-pen or equivalent, index a mark on the rear axle flange
    in-line with yellow mark on driveshaft. This will enable the new driveshaft to be reinstalled in an original balanced state.
    Remove existing steel driveshaft from vehicle.
    Using the previous reference mark on the axle, align the applicable revised aluminum driveshaft yellow mark to the axle flange mark.
    This will assure correct orientation of the new service driveshaft.
    Install new service driveshaft and t6rque all eight (8) fasteners to 88-119 Nm (65-87 lb-ft).
    Remove fuel tank skid plate for vehicles built before 1/15/2001 equipped with the 4X4 Off-Road package.
    Replace with new service Skid Plate (1L5Z-9A147-AA).
    Torque fuel tank skid plate fasteners to 34-46 Nm (25-34 lb-ft).
    Verify condition has been corrected by accelerating from a stop, and/or with light to moderate braking when coming to a stop.

    Parts Block

    SUPERSEDES: 01-9-6
    WARRANTY STATUS: Eligible Under the Provisions Of Bumper To Bumper Warranty Coverage.



    OASIS CODES: 597997, 702000, 702200, 702300, 703000, 703200, 703400
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    MAKE SURE that the shaft is greased properly, and at proper intervals. This is very imortant. Centripetal force can have a nasty habit of flinging lubricant into the boot, OUT of the very mating surfaces that require the lubrication. Then, the splines can get galled, and the whole phenomenon can recur. The new alloy shaft is heliarced to splines that are machined with closer tolerances, and are of a harder steel allow to insure resistance to deformation. DOUBLE CHECK to make sure they were lubed properly IN THE FIRST PLACE !! It is possible some young mechanic simply slapped it in there and did NOT lubricate it to spec. Also, Ford requires the grade of grease required; that is ALSO important !! Regular chassis grease is not used, and may leak out, as it may not take the friction related heat of a spinning, vibrating shaft.
  • Thanks for the input. So your telling me that the dealer will know acknowledge the Aluminium shaft and install with no problems - thats cool.

    One more thing. Sometimes after coming to a stop I notice a low pitched hum, like a high pressure fluid travelling through a hose coming from the engine. I can't find anything on it. Any Ideas?
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I am not acknowledging that your dealer will do ANYTHING. All I am saying is that my dealer, AFTER I took him the printed TSB, finally did acknowledge the problem. Print the TSB out and take it to your dealer. If that gets no results, write to Ford registered mail (return receipt requested) and tell them the problem. You will very likely get support. Ford doesn't need to lose any more customers, as they are already hemorrhaging money like a stuck sow. Good luck...and BTW, my next truck will be a Toyota.
  • I've got a 2001 Ranger Edge with power side windows. Yesterday a roommate borrowed it and came back with the driver side mirror almost dangling from its post. There don't appear to be any breaks in the plastic and the glass face is intact. Any suggestions on how to get the housing mounted back properly?

  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Yea, tell your roomie you are taking it to Ford to get fixed, and he's going to pay for it.
  • niksniks Posts: 1
    94 xlt with 4 cyl, 75k miles, recent tune-up - occasionally the check engine light comes on, then goes off with no noticeable running differences. i know that could be anything, but, 2 or 3 times per year, this truck will stall or refuse to restart; it has spark when cranking, seems to want to catch (sneezes a little)- seems like a fuel prob. (like a vapor lock condition on non-fuel injected cars). If i let it sit a while, it will start right up & run fine for another bunch of months!!!

    tune up included air & fuel filters, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel additive.

    will O2, MAP or airflow sensors do this ? if so, why not more often? (by the way, the check engine light does not happen at the same time as the starting problem)

    thanks!! nik
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Try changing to a new gas cap.
  • You might also check vacuum lines. I would also say MAP sensor would probably be worth trying too, and the o2 sensor shouldn't do much except cause poor fuel economy.
  • dookerdooker Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 Ford Ranger 4cylinder that died on me at a stop light. The truck had been running fine and gave no symptoms prior to shutting down. When I turn the key to pwr I cannot hear the fuel pump at all. It there an easy way to verify pump operation prior to dropping the fuel tank?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    There is a relay for the fuel pump. It's in the main power box under the hood. This relay sometimes fails and the pump will not run.

    There is also a fuel shutoff (activates if the vehicle is hit hard) that might have become activated. This is under the edge of the carpet at the front of the 'hump', on the right side, under the dash. There is a pushbutton to reset.

