What do I look for? - 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.

What do I look for?

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Old 10-29-2018
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Location: Boise, ID
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What do I look for?

Hi everyone. I'm an F150 owner but I'm looking to buy a little ranger for my son. I know all the in and outs of the 5.4 but Rangers are new to me. I'm looking at a 97 STX 4x4 extended cab with 92k miles and an automatic transmission. It has the 4.0 engine. Looks like it's been taken care of from the pics. Couple of dings that you would expect from a 20 year old vehicle but the interior and paint seem to be in good shape. Nicer than anything I drove when I was a kid. Are there any tell tell things that I need to look for? Engine noises? Any known issues with these trucks? The ad says 3700 OBO. Rangers seem to hold their value very well up here. Thanks in advance. I'll let you guys know what I find.
 
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Old 10-30-2018
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Rangers used the 4.0l OHV engine from 1990 to 2000 it was a very reliable engine
Lower intake manifold bolts were only 14ft/lb torque so could loosen up, causing an air leak, use lock-tite on threads if they get loose or on reassembly
The 4.0l OHV head casting has a thin spot between valve seats, if engine is overheated then expanding metal can crack there causing a cylinder leak into cooling system, so do NOT overheat the engine, pull over, let it cool down, do not try to "make it home", it will save you hundreds of dollars

1997 was last year of 2nd generation Rangers, 3rd gen was 1998 to 2012
Fuel system runs at 30psi, 3rd gen went to 60psi

You will have a 4R55E 4-speed automatic
Rangers used the same automatic trans from 1985 to 2012
A4LD was used 1985 to 1994 these just had 2 solenoids, lockup and OD
Ford added full solenoid pack in 1995 and renamed trans to 4R55E(44E)
Then in 1998 Ford change computer software to get a 5th "gear", and renamed it 5R55E(44E)
But its the same transmission internally
If serviced it will last a long while, if rebuilt CORRECTLY it will last as well, problem is trans shops would just do "soft parts" rebuild which pretty much guaranties it will only last another 12 to 18months(warranty period, lol)
Always run a 2nd trans cooler on ANY automatic, heat kills automatics, best $70 you will ever spend on any vehicle with an automatic is a 2nd trans cooler

1997 uses GEM(generic electronic module) as the Body Computer , it controls all the electrics in the cab, and it is the 4x4 controller, dash switches connect to the GEM not the devices, so when you activate the Wipers, for example, the wiper switch tells GEM you want wipers to be on, and GEM activates the Wiper relay, so no direct connection on most cab electrics
 
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