1999 4x4 xlt, sell vs fix - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech General discussion of 4.0L OHV and SOHC V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 08-31-2016
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Icon5 1999 4x4 xlt, sell vs fix

Hello everyone! I normally wouldn't post a question like this but I'm at a crossroads with my ranger and I need all the advice I can get. The ranger forums have always helped to figure out how to pin point what my truck needs and I am grateful for it. (Sorry for the novel but it's been a rough year.)

I've had my 1999 ranger xlt 4x4 since 2003. At the time she had 90,000 miles. Now she has close to 220,000. I've never neglected her when she's needed anything done. Routine oil changes, tune ups, etc. Since I've had her I've replaced many parts (which is to be expected) as needed.

Now, about 8 months ago she began to have some power issues. She had a rough idle, start up problems and bad gas mileage. So began the process of elimination starting with a new MAF sensor. She was ok but then the engine light came on. I checked with my OBII and said the 3rd and 6th plug were misfiring. Switched all 6 and the cables since they were original and didn't want to have to do it again later. Then on a long drive she over heated. Replaced radiator, hoses, thermostat, etc.

Weeks passed and again, check engine light. So I swapped the ignition coil. Everything seemed to be ok but then she started over heating again. FML, I thought. There would be nothing in the radiator. Filled it up, few weeks later, overheated. Checked the OBII but nothing came up. Then she didn't start. Engine would crank but not turn over to start. Looked it up and crossed my fingers when I replaced the coolant temp sensor. Nothing.

So, I bit my tongue and called a mechanic. He looked it over while I told him everything I did and he made a face (which made me cringe internally). He said everything I did was right but not helping what he believed to be the problem. He uncapped the radiator and attempted to start the truck. I took a few cranks but she started. He said the pressure was building up cause of the over heating. The head gaskets needed to be replaced. That's why the exhaust shoots out the white smoke and sweet smell even if there was no contamination in the radiator fluid or the engine oil.

Now for the million dollar question. Should I fix or sell? I feel I've reached the point where I just want to be done with her but then I want to slap myself for even thinking of letting her go. Not many people get it. They tell me it's just a car (and I've had my share of lemons and didn't blink twice when I junked them) makes me even more angry at them and myself for thinking of letting her go. It's not a car, she's my truck. At the same time, if I invest in getting her fixed, what else could go wrong? I thought about it before when she broke down but she gave me 6 more years. I always new the head gasket would be the crossroad for me. This isn't the kind of thing I can do myself like a lot of the other things. Now I don't know what to do. Advice? Please?
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Old 08-31-2016
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Welcome to the forum


Well doing the head gaskets is a 3 day job assuming machine shop gets the old heads cleaned and surfaced in 2 days, lol.

4.0l OHV engine is fairly easy to do but does take time

To actually remove the heads with hand tools takes about 3 hours.

Reinstalling 5 hours, so full 8 hour day

The 4.0l OHV did crack heads, weak spot in casting, so if overheated just one time from coolant leak you usually end up with a cracked head, same symptom as blown head gasket.
This isn't a "which came first the chicken or the egg" the overheating always came first then the head cracked, head just doesn't crack one day, has to be overheated to crack.

New heads run $400/set, if one is cracked get 2.

So for a shop to do the job with new heads, bolts and gaskets, you should be about $1,400-$1,600, less, of course, if heads are OK.
No, there is no way to tell if head is crack or head gasket is bad until head is off.

Look up what 1999 Rangers like yours, 220k miles, are selling for in your area.

Is the $1,600 cost worth it, or would that money be better spent towards another vehicle.
220k miles is not that bad for a Ranger, but it is 17 years old and used daily so things will break, no crystal ball here.

Your 1999 Ranger is worth money to a mechanic, he can fix it for $400-$600 plus his time.
So you can get money out of it, sell it as "mechanics special blown head gasket", you will get lots of calls.
And no, don't knock the price down $1,500, just list it $500 below average running Ranger price in your area, let buyer/mechanic beat you up another $500 but hold there
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Old 09-01-2016
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I wouldn't give up on your Ranger, but I would give up on the engine under the hood.

