2002 Ranger 4x4 Off Road 4.0 inspection points - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

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Old 05-19-2016
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: MA
Posts: 4
2002 Ranger 4x4 Off Road 4.0 inspection points

After looking at several Rangers, I finally picked mine a few weeks ago. Mileage shows as 90k, not bad for the years. It looks brand new. Auto trans, all power options. Wish I could go back in time and buy it new.

I've had to replace all front end parts and tires, all shocks, several dash cluster bulbs, and the engine belt tensioner pulley assy (making noise).

I just bought a set of universal joints because the drivetrain seems a little drummy, hoping it's not in the trans or engine. They are not yet installed.

I also notice that this truck really doesn't like to downshift unless you really push the pedal deep, wondering if there is something that needs to be changed or if it's just they way these torquey engines run.

I have ordered a factory service manual, due in anytime.

Aside from these questions, I'm looking for any advice on other things that commonly need attention on these trucks.

The frame has significant corrosion so I don't expect her to last forever, but I'd like to keep her in good health as long as i can.

Thanks for any responses. I posted photos in a post in the new member intro section.
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Old 05-19-2016
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 7,606
Welcome to the forum

Rear leaf spring hangers on pick ups rust out faster than other stuff, keep an eye on those.
Best and easiest is to remove the bed, 6 bolts, filler tube and tail light wires, then just lift it off.
Change all 4 hangers at that time, they are not expensive.

Also removing the bed or sliding it back is best way to change/service fuel pump.

Check for throttle cable stretching, not uncommon on Rangers
Press gas pedal to the floor and put something on it to hold it down, weight or stick against the seat.
Go to the engine end of cable and see if you can manually open the throttle more.
If so Google: Ranger throttle cable mod
Easy fix, couple of zap straps/cable ties on throttle cable end in the cab.

That could be why "kick down" for trans isn't working like it should, kick down is initiated by throttle position, TPS(throttle position sensor) is how computer decides if it should drop down a gear.

2002 also uses OSS(output shaft speed sensor) on transfer case output shaft for accurate speed reporting.
This is set for tire size and axle ratio.
And computer uses this speed signal for shifting trans gears.
If tire size is changed(or axle ratio) then speed is no longer accurate so shifts wouldn't be either.
Is your speedometer correct?

The big deal for 2002 4.0l SOHC engine is the time chain set, 1997 to 2004 4.0l SOHC engines had a bad design for the timing chain guides(cassettes), they deteriorated and chains started to rattle and it could throw timing off or worse, 4.0l SOHC is an interference engine, so valves can hit the pistons if timing gets too far off.
Because there is a rear timing chain the engine must be pulled out to install new cassettes and chains.
The newer design and parts are bullet proof so once changed all is well.

This isn't a 100% failure rate, following normal oil change routines seems to prevent issues, but isn't a guaranty.

The PCV valve hoses have elbows that can crack after 10 years or so, they crack on the underside so "look fine", you will get CEL(check engine light) and Lean codes, which usually indicate a vacuum leak, PVC hoses are first place to look.
Good tech article here: https://www.ranger-forums.com/4-0l-o...mon-cel-93776/

Shift transfer case in to 4hi and 4low once a month, this will keep shift motor working, you don't have to drive it just shift it.
If the shift motor sits for many months without moving the brushes can get stuck and no longer make contact with rotor, so when you need 4WD you don't have it, tapping on the shift motor can often restore function, but it would need to be pulled off and cleaned or replaced if that happened.

Rangers overall are one of the better trucks made, it is a Ford truck so that is just expected, 300+k miles on chassis is normal, my '94 is still going strong at 350k.

Last edited by RonD; 05-19-2016 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 05-19-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: MA
Posts: 4
Thanks very much for sharing, RonD.

I will check that throttle cable at my first opportunity. I know it has the factory sized tires on it. I checked the door tag. I haven't yet been able to verify the speedo, but I believe it is relatively true. The rear end does have a freshly painted cover on it so there may have been some work done in there.

And regarding the PCV valve, I'm sure it's there, but somebody changed out the factory air intake box for a K&N performance job (why?!). It's hoses appear relatively fresh.

Last, I just received my service manual. I'm concerned. See photos. Anyone know of this company? The disk appears to be an illicit copy. Great.
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2002 Ranger 4x4 Off Road 4.0 inspection points-img_20160519_180813262-450x800.jpg   2002 Ranger 4x4 Off Road 4.0 inspection points-img_20160519_181344471-800x450.jpg   2002 Ranger 4x4 Off Road 4.0 inspection points-img_20160519_180804842-450x800.jpg  
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Old 05-19-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: MA
Posts: 4
One other thing, there's an annoying cricket chirp coming from somewhere up front, mostly when moving. It doesn't seem RPM related, comes and goes. I need to strap someone to the hood and take em for a drive to find it.
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Old 05-19-2016
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Cold Air Intakes(CAI) were helpful in the old carb days when carb sat in the middle of the engine and air filter sat on top if it and sucked in warm engine bay air.
Colder air from outside the engine bay can have more fuel added so slightly better performance.
"Hot air rises", this means that cold air is denser, denser air means more fuel can be added.

All fuel injected engines use CAI now, since the 1980's, Rangers included, just too simple to do from the factory and you get better performance.

But sellers gotta sell, lol, K & N makes good stuff, but not really needed stuff for most people.
But bolt on power seems to be popular with some segment of the market, whether it works or not is really not the point.
A nice paint job doesn't get better MPG or Horse Power, you just like it.

K & N filter is like that, looks good and it can sound louder than factory intake, which actually means there is a problem, lol, but not my call.

Cold start engine, let it run for 20 seconds then shut it off.
Pop hood and spin the fan, should spin easily, see if you hear the chirp noise

DIY is not Ford of course but they sell the manuals and DVDs: https://www.diyrepairmanuals.com/products.asp?cat=2584

Some of the older DVDs need to run on XP or 2000.
And that part that is crossed out was a real issue, you have to set Computer's date/year back a ways to view disc, lol.

Should be fine to use as far as info inside
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Old 05-25-2016
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 7
I stopped reading right after "Auto trans"
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