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4.0 SOHC


XLCH

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Good morning fellow ranger owners. Thanks for the add. I will try not to make this too lengthy. I recently purchased a 2002 ranger with a 4.0 SOHC. 150k miles. Runs amazing with zero startup rattle. Being new to the ranger, I didn't realize there was two different types of the 4.0.engine. And now that I'm reading about the S.O.C.H., I keep hearing about what a horror story this engine is. Can anybody tell me something "good" about these engines? Anecdotal or otherwise? Higher mileage? Durability? And then there's the automatic transmission. Blimey, I'm thinking I should sell it while I can and buy a Toyota. Tell me something good, boys!
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: DE2235E7692E8C: July 5th, 2021

MikeG

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Change out the tensioners on a regular schedule, problem solved.

5r55e in my 97 lasted close to 300K miles, keep fluid / filter changed. I believe yours should have some sort of variant of that transmission. You never know how long something will last so take care of it and address the known problems / required maintenance, usually things work out just fine if you do that.

Enjoy your truck rather than fretting about it. ;)
 

RonD

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+1 ^^^

4.0l SOHC was a good reliable engine, used from 1997 to 2011/2 in these Ford models
1997–2010 Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer
2001–2012 Ford Ranger
2001–2010 Mazda B4000
2005–2010 Ford Mustang

When it was first used in Explorers in 1997 as an option/upgrade from the 4.0l OHV it was fine
Then a few years later they started to get "the rattle", Ford chocked it up to lack of service(no oil changes) by owners........
But soon Ford Dealers were complaining that some of their customer's 4.0l SOHC engines, which had PERFECT service records, where also getting "the rattle"
So Ford had a look
Seems that the 2 long chain tensioners on this engine were failing to hold the chains tight on startup before oil pressure took over
So on each startup the chains would BANG on the guides, over time a guide would break, and you get "the rattle"
So "the rattle" means Damage Done, have to change broken guide, there is no "warning signs"

Usually it was the rear guide so engine has to be pulled out to replace it
The chains and guides were fine it was THE TENSIONERS that were the issue
So back to the drawing board to redesign the spring loading needed to hold the chains tight on startup

New design tensioners were put into production and were used at engine assembly plants in 2002/3, and then these engines went into 2003/4 Model Year Vehicles
So if you have a pre-2005 Ranger with 4.0l SOHC it wouldn't be a bad idea to get 2 new Motorcraft tensioners and install them, they are not hard to get at and install
And I would change them every 100k miles just as general service on any year 4.0l SOHC

This was NOT a 100% failure rate, it seems there were just "some" tensioners with the old design that failed, I don't think there are any percentages for a failure rate, but a guess might be 10%


You have a 5R55E automatic, used from 1985/6 to 2011/2 in Rangers and other Ford models
So 26 years, no car maker keeps a "bad" engine or transmission around for 26 YEARS, lol
It is an automatic................................so when there is a problem its a "boat", bust out another thousand :)
Service it and don't overheat it and it will last
You want a manual transmission if you want longevity
 
Last edited:

JOLENE_THE_RANGER

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they make like 100 more hp than the other 4.0. as mentioned above change the tensioners and keep up on your oil change and youll be fine.
 

DILLARD000

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V6~4.0L~SOHC
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Ditto all above.
Here at 240kMiles+ (knock on wood) on a 2001 ExST: all original V6~4.0L~SOHC Engine, 5r55e Tranny, 1354 TransCase, 4.10 Diffs.
High failure items include:
~ Left+Right OilPressurized TimingTensioners, best to change these every 100kMiles or so.
~ JunkPlastic ThermoStat Housing, better option is an Aluminum ThermoStat Housing.
~ JunkPlastic HeaterControl BallValve, better option is an old fashioned Metal HeaterControl PlugValve
~ JunkPlasticTanked 1or2Core Radiator, better option is an AllAluminum 3or4Core Radiator.
~ ThrottlePositionSensor\TPS on ThrottleBody
~ DiffPresFlowElement\DPFESensor on EGR Tube
Become OCD about Engine Oil5w30FullSyn+Filter changes every 5kMiles.
Become OCD about Tranny ATFMerconV+Filter changes every 25kMiles,
or at least Pump+Replace 2qtsMerconV at the DipStickTube every 6months\5kMiles with the routine Oil change.
Change Tranny two modulated EPC+TCC Solenoids every 75kMiles, all six Solenoids every 150kMiles.
Consider installing a TransCooler or Larger\2ndParallel TransCooler behind the front grille.
Install a Tranny PanDrainBung+Plug\Valve.
Change 4x4TransCase Fluid MerconLV every 50kMiles.
If you got 4WD, the 4x4ShiftMotor & 4x4ControlModule are known failure items, but easy to change.
Change Differentials GearOil every 50kMiles.
Flush+Refill 50/50 Coolant & replace ThermoStat every 25kMiles; change all Coolant Hoses+Pump+Belt+Fan+Clutch every 75kMiles.
Consider deleting the 5/16" PCVCoolantLoop Tees+Hoses; a RubeGoldberg design that doesn't really work & source of coolant leaks.
Change PowerSteering Fluid MerconV, at least Siphon+Replace reservoir fluid once a year.
Flush & change Brake Fluid DOT3 as needed with BrakePad+Disc maintenance; at least Siphon+Replace reservoir fluid once a year.
Open up DashPanels every 5years or so, change T10mm+T5mm Bulbs, Clean+Tighten Cluster Connectors+Sockets+FlexCircuit, lube Speedo+Odo.

