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Old 04-29-2014
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 44
Seldom Used 94 XLT: What to fix?

The unexpected demise of my '98 Blazer put me in need of new wheels in a hurry. Much web searching led me to a 1994 XLT 4X4 Ext'd Cab with a cap over the bed. It is pretty-much the ideal vehicle for me. The prior owner (he's an old gent in his 70's) bot it in '07 with about 100-k. It has 108,280 as of yesterday when I bot it. With this low usage the car has needed nothing other than regular oil changes since in his care according to the records he gave me. I will be driving about 2500 mi/yr. It has the 4.0L v-6 engine and auto trans.

What I am looking for is any advice regarding what parts/items I should consider replacing that are (at least) 7 years old. I guess I am primarily concerned about items that could leave me screwed if they fail and not various belts/hoses. For example: water pump? Timing belt? Actually, I have not yet researched the 4.0 V-6's specs yet so I don't even know if it takes a belt or a chain or if it is an interference engine or not.

Thanks for your responses
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Old 04-29-2014
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4.0l OHV was made from 1990 to 2000, in 2001 Rangers got the new 4.0l SOHC, these two engines are not related.

It is an interference engine and uses a timing chain, but on the 4.0l OHV engine these tend to last the life of the engine, so unless other engine work is needed there is no reason to change the timing chain.

4.0l tends to crack heads if overheated, so that should be avoided, i.e. do not try to "make if home" if engine starts to overheat, stop engine and let it cool down, $10 rad hose break could cost you hundreds.
Water pump will usually start leaking out of it's weep hole before it fails but up to you if you want to replace it.
4.0l uses a 192 or 195degF thermostat do not use a 180degF, and make sure it has a "jiggle valve"(hole to let air out)

Fuel filter, $10, is in the frame rail under the drivers seat area, good to replace these now and then.

MAF(mass air flow) sensor on the air cleaner housing should also be cleaned now and then, not hard to do, this is the main sensor the computer uses to set air/fuel mixture.
If it gets a little dirty you will get bogging and stalling.

The heater core on the '94 4.0l is the cooling system bypass, so coolant always flows thru the core, if you notice engine temp starts to fluctuate for no reason then heater core is probably getting clogged up, $28, easy to change, this will not overheat engine, temp needle will just go up above 1/2 then back down to below 1/2, RPM, uphill, downhill, doesn't matter, it will be totally random.

Next time you change the coolant, backflush the heater core, it is easy and everyone should do this on any vehicle.

Over all the 4.0l OHV is a very reliable engine, I am above 300K and outside of my learning experience with the "do NOT drive home with hot engine" I have no complaints.

The automatic in the '94 should be the A4LD
"The A4LD four speed overdrive transmission was introduced in the 1985 Ford Ranger and saw use behind many 4 and 6 cylinder engines until the 1995 model year when it was replaced by the 4R44E and 4R55E electronic transmissions. The A4LD is identified by transmission code 'T'."
Info on the A4LD here: Ford Ranger A4LD Automatic Transmission

You have "auto hubs" for front axle on the '94 and the "electric shift motor" to activate the transfer case.
Best thing you can do is to shift it into 4x4 once a month, this keeps the electric motor's brushes clean, these tend to get stuck if not used for a long time, so when you do need 4x4 it won't shift, a few taps with a hammer will usually get it working again but just for a bit, it will need to be serviced(cleaned).
Many have replaced the auto hubs with manual hubs, my '94 auto hubs still work fine, just do not over grease them, they need to be able to move to work.

You can check the Axle code on the door sticker, you probably have a Limited Slip rear axle, most 4.0l 4x4s had that.
Look here: Ford 7.5 & 8.8 Inch Axle Tag & Door Codes
It will also tell you the ratio of both rear and front axles

Last edited by RonD; 04-29-2014 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 05-03-2014
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 44
This is a great answer. I plan to just drive it locally and see what sort of mpg I am getting, check oil consumption, etc. The only odd thing so far is that the chimes/bells sometimes continue to sound after I have removed the key and opened the door. Jiggling the lock housing a few times makes it stop - usually. If not, I don't have a problem ignoring it.
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