How dependable are the 2.3L engines ? - 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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  #1  
Old 02-02-2012
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How dependable are the 2.3L engines ?

As you know from my sig, I have a 2004 2.3L.

I'm currently about to roll over 140,000 miles and I'm debating if I want to just keep the truck or get rid of it. I bought this truck brand new and it has sentimental value but at the same time it kinda gets on my nerves.

I tried doing research about the engine and how dependable it is but it's hard to weed through the Chevy and Dodge guys that like to put their .02 in by saying that it'll go as far as you can push it. How many miles will these trucks go ? I've read some that say despite the lack of power and guts, the 2.3 won't die. Is this true ?

Also wanted to ask at what mileage is it time to replace the timing belt ?

Last edited by TNRanger23; 02-02-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012
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'07 would be the Zetec DOC, not sure if they were still running the timing belt or switched to the chain?? It's a good platform engine for sure. I've got the dual plug head and coil packs on my '96 2.3 Lima and I've had it since '97 and put 150,000 mile on it and just regular service and some minor mods and it scoots right down the road....

As for the timing belt I believe it's every 12.000 miles, mine lasted for 120.000 miles, that was pushin it, had the age cracks in it.....

Last edited by stedmanl; 02-02-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012
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Originally Posted by stedmanl View Post
As for the timing belt I believe it's every 12.000 miles, mine lasted for 120.000 miles, that was pushin it, had the age cracks in it.....
Thanks for the reply, are there any signs when they're about to go bad ? I'm about to turn 140k and it hasn't been replaced as of yet..
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Old 02-02-2012
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As far as I know, there are no warning signs, But if it does go, a few pistons might eat some valves. If I were you sooner the better, just to be on the safe side and to give you a peace of mind. I know I felt a lot better after looking at it.

They must've gone with the timing chain with the Duratec 2.3, Take Care, Good luck...........
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2012
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My 1994 2.3 has 220xxx miles. timing belt recently replaced at 208xxx. no damage to engine. as long as i keep the fluids topped of she keeps running like a charm.

the water pump went about a month prior to the the broken timing belt. might just be lucky i guess....
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2012
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A timing belt should be changed at 90-100K. Not 12k.
Not a bad idea to change the water pump while you're at it.
When belts usually go is when the truck is shut off , not always though. The back pressure in the cylinders kicks the engine backward slightly which stresses the belt .
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Old 02-03-2012
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I've got a 2001 with 210XXX mi
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Old 02-03-2012
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(typo) 201XXX
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2012
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Mine went while excelerating, in the middle of a very busy intersection, all new replacement parts in the passenger seat....figures....
Did all the cooling system hoses, thermostat, waterpump, fan clutch, timing belt and tensioner in one very cold(January, outside) swoop. Probably should have put in a new radiator too, cause one year later it has a small leak.
Just replaced the heater core 2 weeks ago.
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Old 02-09-2012
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I'm currently about to roll over 140,000 miles and I'm debating if I want to just keep the truck or get rid of it. I bought this truck brand new and it has sentimental value but at the same time it kinda gets on my nerves.



I know that sentimental feeling... Thats why I didnt trade my 2000 warhorse in on my new to me 2008 Ram. At the end of the day, Its just a truck though. If you find something nicer, and theyre pretty plentiful these days, I wouldnt hesitate.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2012
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Originally Posted by TNRanger23 View Post
Thanks for the reply, are there any signs when they're about to go bad ? I'm about to turn 140k and it hasn't been replaced as of yet..
Look at the belt, is there any cracking or heavy lines in the belt, wear stuff.

If the belt is 140K miles old chg it and as stated consider the waterpump and the idler/tensioner.
Easy do now, not so easy later on if it breaks.
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Old 02-09-2012
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Atleast my (93) is a non interference engine so if the timing belt goes it won't hurt anything.

