This is the second question I’ve asked on here, and while I didn’t even follow the advice I received last time and here I am again! Last time I was asking about a sporty car, and I ended up getting a 2007 Ford Ranger, 2.3L, 5 speed, with all of 35,000 miles on it. It is a regular cab with nothing extra on it, a real throw back, manual windows, no AC, a nice basic truck with nothing to go wrong right?
In the past two years we’ve put maybe 5,000 miles on it. It’s our second vehicle and it sits a lot except for weekends going to the to the dump, hauling kayaks, bikes, mulch, etc. Just what it was made for. In that time it has developed a serious engine knock (maybe even piston slap?). It runs fine otherwise, especially with a load and at low RPM when empty. Fuel mileage is fine, nothing in the oil except oil, doesn’t use fluids, just makes a god awful knock, especially when shifting. I first thought of detonation, but at low revs with a load in it nothing. I took it to a local shop I trust to see if they could find out what it was. The best they could come up with was it was in the #4 cylinder, they disconnected the spark lead and the knocking went away.
They suspect a wrist pin or main bearing. I suggested dropping the pan and switching the #4 piston, connecting rod and crank bearing out and maybe miking the bearing journal to see if that needs repair. They looked at me like I was nuts. Am I? Seems no one does engine repair any more, are they all throwaways now? They suggested a used or rebuilt engine and a cost of 3-4500$ for the whole job. I wonder if the truck is worth that much, but I can’t really sell it the way it is and it is useful around the house.
Well hell…considering my daily driver is a fully optioned (i.e. carpet, A/C and power windows) version of your ride, this has me more than a little concerned. And then this YouTube video.
From what I Google, some Duratec Rangers have a problem with rod knock as they age. Or maybe it’s a timing chain issue, like the YouTube clip above. It might stem from neglect and over loading the truck. Who knows, especially considering the Duratec Ranger’s crank is beefier than an ordinary Duratec I-4 unit.
And while you can easily (so to speak) fix the offending spinny-part with basic knowledge of what parts comprise the Duratec family of engines, the truth is these are throwaway motors to most folks. And most mechanics. And that’s probably the way it should be.
My advice? You can try one of the magic oil additives, I once used Lucas to hush-up a growly crank on a 5.0L V8. But without a doubt, drive it until the motor pukes: don’t spend another dime trying to diagnose this. Then worry about getting a “new” throwaway motor.
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.