Ford Ranger - what now?

Bought my 2001 Ranger from a “reputable” (not any more!) dealer in Michigan.
Since then, have put nearly $2,000 into repairs: new radiator, coolant tank, bearing rod?
AND a new clutch.

Now then: every once in a while when i start up in the morning, the truck goes neither forward
nor backward. It sits there. After a minute I get impatient, put it in reverse, and there’s a loud,
physical ‘CLUNK’ as it jolts into reverse. Then it’s fine for another month or so. I’ve taken it to
Midas (who replaced the clutch) but of course they couldn’t find anything wrong and couldn’t replicate
the event. So…

What is this? Any help/suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I’m not holding my breath while awaiting the blanks to be filled in but I’ll ask anyway.

You just bought this 11 year old truck recently?
You did not do a pre-purchase inspection and notice these very easy to detect problems that could have been discovered in advance?
How many miles on this truck?

Offhand, it sounds like you bought a well thrashed, aged, used truck that was beaten into the pavement by the previous owner. The fact the dealer sells you a beater does not mean he’s dishonest.

I agree with ok4450 that not every 11 year old pickup truck at the used car lot is going to be a cream puff and any used car purchase should be inspected before purchase. As another side note, any 11 year old vehicle is going to need repairs, whether you just bought it from a used car dealer or not (more likely if you just bought it from a used car dealer since most people don’t get rid of a vehicle because it’s a wonderful, flawless vehicle, they get rid of it because it’s a headache and a money pit).

Could you clarify this event that sometimes happens in the morning? Your description seems kind of cryptic and could become the butt of a lot of jokes if some of the regulars are so inclined. Are you saying you can’t get it to go into gear, so you get impatient and force it into reverse, or what? Did Midas replace the slave cylinder and bleed it properly when they replaced your clutch? How long ago did you buy this vehicle? Was the clutch slipping when you test drove it before purchasing it?

Note: Midas is a muffler joint.

You need to find a good indy mechanic shop. Click on ‘Mechanics Files’ at the top.

Avoid the chains.

Do you mean that you put it in to 1st gear and let the clutch out and it doesn’t move? Holy moly…Blown rear main seal anyone? Well oiled pressure plate? If the clutch goes in…AND you can get a new gear…that means that the slave and master are working…what you describe is an inability to “lock up” meaning it sounds as if your clutch is working but unable to get a friction hold in order to spin the output shaft.

There will be MAJOR clues for you when this happens…do you smell any burning while this happens? Smoke? Let us know…methinks you may have an oiled up flywheel/pressure plate…not fun

OH…WAIT…no… A HANGING UP throwout bearing…SORRY …I re-read your post… THATS what I am going with…your throwout bearing seems to be sluggish/sticky//sumthin like that. I take back the blown rear main/oily pressure plate issue…sorry…bout that… This is where the CLUNK comes from…when the throwout bearing finally moves to engage the clutch/pressure plate etc…

But why is it hanging up? Sometimes the bore of the bearing gets damaged…sometimes the portion of the tranny where the bearing slides gets scored or damaged etc… All would affect the ability of the bearing to properly slide…and thus…hang up… YOUR clutch SLAVE Cyl may not be allowing the bearing to do its job… maybe the slave cant release the clutch…but when you let go of the clutch pedal…maybe the slave wont return properly… I’d start there…because its cheapest…

Sorry for my flow of thought style post… You just watched me figure out the issue…LOL… I’d go with the slave first…see what you get… Theyre CHEAP… if that doesn’t do it…find out why the throwout bearing isn’t moving properly…

Suppose you start with whether this truck has a manual or automatic transmission. You say that the clutch as been replaced, indicating a manual transmission, but then you say that it “clunks” going into reverse, as if it were a failing automatic. A clarification in terms is necessary.

I have seen a similar problem on a Ford Ranger V-6 that turned out to be a broken crankshaft. The break was in the rear main journal and the transmission input shaft kept enough pressure on the crank to allow it to be driven sedately. Rapid acceleration, especially starting on an incline, would result in hammering and jolting.

Please get back with the results of the successful repair.