    These are 2 of the easier things that should be checked before tearing out the fuel tank.
  • I own a 1999 basic Ranger..nothing fancy...4 wheels, 5 spd, and 4 cyl engine. I have a similar problem to what was posted in message #228...When driving in city traffic for about 15 minutes... When the clutch is engaged while stopping, the engine RPM jumps to 3000. When the clutch is released, the RPM drops back to a normal level. This continues until I turn the engine off and re start it. After re starting the engine, it's good for another 30 minutes or go before the excessive high rpm re occurs." The dealer has replaced the "Body Assembly Air Intake" which seemed to fix the problem, but now it has come back. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    I just purchased a 2001 Super Cab 4X4 with the 4.0 engine and 5 speed automatic. The truck only has 13,000 miles so is obviously under warranty but I would appreciate some input on a characteristic that I have noticed. I have read all about the driveshaft issue but this doesn't seem exactly the same.

    When accelerating from a dead stop, (easy or hard makes no difference) there seems to be a slight "lag." There is no clunk, thump, or vibration as discussed earlier on this board. It does feel like driveline slop but, as I said, there is no noise. It almost feels like a downshift from 2nd to 1st, but of course it is already in 1st.

    Frey44, do you think this is the driveshaft issue or something else entirely?
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    Well, my question is answered. I stopped by my Ford dealer this morning and described my driveline "lag." The shop foreman and I started to take it for a drive and before we got out of the parking lot, he said, "Yep, it needs the new aluminum driveshaft. There is a TSB on it. We can do it for you tomorrow."
  • Let us know how it goes....
  • tonustonus Posts: 2
    Guys, This discussion is use to talk about Ranger here is a real and repetitive problem on Ranger and B-series trucks. This truck has a clutch hydraulic system issue. It happened in my Ranger 1997 and now in my B-3000 2002. The problem is the following: while driving your truck and depressing the clutch pedal, you suddenly feel a free-play, about 1-2 inches travel, before you feel normal hydraulic resisance. The clutch works, but the friction point is then more far. It's just so frustrating to feel that "loose" pedal travel. And it comes and it's intermitent. My dealer wants to replace the slave cylinder inside the transmission...I think he should check the master cylinder first. So do you guys experienced similar problem ? On my side, twice the same problem on 2 trucks. Cheers!
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    This forum has not been a flurry of activity lately but for those interested, here is an update on the driveline "lag" issue I complained about in #526.

    I am the proud owner of a brand new sparkling aluminum driveshaft! Happily, the driveline is now snug as a bug in a rug. I never had the vibrations like Frey had, but my truck is now even smoother than it was before. Before, there was a slight road rumble that I attributed to the tires. That rumble is now gone. "Drive" to "Reverse" and "Reverse" to "Drive" is tight and quiet, too.

    So, if anyone has a late model Ranger with the old rusty tube of steel under it, and you think you have some strange driveline symptoms, this is a likely fix.
  • I've been reading most of the 500+ messages on the board and wanted to respond to several inquiries... I have 97 Ranger 4x4 3.0L Manual Transmission XL regular cab short bed that I bought new and now have 95,000 miles on it. I've read inquiries about the following:

    Dome Light/Door Ajar light stays on: Sensors in the bottom of the doors need to be replaced - doesn't use the "button" type switches like other vehichles - my dealer did it in 20 minutes (both doors).

    Windshield wipers come on for no reason: Multi-function switch needs replacing.

    check engine light came on once right at the same time the engine "shuddered" and almost stalled and blew a cloud of black smoke out the exhaust. Drove straight to my dealer, computer said nothing, turned the truck off and on and the light went out. Said it was probably a chunk of carbon blowing through the fuel system that disrupted the fuel flow for a second. No problems since (20,000 miles ago).

    Other things I needed in 95,000 miles: On my third serpintine belt (1st one went at 8,000 miles. U-joints replaced at 20,000 - no problems since. I've only had normal maintanence done other than that. I get 20-22 mpg consistently using cheap gas and Valvaline Durablend 5w30 (have a cap on it). My only problem at the moment is the cruise control only works half the time and when it does work, it shuts itself off about every 5 miles.

    Thanks for the info about the driveline lag/shudder/thump.... My happens on deceleration - more when the air conditioner is on and the compressor kicks on and off (sounds weird but true). It almost feels like it is downshifting when coasting but it is a manual transmission.

