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Old 08-27-2016
mzg mzg is offline
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99 Ford ranger new owner and new problems.

Hey yall. I recently have purchased a 99 ford ranger with the 3.0 engine. I have been searching forums for answers and help on a few things that I need fixed on it. I like driving the truck it is great compact truck that will get a lot of work done and has a lot of potential. For it being a Texas truck and a 99 rust is almost non existent however the paint has some issues here and there. Anyways back to my problem, I have been experiencing difficult starting after the trucks been sitting overnight, So I have done the following to try and correct the issues. 1) Tune up, replaced spark plugs, wires, also a DPFE sensor and fuel filter I still have to replace the PCV unit. The truck does start better however it still idles rough and shakes the truck a bit, its not smooth like I think it should be. Along with those fixes I have also bought new tires for it new upper and lower ball joints new brake pads new belt, new idler pulley new shocks as you can see its been a money pit and I have 118k on it. Anyway any help would be greatly appreciated. I would love for it to work smooth as butter and not have any issue starting it. I did have some codes show up which were P0306, P1401 and P0305. So far they have been fixed but time will tell after the computer does its thing. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. If you can please give me some advice on it. btw this is my first ford. :P
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Old 08-27-2016
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Do yourself a favor and pull off both battery terminals, then turn the headlight switch on. Leave it for about 30 minutes. Turn the headlights off and put the terminals back on.

This effectively clears the codes and any learned driving cycles, along with any adjustments it's had to make to compensate for worn parts. All the codes will be cleared, and only the actual codes being thrown will come back.

P0306: Cylinder 6 Misfire
P1401: DPFE circuit high
P0305: Cylinder 5 Misfire

I recommend, while you wait, to clean the connections for the plugs and wires as well as the battery's connections. For the plug wires, pack the ends with dielectric grease. this will help to prevent future corrosion. Also ensure the coil pack plug is seated all the way, possibly giving it a cleaning as well.

I've almost got 118k on mine and it's still running nice, but it's not perfectly smooth. I think new wires would do me some good, too. I'm assuming you've bought motorcraft plugs and wires. If not, replace what you have with motorcraft. These engines, and others in ford products, work best with motorcraft. everything else is junk for these engines. I personally have motorcraft platinum plugs.

Make sure the air filter is clean, or just flat out buy a new one. Cleaning the MAF sensor (Only use MAF cleaner!!! Anything else [carb cleaner, brake clean] will damage the maf) are very likely to improve your idle.

Congrats on the purchase btw. If you take care of it, it will last you a looooong time. If you haven't already, take a look at the automatic transmission fluid, assuming yours isn't a stick.

Of course, some nice fresh engine oil will also let it run smoother. Any 5w30 oil will work, although I prefer Pennzoil with a bosche filter. Mobil1 is a very popular choice for the Ranger as well. It's all preference though, really when it comes down to a daily driver.

Something else you can try, is the spray-able seafoam cleaner. It comes with a red straw to slip before the throttle body. Clean the throttle body beforehand then install the straw. This stuff is awesome. Made mine purr like a kitten in short order. Of course, a fuel additive (seafoam, again) will also help improve your idle quality. Although, mine did sit for a while before I got it, but these methods are still worth trying. Heck, I'd do 'em once every couple of years, but that's just me.

Give these a try and see what you get. Best of luck!
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Old 08-28-2016
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Hard starting in the morning may indicate that the check valves in the pump are not holding pressure.
Hard running after it does starts also may indicate the pump can't get up to pressure because it's worn out.

On cold start after it sits over night, cycle the key off and on (where your dash lights come on) 4 times and on the 5th time see if it starts right away.
Cycling the key off and on runs the pump a few seconds and builds fuel pressure up each time.
The check valves are meant to hold pressre for a number months _ it sounds like there is no fuel pressure at the injectors after it sits.

Also what ArcticWolf said, change the air filter and clean the MAF sensor _ very important.

There are also 2 other sensors that the connections may need cleaning that can affect cold starting. I don't know what they are called, but I will tell you where they are.
Find the MAF sensor, follow along till you come to the PCV line from the oil filler cap area on the main air intake hose.
Next to that there is a cold air intake sensor with two wires coming out of it _ clean that connection.

The other sensor is very close the thermostat housing on the lower intake manifold, it also has two wires coming out of it, that sensor tells the computer how hot/cold the coolant is.
Clean that connection as well.

