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Old 05-12-2016
NIN3R's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2016
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Hi from New England!

Hey folks... just purchased my first Ranger.
It's a 1994 Ford Ranger 4x4 Splash EXT w/ 156K miles.

I picked it up from a "private owner" who happened to be selling it out of a NAPA/Towing location. [Weird?]

Test drive went okay. - some minor things that I'd expected from a 20+ year old truck with 156K.

What really sealed the deal for me was that it has a plow on it which would make clearing the snow from my new house easier. [My driveway is steep and bends]

Well, after cash was exchanged hands, I hop in the truck and I'm off to my house which is about a 45 min ride. Not even 30 minutes later the thing overheats and I have to pull over. Call the guy up, he gets a tow truck to come out and bring it back. Seller says it's probably and easy fix and he will take care of it.



On the tow ride back, the trucks plow lowers, scrapes, and starts to pop out of the tow truck claws[?]. Tow truck driver slams on the breaks... my truck smashes into his. Bumper is all messed up, but at least the tailgate is fine.



So, again, seller says he'll fix the overheating issue... Fine. Week goes by and he says the thermostat was shot. All fixed. I pick it up yesterday and on the ride 3 minutes from my house... guess what? OVERHEATED AGAIN!



Obviously I was sold a basket case... Luckily I'm all for learning to work on a truck. I'm hoping this will be a good source of information, advise, etc for my (now) project truck.

/Rant

That felt great to get off my chest.
I look forward to sharing my experience and learning with you folks.


P.S. If anyone has a good place for me to start locating my overheating issue, I am all ears!
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Old 05-13-2016
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Location: Lake Worth
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Welcome

I am sorry you had such an experience with your purchase.

The first thing to do is determine if your cooling system has a leak.

To do this you need to pressure test the cooling system. make sure to pressure test the pressure cap also.

Check the engine oil while you are at it. the oil should look clean and not look like a milkshake.

If the oil looks like a milkshake you either have cracked heads or a blown head gasket or both.

If you suspect a blown head gasket you can get a cooling system tester that checks for hydrocarbons in the cooling system ( Hydrocarbons is a result from fuel getting into the cooling system from a blown head gasket or cracked head )

with the age of the truck plan on replacing all the cooling system hoses, thermostat, fan clutch, and water pump.

You can skip some of these parts if you have proof that some of these parts have been replaced, and have been checked by you and are in good shape.

The radiator and heater core should be replaced if the cooling system has been neglected and shows signs of rust and contamination.

Since the truck is new to you and has been overheated twice that you know of, it would be a good idea to pull a compression test on the engine.

If your lucky enough to have good compression and no signs of a blown head gasket, make sure to replace that the parts mentioned above or inspect them all closely.

It is common for an expensive engine to get damaged from a 15 dollar hose or some other maintenance item that was neglected.

Make sure to pull the snow plow off when not using it for its intended purpose.

The plow when raised up can block air flow off to the radiator, in the dead of winter when it is freezing outside the lack of air flow may not hurt the truck but when its warm out the plow may cause overheating.

BTW the towing company should purchase and have installed a new bumper and repair any damage they caused.

This towing company should have used a Flat bed tow truck to tow your snow plow equipped Ranger.
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Old 05-13-2016
NIN3R's Avatar
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Icon14

Quote:
Originally Posted by EaOutlaw View Post
Welcome

I am sorry you had such an experience with your purchase.

The first thing to do is determine if your cooling system has a leak.

To do this you need to pressure test the cooling system. make sure to pressure test the pressure cap also.

Check the engine oil while you are at it. the oil should look clean and not look like a milkshake.

If the oil looks like a milkshake you either have cracked heads or a blown head gasket or both.

If you suspect a blown head gasket you can get a cooling system tester that checks for hydrocarbons in the cooling system ( Hydrocarbons is a result from fuel getting into the cooling system from a blown head gasket or cracked head )

with the age of the truck plan on replacing all the cooling system hoses, thermostat, fan clutch, and water pump.

You can skip some of these parts if you have proof that some of these parts have been replaced, and have been checked by you and are in good shape.

The radiator and heater core should be replaced if the cooling system has been neglected and shows signs of rust and contamination.

Since the truck is new to you and has been overheated twice that you know of, it would be a good idea to pull a compression test on the engine.

If your lucky enough to have good compression and no signs of a blown head gasket, make sure to replace that the parts mentioned above or inspect them all closely.

It is common for an expensive engine to get damaged from a 15 dollar hose or some other maintenance item that was neglected.

Make sure to pull the snow plow off when not using it for its intended purpose.

The plow when raised up can block air flow off to the radiator, in the dead of winter when it is freezing outside the lack of air flow may not hurt the truck but when its warm out the plow may cause overheating.

BTW the towing company should purchase and have installed a new bumper and repair any damage they caused.

This towing company should have used a Flat bed tow truck to tow your snow plow equipped Ranger.
Outlaw, thank you for the warm welcome and thank you for the advise on where to start trouble shooting. I am rather excited/nervous to get working on it!

Looks like the pressure testing of the cooling system will be first.
Do I need any special tools for doing this on the Ranger?
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Old 05-13-2016
EaOutlaw's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Lake Worth
Posts: 644
if you have a radiator cap on your radiator most standard pressure testers will work.
a pressure tester can be picked up at most parts places as a loner just tell them what your working on they should give you what you need.

You will have to pay for the tool and get a refund once you return it.

Do not pressure test a hot cooling system.
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