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2.3L ('83-'97) Help ‘97 Ford Ranger


RE2020

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Tennessee
Vehicle Year
1997
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Ford Ranger
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Automatic
I had just changed my oil this morning on my 1997 Ford Ranger 2.3. I live in Tennessee and I have been using 5W20 for probably 2 years or so. This morning I used a different oil brand (probably has 0 relevance but I’m trying to troubleshoot) and changed my oil with the same filter I normally do and my engine had started making a strange ticking noise. I’m not sure if I’ve heard it before or not but I noticed it leaving the gym and was kind of worried. Would anyone have any idea as to what this would be and if I should be concerned/if I would be fine still driving? I’ve heard people in other forums with this noise driving tens of thousands and one guy almost 100,000 with the noise. Thank you in advance! There’s a couple of videos on YouTube about it but I’m new here and don’t know how to post a video of it.
 


Josh B

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Hey RE2020, Welcome to TRS.
What weight oil did you have in it before and what weight oil did you use? What type oil, before and after?
Does the 97 have the long timing chain?

Someone else will help you with this at another time, I'm just offering things for you to think about in the meantime.
It seems most everybody has turned in for the night
 

RE2020

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T
Hey RE2020, Welcome to TRS.
What weight oil did you have in it before and what weight oil did you use? What type oil, before and after?
Does the 97 have the long timing chain?

Someone else will help you with this at another time, I'm just offering things for you to think about in the meantime.
It seems most everybody has turned in for the night
Hey RE2020, Welcome to TRS.
What weight oil did you have in it before and what weight oil did you use? What type oil, before and after?
Does the 97 have the long timing chain?

Someone else will help you with this at another time, I'm just offering things for you to think about in the meantime.
It seems most everybody has turned in for the night
Thanks man! So I’ve used 5w20 for like 2 years and also put 5w20 in but with a different brand. Still a synthetic blend. As far as the timing chain, I’m not even really sure to be completely honest. I’m hoping it’s not anything that’ll pose any issues. I’ve been reading that 2.3’s can sometimes just make noise but that doesn’t sound mechanically correct lol. I may be wrong though
 

scotts90ranger

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2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
The Lima engines are belt not chain and they do make some clacking noise in the valve department, I've always ran 10W30 in mine, a little thicker would probably quiet it down a bit. I don't think I would worry about it as they aren't known to lose oil pressure other than the early aluminum pan versions like 8 years before yours was made...

Is the noise just at startup or while running? If it's louder at startup but goes to a milder noise when warmer I wouldn't worry about it.
 

RE2020

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The Lima engines are belt not chain and they do make some clacking noise in the valve department, I've always ran 10W30 in mine, a little thicker would probably quiet it down a bit. I don't think I would worry about it as they aren't known to lose oil pressure other than the early aluminum pan versions like 8 years before yours was made...

Is the noise just at startup or while running? If it's louder at startup but goes to a milder noise when warmer I wouldn't worry about it.
Okay gotcha. Thanks for the response. See I haven’t even really noticed a difference in the loudness of it. It stays about the same.
The Lima engines are belt not chain and they do make some clacking noise in the valve department, I've always ran 10W30 in mine, a little thicker would probably quiet it down a bit. I don't think I would worry about it as they aren't known to lose oil pressure other than the early aluminum pan versions like 8 years before yours was made...

Is the noise just at startup or while running? If it's louder at startup but goes to a milder noise when warmer I wouldn't worry about it.
Hey there, it actually only really does it at idle. At driving rpms I don’t really hear it. This morning I didn’t hear it at first at startup but then after it got warm it started a little bit.
 

SenorNoob

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1.5" Front + 4" Rear
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I used 5w30 in the 2 first gen 2.3s I had. I tried 10w30 once. It got cold (for TN) the next day and I was afraid to drive it. Sounded like one of those full auto bb gun things shooting steel bbs into a coffee can. It was awful.
 

RE2020

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I used 5w30 in the 2 first gen 2.3s I had. I tried 10w30 once. It got cold (for TN) the next day and I was afraid to drive it. Sounded like one of those full auto bb gun things shooting steel bbs into a coffee can. It was awful.
Haha yeah I’d say so. I’m afraid to drive mine even though some people say it’s nothing to worry about but some are doomsdaying about it.
 

scotts90ranger

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4WD
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First gen were almost all sliding tappets, in '88 they switched to roller cams which likely would have quieted it down... I've never ran a flat tappet 2.3L myself.

If you wanted to be on the safe side, put a T fitting in the oil pressure switch and put in a manual gauge to see if there's oil pressure, I should probably do that to my '97 to make sure but my '90's turbo engine makes 50psi cold idle and 50psi hot cruise with 25psi hot idle, the one time I ran it hard cold it was like 100psi :)
 

RE2020

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Tennessee
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1997
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Ford Ranger
Transmission
Automatic
First gen were almost all sliding tappets, in '88 they switched to roller cams which likely would have quieted it down... I've never ran a flat tappet 2.3L myself.

If you wanted to be on the safe side, put a T fitting in the oil pressure switch and put in a manual gauge to see if there's oil pressure, I should probably do that to my '97 to make sure but my '90's turbo engine makes 50psi cold idle and 50psi hot cruise with 25psi hot idle, the one time I ran it hard cold it was like 100psi :)
How would I go about doing this? Is there a video/link that I can go to for guidance on that?
 

scotts90ranger

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1990, 1997
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Ford
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2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
Get yourself something like THIS and THIS or if you don't want something permanent get somethin to test like THIS. then get to the stock oil pressure switch and take it out, the stock one is the top thing in this picture:

20240114_095047.jpg


Once that's out you put the street tee in the head (no sealant, if you use sealant use a paste type not thread tape, the threads are the ground supply for the stock switch) then the stock sender in one of the holes and the adapter for the gauge in the other. If you're just going with the test gauge just take out the stock sender and thread in the right adapter, the engine will run fine without the stock switch you'll just get nothing on the gauge.
 

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