2.3L Timing belt and Duratec? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


DOHC - 2.3L Duratec / Mazda L Engines Discussions and Topics specific to the Duratec 4 cylinder engines

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Old 07-15-2015
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2.3L Timing belt and Duratec?

Hello all,

So I must have looked through countless forums and manuals but I still cannot find the answer I am looking for.

My main concern right now is if my engine has a timing belt or timing chain. There seems to be a lot of differing information about ranger models. I have read in some forums and posts that the 2.3 L has a chain if it is a later year than a 2001 and if it is a DURATEC.

So a bit about my truck:
2002, Ford Ranger, 2.3L, 4cyl, 16 valve (not sure if duratec). I bought it used 4 years ago. Runs great but I am currently pushing 145,000 miles and it got me worrying about my timing belt snapping and ruining my valves. So to any guru out there that knows the answers to the following questions.

Does my engine have a timing belt or timing chain?
How can I tell if my engine is Duratec or not?
Is my engine interference or non-interference?
any VIN number guides that can translate what all the digits mean and what it can say about my truck?

I would greatly appreciate your input and answer, Also if you have any documents to where I can confirm all this, that would be SUPER helpful. I know I could always just look for myself, but itís a lot of work to remove all the components just to expose the timing belt and inspect it.

Thank you so much!
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Old 07-15-2015
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The 2.0l/2.3l/2.5l Lima SOHC 4 cylinder/8 valve engines were used in Rangers from 1983 to 2001, this engine had a timing belt and was a non-interference engine, so if timing belt should break there would be no piston/valve damage.
These engines were built in the Lima, Ohio Ford plant, so often referred to as Lima engines.

In late 2001 Rangers started getting the 2.3l Duratec DOHC 4 cylinder/16valve engine.
This is a Mazda L engine with aluminum block and heads, it uses a timing chain not a belt, the chain is long so could require servicing during the life of the engine, you would hear a rattling noise from loose chain at that time, broken chain is not very likely.
If no rattling noise then chain and tensioner are fine.

This engine design was for transverse mounting in front wheel drive vehicles, when it was put into Rangers with longitudinal mounting it placed a cooling hose connection between rear of engine and firewall, only way to access this connection, if it should leak, is to remove the transmission, or lower it enough to get access to rear of engine.

So if you ever remove the trans for any reason replace this connection and hose "just because", same as you would the rear main seal, preventative maintenance

Last edited by RonD; 07-16-2015 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 07-15-2015
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Thanks a bunch!
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