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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 04-03-2009
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Icon8 Serious Problems.... 05 Ranger

In the last few weeks my truck has acted up quite a bit.

At first about 2 weeks ago, my truck had started to make a pulsing squeek sound in reverse... but only in reverse.

3 days ago, the truck stopped making this squeeking noise....

Now it likes to make a ticking noise, sort of like gears not meshing correctly...
like a chatter. This chatter I noticed likes to not happen when it rains... it seems to go away, and come back in the sunshine. It really has me stumped.

When the chatter started to happen, I suspected it was the universal joints, so I stopped at NAPA and picked up two. It was then when I noticed that the rear pinion seal was leaking fluid from the rear differental. I am not sure if this has been leaking or has just developed, I believe it is newer since the fluid was just around the seal and below a bit and has now spread much further.

I have not installed the new U-Joints, becuase I got under the truck and I did not feel any chatter or looseness in the U-joints... could they still be bad?

Could the universals be chattering causing the pinion seal to leak? Could it be something else?

Also, I believe that there is a shimmy or a shake feeling.. maybe a vibration to the truck while its driving... or maybe im just going nuts now... i'm not sure.

My truck has 53k miles on it only, I suppose I drive it harder than most people. It is subjected to cold winters, tons of salt, and lots of snow. Ford has done some terrible work on it in the past and has claimed to have changed a pinion seal... just like the air filters they never did along with the other various stuff... I just want my truck to be right again :( Please help!
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Old 04-03-2009
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recheck those u-joints. make sure the truck is in neutral with the parking brake set. even though you may not get slop out of them, they still could be bad/ seized up and that would cause a vibration and the squeakng you are hearing sometimes
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Old 04-03-2009
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if they are locking up... or chattering.. could it cause the pinion seal to leak?

Is the pinion seal hard to replace? I'm alright with cars... I'm not superman though.
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Old 04-03-2009
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if they are locking up... or chattering.. could it cause the pinion seal to leak?

Is the pinion seal hard to replace? I'm alright with cars... I'm not superman though.
i dont think it would cause the pinion leak, but weirder things have happened im sure. as far as replacing the seal, its not really a huge job, its just kind of a pain because you have to deal with a new crush sleeve and bearing perload. one thing to look for is slop in the pinion itself, if thats sloppy it can cause a seal leak, you said they replaced the seal before so it is possible they didnt preload the bearing right.
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Old 04-03-2009
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... yeah I wouldn't think that they did it right personally... I mean I really trusted the place.. they seemed all nice and stuff... but they did only about half the work I brought the truck in for usually. I mean there was even a time or two I don't think they changed the oil in the truck since it was quite crispy when I finally started doing it at 36k miles when I was fed up with paying 36 dollars for an oil change... since the warranty was up anyways.

what is the "preload" ... is there any discriptions on how to do this anywheres?
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Old 04-03-2009
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... yeah I wouldn't think that they did it right personally... I mean I really trusted the place.. they seemed all nice and stuff... but they did only about half the work I brought the truck in for usually. I mean there was even a time or two I don't think they changed the oil in the truck since it was quite crispy when I finally started doing it at 36k miles when I was fed up with paying 36 dollars for an oil change... since the warranty was up anyways.

what is the "preload" ... is there any descriptions on how to do this anywheres?
do a search for it in the drive train section, im pretty new here so i dont yet know what there are for tech articles here. but "pre-load" is the pre-set drag set on the bearings in the pinion. best way i can think of to describe it.
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Old 04-03-2009
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alright, any other ideas what I might want to look at that could be causing this? I think it may be drive train related... becuase its mainly when i'm coasting... a bit when accelerating... and it will stay when breaking...
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Old 04-03-2009
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well it wouldnt be a bad idea to check everything, balljoints, u-joints, wheel bearings, tie rods ect.
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Old 04-03-2009
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To check the u-joints remove the drive shaft from your truck and grab the yoke at each end of the shaft and move it each direction. This is a better way to tell if they are bad. When they are still on the truck you can't really tell. They should feel smooth all the way through their movement, any roughness and they are going bad. From what you are describing this seems like a good possibility, but it could be many other things too.
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Old 04-03-2009
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What other things do you think it could be? If i drop the drive shaft, I will just do them... I already purchased them... its just setting up a work bench with a vise..... grr.
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Old 04-03-2009
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btw. the shaking to teh truck is... like.. the whole seats doing it. I feel like it has done this the whole time Ive had the truck though. if there is change in the cup holder and a soda can... it will buzz like all hell.... does this happen to everyone else?
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Old 04-04-2009
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Ever balance the tires?
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Old 04-04-2009
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if you have a bad u-joint or an unbalanced driveshaft it will definately cause the pinion seal to go bad, because it is causing a side load on the pinion
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Old 04-04-2009
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Get on that pinion seal ASAP. My seal was leaking, pulled the pinion to do it right and the bearings were already galled. I think someone let mine go for too long before we bought the truck.

My money is on the shop doing the seal wrong. Too many people just "torque it down" and don't preload the pinion right.

To do it right you gotta pull the carrier to get an accurate reading. The crush sleeve is going to take some effort, have a big breaker bar handy. You need to crush the sleeve when you put it all back together, then SLOWLY torque down on it until you reach the preload (used bearings are 8-14 inlbs, new are 18-29inlbs IIRC). You NEED an in lbs beam style torque wrench to get the preload. You will "spiin" the pinion nut to get the preload. Be sure to use a new pinion nut also, lock tite does not hurt either on it.
There are also solid spacers instead of crush sleeves, but I had no luck with mine. I could not get the preload right, as the spacer does not have "infinite" settings. But, each rear is different so many others do have luck with them.

