Project Logs For detailed builds specific to the Ford Ranger, one thread per vehicle please.

The Economical Ranger

  #1  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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The Economical Ranger

This isnít going to be so much of a ďproject logĒ as it is going to be a maintenance and repair log.

I purchased a 2002 Ford Ranger XL 2.3L with the standard bed and a manual transmission this Monday. It was a work truck owned by a cabinet and tile company and was primarily used to move tile and wood samples to customers. Now it is my daily driver and weekend Home Depot/Lumber transporter (I do woodworking as a hobby on the weekends). I bought it for $2500 with almost 145,000 miles on it.

The Ranger (so far in my experience) runs like a top but has needed a few minor things. Here Iíll keep track of what I fix/replace, when I repair them, and costs associated with those things.

Things wrong with it when I got it:
  • Cracked windshield (replaced 6/19, $388, overpaid but convenience trumps cost for this one)
  • Front brake pads ready to be replaced (replaced 6/18, $100 with new rotors too)
  • Leaking third brake light seal ($58, part en route)
  • Door lock actuators are both bad ($10 each, part en route)
  • Nail in one tire but no leak (patched on 6/18, $20)
  • Torn seats (might get a seat cover... idk yet)
  • Large dents on left and right side of bed (might pull them out later)
  • Needs a smog, no codes but system is pending readiness for EGR and EVAP.
  • Needs a new radio. Current one works but Iím going to spoil myself a bit here and get one with CarPlay and a backup camera
  • Not sure it needed it but I changed the oil on 6/20 just as a matter of principle for a ďnewĒ used car purchase

I bought the Ranger to drive for the next few years as my wife and I pay down our new 19í CRV. My goal is to spend as little money as possible keeping this truck comfortable to drive until the CRV is paid off and I can get something a little newer.

Upcoming (besides what is listed above):

Full tune up including:
  • Spark plugs
  • Spark plug wires
  • Ignition coil

Plus:
  • Replace brake fluid (pretty dirty)
 
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Welcome from Georgia. Good luck with your new truck.
 
  #6  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Welcome to the forum

You have a 2.3l DOHC Duratec engine, its a Mazda L engine designated as 23NS, Ford branded it as Duratec

Rangers used the 2.3l SOHC Lima engines from 1983 to 1997, totally different engine, so if you google "Ranger 2.3l" you will get some conflicting info

2.3l Duratec was used in Rangers from mid-2001 to 2011, a slightly different version with turbo, 2.3l Ecoboost, is used in the 2019 Rangers

These are just a "heads up"
The 2001-2003 2.3l Duratec have IMRC(intake manifold runner control) which can cause problems, usually just cracked or broke vacuum lines
These years also have a Heated Thermostat, which is expensive to replace

All 2.3l Duratec's were made for transverse mounting in FWD Cars, they have a coolant hose connection in the back of the head, which can be seen when engine is mounted sideways, but in the Rangers its impossible to get at without dropping the transmission
So if you ever have access to the back of the engine, like changing the clutch disc, replace this hose and fitting just for general maintenance

The 2.3l Duratec was a very reliable motor
You have an M5OD-R1 manual transmission, also very reliable, it does use ATF, yes automatic transmission fluid, in a manual transmission

Pending readiness means battery was unhooked for at least 5 minutes.
EVAP takes the longest to come back, 3 to 6 drive cycles
EGR should only take 2 drive cycles

So any work planned that involves unhooking the battery, do it first, then you can get readiness back

Details here on getting it to pass readiness tests: http://www.obdii.com/drivecycleford.html
 

Last edited by RonD; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:11 AM.
  #7  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
...
Pending readiness means battery was unhooked for at least 5 minutes.
EVAP takes the longest to come back, 3 to 6 drive cycles
EGR should only take 2 drive cycles

So any work planned that involves unhooking the battery, do it first, then you can get readiness back

Details here on getting it to pass readiness tests: Ford Motor Company Driving Cycle
Thanks, Ron.

