Buying 1999 XLT Supercab 4.0 Auto 4x4 - tranny clunk - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2005
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Buying 1999 XLT Supercab 4.0 Auto 4x4 - tranny clunk

Hey gang,

I posted earlier tonight about a possible Ranger purchase = 1999 XLT Supercab 4.0 4x4, Auto, 96,000 miles. Thanks for all the replies this far.

I got the guy to let me take it home over night and to drive it all day tomorrow. The transmission shifts ultra smooth on the road, but when I stop and start I get this single thud.

I did some quick research on here, and came up with this thread, and one other that was basically the same:

https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...ead.php?t=6550

It seems like there are some potential fixes for this problem, but my question is - what type of damage is it doing to other parts of the drivetrain if it is not addressed right away? Please advise. Thanks.

-Brad
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2005
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yikes... sounds like that tranny might be close to checking out. trannys on explorers and rangers are NOTORIOUS for kicking the bucket around 75k or soon after. Happened with my '98 explorer, and was about to happen with my fiancee's '00 ranger, until we traded it in for an '05 fx4.

It may not be that, but personally i would be concerned.
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Old 12-20-2005
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my neighbers explorer has 185K on the origional trans....
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2006
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Fixing the clunk

Hello,
I have a 2001 Ranger XLT that had the same problem. It developed around 10,000 miles or so if I remember right. If the 1999 has the same issue as my 2001 (and others I know) it is because of the greaseless aluminum driveshaft design (referred to in the other post you linked to). Ford released a bulletin I think specifying that the driveshaft be removed and the splines be lubed with a better grease. I imagine that will fix the problem, at least for some time. What I ended up doing was having 3 grease zirks put on the driveshaft where it connects to the transfer case. That way, I can grease it easily when the clunk comes back. HOWEVER, since there are no exit ports like there would be in something thats fabricated originally to have zirks, I have to be really careful, because you'd fill up that boot with grease over time. So, I don't ever put any in unless I feel the clunk again and in those cases I don't go crazy with it. The other post is right, its because the rear axle is moving just enough that the slip yoke is moving out a bit and then slamming back in, which happens when you start accelerating from a stop. In my case, and it sounds like yours, it ONLY happened when I accelerated from a stop. Otherwise, you didn't feel it and the tranny acted like a champ and was smooth in every other way.
I had a mechanic/metal fabricator friend drill and install the zirks for me. We just did three so we could get all around that slip yoke. He has a Ranger, and he had the same problem, and it fixed it for him as well.
I remember people I know that had Ranger's previous to me had their driveshaft replaced under warranty two or three times until Ford got it all figured out. They'd get it replaced, it would be fine for a while, then it would start clunking again on acceleration.
Since putting this zirks in, I've gone another 20,000 miles and I recall I went under the truck once to give it another little zap of grease because I felt the clunk starting to come back. Its been smooth again for several thousand miles. Sometime down the road, I'll probably have to pull the drive shaft and clean out the boot, but to try to delay that again I use just enough grease, only high quality grease, and I always tell mechanics to NOT grease those zirks for me during any maintenance. I don't think its doing any damage per se. I think its just annoying. I recall stop and go driving on the interstate on the way to and from work and everytime I'd restart from a stop, clunk. Very annoying.
So, if its simply the clunk/thump on light acceleration (thats the title of the TSB by the way if I remember right) the grease from Ford or doing the zirk deal if you care to should fix you up.

By the way, if I was you, I'd actually look into the transmission itself. I'm not sure what tranny that one has (maybe it has a 5R55E since its a 4.0L). I'm not sure offhand if the 5R55E is as bad as the 4R55E. But I can tell you from personal experience, and others I know, that the 4R55E is a plague to have. You can read at length at various sites, including this one, about its assorted early failures, and stories of people going through multiple rebuilds. Most notably 2nd-3rd gear shift issues (which I have), solenoid failures, torque converter failures, vehicle speed sensor issues, intermediate speed sensor issues, on and on. I've got problems with a delayed 3rd gear shift, O/D off light blinking (always code P0733 "invalid 3rd gear ratio") and from talking to others, what "fixed" it for them varies wildly, but generally its only temporary and they are back in the shop sometime in the future again.
So, I'd look into whatever model of transmission this might have to see what you can find, just to be educated.

Personally, I'm looking to trade up my Ranger, but I have to check out the newest Rangers. I won't be getting one with my transmission, and if the 5R55E line is as bad, I won't get that either. My Ranger is in fabulous shape, has low miles, and I like it generally, but I'm looking at a tranny that could fail at just over 30,000 miles.
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Old 01-03-2006
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are there cliff notes for that post?^
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Old 01-03-2006
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cliff notes

If you're implying that I talk a bit too much - you're right.
The abbreviated version would be: see Ford TSB for "clunk/thump on light acceleration" or put zirks on the driveshaft so you can grease it at your leisure. No, I don't believe its causes any real problems, just annoyance. Beware the 4R55E....there, cliff notes
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Old 04-27-2015
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clunking

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradvr4 View Post
Hey gang,

I posted earlier tonight about a possible Ranger purchase = 1999 XLT Supercab 4.0 4x4, Auto, 96,000 miles. Thanks for all the replies this far.

I got the guy to let me take it home over night and to drive it all day tomorrow. The transmission shifts ultra smooth on the road, but when I stop and start I get this single thud.

I did some quick research on here, and came up with this thread, and one other that was basically the same:

Clunking noise - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

It seems like there are some potential fixes for this problem, but my question is - what type of damage is it doing to other parts of the drivetrain if it is not addressed right away? Please advise. Thanks.

-Brad
You need to Grease the slip yoke, some came bone dry from factory
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