Ranger steering and clutch issues - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-01-2013
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Ranger steering and clutch issues

I just bought a 2001 2wd Ranger for my daughter. It's a 2.3L 5-speed, basic Ranger. I need a couple pointers on how to diagnose/fix a couple issues. I am more into Mustangs so these problems are a little foreign to me, and any help would me much appreciated.
First problem is when I turn the steering wheel, the front end shudders. It does this driving, stopped, wheels on the ground, wheels off the ground.
Second problem is with the clutch. If I pump it up, it seems to work ok, but there's hardly a pedal, and at times it's hard to shift from gear to gear. I searched this site, which has definitely been helpful with a couple of the truck's other issues I have already fixed thanks to you guys, but these two are still a mystery. Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 11-01-2013
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the clutch issue sounds like slave cyl or possibly master cyl. How many km on this truck? If theres alot you might aswell go ahead and replace both.

The front end is weird though. Did you already put a prybar under there and pry on the tie rod ends and see if theres play? What about ball joints? any play with the pry bar?
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Old 11-01-2013
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There's like a 125,000 miles on the truck. Where's the most inexpensive to buy these parts, Rock Auto?

The front end, the passenger side does have slight play to it up and down, but I don't want to keep throwing money at it. I want to fix it the first time. We think it could be the ball joints, but I was checking to see if anyone else had the same issue, and what fixed it.
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Old 11-01-2013
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Where are you prying to see this movement? Tie rods or ball joints? Best way to test ball joints is put a bar through the wheel, put it on the disc then pry up while its jacked up tire off the ground. if theres movement then its balljoints.

You shouldnt have any movement in tie rod ends or balljoints

cheapest place for me is always rock auto. being you're american you can probably go to the corner store and buy a whole engine block for less than I pay for milk. So I'm not much help. I know rock auto is dirt cheap though.

Buy the better parts. ALWAYS greasable unless its a ujoint.
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Old 11-01-2013
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That shudder is air in the power steering system. I have it anytime my truck is aligned, especially when they move the steering without the engine running.


Try starting the truck and move the steering wheel from lock to lock a few times each time you start it.

How long has it been like this? The front end issue.
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Old 11-01-2013
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Like sheltonfilms said, the shuddering is probably from air in the steering system. Try bleeding the system and see if that fixes it. As for the clutch, it sounds like something is hosed up with the slave or the clutch master cylinder. Good luck
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Old 11-04-2013
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I took the power steering cap off, and turned the wheel lock-to-lock several times with the engine running, but it didn't seem to help. I will keep trying. I jacked the truck off the ground, using a large prybar to check the ball joints. The driver side seemed fine, but the passenger side had slight movement to it. The ball joints have grease fittings, but the grease gun I have isn't compatible with them. I just bought the truck a few months ago, and it sat for a little bit because the fuel pump went out. I replaced the pump, and that's when I noticed the shuddering issue. The truck may have a blown head gasket so the steering and clutch issue might be pushed to the back burner for a minute.

Thanks for you guys' help. This site helped me diagnose the fuel pump problem so you guys saved me some time with that, too.
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Old 11-07-2013
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I drove the Ranger home last night from work, and the shuddering while turning the wheel has disappeared, like some of you suggested. Thanks again. I still think it needs ball joints, and probably struts, too, because when I go over bumps there's a lot of extra jouncing and bouncing that shouldn't be there.
Also, I don't think it has a blown head gasket, the coolant bottle has a leak just below the threads. Even the clutch feels better after driving it a bit.
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