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

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Old 11-04-2010
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Pinging Vulcan Engine? Check this out.

Hello everyone. This is my first post here however I lurked through this forum quite extensively about a year ago when trying to solve this pinging issue.

We have a 2002 Ford Ranger XLT, 3.0L Automatic. For the past several years, it has pinged, constantly and consistently, every mile of every trip, ever.

If you put premium gas in it it would be better, but even that wouldn't eliminate the ping.

I did so much work to attempt to fix the problem. Cleaned, then replaced the MAF, tried the "hot water bypass" mod, which I found on the 2002 does nothing really, because the hot water line only wraps around the EGR, seafoamed (which helped for like, ten minutes) and then seafoamed again (with no change), replaced plugs and wires... really everything I could think of that could be related, O2 sensor, air temp sensor, plugs and wires, of course... all of that I replaced. Nothing helped, at all.

At that time I found somewhere that the apparent problem was a poor design in the heads of the truck, and that sharp edges allowed carbon buildup to occur. The solution was to pull the heads, chamfer them, and reinstall. I never did that of course.

The other solution someone proposed was a water injection system, to keep the combustion chamber free of carbon buildup. That also sounded like a way-too-complicated system.

Fast forward to a few days ago, when I took the truck in for the well-known valve body gasket problem. I have had the new separator plate since April and I never put the damn thing in, and finally decided to just bite the shop fee so it would be done.

$400 later, no transmission problems. But what I also noticed before I got out of the parking lot was that the truck wasn't pinging.

And then it still wasn't pinging.

And then it didn't ping some more. I thought it was just happy, since it just came from the Ford Motor Spa, but I started investigating the service ticket.

They had applied a PCM update. That's what fixed the pinging. After all my hours of component swapping they fixed it in five minutes with a handheld terminal without me even mentioning the issue.

So, if you're in the ODB-II year range and have a pinging 3.0L or 4.0L, (the issue exists with both), take it in and have the PCM updated before you replace every damn sensor on the truck.
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Old 11-04-2010
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....no isht.. heh

guess you really do learn something everyday.

Techinically - the upgrade should be for free.. at the VW dealer i was a tech at - we did upgrades without ever informing the customer - free of charge. even if it came in for an oil change.
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Old 11-04-2010
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Also - what symptoms was your truck having with the bad valve body?

My ranger has lost 2 gears...literally - over night.
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Old 11-04-2010
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The dealership did not charge for the PCM update. The cost was all due to the valve body gasket replacement.

I had lost the engine braking in first gear about 3 years ago, which I determined while pulling a trailer. That's when I Googled and found out about the problem and I've been keeping an eye on it ever since. Back in April I bought the part and planned to do the work, but I move slowly and second gear recently became problematic which is what prompted me to take it in. I'm very happy to have paid the $400 and not have had to pull that pan and valve body though, and even happier that the biggest annoyance I had with the truck (ping ping) is gone.

If you have no engine braking in manual first, you have the problem. That's the most definitive symptom. Second and third gears are also affected, so if those are what you lost, heh, that could be what's wrong. Other than engine braking in first, and the lack of second/third gear, there are no other listed symptoms in the TSB.
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Old 11-05-2010
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I do have engine breaking in 1st and 2nd. Not a lot - but its noticable.
i wish there was some way to scan the codes on the flashing o/d light without going to a transmission shop
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Old 11-05-2010
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What month/year was the truck made? The valve body problem only affects vehicles made before January of 2002 when they went to a bonded separator plate gasket.

I doubt you have the problem if you have 1st gear braking. I think the transmission is electronically controlled so you might check the electrical connector for the presence of corrosion or water damage. On some vehicles I've worked on it's bolted into place with a 10mm bolt or something like that.

Otherwise an input or output speed sensor may have failed. That would be an inexpensive fix.

Does the truck just skip the gears that aren't there, and what gears are missing?
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Old 11-05-2010
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This is what happend...thread i started the day this situation began - read my first post for everything about the issue


https://www.ranger-forums.com/f32/wh...ission-107865/

my truck is a 2004 with 3.0 engine
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Old 11-05-2010
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It sounds like either the electrical connector going to the transmission is damaged or has water in it, or a solenoid pack decided to leave you. Get it fixed. If the clutches are allowed to slip you'll be damaging the transmission.

I'm not sure how the transmission works because I haven't worked on any of these before, but It could be a 3 speed automatic with an internal overdrive unit, which would actually give a six speed transmission but if two of the gears are very close together they would just make it a five speed. If that's the case it may be that the transmission is fine but the overdrive wizardry isn't working. Check the electrical connections.


Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2010
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ok - i will check for connections.

the transmission always slipped a little bit - but one day i floored it and it just wouldnt move... i put some lucas in it - voila...drove just fine but a bit screwed up

its a 5 spd
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