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CowboyBilly9Mile 03-06-2017 11:05 AM

Ranger 4.0L SOHC Tensioner, T-stat housing, etc replacement (graphic intensive)
Thought I'd post a few pics of a project currently underway in hopes that it may help someone down the road. It started out as replacement of the thermostat housing, a common item to develop a leak on these engines, then in the name of reliability + longevity, I decided to replace the tensioners (think, access, this is the time to do the LH side), the RH valve cover gasket was replaced due to some seepage and *probably* the intake gaskets will be replaced. It's very much worth noting that on this application and contrary to the Ford FSM, the intake does NOT need to be removed in order to replace the LH tensionser, as will be seen below. Also, the idea here is NOT to create a detailed write up but rather, post up some reference pics and a few comments/pointers along the way. Comments will be below subject pic.

Uggg, thermostat housing again.

Removal of upper housing piece allows inspection which confirms it's the housing and not a seal.

With the T-stat housing removed, it can be seen that access to the LH tensioner is a straight shot and can be accomplished using a 1 1/16" deep six-point socket and the appropriate length extension. Removal of the tensioner is next.

CowboyBilly9Mile 03-06-2017 11:13 AM

And it's out.

These are the correct replacement parts along with the old beside them. Installation is easier if you apply a few very small dabs of Permatex to the metal o-ring to hold it in place during tensioner installation.

CowboyBilly9Mile 03-06-2017 11:25 AM

On to the right side tensioner.

Remove a few of the barbed plastic fasteners, move the inner skirt aside, and the tensioner is right in front of you.

Tensioner R&R was accomplished using a 1 1/16" six point socket, swivel and extensions. A few small dabs of Permatex will hold the metal o-ring in place during installation.

And the correct parts replacement are shown above. It's now time to move on the the RH valve cover gasket.

CowboyBilly9Mile 03-06-2017 11:42 AM

You will have to remove heater hoses, the steel coolant tube assembly + wiring retainer attached to it, loosen and push aside the tranny dip stick tube, remove the spark plug wires on this side from the plugs, disconnect the fuel injector connectors, the cable for the cruise, and a few vacuum lines. Be good to your heater core when taking the hose (only one needs to be removed) else you will be replacing it. It's a drop-the-dash project, shop time is something like 8 or 10 hours.

Evidence of seepage between center and rear fastener (not shown).

A few more pics, confirming oil seepage between two fasteners on the valve cover, along with the replacement Fel_Pro gasket.

CowboyBilly9Mile 03-06-2017 11:57 AM

And.....more pics to follow.

DNFXDLI 03-06-2017 07:24 PM

Great post Bill!!

smokey 03-06-2017 07:52 PM

The older stuff is so much easier to work on.
Nice picture walk thru

CowboyBilly9Mile 03-06-2017 08:22 PM

Thanks guys, whittling away at it now, no particular deadline, just keep whittling away. On the old stuff, yeah, the bloat of the 60's-70's-80's and on some things, 90's made work easy. This thing, doing most anything sucks, I just snugged up the fasteners on the LH valve cover, the fasteners back at the firewall, they sucked, glad I had a good variety of extensions, swivels, an extension with an end that works like a swivel (those are really nice!). You ought to see the clamps around that thermostat housing, they really need to go together just one way and workspace is tight, I may get there tronight and I'll take a pic, it'll suck. While not a part of this project, I've got a really nice tool for removing hose clamps in tight spaces, one end is like one of those squeeze to work out your hand devices, the other end slips onto the ends of the clamp......squeeze the end in your hand, it ratchets and releases the hose clamp, thus saving you 30 minutes of time and a couple ounces of your body meat fighting a clamp.

I pity anyone that has to/had to replace the right side rear cassette and timing chain on one of these engines and in part because of this concern, this is why me and others replace the tensioners, think of it as routine maintenance. To get to that back cassette and timing chain, you get to yank the engine or *maybe* drop the tranny and slide the engine forward or tilt the back down. Either way, it'll suck. And if you don't index things before disassembly, you will probably need a special tool to index everything if what I've read (more than once in different places) is correct. Remember, the SOHC engines used on 4X4's have four timing chains, so if you need to get into it deep, enjoy.

fatherdoug 03-06-2017 09:48 PM

Plastic thermostat housing? I had no idea.

dustybumpers 03-07-2017 06:53 PM

Nice write up!

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