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Vibration increases when in gear


saltydriver89

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The truck: 1999 ford ranger 4.0l (pushrod) 4x4

I got back home after a 20 minute drive around town and noticed a vibration in the steering wheel as I pulled into the garage. It went away in every gear except OD. I turned it off and let the truck sit for about 20-30 minutes. When I came back, the OD gear vibration was gone. I drove it around the block (<5 minutes) and it returned. I was looking under the hood and noticed that the steering column boot was torn. I also noticed that one of the recently (within the month) replaced upper control arm (greasable) ball joint boots seemed to be leaking. I should also mention that the since the front end suspension was completed, there has been a sound (maybe knocking) coming from what seemed to be the CV boot/joint. The boot looked like it may have been leaking, but during the front end replacement there was a P/S fluid leak due to the steering knuckle having shifted too much while the engine was off so I'm not positive. I'm concerned I cannot use this for a DD until these problems are resolved.

Any help would be awesome.
 


RonD

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It reads like you have a manual trans but you say its an automatic???

When you are stopped with engine running the only "gear" is 1st in a automatic, doesn't matter what position the column shifter is in, unless its R, lol

If you have a vibration when transmission is "in gear" then its most likely a slight misfire in the engine, it will be more noticeable "in gear", D or R


Torn boot on steering shaft shouldn't cause an issue but can be replaced at your leisure
Greasable ball joints will leak if they were over filled a bit

1998-2011 4x4 Rangers use a propeller joint on the transfer case end of the front drive shaft
These will make a "ticking" noise as they rotate, common failure point on 1998 and up Ranger 4x4s

CV joints can also wear out, not as common but certainly can wear out

1999 Ranger should have Pulse Vacuum Hubs(PVH) so the front wheels should not be engaged unless you are in 4WD
So CV joints and propeller joint should not be turning at all in 2WD
Which means they can not make a noise
 

Josh B

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Hey Salty, welcome to TRS. RonD probly got you on the right track there, good luck with it man
 

saltydriver89

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It reads like you have a manual trans but you say its an automatic???

When you are stopped with engine running the only "gear" is 1st in a automatic, doesn't matter what position the column shifter is in, unless its R, lol

If you have a vibration when transmission is "in gear" then its most likely a slight misfire in the engine, it will be more noticeable "in gear", D or R


Torn boot on steering shaft shouldn't cause an issue but can be replaced at your leisure
Greasable ball joints will leak if they were over filled a bit

1998-2011 4x4 Rangers use a propeller joint on the transfer case end of the front drive shaft
These will make a "ticking" noise as they rotate, common failure point on 1998 and up Ranger 4x4s

CV joints can also wear out, not as common but certainly can wear out

1999 Ranger should have Pulse Vacuum Hubs(PVH) so the front wheels should not be engaged unless you are in 4WD
So CV joints and propeller joint should not be turning at all in 2WD
Which means they can not make a noise
Sorry, I figured OD was indicative of an auto trans...And, the N, OD, 2, and 1 are "all the same?" Hmmmm.

I have a question about the PVH since they are known to be of a crap design. Can I use these Rugged Ridge Manual locking hubs in order to not need to use the vacuum lines, or do they still need to be connected? https://www.summitracing.com/parts/rgg-1500170
 

RonD

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Yes, you can install manual hubs in place of the PVH hubs

AVM in Brazil makes these, they are sold as Mile Marker or Rugged Ridge in North America
But also now sold as AVM brand

Article here on that swap: https://www.therangerstation.com/tech/1998-2000-ford-ranger-manual-locking-hubs/

Yes, the vacuum lines on the front axle and vacuum switch on passenger side frame rail can be removed, plug the vacuum line coming from the vacuum reservoir
Diagram here of vacuum lines: https://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/diagrams/pvh/Pulse_Vacuum_Hublock_Schematic_98-00_Ranger.gif

"PVH Solenoid" is the switch on passenger side frame rail, disconnect the line going up to the Reservoir and plug it


Yes, when you are stopped and shift an automatic into D, 2 or 1 it just goes to 1, 1st, in any selection
As you start to move computer will shift to 2nd unless you left it in 1
So the column shifter sets the highest gear you want computer to use, but it always starts in 1st

UNLESS you have a Snow button, lol
Some automatics will have a snow/ice selection, when this is activated transmission starts in 2nd not 1st, this is to reduce slipping if too much torque is applied to tires on slippery roads
 
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saltydriver89

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OK. I went ahead and took the intake manifold and fuel rail off in order to access the injectors. The injectors all showed ~15 Ohm resistance which should be good, but shouldn't they each have two o-rings? I'm about to take the plugs out to check their condition and will post pics.

intake manifold residue.jpginjectors.jpgfront.jpgmiddle.jpgrear.jpgIMG_20231002_105319.jpg

It's strange, but I like the smell of fuel in the morning...
 

Josh B

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Which side of Washington are you from sir? :)
 

saltydriver89

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I'm on the west side.

I have since noticed that one of these Bosch injectors was busted on one side (and where my missing o-rings went :whistle:). I figure that is where the fuel smell may have been coming from. I want to replace these with all new ones while I'm in here. Lowest local price is about $32 a piece and the brand is JB reman I believe. I know it's probably a major error to put NGK iridium plugs in, but I had them and the matching wires so it is going to have to do for now. I'll be replacing them with Motorcraft plats when these bite the dust. I'm pretty sure cylinder 5 and 6 were giving me the most problems...I just wish I understood why it happened so suddenly. I also doubt the previous owner used any dielectric grease inside the boots of the no-brand wires that were inches longer than the new NGKs (probably from ebay). In any case, it'll go back together once I can get the replacement injectors. 🤞

IMG_20231002_150343.jpgIMG_20231002_150354.jpgIMG_20231002_150400.jpgIMG_20231002_150417.jpgIMG_20231002_150427.jpgIMG_20231002_150456.jpgIMG_20231002_150507.jpgIMG_20231002_153326.jpgIMG_20231002_153345.jpg
 

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RonD

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Yes, 5 and 6 do have leaking valve stem seals
Just plan on cleaning those 2 spark plugs every few months depending on miles driven

And 3 might be next
 

saltydriver89

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So everything is back together and now I'm getting both P0303 and P0305 which means cylinder 3 and 5 are misfiring...
 

RonD

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Recheck firing order
Then have a friend do it :)

And spark plug wire ends
 

saltydriver89

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Already triple checked...took cylinder 5 plug out after very little running time and it looked too clean...will update in the morning. Going to sleep on new valve heads...
 

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