Piston Slap: The Duratec Ranger's Mounting Problem?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

Will writes:

Hey Sajeev,

My 2010 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3-liter automatic has been an amazing truck since I bought it new in 2010. Lately, I’ve got a vibration and weird sound coming from the driver’s side when stopped at a red light. It only occurs (or is noticeable) when it’s cold outside.

This sound occurred before and after I replaced the ball joint (driver’s bottom) as I was told by a mechanic at Ford it needed to be replaced.

Here’s some videos of it in action:

Sajeev Mehta
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  • Olddavid Olddavid on May 12, 2016

    Damn, Son, you're getting good. Specific diagnosis and fix. Am I not paying attention or is the Sierra looming over Casa Sajeev like a crack in the middle of Coulee Dam? Or have you elected to be the first Pro-Modified Euro-Ford with a Coyote? I would crew at my own expense on that project.

  • Scoutdude Scoutdude on May 12, 2016

    Sorry but I don't think it is a motor mount. If it was a motor mount, particularly the driver's side you would get a good clunk when you put it in drive and the engine feels that load and torques to the side.

  • Tresmonos Tresmonos on May 12, 2016

    Looking at TSB's: There were no suitable TSB's for the 2010 MY. However, there was one for the 2007-2009 Ranger. Sajeev may be on to something. There may be a fatiguing scenario in the exhaust / mounts that whatever fix Ford implemented, or a process variation (something done during the ball joint replacement) may undo. Now as to whether you have the latest PCM calibration, I wish I could access that info but that is best done with a dealer and a VIN. ***************************************** TSB 10-1-1 2.3L - AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - ENGINE IDLE DROAN/MOAN/VIBRATION IN CAB This article supersedes TSB 9-18-5 to update the Service Procedure. ISSUE: Some 2007-2009 Ranger vehicles equipped with a 2.3L engine and automatic transmission may exhibit an engine drone/moan/vibration at idle in the cab. ACTION: Follow the Service Procedure steps to correct the condition. SERVICE PROCEDURE Remove the three (3) rear pushpins and position the right inner fender splash shield aside. Loosen the two (2) right hand (RH) and two (2) left hand (LH) engine support insulator upper nuts to allow 1/4" (6 mm) to 1/2" (12 mm) clearance between nut and mount plate. Install exhaust damper following instructions included in the damper installation kit. Loosen the two (2) exhaust downpipe-to-exhaust manifold nuts. Allow 1/4" (6 mm) to 1/2" (12 mm) clearance of nut surface. Loosen the joint clamp at the muffler inlet pipe. Loosen the two (2) transmission mount bolts and two (2) isolator-to-transmission bolts and allow 1/4" (6 mm) to 1/2" (12 mm) clearance. From passenger side of engine, grab and shake the engine assembly to allow the engine mounts to seek a neutral position. From the driver side of engine, grab and shake the engine assembly to allow the engine mounts to seek a neutral position. Install the two (2) LH and two (2) RH engine support insulator-to-engine support bracket nuts. Tighten to 75 lb-ft (102 N-m). Position the right inner fender splash shield and install the three (3) rear pushpins. Shake the exhaust system until it seeks a neutral position. Tighten the transmission mount and the isolator-to-transmission bolts. Tighten to 66 lb-ft (90 N-m). Tighten the upper exhaust downpipe-to-exhaust manifold nut until partially tight. Tighten the lower manifold nut until completely tight. Complete the tightening process on the upper manifold nut to the specified torque. Tighten both nuts to 30 lb-ft (40 N-m). Tighten the joint clamp at the muffler inlet pipe. Tighten to 30 lb-ft (40 N-m). Start the engine and check the exhaust system for leaks. Reprogram the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to the latest calibration using Integrated Diagnostic System (IDS) release 64.06 and higher. This new calibration is not included in the VCM 2009.11 DVD. Clear all diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) after programming. For DTCs generated after reprogramming, follow normal diagnostic procedures. Part number installed: 8L5Z-5246-B Exhaust Damper Kit Maybe you're missing the exhaust damper kit - the tech removed it and didn't re-install? Maybe over time the kit becomes ineffective? Maybe the engine mounts need repositioned from your service action, or they need replaced? Or it could be your AC compressor of something on the serpentine belt that is going bad.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on May 13, 2016

    I have heard of a restaurant owner near where I live that got 200k out of a 78 Cadillac DeVille without any oil changes. The car was finally junked but the big block V-8 went into a tow truck, but with regular oil changes. I myself would never take a chance on not doing regular oil changes but I have heard of it being done. I think that the Cadillac had mostly highway miles. Highway mileage is much easier on a vehicle than stop and go traffic.