    This is my 3rd ranger and I love them - I just wouldn't buy one with a 4 cyl - my first one had a 4 in it and it was terrible, 2 rebuilds in first 4 years but the dealer did good by me on trade in when I produced the 2 inch thick folder full of repair orders, etc. - guess he felt bad - so I bought my second (XLT 4x4) from him.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    Thanks for the input, Harleyrider.

    I am a four-time Ranger owner, myself. The first was an used 85 plain-jane 4 cyl, 5 speed. Drove it 85,000 miles with no problems but was seriously lacking in power.

    I replaced the 85 with a 92 4X4 with the 2.9 and a 5 speed. Still not enough power but a good truck. It was stolen and I relocated to the South so I replaced it with a 92 4x2 with a 3.0 5 speed. It has 100k miles on it and it looks and drives like new. It is for sale now.

    Now I am back in Minneapolis so I bought the 01 4X4 super cab. The drivers door kind of creaked a bit but I adjusted the striker on the latch and now it is quiet as a mouse. The only other issue is the gas gauge that drops like a rock but that has been discussed before.

    With normal care and maintenance, Rangers provide a lot of truck for the buck.
  • rdve80rdve80 Posts: 139
    My 2002 Ranger has a very loud and high pitch whistle above 65mph somewhere around the windshield. It seems to occur at slightly lower speeds if there is a cross wind present. This has only showed up in the last 2 months, prior 8 months was fine. The dealer is unwilling to look at it unless I bring it in and can demonstrate the noise in a test drive. Anyone have any clues. Switching the heater/AC controls from fresh intake to recirc. doesn't make a difference. And it's not the wiper blades either.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    As has been documented before, the fuel gauge on many 01 Rangers is worthless. They will show empty when there is 5 or 6 gallons left in the tank. There is a TSB that calls for replacement of the fuel pump and sending unit.

    My question is, has anyone had this done and did it solve the problem?
  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 694
    try putting some duct tape around the windshield(over the gasket they use) and see it it goes away. I had a similar problem on a Safari van about a year after having the windshield replaced. It was more noticable in warm weather. The gasket set up a vibration against the frame at the top. Once I located the problem, the glass shop re-installed with a slightly different gasket.
  • wrrwrr Posts: 3
    2001 4.0L 5spauto 4x4 Off-Road SC:

    -Gas gauge never worked right, even after sending unit and gauge replaced (TSB issued later for revised sending unit).

    -Horn quit working after driving through a large puddle. Horn assembly replaced under warranty.

    -Illumination for cruise control buttons failed, replaced under warranty.

    -Infamous timing chain rattle above 2500rpm. Never fixed.

    -Metal shavings found in transmission while trying to diagnose possible torque converter problem. Transmission assembly from converter back replaced. Problem not fixed.

    -Electronic 4x4 shift on fly module dies, replaced under warranty.

    -At idle with warm motor, truck would surge, felt like you were bumped by a car behind you. In shop 4 times, reprogram PCM 2x, replace entire transmission. Last fix replaced MAF assembly. Uncertain about fix because

    -2001 bought back by FoMoCo as vehicle had spent 35 days in the shop in less than 11 months of ownership. Replaced with

    -2002 4.0L 5spauto 4x4 Off-Road SCab (this time with MP3 stereo!)

    -Timing chain rattle present again. TSB issued to replace cam chain tensioners. 3 days in shop. Noise persists (haven't bothered to take it back yet).

    -MP3 stereo eats a cd and dies. Replacement radio DOA. Replacement for the replacement overheats right off the bat, service manager won't even leave it installed. 3rd replacement still working.

    -Condensation appears between layers of windshield, like little fingers growing from edge inwards. Dealer claims windshield dirty, cleans windshield. This does nothing. Need to ask for windshield replacement next trip in.

    -Summertime 3000 mile road trip with AC running. Spark knock going up small hills. Run 91/93 octane, no knock. Use 93 entire trip, including through mountains of Colorado (where 95% of all small trucks are Tacomas, for some reason...), achieve 23mpg after 4wheeling and driving through mountain passes. Upon return, reprogram PCM to deal with spark knock. Knock persists with 87 octane, using 89 till I take it back. Mileage returns to 17-18.

