'99 2.5l makes 117HP and 149ft/lb torque, so not a power house in a 3,300LBS truck
But you may just have MPG gearing although that would be a surprise in a 4x4
On the drivers door jamb there is a sticker/label, it will have an AXLE code.
Have a look here: Ford 7.5 & 8.8 Inch Axle Tag & Door Codes
3.73 is the most popular ratio
3.45 gives better MPG at highway speeds, but less low end power
4.10 give better acceleration, but lower MPG at highway speed
But then there is this, how tall are the tires?
16" with a lift doesn't make sense
Stock tires on '99 Ranger 4x4 were 235/75R15 diameter would be 29"
If truck was lifted it may now have 32"
And say a 3.73 axle ratio
The 32" tires makes the actual axle ratio 3.38 now, so less acceleration
If you change both front and rear axle ratios to 4.10 the larger tires would make actual ratio 3.73 so back to stock, and speed would read correct, lol.
Whooshing noise could be that someone modified the air filter system.
Could be the torque converter is not locking up like it should, so engine is racing but power isn't going to wheels.