Last edited by Jeff R 1; 08-28-2016 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 08-28-2016
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ok guys update. I did everything on it that ARTIC recommended. Changed out air filter it was slightly dirty but got a new one, cleaned the MAF sensor, and throttle body it was a bit dirty, and I got a new battery for it along with an oil change. 5w30 PEN. It runs better now but still shakes the truck when Idling. So maybe it is fuel pressure related next will be fuel pressure check and we will go from there. Btw I replaced my ball joins upper and lower few days ago and when I push the top of the drivers side or pass side wheel either one I push has a clunk to it, what could it be? I don't get it. The ball joins were bad but have been replaced and I still have Clunking when I push/ pull on the wheel side to side and when I stop and get going again theres a slight clunk. Thanks guys.
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Old 08-28-2016
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Could be your tierods. Raise the vehicle and check around for play. see if you can find something moving.
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Old 08-28-2016
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Just tried that, so after I took the wheel off I grabbed the lug nut bolts and pushed up and down on them I felt slight play in it I think it may be my wheel bearings gone bad?
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Old 08-28-2016
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unlikely. there's other parts connected to the knuckle assembly. look for those moving parts while the wheel is being shaken.
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Old 08-28-2016
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okay, ill try that sometime this week when i have a buddy with me to help with that. Does anyone know if the rangers have open diff or LSD diff? just wondering i was driving on a dirt road today and it seems like both wheels spin when I give it gas.
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Old 08-28-2016
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They have come with both. Look on the door jamb sticker on the driver's side and look up your axel code. That will tell you what you have. You can also look on the tag on the diff itself, which also tells you.

3 73 means it's an open 3:73.
4 10 means it's an open 4:10

3L73 means it's a limited slip 3:73
4L10 means it's a limited slip 4:10, so on and so forth.
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Old 08-29-2016
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Ok, mine says 9F18 if I read that correctly. So idle issues has been slightly resolved, I think it is starting better and running much smoother after everything thats been done to it. I also think that buying better fuel has helped it a lot i bought the mid grade and I honestly think that has helped .
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Old 08-29-2016
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Ford 7.5 & 8.8 Inch Axle Tag & Door Codes

^ check that out. I don't think you read the right codes. There's no such thing as a 9:18 axel, at least on the Ranger.
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Old 08-29-2016
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Thanks, I checked that link out and from what I can tell I have an open diff since my code is 86 :( wah
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2016
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Feel your pain. Code 87 for me, and one wheel wonder in the snow.
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Old 08-29-2016
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yea, that's how mine will be a one wheel wonder in the winter lol with lots of sand bags in the back. Hey how much did you get your headlights for are they HID or stock?
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Old 08-29-2016
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I'm running Nighthawk Platinum 9007 (halogen) bulbs from amazon. Bought 'em for 12 bucks and I love 'em. Definitely the best bulb I have ever used hands down. Although I do want to try a quality set of HIDs someday. Maybe after these burn out.

Here's a link. I see they've raised their price on 'em a bit, but that's still worth it in my opinion. I'd take a pic, but any camera I have wouldn't do them any justice. I have a nice clean cutoff line and nice white light.
https://www.amazon.com/GE-9007NHP-BP.../dp/B002UX7I9G

Of course, it's vital that they're adjusted properly, too. Chrisfix has a video on how to do this if you feel yours may be out of alignment.

Here's the lenses I have if you're interested in those, too.

1998-2000 Ford Ranger LED Black Headlight w/ Corner Signal+Dark Smoke Tail Light

There's one difference between mine and the ones I've linked. Mine do not have the driving light module inside the lens. Looking back maybe I should have gone with those, but I'm happy. I run my parklights anyway during the day. With some searching you can probably find the ones without the DRLs inside if you don't want them.
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Old 08-31-2016
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got ya, I will check those lights out, thanks. So I had some brake issues yesterday and finally got it somewhat fixed today, they weren't very grippy lol. And I cant figure out the starting issue, I think I may need a new fuel pump, It would not start today on its own, I had to pulsate the gas pedal to get it to start then it ran rough for a few seconds and smoothed out. I guess this weekend I will check my fuel pressure and go from there. Also I can't figure out where I have a front driver side sequel coming from when I go over bumps it squeels so annoying I don't know what it is ;(
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Old 08-31-2016
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And I think i may need front wheels bearing hubs can anyone help me find some for a good price, I would like to replace both drivers side and pass side.
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Old 08-31-2016
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Every so often, it's a good idea to find a nice, straight, empty road or parking lot (say twice or three times per year) and while in reverse, pump the brakes at....10 - 15 MPH.
This allows the self-adjusters to, well, adjust.

Pumping the throttle doesn't control the fuel at all on a fuel injected engine. In fact it's more like an 'air' pedal, only controlling how far open the throttle body is. Unless maybe the throttle body is just so gummed up that allowing the throttle to be open further will give the engine enough air to start, it sounds like perhaps the Throttle Position Sensor may be defective. I'm unsure of how to test it, but googling 'test ford TPS' should give you some useful information.

If, after testing, it comes back faulty, that may be your fix. If you do buy a new fuel pump, assuming that's your culprit, do NOT buy a third-party fuel pump. Dorman, duralast, valucraft, doesn't matter. Motorcraft only, unless you feel like replacing the pump as your new day job. Third party fuel pumps are known for (at least in the Ranger's case) for not being something to rely on. On the other hand, motorcraft fuel pumps are something you can trust to work time and time again.

As for the squealing, jack the vehicle up and shake the wheel back and forth at the 12 and 6 positions as well as 9 and 3. There shouldn't be any play at all.