Sure, if turning back the clock, & I new then what I know now, I'd make different choices, as with everything.
But this truck has been a reliable ride thru many a blowing snow storm on icy roads for the last ~20years,
just needs good maintenance habits to keep it that way.
 
Last edited:

XLCH

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Thanks all for valuable info. I will be taking your insights to heart. Us newbies need to be taken by the hand until we acquire the needed knowledge. Great group, also..
 

Roert42

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2011
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Ditto all above.
Here at 240kMiles+ (knock on wood) on a 2001 ExST: all original V6~4.0L~SOHC Engine, 5r55e Tranny, 1354 TransCase, 4.10 Diffs.
High failure items include:
~ Left+Right OilPressurized TimingTensioners, best to change these every 100kMiles or so.
~ JunkPlastic ThermoStat Housing, better option is an Aluminum ThermoStat Housing.
~ JunkPlastic HeaterControl BallValve, better option is an old fashioned Metal HeaterControl PlugValve
~ JunkPlasticTanked 1or2Core Radiator, better option is an AllAluminum 3or4Core Radiator.
~ ThrottlePositionSensor\TPS on ThrottleBody
~ DiffPresFlowElement\DPFESensor on EGR Tube
Become OCD about Engine Oil5w30FullSyn+Filter changes every 5kMiles.
Become OCD about Tranny ATFMerconV+Filter changes every 25kMiles,
or at least Pump+Replace 2qtsMerconV at the DipStickTube every 6months\5kMiles with the routine Oil change.
Change Tranny two modulated EPC+TCC Solenoids every 75kMiles, all six Solenoids every 150kMiles.
Consider installing a TransCooler or Larger\2ndParallel TransCooler behind the front grille.
Install a Tranny PanDrainBung+Plug\Valve.
Change 4x4TransCase Fluid MerconLV every 50kMiles.
If you got 4WD, the 4x4ShiftMotor & 4x4ControlModule are known failure items, but easy to change.
Change Differentials GearOil every 50kMiles.
Flush+Refill 50/50 Coolant & replace ThermoStat every 25kMiles; change all Coolant Hoses+Pump+Belt+Fan+Clutch every 75kMiles.
Consider deleting the 5/16" PCVCoolantLoop Tees+Hoses; a RubeGoldberg design that doesn't really work & source of coolant leaks.
Change PowerSteering Fluid MerconV, at least Siphon+Replace reservoir fluid once a year.
Flush & change Brake Fluid DOT3 as needed with BrakePad+Disc maintenance; at least Siphon+Replace reservoir fluid once a year.
Open up DashPanels every 5years or so, change T10mm+T5mm Bulbs, Clean+Tighten Cluster Connectors+Sockets+FlexCircuit, lube Speedo+Odo.

Sure, if turning back the clock, & I new then what I know now, I'd make different choices, as with everything.
But this truck has been a reliable ride thru many a blowing snow storm on icy roads for the last ~20years,
just needs good maintenance habits to keep it that way.
Do you spend all of your free time doing PMs on your truck?
 

XLCH

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Not sure what PMs is referring to but if maintenance is part of it, after reading these posts, I'm thinking I WILL be! Lol
 

RonD

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If its a Chevy truck I SELL IT, thats the only Preventative Maintenance that works for those

But I do like Chevy cars
 

Bronc3

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I bought an 01 4.0 SOHC truck with 150K on the clock. It had very slight rattle on startup, which led me to the tensioners. Both were easily collapsed, the rear being the worst. New tensioners solved the issue and will be replaced again again on a schedule if we keep the vehicle long enough.
 

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I’ve seen recommendations for 70,000 miles and 100,000 miles for changing those. I just did mine last year at a little over 70,000 miles. I didn’t have a rattle and wanted to keep it that way.
 

Mike Tonon

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My mechanic recommended NOT to touch the tensioners, UNLESS there’s a startup rattle. He said the chain could slip a tooth and the timing would be off. Has anyone had this issue? Do I need to make sure the internals are in a specific location before pulling the tensioners?
 

RonD

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No, not correct

If you buy a vehicle with 4.0l SOHC and there is no record of tensioners being changed, then change them
Same if you get a used engine
And then change them every 100k miles

Chain can't "slip a tooth" just without tension, physically impossible, even if you were to start the engine, which would be dumb, lol, without the tensioners, I doubt it could "slip a tooth"

Once you HEAR a rattle, damage is done, a guide is broken, period, that's the "rattle"
There is no "warning sign" a tensioner is failing

Like getting pulled over by a cop, once you see or hear the lights and siren its TOO LATE to slow down, damage is done :)
 

Mike Tonon

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Ok, how did you guys get to the rear one? I’m having a difficult time getting at it with the tools I have.
 


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