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88 ford ranger lifter tapping

I have an 88 ford ranger and It was sitting for about a month because I was swapping out transmissions and when i started it up for the first time in a month I heard a tapping noise coming from the top of the motor. I think it’s the lifters but I don’t know what to do about it and is it bad for the motor?

Which engine? The 4 cylinder can throw a follower and the 2.9L V-6 is notorious for clicking.

I have the 2.9 but it only started ticking after it sat for a month

That motor has a bad reputation. It’s known for noisy valve trains and cracked heads. More info can be found at The Ranger Station:

I would note that those 2.9 engine problems are inflicted by the owners.

Cracked heads caused by overheating? The temperature gauge is there for a reason. It’s purpose is to tell the owner of an impending problem and to stop; not to ignore it or motor on for the next 10 miles with the needle on H.

Note the part about noisy valve trains in which it refers to high mileage and being poorly maintained being the cause of this problem.
Per the usual, people blame the vehicle for their neglect.

the heads did crack on those but more often on the 4.0L version…otherwise they’re pretty good…cracked head is obvious by the cream soda you’ll see on your dipstick and oil filler cap.

I usually agree with ok4450 on just about everything but I have never seen a 2.9 engine that did not make a clicking sound. This includes my uncle’s 90’ model Ford Ranger that he’s had since new. It clicked back then but not quite as bad as now.

I had a 88 Ranger. The head cracked on me after I replaced the antifreeze as part of PM. There must have been an air pocket in the engine and as soon as the thermostat opened, the poorly designed head cracked.

Back before cell phones, my sister had a 77 Mustang with a 2.8 that popped a lower hose. She was in the middle of nowhere, so she kept driving the car. I’ve never seen hoses melt off an engine before. Really. I replaced the hoses and thermostat. The engine was fine and ran for years after that. THAT’S the way an engine should be built.

The late 80’s ranger 2.9 was just total junk. You could try synthetic oil and see if it helps.

And one other thing. Get ready to replace the leaf spring rear shackles and brackets. If they haven’t fallen apart yet, they will soon.

The 2.8s are non-hydraulic and adjustable just beware. Yea, I’ve done several heads, bearings, etc…from broken heads…but that is usually an early happening. I had one that was so bad the 4.0L head came off in two pieces.

How long did you let it run? After sitting a month a little valve noise for a little while wouldn’t be all that odd. Did the noise eventually subside? Did you at least check the oil?

If they are hydraulic lifters put a half of a quart of automatic transmission fluid in the motor and run it for a while probably about 20-30 miles then change the oil. That usually cleans the lifter ports so oil can get up in them to pump them up. If that doesn’t work you might want to put in new lifters.

Scott , the person who started this has not been here since August 2011 so they may not even have the vehicle anymore.
Just for your info if you see something like Aug ’ 11 that is the date of last post.