My advice, by a cheap runabout like an escort for a daily driver or something else but keep your Ranger. Something you can run minimalist insurance on that you don't really care about too much.

I would turn your Ranger into a project vehicle. swap it for a better engine, like a 4.0 sohc or 5.0 from an expo. SAS it, etc.

Or, option B. Buy another Ranger and kill the insurance on the one you have now, but don't sell it. You could use the good parts on your second Ranger and save some dollars.


At the end of the day, an OHV (in my opinion) isn't worth fixing for the cost it would take. For that price, you can likely get a junker explorer with a good engine and tranny inside it to then put into your current Ranger, esspecially when you consider what kind of use it has on it.
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Old 09-01-2016
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I priced the truck 3500 in my area but that was in working condition. I know it would be easy to sell. I get approached by mechanics and gardeners all the time to sell. I'm not really worried if I decide to take that road. Unfortunately I live in a condo and can't work on it in the car port. One mechanic quoted me 1600 and another 800. The difference in price is one owns a huge shop and the other works from home and only has one guy helping him. He's also a friend of the family and knocked down the price if I come over and help him so he doesn't have to pay his guy. That means taking time off of work. Either way it will cost me. I did think about just Using my boyfriends truck (also a ranger) since he works from home while I fix the truck at my moms but she didn't seem to happy about giving up her garage for an undisclosed amount of time and leaving her explorer (we are a ford family) on the street.

I'll have to start looking into getting a new engine also and discuss that option with the mechanic. I know we won't know what condition it will be in until it's taken apart. I always like to over look what mechanics do cause they seem to believe I don't know what I'm looking at since I'm a chick. Little do they know my dad had his own shop and car dealer and I would spend my summers there helping out. Wish he hadn't retired.
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Old 09-01-2016
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Know exactly what you mean, there. A local firestone store tried to rip my mother off all day. Kept her car for most of the day, did a crap job which we had to then bring back for them to fix, straight up lied on more than one occasion, etc.

It's amazing what people think they can get away with. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 09-01-2016
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Another thing to consider here is how hot it got and how long it was driven while it was running too hot.
Damage to the main and connecting rod bearings ???
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Old 09-05-2016
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have the engine fully rebuilt .

1 thing you have not considered is the cost of a newer used or even brand new vehicle

$1,600.00 is a damn good deal to remove / rebuild and re-install your engine

you might want to also consider rebuilding your transmission and transfer case all in 1 shot

there is a performance camshaft made for the 4.0 OHV engine

and there are programmers out there that have the 4.0 economy tunes available
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Old 09-30-2016
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Quick update. I had the truck worked on. I decided it would be better to have her for a longer period of time since I don't like anything out right now and can't justify paying for something I don't want. Thank goodness for friends and family! A cousin who owns a used car dealership suggested I take my truck to his mechanic. He looked over the truck and said $800 if the heads were not craked but unfortunately they were. I had to get new ones and everything ended up costing $1100. He even fixed my AC and lock actuators. Now the truck works perfect! I hope this will give me a few more years with the truck and I won't need anything else to major since everything else is new. Thanks again to everyone for the advice and suggestions. It helped on making this decision. Now all I need is some new tires and I'm all set.
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Old 09-30-2016
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If you want it to last, the most important thing is to change your fluids when it's time _ oil and anti- freeze, oil being the most important.

Don't perpetually do short city runs, and not let it get fully warmed up, more then 90% of engine wear occurs on cold start up.
Don't let it sit there and idle waiting for it to warm up, people do that all the time and it's the worst thing you can do.

Fire it up, give it 5 or 10 seconds for the oil to reach the top if the engine and drive it right away, but gently until it reaches operating temperature.

Long highway runs is better the short little ones.
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Old 09-30-2016
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^ This. In cold weather, around freezing or so, give it no more than 30 seconds and you're good to go.

