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Our first truck


Old 11-21-2017
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 10
Our first truck

Have been looking for a small truck for a while - you know, that run to Lowe's for stuff that you can't get in a car or don't want to (bricks, lumber, etc...). Found one this past Saturday: a blue, 2001 XLT with the 4.0, auto, power windows/locks with 146k miles and 4X2. A previous owner put a cheap radio in it and didn't install it to keep memory when turned off, so that's on the list. The seats are different from any I've seen; it's two buckets and a fixed console. The seats have a switch labeled 'Lumbar' but don't do anything and there is a connection underneath that is not plugged into anything, and on the list. I spent a day cleaning it out as the previous owner didn't do much of that. The paint and interior (seats) are good.
I've been trying to find out everything I can, so I can maintain it and work on it as needed - as I do on my other cars.
It only came with one key, so that's on the list too; if it didn't come with remote lock, I'll install one. The key I have will not open the drivers door but will the passenger. I just leave it unlocked for now, as there's nothing on the inside for anyone to take.

I figure that we can make use of it, to do the wanted stuff around the house for a while and then let it go. It's not my kind of drive but it's a truck.

Any offerings will be appreciated and hope to get good advice. I'm on two other car forums as well that are always helpful and I chime in when I can help.

Retired from the Medical College of Georgia.

Larry Garner
Augusta, GA
Attached Thumbnails Our first truck-2001-ranger-xlt.jpg  
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Old 11-21-2017
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 10,175
Welcome to the forum

2001 Ranger was first year for the 4.0l SOHC engine, earlier had the 4.0l OHV

4.0l SOHC was first used in 1997 Explorer and from 2001 to 2012 in Rangers
The 1997 to 2004 4.0l SOHC engines had timing chain issues, actually tensioner issues, but result was the same, a rattle would start and then get worse and worse.
Unfortunately the engine needs to be pulled out to fix the rear timing chain, which was the one that usually started rattling first.
So keep you ears open
It is possible to change two of the tensioners now, if there is no rattle, the newer design tensioners, introduced in 2005 model year, prevent this issue.
Rear tensioner and drivers front tensioner can be replaced with engine in vehicle and without too much trouble, those were the ones that failed.

The Rangers can take alot of miles with basic service, change coolant and of course oil.
Clean MAF sensor if engine bogs a bit or once a year, easy to do
New fuel filter every 5 years or so

Back flush heater core when you change coolant, also reverse heater hose on the core each time you change coolant, you should do that on any vehicle, helps keep heater core debris free and last longer.

You can see if you already have keyless entry.
Power door locks are needed of course, lol.
Doors closed
Turn key on and off 8 times quickly, ending in ON position
If doors lock and unlock on there own then you have keyless entry just no Fobs
(if you wanted to add a Fob then you would push the Fobs lock button at this point and locks would cycle again, and Fob is now "learned")

If locks don't cycle then you don't have factory keyless entry.

PATS, passive anti-theft system, requires a PATS key that has an ID number recognized by the computer.
Is you have 2 "working" PATS keys then you can add a 3 or 4th yourself
With just one working key you have two options for a spare:

1. PATS Clone key(s), most locksmiths have "blank" PATS keys, fully blank, so not cut but also no ID number
They can Read your working PATS key's ID number, then write that number to the Blank PATS key, then cut the key for lock.
So computer see same number and it works, but this is not the same as two "working" keys so you can add your own, this is just a working spare key, which is fine.

2. Most locksmiths have the Ford software on a laptop needed to add PATS keys to computers memory.
So they cut the PATS keys for the lock and then add them(the new numbers) to the computer.

In either case you can pull out the drivers door key cylinder and locksmith can, in most cases, repin it to match current ignition key.
Not sure on the 2001 but there is usually a tab in the door jamb by lock cylinder, you pull out the tab and that releases the cylinder.
Cylinder can then be pulled out still attached to the lock bar, have to wiggle it around and then clamp the lock bar so it can't fall back inside the door, and remove it from cylinder.

If bar falls off it just means you will have to pull the door panel, so not the end of the world, lol
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Old 12-06-2017
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 10
Thanks for all the info - a fire-hose worth. It does have remote locks, per your advice. I've written the previous owner (didn't buy direct from him) to see if he has the key fobs and another key; if not, oh well - eBay has plenty and are cheap.
So far, so good - made the inaugural run to Lowe's this week for lumber to redo the garden - so convenient. It's got me to thinking of finding a newer, nicer one to keep around and let one of my Miata's go. I have a '97, 5-speed (this one) and an '08 with the power hardtop and 6-speed auto and a VW Eos power hardtop, we do like going topless - wife has a Honda CRV.

I've owned airplanes since '69, the last one I bought almost new in '83 and kept for almost 40-years, and done a lot of my own work on them. I sold the last one in 2015 as I was just not flying it enough to justify the cost and hassle of keeping it.

I rewired the radio and it wouldn't crank the next day. Charged the battery and it has cranked even after sitting for several days. Will watch the battery, although it checks ok.
Added corner tie-down rings - Walmart, $2.88 each and a steering wheel cover for $9.88 (the original leather is not in the best shape). Will add running lights and an LED light's with stop flasher on the third brake light atop the cabin. I usually mod with LED's all around, as I've done on the two Miata's (the Eos is already); may on the Ranger. I like the LED's - faster response, low energy use, brighter and gets your attention.

The Ranger has a slight miss at idle - not really a miss, just a little roughness. It runs fine and has no hesitation at all. Any idea on that? I may pull the plugs just to check, clean or just replace them.
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Old 12-06-2017
MaDMaXX's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Oregon
Posts: 780
I'm not sure if the 4.0 has the same 'issue' the 3.0 has, but they run a wasted spark, meaning one bank plugs fire from center to outer, and vice versa for the other bank... :(

Means your plugs can wear badly on one side, and not the other due to material used on the plug (if not double plat)

Mine smoothed out after giving the MAF a good clean, twice, once week apart. Also running a high PEA content fuel cleaner.
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