Not sure about your 2007 though. Might be something to check out.
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Old 02-09-2012
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I┤ve seen some threads about "how many miles on your ranger" definitively the 2.3L will last technically forever.... If you buy a brand new truck when you are above 25, and the truck last another 30+ years... do the math :)
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2012
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Duratec has a timing chain.
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Old 02-09-2012
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Thanks for the replies guys, I've decided to go ahead and sell it. It came down to this.. If I keep it, I have a LOT of stuff to get done to it, timing, water pump, I have mega cracks in the windshield (log trucks throwing rocks!) the back window has to be re-sealed (leaking), I've also had the same set of Primewell ($320 for the set) tires on it since March 2007 so they need to be changed, and the transmission is starting to slip, So I'm getting rid of it.

I'm looking at more Rangers but looking more towards a v6, I wanted to go full size but gas is currently $3.50/gallon here in Houston, I've been looking at some newer SUV's too, spec. the Saturn Vue.

I appreciate the replies. I can say this much though, if you need cheap rubber, the Primewell 860's are some damn good tires for the cost and length of service I've had on them.
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2012
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you're getting rid of it for those things? i done more to mine last week...lol
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Old 02-11-2012
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Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
you're getting rid of it for those things? i done more to mine last week...lol
Well.. that and I've had it now for 7 1/2 years. I really want something with more power and I took it to a reputable transmission place down here in Conroe, TX that said it needed to be completely torn apart and rebuilt ($2500)

IMHO, It's not worth it to me to put a lot of money into it.
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Old 02-11-2012
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I had a rebuilt trans put into my 94' 2.3 at 187,XXX. At the time it seemed, better then a car payment. About $1700. And now at 220,xxx, it was totally worth it. As long as I do the regular maintencr stuff she keeps on chugging along.
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Old 02-11-2012
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my water pump actually went about a month before my timing belt @175k not sure if it's been replaced before. my 97 2.3 treats me good though. it gets pretty good mpgs ive heard them getting in to the 300k and beyond
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  #20  
Old 02-12-2012
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the misinformation in this thread is unequivocally dismal and i hope none of it lead to your decision to sell the truck.

op you have a duratec not a zetec. you have a timing chain not a timing belt. rangers are the only duratec to not have plastic timing chain guides and cosworth sells them to focus builders as hipo chain guides. this motor is as strong as everyone says and it is hard to kill them, everything was overbuilt by ford because its a "truck" motor no vvt on the cams, forged crank, no balance shaft, etc. with maintenance youll be driving long into 200k with no need for a rebuild.
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  #21  
Old 02-13-2012
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Originally Posted by rangerxlt94 View Post
I had a rebuilt trans put into my 94' 2.3 at 187,XXX. At the time it seemed, better then a car payment. About $1700. And now at 220,xxx, it was totally worth it. As long as I do the regular maintencr stuff she keeps on chugging along.
Edit:

I decided to keep it and pay it off. I won't really be able to afford any repairs at all at this point after I fix the windows, get tires, and get a damn inspection. I was quoted a worst case scenario quote from a local transmission shop of $1700+tax for a complete rebuild so I'll probably drive it until it dies and then get a complete rebuild. If the motor is pretty dependable then It should work out well for me. Most of the miles that have been put on this truck were put on it in it's first 4-5 years.

I'm hopeful I can get another 10-15k miles out of the timing chain before having to replace it.

Last edited by TNRanger23; 02-13-2012 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Changed my mind...
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  #22  
Old 02-13-2012
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Originally Posted by rard View Post
my water pump actually went about a month before my timing belt @175k not sure if it's been replaced before. my 97 2.3 treats me good though. it gets pretty good mpgs ive heard them getting in to the 300k and beyond
That's good to hear. This one's been through some hell but it still seems to run strong.
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  #23  
Old 02-13-2012
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Originally Posted by TNRanger23 View Post
Well.. that and I've had it now for 7 1/2 years. I really want something with more power and I took it to a reputable transmission place down here in Conroe, TX that said it needed to be completely torn apart and rebuilt ($2500)

IMHO, It's not worth it to me to put a lot of money into it.
it's auto, isn't it?
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  #24  
Old 02-13-2012
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it's auto, isn't it?
Yeah, but I found a better quote at $1700.
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  #25  
Old 02-14-2012
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Why don't you look for a low mileage replacement transmission. Try Craigslist, you may find someone who has totaled their Ranger looking to part it out. You shouldn't have to replace the timing chain.
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