2003 3.0 5 speed purchase - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 05-29-2017
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2003 3.0 5 speed purchase

looking at this truck, it's the edge package, real clean. has 150K on it and barely any rust, very well taken care of it appears. anything particular to look for on these engines, I've always had the 4 cylinders but this is such a clean truck I figured why not try it. haven't bought it yet, just doin some research on what to look for on these engines as "common issues"...
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Old 05-29-2017
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2004 to 2006 Ranger 3.0l engines did have a TSB for Recess Exhaust valve seat issue

2003 could also, no way to tell until it starts to give you problems
Have to replace both heads if it happens, so not a cheap fix
TSB didn't specify 2003, and it wasn't 100% of the 2004s to 2006s 3.0l Ranger that had the problem either, just some and no way to predict which ones

Other than that the 3.0l Vulcan engines were used from 1986 to 2008, so literally MILLIONS of them are out there still running strong, good reliable engine.

It is a high RPM engine, best torque at 3,500RPM
So if you drive it like a 4cly, best torque at 2,500RPM, then it will feel gutless
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Old 05-30-2017
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any other issues aside from that TSB mentioned above? doin some research is looks like a cam sync part is commonly replaced as it can stop driving the oil pump if it fails? what's up with that? also are timing chains something to be concerned with on these engines?
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Old 05-30-2017
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No, 3.0s are very hardy engines and with a 5 speed, you don't have to worry about having a pos automatic crap out on you.
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Old 05-30-2017
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Yes, the 3.0l Cam Synchronizer should be replaced every 80k miles or so, they will make a high pitch squealing noise if bushing starts to fail, which was the problem

No, never heard of synchronizer "breaking" and oil pump shutting down, yes it does drive the oil pump, same as distributors did on all vehicles that used them, can't even remember that happening with a distributor, I am sure it did just an extreme long shot.

More likely would be road debris punching a hole in oil pan or oil drain plug coming loose, as far as engine damage from loss of oil
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Old 05-30-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Yes, the 3.0l Cam Synchronizer should be replaced every 80k miles or so, they will make a high pitch squealing noise if bushing starts to fail, which was the problem

No, never heard of synchronizer "breaking" and oil pump shutting down, yes it does drive the oil pump, same as distributors did on all vehicles that used them, can't even remember that happening with a distributor, I am sure it did just an extreme long shot.

More likely would be road debris punching a hole in oil pan or oil drain plug coming loose, as far as engine damage from loss of oil
trucks quite as of now when I looked at it yesterday, no squeal or anything; prolly still ok i'd assume then but likely safe to change it as no record of being changed in the 150K the truck has...
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Old 05-30-2017
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They were never 100% failure rate, just a known issue.

Some wait for the noise before changing it, and never have to change it
Some change it as preventative maintenance
Owners choice really
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Old 05-30-2017
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is it really something that should be done unless there's a noise coming from it? or is that the sole purpose for changing it; the bearings failing thus giving it the noise and need for replacement?
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Old 05-30-2017
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In severe cases (sometimes no noise) the worn bushing allows the shaft to wobble where the "tooth" that passes in front of the sensor, comes in contact with it.
It's not that difficult to remove the sensor and inspect the shaft for wear.


Don't let this little problem stop you from buying the truck.
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Bushings, not bearings, soft metal sleeves between shaft and housing.

Funny thing is the whole assembly uses the exact same bushings, shaft and housing as the 3.0l's distributor did(1986 to 1994), and it was NEVER a problem
Even Ford was puzzled by this, and it was never "fixed" as far as I know, or new ones wouldn't wear out.

Could be the heavier upper spinning mass in a distributor made shaft more stable, less ability to wobble and wear out a bushing, but just a theory

Yes, owners choice.
If it worries you then change it, not that expensive or hard to do
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Old 05-31-2017
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bought the truck; wanna take care of the cam sync and sensor right away as PM. what's a good brand to buy from rock auto?
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Old 05-31-2017
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When it comes to the synchronizer itself, get the Ford Motorcraft one.
Other after market brands only seem to last about a year.

Inspect your old one, take the sensor off (leave it connected, it's kind of difficult to unplug when it's still bolted to the synchronizer)

If there is no play (a little is normal) then leave it alone.
Mine is good shape, someone replaced it some time ago, but I don't know when.
I squirt some Tri-flow in there depending on how much I drive the truck.

I use a long (1 Foot) 3/8 extension with a 1/4 inch adapter and a UV joint with a small 1/4 socket to get at it.
Once you get the knack down, it's pretty easy to remove the sensor.

The screen shot shows the metal DPFE sensor, yours is a 2003, so it might not be the same as my 1999, but probably is.
If you still have the metal one, then consider replacing it with the solid state plastic one.
Attached Thumbnails
2003 3.0 5 speed purchase-dpfe.jpg  

Last edited by Jeff R 1; 05-31-2017 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff R 1 View Post
When it comes to the synchronizer itself, get the Ford Motorcraft one.
Other after market brands only seem to last about a year.

Inspect your old one, take the sensor off (leave it connected, it's kind of difficult to unplug when it's still bolted to the synchronizer)

If there is no play (a little is normal) then leave it alone.
Mine is good shape, someone replaced it some time ago, but I don't know when.
I squirt some Tri-flow in there depending on how much I drive the truck.

I use a long (1 Foot) 3/8 extension with a 1/4 inch adapter and a UV joint with a small 1/4 socket to get at it.
Once you get the knack down, it's pretty easy to remove the sensor.

The screen shot shows the metal DPFE sensor, yours is a 2003, so it might not be the same as my 1999, but probably is.
If you still have the metal one, then consider replacing it with the solid state plastic one.
what's the dpfe sensor you mentioned, is that what's in the pic? also for the cam syncro; how does that come out? I need a full 1" extension to remove it from the block?
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Old 06-01-2017
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Yes, that's what is in the photo, when they go wrong, you will get a code for it, it's for the proper function of the EGR system.
If you don't get a CEL for it, don't worry about it now, but when it does happen, it's an easy fix.
The metal ones internally corrode with water and exhaust gasses and eventually the circuit board inside is subjected to the moisture and it fails, that's why the new one are plastic.
It's located just forward of the top intake manifold by the main air intake valve. There are two rubber lines running out of it that go into the EGR chimney that connects to the exhaust on the left manifold.

You need a 1 Foot extension to get the synchronizer out, not one inch.

And like I said, you may not need to replace the synchroniser if it's OK.
Remove the sensor on the top of it and inspect it for wear like I said earlier.
You will need the long extension to remove the tiny bolts that hold the sensor on.
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