In that type of winter weather, something I like to do is start the engine and then brush off the glass and all that while the engine warms up a bit.
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Old 10-01-2016
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UM guys , he resides in los angles california

they do not see snow or cold temperatures there
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Old 10-01-2016
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Yeah, he's in California, but even in a warm climate, that's still cold for an engine that runs it's best at around 190 degrees.
Or any engine for that matter.
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Old 10-01-2016
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true! but that states temperature , the oil is very free flowing , so engine warm up time would / will be very short.
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Old 10-01-2016
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For sure, but it's still bad to leave the car sit there and idle from a cold engine start-up, even in a warm climate.
If I know I'm going to drive our diesel truck for deliveries the next day, I plug the block heater in, even on the warmest days.
But that's a diesel too, so it's very susceptible to cylinder/piston wear.
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Old 10-01-2016
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ah! yes diesels ,

i been reading up on a lot of isuzu 4BD1 / 4BD2 and 4BG1 diesel engine conversions into various kinds of trucks
heck , some man installed a 2 cylinder diesel engine into a 1992 ford festiva 100+ MPG
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Old 10-02-2016
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I am very religious about changing the fluids and keeping everything in check. I think the problem started when the radiator went out. It wasn't neglect on my part, just old and worn out. After, I don't think it really mattered I had that replaced because of the cracks. Everything else I did just delayed the inevitable.

As far as the cold starts, it never gets cold here. We haven't seen real rain in almost 3 years. I usually just wait long enough to plug in my phone, find some tunes and get my gate key out. On colder mornings perhaps longer but it hasn't gone below 60 here, as far as I can remember, iat 6am for over a year.

The truck is mostly local driving. I live and work in a 3 mile radius. She's driven fine but I put her in a test the other night driving her 100 random miles in the city and freeway. (Oh how I missed her!) She ran smoothly. Kept an eye on the temp and listened for any weird sounds or smells but nothing happened. I'm beyond thrilled. I can't wait to take her to the desert on the next camping trip.
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Old 10-02-2016
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If I lived with in a 3 mile radius of work/home, I would ride my bike and run that, not that I'm implying you should, but for me that's very short.
Even more so in California, perfect dry sunny weather for cycling !

Have fun camping !
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Old 10-02-2016
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i am starting to see quite a lot of people rebuilding their present vehicles

rebuilding your present vehicle makes a lot more economic sense in the long run,

there is someone who can legally install the kubota 2203 diesel engines in vehicles in california

just a question though ?? why am i hearing some people call california , the peoples republic of kalifornia , another country
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Old 10-03-2016
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I have a bike and jog 3 miles a day but I own a hair salon and have to dress in proper attire. Showing up in sweat drenched clothes is not a good way to greet clients and expect them to fork out cash to you.
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Old 10-03-2016
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Yeah, I suppose. Although that may turn some peoples crank !
But still, cycling that short of a distance you shouldn't get sweaty _ if it's up hill maybe.

I used to cycle to work a couple of times a week (24 miles in and back), but they ruined the shoulder on the highway so I don't anymore.
There was the odd time when I had to watch the floor, so I had a change of clothes ready _ gave my self a quick wash and I was ready to go, but to each his own.
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Old 10-03-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff R 1 View Post
Yeah, I suppose. Although that may turn some peoples crank !
WHOA!!! jeff easy boy
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Old 10-03-2016
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Lol! I've heard that also. Makes me want to move out of state. It's a bunch of those millennials wanting something for nothing thinking if they bitch enough they will be given a job because they need it even if they don't have skill or experience. Then they won't have to work but still get a paycheck. They want a "republic state model" (aka, communist) to over see jobs and income. Then there is a more even distribution of wealth based on need rather then ability. Not saying all millennials are like that but a good majority are.
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Old 10-03-2016
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All in good fun.
I just like to kid around a bit.
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Old 10-03-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff R 1 View Post
Yeah, I suppose. Although that may turn some peoples crank !
But still, cycling that short of a distance you shouldn't get sweaty _ if it's up hill maybe.

I used to cycle to work a couple of times a week (24 miles in and back), but they ruined the shoulder on the highway so I don't anymore.
There was the odd time when I had to watch the floor, so I had a change of clothes ready _ gave my self a quick wash and I was ready to go, but to each his own.
I've been told it does turn some peoples crank. But still don't want to be stinking up the place.

It's also a bit dangerous around here. On my last run I was almost hit by 2 cars, twisted my ankle in a concealed side walk hole and chased by a dog. I try to just stick witht the park but people never pick up the dog crap.
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