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Old 10-01-2014
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Towing & what to check...

I've got a '95 Ranger with the 4cyl. I'm going to add a real towing hitch to it, but I need to confirm that I'm not asking for trouble if I tow a motorcycle to North Carolina from DFW... Will these old trucks with tiny engines die if I try that? It has a CEL on due to P1443, which I'm 99.9% sure is just a hole in the fuel line from the filler to the tank and ABS is busted, but other than that it's not given me any issues thus far. I don't want to discover issues 5 hours into the drive in buggtussle...

Thanks all.
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Old 10-01-2014
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If using an automatic trans a trans cooler is a must if hauling loads or trailers.
Heat kills automatics.

If a manual then check the rear axle gearing, look on the drivers door edge for a sticker it will have an AXLE code number.
Look it up here: Ford 7.5 & 8.8 Inch Axle Tag & Door Codes

ratio 3.55 or higher is better for towing.

Since most buyers chose the 4cyl Ranger for better MPG the rear axle ratio tends to be lower than 3.55.
This makes it harder to get the truck rolling in first and maintaining speed going up hill
So harder on the clutch
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Old 10-01-2014
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It's an auto, unfortunately. I've taken it down to Austin with a bike in the back, but no trailer yet. I'm guessing it'd be around $300 for an oil cooler minimum, installed? I'm on the fence between using this truck or just replacing it with a better option and that's not gonna help that choice... At some point, throwing another $500 at a beater truck makes less sense than buying a better truck/SUV.
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Old 10-01-2014
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Don't all rangers have factory trans coolers?
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Old 10-01-2014
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From '95? I kinda doubt it... If it does have one I'd be surprised.
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Old 10-01-2014
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Its kinda hit and miss on the autos if you have a factory tow package then yes odds are you have one if not it just cools through the radiator. If not you can get the cooler and lines from a salvage yard for cheap its just inline with the radiator for added cooling should take but a couple hours and a few extra quarts of tranny fluid to add it in. Whats the total weight of trailer and bike? if your under the towing capacity shouldn't be any problems. Although your axle gearing will make a world of difference with the little 4 banger.


Also id definitely look into getting the ABS fixed it will get kinda sketchy if you have to slam on brakes if you don't have trailer brakes. When i helped my parents move i had about 4k pounds behind mine the trailer from uhaul had surge brakes but even then it was low speeds about 4 miles down the road and was kinda sketchy. And at interstate speeds returning it empty (1800lbs) it was a strain to say the least. Id be very leary of towing anything without functioning ABS at least.

Last edited by pearlkid9988; 10-01-2014 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 10-01-2014
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The trailer is only roughly 800lbs with the payload - motorcycle. The ABS issue has me stumped since I've tried both methods of getting the code and didn't get results with either. I've tried grounding both pins of fuse #9 with the key on for a couple seconds, grounding the black/orange wire on the connector behind the passenger kick panel, and using the OBD scanner (no codes). Without the codes, I don't know what to mess with. I fixed the CEL though, just duct taped the hose from the fuel inlet to the tank and reset the code and it looks like it might stick.

Most likely I'll just end up selling it, no sense putting much work into getting a 4cyl to tow anything plus I think I made a bad buy - there's dirt in places I don't think there should be, which I should have caught before I bought it, but oh well... Methinks it may have taken a drink... In which case it's probably worth next to nothing.
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Old 10-01-2014
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Haha yeah id trade it for a 3 or 4l if you plan to tow 4l would be best but a 3l would do fine with 800lbs. Not to familiar with ABS myself though. But if its taken a dip like you think could be a sensor they used one in the rearend for your year i believe and grounding straps back there have been known to be an issue especially if its been wet haha.
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Old 10-02-2014
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Thanks. I'll look at the sensor in the back and see if I can pull one from a junkyard to fix it. Hopefully it's not too difficult to fix the ABS, just need to get it to pass inspection before I can sell it (Texas).
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Old 10-03-2014
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Yeah may not be the sensor necessarily the ground straps got corroded from water slung up from the tires or could just be dirty. Its basically just a magnet that counts the teeth in your rearend. If the rearend is neglected the normal shavings that would be removed during fluid change can build up on the sensor like a tranny drain plug.
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