Test drove a 4x4 4.0 Manual - hard shifting? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-06-2009
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Test drove a 4x4 4.0 Manual - hard shifting?

I currently have a 2wd 01 3.0 Ranger Edge manual and it shifts pretty easy into and out of gear.

I have test driven a quite a few manual trucks lately and don't know what's the norm...

2004 4x4 4.0 manual w/ 63k miles - real notchy and hard to shift
2005 4x4 4.0 manual w/ 52k miles - smooth as butter but had been wrecked so I walked away plus they wanted 15k for it...
2006 4x4 4.0 manual w/ 30k miles - real notchy, hard to shift, and clunked really bad when letting out on the clutch
2005 4x4 4.0 manual w/ 46k miles - kinda notchy but not not as smooth as the wrecked FX4 05

So what's the deal with these trucks transmissions? I have driven 3 2wd Rangers, all manuals, and they don't take any force to get into or out of gear like these 4wds. Is the transfer case to blame or do people abuse manuals?

I have driven stickshifts since I was 16 so I don't think its me but the car salesman always act like I'm crazy...
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Old 08-06-2009
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Originally Posted by Hillyard View Post
2006 4x4 4.0 manual w/ 30k miles - real notchy, hard to shift, and clunked really bad when letting out on the clutch


...
u-joints are bad. at least that was what was wrong with mine...
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Old 08-06-2009
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u-joints are bad. at least that was what was wrong with mine...
The problem is the dealer acts like there isn't anything the matter when you test drive them...oh it's a 4wd it's supposed to make those noises...I'm thinking what the heck are you smoking....
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Old 08-06-2009
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Manual 4wd Rangers tend to make clunking noises. Mine has been doing it since day one. My U joints are tight but the diff itself has some play in it. My tranny shifts hard because I have had to slam it into gear countless times because the slave cylinder fails and I'm sure the syncros are worn from all that gear slamming. In the end the tranny is trash.
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Old 08-06-2009
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The problem is the dealer acts like there isn't anything the matter when you test drive them...oh it's a 4wd it's supposed to make those noises...I'm thinking what the heck are you smoking....
Get an independent shop to do the inspection. If they don't agree to that, then walk away from an on coming nightmare.
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Old 08-06-2009
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Should I just buy an automatic 4wd? They are more common and cheaper...ya go figure...
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Old 08-06-2009
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I would seriously never buy another manual Ranger after my experience with it.
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Old 08-07-2009
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Most that I have driven are a little "notchy" but not horrible. As I recall from dozens of brand new rangers I have driven even, they are somewhat "notchy". But I don't remember noises shifting into gears.
The only problem I had with my manual tranny was the typical hydraulic problems after a clutch replacement, but the shop had it fixed within a couple of days.

In the end I would still rather have a manual ranger than an automatic. If I would have had real problems with the tranny I would have just swapped a lower mileage junked tranny in. Mine was holding up just fine with plenty of miles and lots of hard/fast shifting, but other people have had problems with them.
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Old 08-07-2009
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Should I just buy an automatic 4wd? They are more common and cheaper...ya go figure...
YES YES YES YES YES YES

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I would seriously never buy another manual Ranger after my experience with it.
HELL YES. MANUAL RANGERS FTL.
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Old 08-07-2009
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Do these trucks have warrentys? why not have a friend go with you, to see what they have to say
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Old 08-07-2009
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mine is good now. come morning im towing about 5k lbs of **** so im expecting it to die
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Old 08-07-2009
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i just picked up an '07 4.0l 4x4 manual last night and i noticed the tranny was pretty notchy when shifting. luckily i got the extended warranty so i'll be having all that nonsense straightened out. glad to know this isnt an uncommon issue.
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Old 08-07-2009
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Mine is a little notchy going into first if you don't push the shifter just right. All the other gears are fine. I have 92000 and haven't had a slave failure, but I have a new clutch and slave. I figure it is normal for the Mazda transmissions. Mine has been like that forever and no problems. The only time it shifted really smooth into first was right after I put the new clutch and slave in. I don't know why it isn't still smooth.
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Old 08-07-2009
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My step dad is the service manager at north cascade ford in sedro-woolley and he told me just a few minutes ago that the issue I am having with the notchy/clink is a flange on the driveshaft (i believe) that needs to be greased. Apparently its been an issue on these trucks for the past 5 or so years. They machine it too much from the factory and it causes a slight gap which lets it move enough to make the noise. He said adjusting and greasing it will stop the problem.

I wont have time to bring it up there till the weekend after next so if anyone else does the fix let us know if that actually fixes the issue.
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Old 08-08-2009
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rangers have crappy trannys ( slave cylinder), a normal/fine one will be notchy going into 1st gear from a dead stop and the rest should be perfectly smooth otherwise it's been treated like crap, as for the clunk, it's a rear wheel drive vehicle I'd start getting used to it, play is perfectly normal and with the millions of rangers that I've driven I've never experienced this 'unusual clunk'
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Old 08-08-2009
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Oh that's right, first gear was always a notchy, had to be in just the right spot. But most other gears were smooth. The "clunking" is probably just a little axle wrap/driveshaft slop.
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Old 08-08-2009
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My truck just started doing this within the last 5000km. Its not bad, but noticeable.

If I would have known that these manuals are so problematic (I had the rearmost u joint replaced at 25000km) I would have got an auto.
Of course then my woman would drive it and that would probably be worse and require more than frequent clutch work.
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