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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 03-15-2007
bmwysocki's Avatar
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Clunking while starting out

Did some searching on here and realized I was another addition to the "clunking while starting out" club. For the past 5k miles or so I have noticed the clunking, but thought nothing of it until it started to get worse so I took it to the dealer today and took the parts guy for a ride and sure enough, that was the issue. He said, "Yea, its a ranger problem, Ill fix it for you, but it will be back" So the good thing is, its under warranty, I just hit 29,000 miles. The bad thing is he guesses I will have problems again by 50,000 miles. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but Im glad it wasn't anything extremely serious. Now my question for all of you is, can I do something to prevent this from coming back? Is there some general maintenance to keep the "clunking" from coming back or am I going to deal with this for the life of the truck?
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Old 03-15-2007
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Join the aluminum drive shaft club, oh yeah.
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Old 03-15-2007
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lube the slip joint in the yoke with quality synthetic grease
did the service tech tell you what they did to 'fix' it?
it is just as problematic with steel drive shafts as with aluminum
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Old 03-15-2007
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This is going to sound stupid but at what end is the slip yoke? Diff or trans fer case end. I do have the aluminum driveshaft.
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2007
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I have something similar to your guys problem. When i put my truck in 4low and put it under torque. When i climb hills it clunks like every 5 seconds and it feels like it's right under my feet. So my problem might be the same as yours i would like to know what your problems where.

Thanks, Kenny
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2007
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I just greesed up my BIG aluminum slip yoke about 3,000 miles ago. Do it! It works!
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Old 03-16-2007
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Traction bars

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwysocki
Now my question for all of you is, can I do something to prevent this from coming back? Is there some general maintenance to keep the "clunking" from coming back or am I going to deal with this for the life of the truck?
I have had 3 Rangers and they all had the slip/bump syndrome. The problem is related to axle wrap. Under acceleration, the axle rotates against the leaf springs and the nose of the diff pushes up and forward. The slip yoke is designed to allow the driveshaft length to vary throughout the suspension travel but it can also move when the axle counter rotates against the torque applied to the rear wheels/tires.

When freshly greased, the splines slide freely and the slip yoke takes up the axle's motion smoothly and there is no bump. After time, the slip yoke can begin to bind when torque is applied across it. When the push of the diff overcomes the friction in the splines, it allows the axle to jump to its new position. This sudden movement is the bump that is felt through the chassis.

I have greased the slip yoke splines and it does eliminate the bump. The problem is that the slip/bump returned in a few weeks or a few months. I also tried the special Ford PTFE grease specified in the TSB for this application ($25/can!). Same story.

When I installed JD traction bars on my current Ranger, the problem was corrected immediately at its source. Control the axle wrap and you eliminate the slip/bump. I have had no further problems since the installation of the JD's three years ago.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2007
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Mine clunks pratcically every gear. IT seems to come from the rear.
Sounds like the problem.
How much are the traction bars and are they the only cure?
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
When I installed JD traction bars on my current Ranger, the problem was corrected immediately at its source. Control the axle wrap and you eliminate the slip/bump. I have had no further problems since the installation of the JD's three years ago.
Did you use this traction bar?
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2007
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What exactly are you guys feeling? The past few weeks I have noticed that when I accelerate slowly from a stop it feels like the transmission has a wobble or hessitation (no noise though). The problem isnt always present and it is only coming off of a stop. No problems once it shifts into 2nd.

2004 4.0 Ranger Edge, Automatic, approx. 78,000 miles.
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
I have had 3 Rangers and they all had the slip/bump syndrome. The problem is related to axle wrap. Under acceleration, the axle rotates against the leaf springs and the nose of the diff pushes up and forward. The slip yoke is designed to allow the driveshaft length to vary throughout the suspension travel but it can also move when the axle counter rotates against the torque applied to the rear wheels/tires.

When freshly greased, the splines slide freely and the slip yoke takes up the axle's motion smoothly and there is no bump. After time, the slip yoke can begin to bind when torque is applied across it. When the push of the diff overcomes the friction in the splines, it allows the axle to jump to its new position. This sudden movement is the bump that is felt through the chassis.

I have greased the slip yoke splines and it does eliminate the bump. The problem is that the slip/bump returned in a few weeks or a few months. I also tried the special Ford PTFE grease specified in the TSB for this application ($25/can!). Same story.

When I installed JD traction bars on my current Ranger, the problem was corrected immediately at its source. Control the axle wrap and you eliminate the slip/bump. I have had no further problems since the installation of the JD's three years ago.

This is exactly why semis and other heavy trucks have traction bars or longitudal torsion bars. The large amounts of torque applied is too great for just the leaf springs and the u bolts to keep that axle from twisting quickly. The traction bars are a must. Then again a grease fitting on the slip yoke would help but you don't make any money off of selling parts that way.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicBlueFIB
What exactly are you guys feeling? The past few weeks I have noticed that when I accelerate slowly from a stop it feels like the transmission has a wobble or hessitation (no noise though). The problem isnt always present and it is only coming off of a stop. No problems once it shifts into 2nd.

2004 4.0 Ranger Edge, Automatic, approx. 78,000 miles.

A clutch band inside the tranny needs tightened maybe?
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2007
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mine does this when i start out in reverse.
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2007
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I have something similar that just started over the weekend. When I turn and back up then start to go forward, i hear a bump coming from the middle to rear of the truck. Thought it might be the driveshaft. Havent had a chance to look at it yet.
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2007
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I am slowly getting the hang of these trucks after reading and reading and reading. I am about 99% sure this solves another of my problems. What do I call the special "nuts"/sockets I need. They are like a star pattern on the rear yoke end right? Are there both american and metric versions of these?
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