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grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/27/22 10:30 p.m.

The moment I took this photo, I regretted that it was not a gas station- I've been here too long. 
 

 

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
11/27/22 10:38 p.m.

Man, that picture shows the life

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/27/22 11:07 p.m.

In reply to grover :

At a gas station at night.....

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/28/22 8:06 a.m.

Great pic. Older fella looking at the goofball kid thinking WTF is this kid doing, kid not caring and having fun. Nice crocs too. 
 

oh and nice truck.

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/28/22 8:18 p.m.

So the story.  

This was my Grandfather's truck.  I was with him in 98 when he bought it actually.  He passed away several years ago- and dad brought his truck to his house. Dad is a car junkie as well and at this point there were 8 vehicles between them, only one was a race car.....so he called me up a couple of weeks ago and asked if I'd like to have the little red truck and take it back to Florida with me when I came up for thanksgiving.  

This is a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT.  It was special ordered with a 4.0L V6 and manual transmission.  It's got 224,000 miles and was well taken care of.  Grandpa was a Kenworth mechanic and he took incredible care of his vehicles, until the last year or so.  I actually worked on this one a few times when he was still driving it, sway bar end links and brakes as I recall.  
 

 

Dad replaced the clutch and throwout bearing about a month or two ago I think.  He had purchased an alternator but had not yet had time to install it.  That was job one.  

Alternator went on fine....and when I tried to adjust the tensioner, it basically crumbled- So it got a fresh tensioner.  We still couldn't get it started so we got a new battery- despite the old one having a 6/21 sticker.  It started right up.  

 

We towed the ride home and it was fairly uneventful.  The back of the Sequoia dipped a bit, but you could hardly tell it had any weight on the back- the 5.7 is a gas hog, but it's a great motor. 
 

Took the kids to school and noticed that the a/c was not up to south Florida standards...so we fixed that.  A/C repair is required knowledge around here.  The Hammer Store vacuum compressor adapter is still an awesome value. 

Now she sits....

The plan is to fix her up, clean her up, and enjoy driving the little truck around.  

 

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/28/22 8:31 p.m.

So, I have questions.  

 

I've got a surging at idle, it's not bad- it's annoying.  The truck doesn't seem like it wants to die or anything.  I'm open to suggestions.  I thought about replacing spark plugs to start.  

The valve covers are leaking.  Looking at the engine, and...they're buried.  How bad is that job? 

The clutch is fine, but 3rd gear sounds a little different.  It's not necessarily bad, it's sort of like halfway to sounding like straight cut gears.  It doesn't shake or slip, just is much louder than 4th gear where it's silent.  

The brakes shake. It has drums on the back- do drums warp? I'm assuming it's the front rotors which would be simple, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I barely know how to work on drums.  I've changed shoes maybe twice? 

I suppose that's it for now.  Those that know the 4.0 send me your wisdom.  This thing is a hoot! It will spin tires easily in 3rd.  Fun little truck.  The kids were perplexed by the roll up windows.  

I also need a radio.  I'm torn between putting a factory cd in or a modern double din apple car play

 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/28/22 8:50 p.m.

How old is the gas? Poor idle could just be that it needs some fresh fuel run through it.

I'd lower it and go with a modern head unit as long as it didn't require any cutting.

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/28/22 9:04 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

No idea on gas but you may be right.  I'll run premium likely just because it hasn't been driven much. 

It's a typical double din....I'd imagine anything would fit. Speakers are likely toast. 

I'm actually thinking about tall skinny tires.  

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
11/29/22 10:59 a.m.

Here are some thoughts on the brakes:

  1. Get 50-100 miles or so on it (assuming they're feeling basically safe) before you worry too much about noises and shakes. If the truck has been parked for awhile, it might need use to scrape off the corrosion.
  2. Generally, bad rotors make the steering wheel shake and out-of-round drums make the pedal pulsate a bit.
  3. At some point, check the parking brake, but be prepared that it may seize on and you'll have to deal with it. You don't want to find that out when you set it in a parking lot on an errand. And you do want a working parking brake with a manual trans, so look at it at some point.
  4. Drum brakes aren't that bad to replace/repair. Just do one side at a time so you can use the other as a reference.
  5. Check the rear wheel cylinders in a month or so after you've driven it. It's fairly common for them to be okay in an initial inspection after "waking up" the vehicle from non-use, but after some use they'll start weeping/leaking.

AC may correct me, but these are things we see at Eclectic a lot so I thought I'd pass them along.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/29/22 12:15 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

You nailed it. The only thing I'd add is to change the brake fluid every 2-3 years.