How's Oswego? I was stationed at Drum for 4.5 years, spent more time in the desert though!

Last edited by buckgnarly; 04-04-2009 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 04-04-2009
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I never see any sunshine. To be honest hahaha it feels like a pision sentence in this town. I'm glad college is almost over ... 6 weeks and im out. YES!

Is there any good places that show how to do this? Maybe some cut away views of what i'm doing or something... If I could just see a picture I could do it...

I'm kind of afraid to start pulling parts from the differiental since i'm a good technical person, but haha get lost on somethings like this. Know of any pictures around?

BTW. The pinion seal was changed last year at 35k miles... now im at 53k... maybe a bearing is not right at the pinion? Is there anyway to replace these without going nuts?
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Old 04-04-2009
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Just recently my truck was vibrating so bad that it felt like I was sitting in one of those massaging recliners! It would start at around 30 MPH. I got underneath to check the u-joints but they did not move at all. I thought they were fine, but like Full Throttle said, you need to remove the driveshaft to check it correctly. I replaced the u-joints and the vibration is gone. They were seized up.
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Old 04-04-2009
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Check U-Joints correctly, replace as necessary and while the drive shaft is out, check to see if any signs of balance weights missing. If you don't see anything obvious (like a rusty spot where a welded on weight has come off) take the drive shaft and have the balance checked/corrected.

Then replace your Pinion Seal and re-install the drive shaft. Should be good to go then.

Ever been off road? Any chance the drive shaft could be slightly bent?
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Old 04-04-2009
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Its been off road, but I mean not that that often... more like state dirt roads to go hunting... not going to lie I do drive down them like a di** sometimes really fast.

I am going to replace the universal joints asap, I'm just not sure about the pinion seal if its over my head how to do...

The truck was also in a accident effecting the front end mainly. there was no vibration after that (it happen at less than 10k miles).

I did have the truck undercoated... and the undercoating is on the driveshaft on one side only.... could this have an effect?
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Old 04-04-2009
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also I noticed the universals are quite rusted. I mean the truck does go though the hellish salts of upstate ny.. I mean its snowing today... it's freeking spring!
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Old 04-04-2009
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Quote:
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I did have the truck undercoated... and the undercoating is on the driveshaft on one side only.... could this have an effect?
it sure can, at the rpm's those spin, it doesnt take much to throw it off balance
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Old 04-04-2009
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I never see any sunshine. To be honest hahaha it feels like a pision sentence in this town. I'm glad college is almost over ... 6 weeks and im out. YES!

Is there any good places that show how to do this? Maybe some cut away views of what i'm doing or something... If I could just see a picture I could do it...

I'm kind of afraid to start pulling parts from the differiental since i'm a good technical person, but haha get lost on somethings like this. Know of any pictures around?

BTW. The pinion seal was changed last year at 35k miles... now im at 53k... maybe a bearing is not right at the pinion? Is there anyway to replace these without going nuts?
It's not too bad, but you gotta do it right or pay later (or at least take the chance)

There's a couple posts with links on here, just search for pinion seal. I had to do mine twice in the past month, I should have redone the bearings the first time as they had some pitting. If you do tear into it I can answer any questions.
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Old 04-04-2009
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it sure can, at the rpm's those spin, it doesnt take much to throw it off balance
I outta drive the truck though that shop that did the undercoating. I had it done in 06, when i got the truck.

Its all over the engine and engine compartment its all effin sticky in there it looks like hell. I mean... the undercoating is gone already... they expect you go back every year at 300 dollars a year for it to be redone... I dont get it. its only on the drive shaft in one side, and its a thick layer there I believe... maybe I could use engine cleaner on it to take it off. I'm not sure.

I feel like I get screwed at every shop I go to around here, and leave with a 300-800 dollar bill for nothing. I want to do the work all myself but like.. I never have those specified tools... it looks like my driveshaft is attached with 10 point bolts? Whats the right socket to take those off with?
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Old 04-04-2009
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I outta drive the truck though that shop that did the undercoating. I had it done in 06, when i got the truck.

Its all over the engine and engine compartment its all effin sticky in there it looks like hell. I mean... the undercoating is gone already... they expect you go back every year at 300 dollars a year for it to be redone... I dont get it. its only on the drive shaft in one side, and its a thick layer there I believe... maybe I could use engine cleaner on it to take it off. I'm not sure.

I feel like I get screwed at every shop I go to around here, and leave with a 300-800 dollar bill for nothing. I want to do the work all myself but like.. I never have those specified tools... it looks like my driveshaft is attached with 10 point bolts? Whats the right socket to take those off with?
its a 12 point head. just need a 12 point socket to get them off. and i know what you mean about having people work on your truck. ive had bad luck letting people work on mine thats why i do everything myself, with a few exceptions like tire balancing and such.
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Old 04-04-2009
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It's not too bad, but you gotta do it right or pay later (or at least take the chance)

There's a couple posts with links on here, just search for pinion seal. I had to do mine twice in the past month, I should have redone the bearings the first time as they had some pitting. If you do tear into it I can answer any questions.

Does it need special tools to do? is it easy to do without raising the truck too high? All I really have to raise the truck is 2 5TON jack stands, and a 3 ton hydrolic jack... where is a good place to put the stands for the rear? I have only jacked the front up before.
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Old 04-04-2009
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its a 12 point head. just need a 12 point socket to get them off. and i know what you mean about having people work on your truck. ive had bad luck letting people work on mine thats why i do everything myself, with a few exceptions like tire balancing and such.

Alright, I thought I counted wrong. It's a 12MM I think. Also... the fill plug is rusty on the diff. any good ways to get it off without the worry of cracking the case? i'm quite skiddish of stuck drainplugs.
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