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Old 07-16-2013, 02:15 PM
spraynard spraynard is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Default 2001 3.0 Ranger-Rough Idle and losing coolant.

Hey guys!
This would be my first post on FRF. Some of the other threads have been helping me tremendously with my new(used) PITO of a ranger, but I think it's time to ask for some help.

To start with, I bought the ranger about 1.5 months ago with 162,000 miles(now 164,000) and it performed like I thought it should for the price. In hindsight I should've brought a mechanical checklist because the truck has been littered with the annoyances of neglected maintenance...

First things first, since buying it, it's idled rough. About a week into driving it, it threw a CEL(P0301: Cylinder 1 Misfire Detected). With little research, I changed the plug in cyl1 just to see if the could would come back after clearing the code. It didn't, so i continued to change the rest of the plugs and the wires. At that point, the idle had gotten better, but she wasn't purring.

When working on the plugs, a buddy of mine with more mechanic experience than me realized I was low on coolant in the radiator(good in the reservoir) which led to filling it up with some water to see if it was losing any while driving. It turned out I was, in fact, losing coolant without any signs of smoke or water from the exhaust or leaks under the truck. Being the control-freak I am, this drove me insane... Not to mention I still had to smog the damn thing because the last guy didn't within the amount of time given. I was actually hoping the damn thing would fail because in California, used car sales laws require the seller to only sell a car that will pass smog. So if the truck had blown a gasket or something like that and failed smog, the last guy would have to allow a return for full price or pay for the repairs. Turned out it passed, which shocked me and my buddy.

One of the other problems was that the temp gauge would spike up to what looked like 3/4 the way to the "L" for about 10-15 seconds and then drop back the middle. Research led me to replacing the thermostat which did the trick; no more overheating.

Now after all that maintenance(I left a lot out to not bother you guys as much ) the rough idle is definitely still there. It seems like it's much worse on the sweltering days(I live in SoCal so thats almost all the time right now). There are a few things I can think of that may be causing this problem, but I'd love to hear some thoughts/solutions!

Just to save a bit more time, I'll include all the under-the-hood maintenance I've done...:

replaced plugs|replaced wires|oil/oil filter change|cleaned TB|
cleaned IAC|replaced thermostat|cleaned MAF/IAT|
replaced air filter|replaced fuel filter|
Alumaseal Stopleak added to radiator|
seafoam added to fuel tank once|

That's all I can think of now... There might be a few more things...

Thanks again!
2001 Ranger XLT |4 door|3.0L V6|RWD|164,000 miles|Automatic Transmission|
No mods besides throttle cable mod and a pioneer stereo... I'm still a noob!
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3.0, coolant, hot, leak, rough idle

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