Iím fairly experienced with cars and have worked on several over the years, mostly Toyotaís, a Mazda and a Honda. In all that time, Iíve never seen a car take so long to get all the systems into a ready state. Iíve driven probably 15-20 drive cycles, maybe 5-6 on the freeway and the rest city. Iíve followed a few guides to get the EGR and EVAP systems to ďreadyĒ but so far nothing is working, itís been about 250 miles at this point.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
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Originally Posted by Doowstados View Post
Thanks, Ron.

Iím fairly experienced with cars and have worked on several over the years, mostly Toyotaís, a Mazda and a Honda. In all that time, Iíve never seen a car take so long to get all the systems into a ready state. Iíve driven probably 15-20 drive cycles, maybe 5-6 on the freeway and the rest city. Iíve followed a few guides to get the EGR and EVAP systems to ďreadyĒ but so far nothing is working, itís been about 250 miles at this point.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
I just rebuilt mine, It took close to 2 tanks of gas to get everything to "readiness" but I also hogged on it after it was warmed up to seat the rings in.
 
  #9  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post

These are just a "heads up"
The 2001-2003 2.3l Duratec have IMRC(intake manifold runner control) which can cause problems, usually just cracked or broke vacuum lines
These years also have a Heated Thermostat, which is expensive to replace

All 2.3l Duratec's were made for transverse mounting in FWD Cars, they have a coolant hose connection in the back of the head, which can be seen when engine is mounted sideways, but in the Rangers its impossible to get at without dropping the transmission
So if you ever have access to the back of the engine, like changing the clutch disc, replace this hose and fitting just for general maintenance

The 2.3l Duratec was a very reliable motor
You have an M5OD-R1 manual transmission, also very reliable, it does use ATF, yes automatic transmission fluid, in a manual transmission
I will just go ahead and say the IMRC has always plagued me as an issue. Even after replacing the runner control solenoid it still doesn't operate properly.
And the Water neck started leaking on mine, during a very inconvenient point in my life. I ended up parking it for over 2 years because it needed that gasket replaced and at 213k, needed about every other gasket as well.
So if you are ever in there for a clutch or slave like he suggested, replace that and the water cooled EGR gasket. If you have it apart to this point, I suggest replacing the heater bypass hose as well. Above the starter there is a 3 way plastic fitting that is NOTORIOUS for breaking down over time and splitting. I will say without a doubt to replace it with the DORMAN replacement hose, #626528. Instead of a plastic 3 way junction, it uses aluminum and should never rot out. Or if it does, can be replaced without hacking the hoses up. 60 and some change from RockAuto.

If you ever need that trans rebuilt, you'll likely find that it is the most revised version, with a tag on the side that says "1L54" in which case RIP. I have the same one. I bought the last 1st gear synchro that Ford could find, and the 2nd gear 3 piece synchro isnt cheap either. Other than that, it uses all the same bearings and components as the "later" model 30 tooth 5th/reverse gear. I have synchromesh in mine, and it shifts like butter. The master to slave quick disconnect kinda sucks too, mine kept popping out and eventually I had that whole line replaced with a stainless braided hose with AN fittings.

Good luck with the truck, and enjoy it!
 
  #10  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Doowstados View Post
Thanks, Ron.

Iím fairly experienced with cars and have worked on several over the years, mostly Toyotaís, a Mazda and a Honda. In all that time, Iíve never seen a car take so long to get all the systems into a ready state. Iíve driven probably 15-20 drive cycles, maybe 5-6 on the freeway and the rest city. Iíve followed a few guides to get the EGR and EVAP systems to ďreadyĒ but so far nothing is working, itís been about 250 miles at this point.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
I would unhook battery and clear all tests so everything restarts, something is wrong, like you said this is not normal for any OBDII vehicle
 
  #11  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Thanks for the great info everyone! Glad I found a helpful community.

Originally Posted by RonD View Post
I would unhook battery and clear all tests so everything restarts, something is wrong, like you said this is not normal for any OBDII vehicle
Darn. Yeah, I thought about doing that but didnít want to pull the trigger on it because it took 50 miles to get the Cat monitor to readiness too. Iíll drive it until this weekend and if no change Iíll pull the battery terminal and restart everything on Saturday. Then Iíll follow the guide on the OBDII site again.

Thanks!
 

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