Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

Clunky in 4x2, Smooth in 4x4...

  #1  
Old 03-13-2019
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 2
Clunky in 4x2, Smooth in 4x4...

Hello All,

I'm new here and just purchased a 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4 with a 4.0L and manual 5 speed. One owner, meticulously cared for, 136K miles. It was used to occasionally tow a small powerboat. Got her for a song as I assumed it would need a new clutch and possibly some transmission work right away. Shifting is a bit clunky and I can hear the pilot bearing is going bad. It has no problems going in or out of gear, it just makes a clunk sound and gives a slight shake when I depress the clutch pedal and seems to slam into gear pretty hard when I release the clutch (before you ask, this is not my first manual pickup and I am a very skilled driver). Besides that, the clutch actually feels really good and the truck drives like a dream. No slipping, no grinding. My initial plan was to swap the clutch in the near future and not worry about it all that much. However, I've noticed some weird symptoms and I'm starting to second guess my assumption about the clutch...

1. The 'clunkyness' is worse when it is warm out. On very cold days the shifting is quite smooth. This leads me to believe it needs either more trans fluid or new trans fluid. Either way, I'll be changing the fluid in the trans and transfer case this weekend. I did notice a small leak of some type of oil (likely trans fluid) where the extension housing meets the back of the trans, so that might be an issues that needs addressing.

2. Whenever I have the truck in 4wd it drives like a brand new pickup. ALL of the clunky shifting disappears. When I switch it back to 2wd, it's clunky again.

I checked the U-Joints on the rear driveshaft and they seem fine and there is no vibration at speed. There doesn't seem to be an abnormal amount of play in the drive shaft either. The slip yoke seems fine as well. Is there a possible issue with the T-case that would cause clunky shifting in 2wd but smooth shifting in 4wd? I am looking for some guidance on what I should be checking. I would rate my mechanical skills as medium low (for trucks, I'm great with motorcycles). My biggest limitation is that I do not have a garage or driveway.

Any info would be a big help. I'm glad there is a forum like this. I can tell I'm going to love this Ranger.

Thank,
Ben
 
  #2  
Old 03-14-2019
2011Supercab's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by edagg View Post
I checked the U-Joints on the rear driveshaft and they seem fine and there is no vibration at speed. There doesn't seem to be an abnormal amount of play in the drive shaft either. The slip yoke seems fine as well.
When you checked the rear driveshaft, was the parking brake set, or wheels chocked and the transmission in neutral ?
 
  #3  
Old 03-14-2019
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,514
Welcome to the forum

You have an M5OD-R1(M5R1) manual transmission, used in Rangers from 1988 to 2011
2001 Ranger got the 4.0l SOHC engine, which had more torque and HP than the 4.0l OHV engines, so Ford added an extra bolt on the bell housing, and added an HD to the model number, M5OD-R1HD, 2001 to 2011 Rangers with 4.0l SOHC engine
But same transmission inside

M5R1 uses ATF, yes automatic transmission fluid, transfer case does as well, trans holds 2.8quarts bone dry, so maybe 1.5-2 quarts on refill
On the upper rear of the trans are 3 rubber plugs that would get hard and crack, causing a slow leak, which would come down near where you described your leak, could be the tail shaft gasket, just giving you the heads up about the known leak point

M5R1 was a reliable trans, no "clunking" as known issue, same for the BW1354 transfer case, clunking was pretty much the drive line, but things wear out so if driveline is OK then transfer case would be next stop, especially with the 2WD/4WD thing

2001 Ranger 4WD will have Live Axles, which means wheels, front axles and drive line are always engaged with each other, in 2WD the drive chain is not engaged to Main shaft inside transfer case
In 4WD chain drive for front drive shaft is locked to main shaft
There are not any parts I can think of that would cause a clunk inside the transfer case
If rear drive line has slack(clunk) you may not have it in 4WD simply because front wheel are pulling you forward so slack in rear doesn't "clunk" like it would as the main drive wheels


Check the clutch pedal bushing at top of pedal, pivot point
Also the firewall around the clutch master, have someone press down on pedal while you watch the master from engine side, make sure its not moving off to one side
 
  #4  
Old 03-14-2019
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 2
Guys, this is awesome info! Thank you for your replies.

It makes sense to me that putting the truck in 4wd would essentially turn the truck into a front wheel drive vehicle if there is slack in the main shaft. This has me thinking that I did not properly check the main shaft. I am confident that the U-Joints are good, but what is the best procedure to check the slip yoke or differential backlash? Do I need to have E brake engaged and trans in neutral? What symptoms/movement will indicate a 'dry' slip yoke? I imagine it is something I want to regrease anyway. Is it worth taking the cover off the diff to take a look back there? There's no noise coming from the diff which makes me think it is fine.

Also, what should I be looking for at the clutch pedal bushing? Do these break? Is it a reasonable fix?

Thanks again for taking the time to respond, guys!
 
  #5  
Old 03-14-2019
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,514
You reach up and put your hand at the top of clutch pedal arm, you will feel its bushing, then push on the pedal and see if its shifting position, don't have to push down hard, you will feel if its loose

Diagram here: https://www.justanswer.com/ford/1u4n...rd-ranger.html



Best is to pull the rear drive shaft, mark it on differential end, then replace the u-bolts and re-lube slip joint, it uses a "blue lube"

Mark u-joints as well
U-joints are cheap, $12-$20
 
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
likemytruck
4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech
1
06-01-2015 08:39 PM
ns_red7
General Ford Ranger Discussion
0
01-17-2008 06:51 AM
Splash
Exterior Semi-Tech
10
10-13-2006 04:03 PM
3906brad
Exterior Semi-Tech
8
05-05-2005 05:48 PM
edgeofthecliff
Suspension Tech
6
04-01-2005 02:15 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Clunky in 4x2, Smooth in 4x4...


Contact Us - Sitemap - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.