Guitarl's Rat Ranger Pickups

Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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Blew my motor today.
I don't know, it turns over but no catching. Was cruising down the highway a 100 miles from home... Got it towed to a local yard and I'll come back and get it this weekend. Sitting in a McDonald's right now waiting for my youngest boy to come get me in my other truck. Argh!!



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Jun 13, 2015
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Yeah, maybe a belt/chain or a tensioner let go? Did the starter spin with a quicker sound? I would think that's probably a non-interference engine, so if it is a chain/belt, after replacing that and the tensioner (and it would probably be a good idea to replace the water pump if it's driven by the t-chain/belt and hasn't been done recently), you should be good.
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Took the front of my motor off to see what broke today. Ford 4.0 V6
sheared the key off the back of the timing gear and broke the bolt that attaches it to the cam...
So weird. What caused the failure? It's got a lot of miles and the valves rattle some but when you turn the motor over there is no rattling now... You'd think if it blew a valve you'd hear it now even though the cam isn't turning. It looks like the top of the motor has to come off just to make sure... Argh!

Carl.

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Bearings froze up on a tensioner or something that could have caused the timing chain to stop catastrophically and the weakest point was the cam keyway? Maybe the bolt backed out on the cam sprocket? if there was work done fairly recently (maybe the last owner) that involved removing that bolt, it could have been undertorqued or is a yield bolt (though probably not) and should not have been reused. On Subaru EJs, the usual listed spec for the crank pulley torque is (or was, at least) about 40 ft/lbs under what it should really have been and, when torqued to the false spec, would cause the same failure as you've seen here, but with the crank pulley (somewhere in space, probably orbiting an asteroid by now there is a cloud of swearing from the day I discovered this for myself).

I don't know the specifics of that engine, but I think it's a non-interference engine, so your valvetrain should be fine providing the keyway in the cam is reusable so you don't have to replace it (looks like it is in the photo).
 
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Took the front of my motor off to see what broke today. Ford 4.0 V6
sheared the key off the back of the timing gear and broke the bolt that attaches it to the cam...
So weird. What caused the failure? It's got a lot of miles and the valves rattle some but when you turn the motor over there is no rattling now... You'd think if it blew a valve you'd hear it now even though the cam isn't turning. It looks like the top of the motor had to come off just to make sure... Argh!

Carl.

sent from a banana phone...
Bore it out through the water jacket and out the outer sidewalls, sleeve it with chrome Packard Merlin or Rolls Royce Merlin sleeves that have exhaust and intake ports bored into them, weld the valves shut, toss out the cam, timing gear, chain and make it into an air cooled 2 stroke racing engine. Use a stainless jail house toilet for a carb with a leaf blower to atomize and supercharge the intake. Duct tape garbage bags of ice around the leaf blower for a cold air intake. I would then suggest you mount it to a modified bicycle and take it to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. You don't need no stinkin' cam. I never take my own advice.
 
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Yes, the cam is in the block in the pic. I don't know these particular engines, but there are some features with pushrod engines that are better than OHC, it just depends on what you want the engine for. They're mechanically simpler, smaller for packaging, lower in weight and cg (and can be gear-driven more easily—no timing chain or belt to stretch or break). OHC offers better valve control at higher rpms and a little more leeway in designing optimal valve angle and rpm range tuning. To make up for the general high rpm weaknesses, usually the OHV cams and heads are tuned for better low rpm breathing, which is where most people want the punch in daily driving, anyway.
 
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This 4.0L pushrod V6 started out as a lowly 2.9L
Ford bored and stroked it as far as they could ending up as the 4.0L and yes many folks believe the OHV is a better motor that the SOHC. I'm not a real mechanic but I've read a lot today and I have a Haynes repair manual for this truck. I'm glad this is the simpler motor. Tentative plans are to open up the top end, and find out why the bolt broke. I'm betting a bent pushrod.... we'll see.

Carl.
 
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Note: this is NOT the 4.0 SOHC
I have the older 4.0 OHV pushrod engine
a better motor according to some forums...
Hmm.

Carl.
I had one of those, in 2 wheel drive. I don't remember the year. I got it from my Mother, who bought it used. My parents took it to Alaska. I sold it because it went through starters and batteries each year. No one could figure out why. I sold it to a guy that was going to put a V8 in it.
 
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Trucks are rad. If I had a 90s Ranger, I'd be tempted to go with the 302 or a turbo 2.3 four like they had in the Turbo T-Birds, SVO mustangs, etc....

But, around here at least, you can find decent rwd rangers with NA 2.3 fours for so cheap, I think if I blew up a Ranger, I'd just hop on CL and grab another one....

Fun trucks, no matter what's under the hood, though. Compact pickup trucks are incredibly useful tools to have around, and can be fuel-efficient enough to make decent daily drivers, too. I can't convince myself to move on from my Taco, b/c it's just too danged practical.
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Trucks are rad. If I had a 90s Ranger, I'd be tempted to go with the 302 or a turbo 2.3 four like they had in the Turbo T-Birds, SVO mustangs, etc....

But, around here at least, you can find decent rwd rangers with NA 2.3 fours for so cheap, I think if I blew up a Ranger, I'd just hop on CL and grab another one....

Fun trucks, no matter what's under the hood, though. Compact pickup trucks are incredibly useful tools to have around, and can be fuel-efficient enough to make decent daily drivers, too. I can't convince myself to move on from my Taco, b/c it's just too danged practical.
I'm pretty sure I've found another one with a couple issues, but my old one is now the donor. So it's all good.

Carl.