Welcome to the forum.
With the limited info I would say you have a bad lifter, bad injector or bad spark.
1997 Ranger 4.0l is an OHV, has over head valves
This means the Cam is in the center of the block and has lifters for each valve sitting on it's lobes, 6 cylinder engine would have 12 lifters/valves, 2 per cylinder .
These are hydraulic lifters, they have an internal valve and spring, they compress to absorb sudden push up from Cam lobe, they use oil pressure to do this, the valve allows oil in easily but it can only go out slowly, smaller hole OUT.
A push rod sits on top of each lifter and it's other end presses against a Rocker Arm above the head.
The Rocker "rocks" on a center fulcrum and that "rocking" pushes down on the valve stem which open the intake or exhaust valve for that cylinder.
Rocker arm is tighten down to push hydraulic lifter down about 1/4 of its compression travel.
If a lifter valve or spring fails it is called a collapsed lifter, because it is no longer pressed tight against the Rocker arm, so will make a "ticking" noise because there is a gap now.
And the valve in the cylinder it controls will not be opening all the way, because of the gap, and full compression of the lifter which doesn't usually happen because of the oil pressure, so could cause a misfire.
Ford Fuel injectors do tick pretty loud sometimes, but it can also be a sign it is failing.
And obviously if fuel injector fails on a cylinder then that cylinder would misfire.
I would get a long smaller hose, like a vacuum hose, and use it as a stethoscope.
With engine idling put one end next to your ear and place the other end on each injector.
Also listen at different place on the valve covers for a lifter tick.
A bad spark plug wire or Coil Pack can ARC the spark meant for a cylinder to closest metal part on the engine, this arcing can sound like a tick noise, and of course no spark at the cylinder would cause a misfire.
Look at engine bay in the dark with engine idling, spark arc is very easy to see, it is bright
And there is a chance that the tick and misfire are not related at all.
Last edited by RonD; 1 Week Ago at 01:18 PM.