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Old 07-05-2014
C_Red90's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Overland Park
Posts: 36
New Member from KC

Hey guys my name is Alex. I have an 02 ranger xlt 4.0 all stock with some non-OEM replacement parts.

I never really did any work on cars until about a year ago when I realized I didn't have the money to get a new car or the funds to take my ranger into the shop for regular maintenance anymore.

Working on cars seems pretty easy, at least logic-wise, it certainly is not rocket science :P. I'm building up my tool collection from scratch so that is the only inhibiting factor to my learning.

My ranger currently has 102k miles and I want to keep it until at least 200k, although I think Ford had other plans for this vehicle when they produced it >.>
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Old 07-06-2014
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Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 7,573

Cheap and good to have tools are a vacuum gauge, and a volt/ohm meter.

Read here on using vacuum gauge:
Technical Articles: Engine testing with a Vacuum Gauge - at Greg's Engine & Machine

No matter what they do to the outside of an engine it is still just a big air pump, which is why the vacuum gauge is so handy :)

The added electronics have made the engines much more reliable, the volt/ohm meter allows you to test the electronics if there ever is a problem.

And "don't shoot the messenger", if you ever get a "trouble code", check engine light(CEL) comes on, it doesn't mean a sensor is bad, it usually means a sensor is good and detected a problem, lol.
Many people waste money on replacing sensors and controls because of a CEL, when all they had was a vacuum leak or loose wire, $25 volt/ohm meter can save you hundreds of dollars in parts.

Vacuum leaks are common issues that can cause all sorts of problems, the ford vacuum hoses start cracking after 10 years or so, so if you have a vehicle over 10 years old and have a rough idle or loss of power, start with the larger vacuum hoses, PCV valve hoses are notorious for leaking on Rangers.
This is where a vacuum gauge can come in handy, with engine running good you should check engine vacuum when cold and then when warmed up, write down the RPM and Vacuum number for both cold and warm tests, put paper in the glove box.
If you start to have a problem you have a baseline you can compare current vacuum readings to.

Yes, it is not Rocket Science, lol, but the more "they" make something fool proof, the faster "we" make a better fool, "we" will ALWAYS win that battle

Last edited by RonD; 07-06-2014 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-06-2014
C_Red90's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Overland Park
Posts: 36
Yes I use a voltmeter on all my electrical applications.

The only problem (if you can call it that) is that my engine has never put out any codes as long as I've had it (since 34k miles). The one time it did was just recently when I hadn't secured a spark plug wire and it caused the engine to start up with 5 cylinders. That was the first time I had ever seen it blink, but it wasn't like I needed it since it was pretty obvious it was missing a cylinder.
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