My Ford Ranger won't go into gear!

This is a manual transmission. I have been noticing a rattling sound when the clutch first catches (neutral to first) and the sound stops as soon as I am moving. Then I was stopped, engine running, foot on clutch and brake, in neutral. Tried to shift into first, would not budge. Same with all other gears. Turned her off. Turned her on, same deal. I was slowly rolling thru this parking lot (very very slowly) trying to get out the way, and suddenly bam, she went right into gear and was fine. I have never had any trouble at all shifting, and this was like all or nothing. Can you help me? What is wrong?

The first thing I would do is check the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder. If it’s low fill it with DOT3 brake fluid, then pump the clutch pedal for a while to try and get the air out.

If the fluid is NOT low, you’re probably looking at a new clutch. The transmission has to be dropped in order to change the slave cylinder/throwout bearing assembly (really stupid design) , so you may as well do the whole thing.

You did not list the year of your ranger…and this makes quite a difference. I have seen rangers with external cluch slave cyls…dont know if they switched to th Explorer style, but I am guessing that Ford DID switch to the same style that I have in the Explorer. I know for sure the 91’ EXPLORER has the dreaded clutch slave and throwout bearing ALL IN LINE all in one to operate the clutch…as opposed to an external clutch slave cylinder. You can look up which type your ranger has. I HOPE you have the older style external slave cylinder. IF you have the old style then try to change the fluid in the clutch master and bleed te slave. IF you have the ALL IN ONE…YOu are facing a tranny removal slave cylinder and clutch replacement basically the entire clutch and slave system.

Start small though and try to weed out if its the save clinder or clutch master cyl…

Thats what I did in my Exploder…only to discover that I needed to drop my trans and replace ALL the clutch and related components…I would imagine this would be quite expensive if you took it to the dealer or a shop.

Thank you all for the advice! The truck is a 2000, 2WD. I haven’t yet checked the fluid levels, but a mechanic friend of mine just took a look and listen to the rattling, squeaking noise that it is making when I push the clutch in. To clarify from the first post, when the truck is running and I am in neutral, I push the clutch in and it makes a squeaky rattling noise, which then stops with I either release the clutch or when I start moving (and then release the clutch as well). My friend thinks that it is the release or throw out bearing, and probably needs to be replaced. Would the fluid really affect this? And could that be the only problem?