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Ranger headache

I have a 98 ranger 2wd. Love it to death. About a month ago I encountered a violent shudder which set in pretty suddenly. It persisted regardless of speed. When i pulled over and started moving again it was gone, so i did what any shade tree mechanic would do…I ignored it. Periodically this would happen again and the same solution worked. until today. Now it is a constant for over 25 mph. i checked the front wheels and aside from a tiny bit of play in the side to side of the tire (which happens to both sides simultaneously when you shake the tire) I found nothing wrong. I have yet to go after the rear wheels because my manual is unclear on the inspection procedure.

I have an incidental noise as well which may or may not be related. there is an irritating noise like a bell being rung or a cast iron skillet being whacked with a hammer. it isn’t consistent and only happens when moving. both the shake and the noises are regardless of the clutch position or the gear I am in. Any suggestions?

It sounds like you have some worn suspension parts. It will only get worse and can be dangerous. I would be looking for a good alignment shop. Note: avoid national chains. Look for an independent shop. I have had luck with at least one specific tyre chain shop, I think that was mostly luck.

It turns out that there is some sort of balancer on the driveshaft that has broken loose causing it to wobble. I appearance need to get it welded back into place…