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My new to me 2002 Ranger needs (I think) a new water pump.

1. It drips a bit of coolant, although I'm not sure where it's leaking from. It SEEMS to be in the general area of the water pump, although the damp spot is kinda more to the drivers side than the passenger.

2. Something is also squealing, which almost sounds like a bearing but not quite.

3. The idler pulley has rust all the way round the middle which is (I think) chewing up the belt and leaving black dust on driver side of the engine compartment.

4. This vehicle has 200,000 miles on it, and I'm not sure anything has been done at all in the way of maintenance, ever.


Now, as I study things, the task does not look THAT difficult. I'm not a mechanic, but I'm pretty handy, with lots of experience working on motorcycles over the years and a decent stock of tools.

Also, the parts are not that expensive, which is a pleasant surprise.

(Long time Volvo owner, who just did tuneups on both his turbo wagon and his Ranger. Six spark plugs for the Ranger were less than a single plug for the Volvo!)

So what the heck, let's replace the water pump, belt, idler pulley and tensioner. And maybe back flush the heater core, as I got almost no heat at all during the winter.

Question 1:

Have I missed something?

Question 2:

Am I nuts to do this, or even to attempt to do this?

Question 3:

Looking for parts online, the first three places I look at show two different categories for belts, a "serpentine belt" and an "accessory belt". Prices are about the same for both categories and the part numbers are mystical. Am I missing something? I only see one belt on the truck ...


Thanks for any thoughts, hints or warnings.


Alan
 

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First of all, if you plan on keeping the truck, you need to replace a few other things. My experience with these 3.0 rangers is when you replace a water pump, you have to spend a few extra dollars and replace a few other things while you have everything apart. Otherwise you will be paying more money in the long run on more labor cost. Naturally you have to also replace the T-stat and since you have 200,000 miles on the truck, replace ALL the water hoses. But are you sure it's the water pump and not the timing chain cover gasket leaking?? Even if it's not, it WILL start leaking on these engines and sometimes the leak is internal allowing water to seep into the oil. So not only do you need to replace the water pump, t-stat and hoses, you need to replace the timing chain cover gasket AND the timing chain and timing gear and crankshaft seal. Take it from me, you need to do all these things if you plan on keeping the truck. I learned the hard way. I have the 1999 model. I've had every imaginable oil leak and water leak possible with gaskets and my truck only has 120,000 miles on it. On the heater core if it's not heating very well you need to backflush the heater core both directions several different times until no more trash comes out. Another problem with these engines is many people don't keep the antifreeze changed and that creates all kinds of problems later own. You may already know what a nightmare it is changing the heater core on these trucks. Big bucks involved just in labor costs. On the squealing noises replace BOTH idler pulleys and the serpentine belt. If you still hear squealing noises and it's coming from the back of the engine it most likely is the warning noise that the bearing on the "dummy distributer" shaft is bad. If it goes out while your driving it, your engine will blow up because the oil pump stops working. At 200,000 miles, you are lucky it hasn't already went bad so it needs to be replaced ASAP. If you replace all these things, you can easily get another 100,000 miles or more from the engine because internally they are extremely durable.
 
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