2011 Ford Ranger 4x4 5sp difficulty getting into gear - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 01-19-2015
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2011 Ford Ranger 4x4 5sp difficulty getting into gear

Hello everyone,

I purchased a 2011 Ford Ranger 4x4 4.0 with 5 speed and 38k miles on the odometer about a month ago. I test drove it and it shifted through the gears smooth as butter. I also did the test where you put it in 4th gear to see if it kills the engine or it creaps along meaning the clutch is slipping. Well it killed the engine and the clutch was catching towards the top of the pedal.

Lately, when shifting it's grinding gears or not wanting to go into gear. It has also been making this slight whistle/belt squeal type noise UNTIL you begin to put it into a gear. Then after in gear it will make the noise again.

What do you think it could be? I don't see any fluid around the slave.

I'm still under the powertrain warranty but it doesn't cover most of the clutch or hydralic components.

I'm 32 and have driven manual transmissions since I was 16. I previously owned a 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0 2wd 5spd loose a clutch master cylinder with only 33,000 miles on it so I'm wondering if that may be the same problem.

Any advice? Any tricks to figure out what it is?
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Old 01-19-2015
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With 38k it should have the original clutch setup which has a self adjusting pressure plate.
This places the engage/disengage at about the center of clutch pedal travel, regardless of clutch disc thickness.

If it is hard to get into 1st gear with engine running and vehicle stopped then most likely issue is that the clutch disc is not fully disengaged from flywheel.
This is usually a problem with the travel distance in the slave.

Brake/hydraulic fluid is used because it doesn't compress much under pressure, if the master has 1.5" of travel and you press pedal down all the way you will get 1.5" of travel at the slave, assuming same size cylinder on this example.
If even a little air gets into the system the travel distance drops at the slave because air can be compressed so doesn't add to movement of the slave.
So you could just have some air in the system preventing full travel(disengagement) at the slave.

Look at the Masters reservoir on the firewall, if it is dry then you do have air in the system.

If it is full then there could be another issue.

The noise you describe could be a failing throwout being or Pilot bearing
Throwout bearing issue will usually only make noise when clutch pedal is down, that is when it is used.
Pilot bearing is used all the time but noise can come and go with clutch pedal use.
Pilot bearing is in the center of the flywheel, it supports the end of the Input shaft of the transmission.
A bearing is needed so the flywheels spin does not cause input shaft to spin.
Input shaft must come to a complete stop when vehicle is stopped so you can put trans into 1st gear.
Clutch disengages Input shaft from flywheel, this allows Input shaft to stop spinning, if Pilot bearing is starting to fail it will keep input shaft spinning enough to cause hard shift into 1st and also other gears while moving.
For smooth shifting the Input shaft must be free to match the speed of the transmissions Output shaft(the wheels).

Air in the system does the same thing, clutch disc is still touching flywheel because of less travel, and even slightly touching gives the Input shaft enough speed to make shifting hard.

Throwout bearing doesn't touch Input shaft, it is on the Slave, it allows slave to remain still while making contact with the spinning pressure plate.
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Old 01-19-2015
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Ron,

Thanks for explaining everything. I did check the reservoir last night and it was full.

An elaboration on the noise, I don't even have to do anything with the clutch to make it stop, I just take the gear shifter and put it up against the gear I'm about to put it in and it will immediately stop. Otherwise I hear it all the time. What do you think that could be?
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Old 01-24-2015
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Well it's going to get torn into on Monday at a Ford Dealership. i will report back what it was...
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Old 01-24-2015
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The noise is coming from the Input shaft spinning, so either pilot bearing or throwout bearing, has a problem and is imparting a spin on the shaft.
When you push the input shaft syncro gear against the non-moving output shaft gear, it stops the input shaft's spin, so noise quiets down.

But the pilot bearing and throw bearing would still be touching spinning parts, flywheel and pressure plate, respectively.
I would expect some noise to continue.
So could even be an input shaft bearing, hope not though.
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Old 01-24-2015
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Also even though the reservoir is full it can still have air in the system, they are a b*itch to bleed and notoriously crappy
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Old 02-03-2015
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I just got it back home this past weekend! Man it feels good to have my new to me truck back.

The dealership ended up replacing everything under warranty due to the excessive noise.

The following was replaced in order to cure the noise:
Clutch, pressure plate, pilot bearing, overhaul of manual transmission input bearing - due to excessive play, counter shaft bearings, and resurfaced flywheel.

Kudos to Ford customer service on this repair. I've owned 5 Ford Rangers and never had any serious issues with them and glad they stood behind their product the one time I did. So relieved to have my truck back. The dealership was actually probably one of the best I've ever been to and very reasonable on their pricing (even though it was covered).
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Old 02-03-2015
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Great that you got it fixed.
And thanks for posting the problem parts, may help others, without a warranty.
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