Afterwards, take the wheel off and inspect your brake components for wear. Take it all apart (caliper, pads, caliper bracket) and give all but the rotor and caliper a thorough wire-brushing to remove dirt. Put it back together and see what you get. Brakeclean is a good idea here.

The squealing indicates that something is moving against something else that's stationary. If this were a steady squeal, something like the camshaft synchronizer or the serpentine belt would be where you'd want to look.

Given this happens during bumps and all that, tells me that something is loose. There isn't much up front moving that can create such a sound. If it were the engine itself making such a noise (internally), then you would be experiencing something.... a lot more tragic, shall we say.

That leaves the front axels and the braking assembly. Although not impossible, it's highly unlikely that there's something wrong with your front axel assembly. Since you're a 2wd that leaves even less components to inspect.
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Old 09-02-2016
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Ok, so for brakes I adjusted them on the star wheels from underneath the truck, seems to work great now but eventually I will need to replace the brake shoes.

This weekend I will test the fuel pressure and compression to see if it holds, then I will report back to you here :P

I will also try to test the TPS if i buy a fluke meter if not ill do other tests for now.

ok so the front end noise, well there is play in those positions you mentioned above so I do need new wheels bearings:(

Thanks for the help man. I will try to figure out the squeaking this weekend also, but it happens when i brake hard and the front end dips down then comes back up on the way up is when I hear a sqeek, I replaced all 4 shocks and new brakes have been installed I will go and check to make sure everything is tight again.
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Old 09-02-2016
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Alright, good luck!
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Old 09-02-2016
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alright man, so I just replaced the inner and outer wheels bearings and they have substantially reduced clunking noise while coming to a stop but I still have play very little play at 12-6 position, no play at 9-3 at all anymore. I can't seem to figure out what the clunk/ thud sound is when I come to a stop, I have replaced almost everything on the front end except tie rod ends and axles I believe. I will try to get to the throttle position sensor tomorrow.
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Old 09-02-2016
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One thing it could be is either the driveshaft or transmission making the noise. Raise the rear end and make sure it is on jack stands. Do NOT attempt this without jackstands. We want the rear wheels off the ground with the parking brake released.

Chalk up the front wheels on both sides with bricks or wood. You can kick the chalks against the tire for added security. The front wheels spin freely on a 2wd (or 4x4 if front wheels are not connected/locked). The vehicle can roll if the wheels aren't blocked.

Also, make sure there's nothing around the truck when you do this. This is VERY dangerous, and neither I nor Ranger forums assume any responsibility for what could happen if something went wrong.

Legal disclaimer out of the way, start the engine and shift into drive. Do not allow the wheels to spin faster than 35 MPH. Any faster and it's possible the vehicle could begin to shake and then could therefor come off the jack-stands. See if you hear any noises when the vehicle 'stops'. If you do, then this would indicate no front suspension parts are involved with the noise, only drive-train parts.

I wouldn't worry too much about the play at 12 and 6. There can be a little bit. It's when there's a ton of it that there's a problem. Although ideally, there shouldn't be any at all. However nothing is perfect.
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Old 09-02-2016
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Thanks bro, you've been great help!

I will try that idea tomorrow and report back.

One thing I did today was I grabbed the steering wheels shaft and pulled/pushed it for play it does have some play in it I wonder if that is what is making the noise or if its maybe control arm bushings? Anyway I will check more things tomorrow and Tighten anything that isn't tight enough.

Yes the 12-6 position does have play in it however it is very little, any idea why that could be if I just installed new wheel bearings?
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Old 09-02-2016
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The steering shaft goes down and connects to the steering rack. It only moves left and right for turning. If anything on that system would 'clunk' it would be the rack itself. However it would only do so during turns. Braking shouldn't have anything to do with the rack.

I don't know off hand what could be causing the play, but I would inspect the control arms themselves for wear. With a good light source, see if they're moving around any when the wheel is shaken.

You're very welcome, I'm happy to help.

I'd have to look, but it could also be a ball joint causing the issue. I'm no suspension expert, though. If you have a little extra cash, I'd recommend replacing the swaybar endlinks an the bushings for the baritself. Cheap to do and the ride improves dramatically. I bought moog brand bushings and all that and I love 'em. Although, word of caution, the end links may prove difficult. I recommend having a propane torch and a hammer plus a saw handy. Those end links can rust and seize. Forget penetrating oil if this is the case. Brute force and heat are what you want, although don't damage anything else in the process. If you can cut them in half to start with that will save you some time.
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Old 09-02-2016
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ok, so then its not the shaft I suppose.

Control arms I've checked and they seem to be in good shape, only thing I can think of is possibly control arm bushings upper and lower.

Ball joints I have replaced upper and lower so that's out of the question.

Sway bar bushings look good, however I will check them again tomorrow.

They should't be hard to fix its a texas truck lol little to no rust here its been piece of cake working on everything so far.

I honestly don't know what else to check for anymore on the knock/thud sound. I will do more checking tomorrow. I will check the tie rod ends and inner's to see if that could be it. If not then I will take a video and post a link to it for you to diagnose possibly.

Thanks again for your help.
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