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Timing Belt Replacement on a 2000 and older Ranger 4 Cylinder

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Written By: Desert Rat 23

Disclaimer: Activities and vehicle modifications appearing or described at The Ranger Station and it's pages may be potentially dangerous. We do not endorse any such activity for others or recommend it to any particular person - we simply describe the experiences and opinions of other Ranger/Bronco II owners. If you choose to engage in these activities it is by your own free will and at your own risk. Any and all modifications will likely cause a vehicle to behave differently than stock.  Some modifications may significantly increase your risk when driving the vehicle or be dangerous in some driving situations. Use good judgment when engaging in any activity or making any modifications. Do not take unwise risks.  Consult a certified professional if you are not sure of something.  The Ranger Station and the authors of these articles assume no liability for how any particular individual chooses to use the information presented here.  Some of these modifications may void your vehicles warranty. Please also read our Legal notice HERE.  

Ok, I know that there are a lot of threads covering timing belts and crank shaft pulley removals, but while I was trying to do mine I couldn't find a good one that covered the whole thing. This was my first timing belt project and I got a lot of help from some cool people on this forum so I figured I'd try to pay it forward.

First, if you don't have a Haynes manual, get one. Everything that you need to know about this is in there. Except tips and tricks to doing the hard stuff.

You're going to need to remove a lot of stuff from the front of the truck to give yourself room to work. You can get away without removing some of it, but why torture yourself. You'll save time in the end.

Remove the air intake, exhaust side spark plugs, fan belt, fan and shroud, radiator, and battery. That should give you enough room.

Now, you need to find top dead center, this is where removing the spark plugs pays off. Turn the crank pulley in the same direction that it would spin if the engine were on until the timing mark on the crank pulley reaches the TC mark.

Now look in the two peep holes on the timing cover to see if the marking on the cam pulley and oil pump pulley are lined up.

If they're not, turn it another 360 degrees and check again. you should be good now.

Next, unbolt the ac compressor w/out disconnecting the hoses and move it out of the way so that you can remove the 3 bolts holding the pwr steering bracket. The bracket has to be moved to remove the timing belt cover.

Remove the bolt or bolts and screws holding the timing belt cover on and pull out the cover.

Ok, this is where Haynes says "remove the crank shaft pulley", but they don't tell you what a bitch it can be. First take out the bolt. If you have an impact wrench, sweet. Sense you took out the radiator you wont have a problem using it. If you are like me and don't then you need to get creative. just spinning it to the left is futile. There are a lot of ways to do it and they all can be found in this forum with a quick search. I just put my breaker bar on it, tied it to the frame with a tie down strap and with the ignition coils disconnected, cranked the engine for a half second. Worked like a charm.

However, from what I've read, heard, and good ol' common sense, this can be dangerous and stuff can break. Fair warning.

But it works.

Now you need to get that pulley off. If you have a pulley with more than one bolt holding it on then just get a puller from the auto shop for about 15 bucks or have them loan it to you. Most will. If yours is like mine with one bolt only and the pulley doesn't just come off after the bolt did then here's what I did.

Spray a bunch of penetrating oil in the crank key notch. I was told PB or liquid wrench. Never used them, but plan on getting some for future projects. I used wd40 and got lucky I guess.

Wait a while for it to soak in. Like a few hours or all night. Then using a dead blow mallet smack the crap out of the pulley on all sides. Take a torch (propane or map gas) heat up the pulley from the inside, around the shaft, not the shaft itself, (heat expands metal so don't heat the shaft) and don't cook it so much that it melts the rubber in the pulley. Then take a long (3-4') skinny bar (I used my small floor jack handle) and from behind the pulley and under the oil pan rap on the back of it to push it off the shaft.

If it doesn't come off, give the crank a 1/4 turn and repeat. Remember to return it to TDC (Top Dead Center) before removing the belt. Also, don't beat on it so hard that you bend the crap out of it. Patience, heat, time, and beer. You may need a lot of all of them. It will come off.

Its all down hill from here now. Just loosen the 2 bolts holding the tensioner, pry the tensioner back to release the belt, remove the belt WITHOUT TURNING ANY OF THE PULLEYS. Put the new belt on starting at the crank and working counter clockwise, reset the tensioner without tightening it. Turn the crank a few times to tighten it all up and also making sure all the timing marks still line up. Now tighten it all up and put it all back together. Your done.

I probably got some of this wrong. But this is what I did and it worked great. I had a lot of help from some very cool members of this forum. So thanks to them.

If you see a flaw in this mess please correct me. Just wanted to give the next guy the help that i got.