Help me revive my first truck I shouldn’t of bought

The ones that are screens are. The ones that have some sort of fiber media aren’t. Neither are the ones that screw on or are inline filters.

Plus you’d never get all the debris out of a screen.

95 I believe was the changeover period from old 1 to 2. The guys always had trouble with my 95 unless they had better equipment. Going back to my riviera with the Crt, I could get on board readings of the various sensors, etc but didn’t give codes. Maybe the shops got codes but I never saw them. The information though was pretty limited and required someone who could actually diagnose. It may be unfair but it is like 2 allowed the dumbing down of mechanics to just read codes.

At that mileage, age and usage it’s a safe bet that the drive train is worn out but it’s a “work truck” so the next question is how is the chassis/underbody/body/frame? Rusted out or good to go?

If OK and you can find a complete engine to go with your transmission and low cost mechanic, you may have a winner, ugly as heck but can get the job done.
Otherwise, there’s a significant international auction market for these vehicles.


If the OP’s truck was used in a “northern” location that is subject to snow and the salting of roads, after almost 30 years of use as a work truck it would be more or less of a miracle if it doesn’t have significant rust damage to the chassis and God-only-knows what else.

OP: Anything more than surface rust=NOT spending big bucks on engine and/or transmission repairs.

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I’m a bottom feeder of sorts with a long history of vehicles that limped home, ran poorly and were considered junk by everyone but me. The first thing you do is make sure there’s oil, coolant, etc., that the tires are not about to go flat. Don’t guess, check the pressure. Then you open the hood and check the air filter (dirty air filters cause all sorts of terrible running) and look at all the hoses and wires and black tubes to see if anything is unplugged or disconnected. Look at the tubes for cracks at the ends. Tighten loose screws. Make sure things are put together right. If it’s really dirty under there, start cleaning.
The same story is true all over. Clean up, tighten screws, wiggle wire connectors, look for things that seem disconnected. It all helps.

Let the mechanic diagnose the problem, if the idle problem is a stuck idle air control valve, spending $200 on a compression test won’t help you. A compression test may be suggested if there is a misfire problem, your mechanic should be able to notice whether or not the engine is misfiring without raising the hood.

A truck with 200,000 miles is not necessarily worn out. My truck has 190,000 miles and operates like new, except for the leaking heater core.

The frame is gorgeous, no rust at all and i got the entire front end suspension rebuilt with a couple things replaced in the back suspension but it was nice already. The diff started leaking today, is that the kind of drive train wear you are referring to? They are pressure washing the entire bottom end tomorrow so the mechanics can actually get a look at everything then I can update you more. Your description is exactly what i’m going for its ugly as hell but i just need it to work. If the 4x4 is included in the drive train as well they told me the 4x4 is awesome for how old it is.

Thank you that’s the kind of stuff a neanderthal like me can understand!

Well thank you for that, I thought a compression test would be a 5 minute little free thing. I won’t ask for one of those anymore! The mechanic has already heard my engine a ton and hasn’t said much other than it has a knock when warming and that it isn’t worth throwing in a new transmission until the engine finally shows us “What it want’s to do”. Every time I take it to the mechanic he get’s her working like a brand new V8 in his parking lot and then the next morning i’m riding to work and she starts acting up again!

You wouldn’t believe it but the only break ive gotten with this thing is that it only has surface level rust. I think it’s been in southern Canada for its whole life and you can dodge a lot of winter here just by parking your truck for 2 weeks. My mechanic ran around it looking for rust and said that was its best feature. Ive got a super solid body with crappy mechanics inside of it basically. I rebuilt the entire front end suspension and replaced probably 30% of the back end suspension and she just glides like an eagle until you hit a pothole. I’m willing to wrestle with this thing till it craps out on the side of the road haha!

Thank you ill take your advice and go check that out asap anything to improve the fuel consumption is another top priority right now. My mechanic said he cleaned a filter while replacing the transmission oil. I haven’t done it myself so I just have to assume he was talking about the same filter you are and Ill focus on the fuel pressure regulator for now and try and get you an update.

I don’t see here that you have said whether or not the check engine light is on? Is the check engine light on while you are driving? If it is not, then there won’t be any codes stored so testing for them will be a waste of time.

If it is on, then use the test light method in @TheWonderful90s link. The connector should be under the hood somewhere and it just dangles there. It should have a cover on it.

Your idle problem could be simply that someone in its past life decided to adjust the idle. Probably an old mechanic that used to adjust the idle on older carbureted vehicles. The throttle body looks like it has an idle adjustment on it, but that is NOT an idle adjustment, it is a throttle stop to prevent damaging the the throttle body. It needs to be backed out until there is a gap at the end, then screwed back in until the gap just disappears.

If this screw has been adjusted, then the throttle position sensor, which in this vehicle probably also has an idle position sensor ganged to it, will not sense that your foot is off the gas so the computer will not take over and control the idle properly.

Now that will not fix your other problems, but it may fix that one, assuming that the idle position sensor and the idle air control valve are working.

The fuel pressure sensor could be the source of many of the other problems you are having, that would be the next thing I would check.

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I think on the 4.0l ranger’s the regulator is built into the fuel pump assembly so im not sure if that job is out of my range or not. I’ll talk to the mechanic about it. I couldn’t find it i only found the fuel pressure pulsation dampener poking out to the left just past the throttle body.

My personal experience has been that around 200,000 miles (330,000 KM) that’s the point that drivetrain (Engine, transmission, differential) is wearing out, even on a well maintained vehicle.

On the other hand after a quick look on the net, replacement engines are easily available and seem to be running in the $1,000 - $4,000 dollar range. Here’s an example of a complete 4.0 V6 (may not fit your specific vehicle) with 80,000 miles available locally from LKQ for $1,500.

Mechanic’s time isn’t cheap but since you’re already having engine problems and pulling the transmission, it may be more cost effective to replace both.

You should be looking for this part (Ford → 1994 → Ranger → 4.0 V6 → Fuel and Air → Fuel Injection Pressure Regulator):

It should be connected to the manifold vacuum. Its job is to keep the fuel at a constant pressure relative to the manifold pressure.

I’m slowly approaching engine swapping this lard nugget.

Thank you this is basically the point me and the mechanic are at after everything he’s seen and with my budget ( I got about 2k left for this truck before i’m back to working at my old job) I’m too deep to go back though!

I was hoping i got something wrong ill go out and check for that piece.

Just popped into a new place down the road and found out ive been slamming this thing up and down the highway with no coolant in it. Something about this absolute shamble of an engine being able to handle that is sorta kick ass but I know ive definitely done damage now. I’m thinking of trying to find someone who can handle this thing and giving them a good deal. If it didn’t blow up with no coolant can i assume it’s healthier than i thought?

Not any more.