2001 was the model year the Ranger's previous 4.0l OHV engine(160HP, VIN X) was changed to a 4.0l SOHC engine (207HP, VIN E).
The 4.0l SOHC having 47 more horse power probably needed a higher flow rating than the 4.0l OHV engine's filter.
Would either work for the other when new, probably, but specs for flow in a fuel filter are done the same as an air filter, they are expected to trap(filter) debris so over time the flow will decrease, usually flow rating is 150% to 200% above actual flow needed at full throttle.
So a 4.0l OHV filter used on a 4.0l SOHC engine wouldn't last as long as it trapped debris(clogged up).
They may also have different fittings, can't speak to that part.
If you open the hood you will see if you have a 4.0l SOHC engine, because it will be right across the top of the engine.
Or look at the 8th number on the VIN plate(windshield), X = OHV, E = SOHC