Hi Folks - Got a '98 Ranger here!
Name's Roy. I'm the original owner of a '98 Ranger XLT w.2.5 L engine and 5 speed manual tranny. Today my odometer crossed 150,000 miles. I seem to remember an oxygen sensor failing during the warrenty period, the turn signal switch around 45K, the shocks were worn out by around 100K (went back with KYB oem shocks). Somewhere along the way the shifter **** loosened up and I had to replace that. Around 6 or 7 years I replaced the battery with an Autozone Duralast Gold and that's still on the job. At 135K I was worried about my wheelbearings and decided to finally do a brake job. Turned out the wheel bearings were fine thanks to much better lubricants today than 30-40 years ago. The front disc brake pads still had half thickness thanks to sane driving/braking habits. I'm on my 4th set of tires and I don't rotate tires My present tires are Uniroyal Liberators from Walmart with a treadwear rating of 440 so I think the front end likes these and doesn't cause cupping like some others I've had with treadwear rating of 400 and/or lower. I think the KYB's help there too.
The belts and hoses are original and seem in much better shape than one used to have a right to expect for half that life, years ago, even with Gates stuff. I'm getting ready to change the plugs and wires, picked up Autolite stuff today. I've seen the gas mileage fall off about 10%, from 25 average to 22.5 in the last few weeks, so I'm sure it's time. I use synthetic oil. I think I have a couple dash lights to replace too. Mine's like everyone elses too with the P/S noise, but it doesn't bother me so I ignore it. Oh, yea, the sliding back window must leak as the rear of the headliner is wet after rain. I suspect that's common too. I still love my Ranger and if I won a lottery, I'd get another one, perhaps 4WD.
My question is:
My Haynes manual doesn't suggest it but my intuition suggests that I'll have to pull the upper and possibly lower part too of the intake manifold to change the plugs and wires on the intake side. Any common wisdom out there on this?
This appears to be a fine resource for the exchange of info so I'll be dropping by frequently.