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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for being so long-winded, but I wanted to include as much info as I could and thanks in advance for any help given.

The truck:
2003 Ranger 2.3L DOHC 5-spd 2wd 157k-miles. I have had the truck for ~1yr and have driven it ~15k-miles (mostly as an errand-runner or grocery-getter). I have maintained it pretty well, but the previous owner didn't. I knew this before I bought it, but he gave it to me for a very low price. When I first drove it, it had the most badly warped brake rotors I have ever experienced. He also did semi-regular (probably every 6k-miles) motor oil changes with 20W oil. On these small/tight motors, the manufacturer recommends using 5W20. It says it right on the motor oil filler cap. It has 157k-miles, but as far as the previous owner knew, the timing chain had never been replaced. I have been meaning to replace it, but haven't. There is also a pretty bad exhaust leak and it sounds like it is in the worst place to fix: near the exhaust manifold/gasket.

The Problem:
Yesterday (Sunday, 4/15), I drove ~2.5miles from my home to the grocery store. I was ~1/8-mi away from the store driving at ~20mph when I heard a low grinding/growling noise (I thought it was the transmission) before my engine stalled a few moments later. I cranked the engine and it started right up. It seemed to be running alright, but I noticed right away that the coolant temp gauge wasn't working (it read dead cold when it was reading warm moments previously) I drove it the 1/8-mi to the grocery store, parked it, then shut it off. I jumped out, looked underneath the truck, and saw coolant pouring out. There was no white smoke/steam, so hopefully the motor didn't overheat too bad. The way I understand it, overheating with this motor can lead to serious warping/cracking because the head and block are aluminum.
I also think it's about time to replace the clutch/pressure plate/throwout bearing because at times shifting is problematic and I noticed recently that while the transmission is in 1st gear, it can be changed to neutral without using the clutch.
After I saw the coolant leak, I popped the hood. It looked like the coolant was leaking towards the front/middle of the motor, maybe around the water pump. It was leaking at a pretty steady stream, like out of a 1/4" hose. Threre are a few coolant hoses near where it looked like it was leaking.

I'm hoping that the leak is just due to a blown hose, but that wouldn't explain the grinding/growling noise I heard right before the engine stalled. I'm not even close to being a mechanic. I can do routine maintenance alright, but the most intensive thing I've ever done as far as automotive work is concerned is to replace a timing chain on an '84 351W motor.

After I shut off the motor in the grocery store parking lot yesterday, I had it towed back home. I haven't tried to crank the motor yet. I know I could fill it back up with water and try to find the leak, but I'd like to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about before I do. My biggest fear is that the head or block is cracked/warped or that there is serious damage to the bottom end. How can you tell if you've thrown a rod?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It was the water pump. Should have been obvious from the first. When I got the serpentine belt off, I noticed ALOT of play in the water pump pulley. When I got the pulley off, there were a couple of roller bearings on top of the water pump body. I replaced the pump, flushed the system a few times, and put new coolant in it. It seems to be running fine now.
 
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