    Conclusions: The Ranger is a nice truck if you get one with no problems. The 4.0L SOHC motor does not seem to be as reliable as the OHV motor it replaced, and its longevity yet to be known, but it is more than adequate to move the truck nicely. The late model trucks have the front hubs locked full time, and the hubs cannot be swapped for Warn manuals after 2001. Electronic 4x4 is unreliable, and manual tcase only offered on manual transmission FX4 package. Some minor squeaks and rattles that appear in cold weather. Make sure you buy from a dealer you can work with that has a service department you can trust, and test drive the truck you're going to buy, not one like it.

    Tomorrow I visit the Toyota dealership to test drive a Tacoma to compare it.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316

    You've had trouble behind trouble.

    Makes me feel better about keeping my 94 4L and not buying a 2002 4L this summer with the $2,500 rebate and X-Plan pricing.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I feel bad for you dude. I thought I had problems with my 2000 pushrod shaker motor !! I have a vibration since new, but NOT noticeable on the test drive unfortunately, (narrowed down to torque converter) which Ford has never fixed. I suspect a lot of the early 5 speed autos have this problem, from what I can glean from online testimonials. I don't even care anymore. I am sick (literally) of the Blue Oval (LOL!) dealer; I don't even want them to touch my truck anymore. I can't WAIT to unload this truck. I plan to sell it about 30-60 days prior to warranty expiration (sometime this next summer). I will buy a Tundra (Taco's ride and seats are too punishing, IMHO, from my own test drives.) The Taco drivetrain, though, for day to daay "civility" has the Ranger beat by a LOOOOONNNNNG country my humble contrite opinion. It's a shame; a decent design, but lousy quality control and assembly quality, is what has killed my enthusiasm for Ford products. All the rebates in the world won't make me ever buy another one; it is a false economy. Toyota is essentially an American truck anyways these days, so, I'll be glad to buy one and support an American assembly worker in California. Good luck.
  • wrrwrr Posts: 3
    bolivar: You're probably right. I bought the 2001 but kept my 1993 regular cab 2.3L (multicar insurance discount). The old truck has 144k, and has had nothing but routine maintenance, and is still getting the same mileage as when i bought it at 17k, ~25mpg summer, 20 winter. It's one solidly built vehicle, and it was on the basis of that experience that I bought another Ranger. Of course, there are plenty of people out there not having problems with their newer Rangers.

    frey44: I gave up on the selling dealer of my 2001 after the write up guys and the service manager started blowing smoke up my [non-permissible content removed] and treating me like an idiot (gas gauge reads empty when you have 7 gallons left? Oh, that's normal. WTF??) I called the Ford customer service line and did everything I could to make it clear that dealership didn't deserve a blue oval cert, and started taking the truck to another dealership, which fixed the problems the selling dealer couldn't find, and handled the buyback for me with 0 hassles. If your truck isn't getting fixed, raise holy hell until it is. We pay too much money for these trucks for Ford to not honor their warranty.

    I did visit a Toyota dealership today, and took a 2003 Tacoma 3.4L 4sp auto xtracab TRD for a spin. My supercab Ranger wins on comfort: lots more legroom up front (even more than on the DoubleCab Tacoma), the power windows/controls are laid out better, the seats are a bit more comfortable. The Ranger also feels heavier, in body panels, doors, interior trim. When it comes to what really counts, however, the Toyota wins hands down. Manual transfer case, pushbutton locking rear differential, the 3.4L feels smooth and has plenty of pep, and the 4 speed auto shifted so well I didn't notice the shift points. Without a doubt, the Ford 4.0L has more power stock. If I buy a 3.4L Tacoma, I'll probably opt for that nifty TRD supercharger. I haven't made up my mind yet. IF I decide I want to start doing some serious off-roading, the Tacoma is a lot more suited to the job. I like my 2002 Ranger. I just wish I could trust it like I trust my 1993.
  • tspiketspike Posts: 1
    I have a 98 2wd xlt w/85k miles, 2.5 w/5spd. For the past 2 years it has vibrated at speeds of 60 to 80 mph. It feels like it's coming from the front wheels but it fades out like it's moving to the rear end. It is ALWAYS there, fading in and out non-stop. I've replaced the tires twice, all 4 wheels, front bearings rotors and brakes, front end aligned 4 times, the entire rear of the transmition and the driveshaft. It was well out of warrantee when it started to a noticeable degree. I can't afford a new vehicle at this time, but I can't stand driving it. It gets outstanding mileage (30mpg) and has had no other problems (except the dome light not wanting to turn off). PLEASE someone if you have had or heard of this problem and have ANY ideas what to do please contact me and help me keep my sanity!!!
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