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/29/22 3:58 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

The book you! I've got about 60 miles on it so far. 
 

parking brake works great. 
 

no steering wheel shake while braking- it's more like the truck bounces a little? Seems like rear brakes. 
 

3rd and 5th are different than 4th. Both under acceleration. I wonder if it needs motor mounts or a shifter adjustment. 
 

just put a half tank of premium in. 
 

thanks for the tips! 

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/29/22 3:58 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

I'm going to guess that's never been done. I'll add it to the list. 

gumby
gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/30/22 7:23 a.m.

Most of the 98+ 4.0/manual reg.cab Rangers I have seen were torsion bar trucks. Reg.cab and coil springs with the 4.0/manual is pretty uncommon.

4th gear in the m5od trans locks the input and output together, eliminating the load on the countershaft. The noise you are hearing in other gears is likely bearings. There are three rubber plugs at the top of the trans behind the shifter which harden and shrink over time. Common leak point which leads to low fluid levels and bearing wear. Your bearing noise may be simply due to age and mileage, but check those plugs also.

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
11/30/22 8:16 a.m.
gumby said:

Most of the 98+ 4.0/manual reg.cab Rangers I have seen were torsion bar trucks. Reg.cab and coil springs with the 4.0/manual is pretty uncommon.

4th gear in the m5od trans locks the input and output together, eliminating the load on the countershaft. The noise you are hearing in other gears is likely bearings. There are three rubber plugs at the top of the trans behind the shifter which harden and shrink over time. Common leak point which leads to low fluid levels and bearing wear. Your bearing noise may be simply due to age and mileage, but check those plugs also.

If I see a v6/manual torsion bar truck, it's normally a garish edge model with the tacky add on flares and stupid pre-runner ride height, which would normally mean 01-up.

I agree on the fluid being low from leaking at the rubber plugs. You can find Dorman cup plugs to replace them. Also the fluid probably hasn't been changed like it should. They're still a lot of it's a manual and doesn't need changed ever mechanics out there still. I would trying a 50/50 mix of atf and manual trans unicorn pee from ford or just straight manual trans fluid.

Add a rear sway bar from the jy, any year ranger will do, and then ask after a drive if it's a hoot or not. wink

orthoxstice
orthoxstice Reader
11/30/22 8:27 a.m.

I had a '91 four cylinder model that made bearing noise in 3rd and 5th. The transmission exploded on I80 west in the middle of PA at around 11 pm. That was a sad day. Not sure if it's the same trans or same trans family but I'd tend to that asap. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/22 8:29 a.m.

Question for the Ranger enthusiasts here: torsion bar versus coils, is that strictly 2WD vs 4WD?

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
11/30/22 10:59 a.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

Question for the Ranger enthusiasts here: torsion bar versus coils, is that strictly 2WD vs 4WD?

No. Torsion bars for all 4wd and select 2wd v6 models. Coils on all 2wd  besides the edge models.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/30/22 12:08 p.m.

Yes, change the trans fluid. Be careful regarding what you put in it.  Read the owners manual, newer units like this take all sorts of different stuff.

Angryranger
Angryranger New Reader
11/30/22 6:36 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

Can confirm, my '03 2wd 2.3 was coils and my '00 2wd 3.0 is t-bars. Still weird to me seeing 4.0s with coils but would love to find one 

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/3/22 5:30 p.m.

Some things. 
 

 

we appear to have coils.  
 

also found this: 

this is the transmission cross member. Tightening these up did nothing for the weird sound in OD. I'm keeping it in 4the where it's silent. Still haven't checked the transmission fluid level. 
I'm open to any thoughts. I did look around and other than the cross member bolt holes being slotted- I didn't see any adjustments that I could make. If the fluid doesn't fix this it may need to go to a shop. :/

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/3/22 5:31 p.m.

I just noticed that open eyelet in the background of the top photo. That needs investigation. 

gumby
gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/3/22 5:47 p.m.
grover said:

I just noticed that open eyelet in the background of the top photo. That needs investigation. 

Broken sway bar link, gone missing. Easy fix that will really make a difference in handling.

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/3/22 6:20 p.m.

In reply to gumby :

I put that sway bar link on probably 7 years ago. Haha. I guess that explains the squeaking when turning 

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/14/22 9:54 p.m.

Checked the transmission fluid. Just a small amount dropped out of the fill opening when I took the bolt out. It was off and in gear- is that ok? 
need more ideas. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
12/14/22 10:19 p.m.

In reply to grover :

dude, you the man!


 

 

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