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Old 03-08-2011, 09:23 AM
tx northstar tx northstar is offline
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Default 5 speed transmission question, 97 2WD

Hello. I have “pre-inherited” a 1997 ranger 4x2, 4cyl, 5 speed from my father and I love this little truck. I really just use it for light hunting trips and kayak trailer pulling duty because of the great mpg’s. Last summer the slave started locking open (clutch engaged) so, having 130,000 miles on the truck I had a full clutch & slave cylinder replacement done. Since then I have put on about 6000 miles. Even after the clutch replacement it has never shifted well, but then it never had. I assume it is the transmission wearing out. This last Saturday I drove to the lake with no problems but when I went to leave the transmission would not shift into any gear after I backed out of a parking space. I shut it off, shifted into first and drove out of the parking lot. When shifting to second, I could not get it into gear, any gear. As I came to a stop, I pushed the clutch pedal in but the clutch would not fully disengage and the truck died. Somehow, with the trans partially engaged the starter turned the motor enough to pop the engine at a roll! I had to get out of traffic so I started limping along wiggling (forcing) into second, and then third. When I came to my next stop, the clutch disengaged when the pedal was pushed in and from that point on it everything “worked”. Since then, if I start the truck in neutral I cannot get a gear, but if I start in any gear with the clutch engaged it works as well as it has since I have owned it.
Sorry for the long start, but I wanted to give all of the details. So, my question, knowing that something is bad, is it better to push ahead with this manual or better to maybe convert to an auto? This is my first old ranger so any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:30 AM
terryduanemiller terryduanemiller is offline
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Default Re: 5 speed transmission question, 97 2WD

start simple and cheap, try bleeding the system? what brand parts were used in clutch replacement? was the slave used, a FORD part? was the master replaced?
it is possible, that if you didnt use foMoco parts thr is failure in the system and not the trans.. not saying this is fact, just a good possibility
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:32 AM
pooleo pooleo is offline
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Default Re: 5 speed transmission question, 97 2WD

I would say bad slave or air in the line. Who is the manufacture of the slave...?
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:02 AM
tx northstar tx northstar is offline
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Default Re: 5 speed transmission question, 97 2WD

Everything the mechanic uses is either NAPA lifetime stuff or FoMoCo (Called, it was a NAPA Part). I have used him since college so I have a pretty good feel for him. However, I will check since it would be good to know. I will bleed the system for sure. I have not done it since the replacement, but have done it in the past when I had the initial problems. I use the chilton manual, other than letting it sit overnight with the cap off, is there anything they miss in their instructions that anyone may be aware of?

As an update, I just had to run an errand, and in neutral when started it shited into gear as normal as it has ever for me. The fluid level was normal as well.

Last edited by tx northstar; 03-08-2011 at 10:08 AM. Reason: info
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:36 PM
nashvegas nashvegas is offline
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Default Re: 5 speed transmission question, 97 2WD

I am having a similar problem. Although, my clutch seemed to operate correctly the first time after I cranked the engine, I could only shift once. After that, it was like hitting a bring wall when I tried to shift to any gear. But, when I turned it off and tried again I could get into any gear and go. So, being at the parts store and having my tools I took a look underneath and I had a big transmission leak. :|

I started looking for the transmission fluid dip stick. Realized that there isn't one? And started looking at the leak again. At first looked like it came from the bolt, but it now looks like it is running down from the top.

Anyway, after all of this (and I was parked on a hill nose up if that matters) with the engine running I turned it off and restarted. Miraculasly i got her home with only minimal resistance going into first.

Sorry for the long post.
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Last edited by nashvegas; 04-23-2011 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:12 AM
tx northstar tx northstar is offline
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Default Re: 5 speed transmission question, 97 2WD

I bled the clutch a while back and it has not happened since. All I can think of was atmospheric conditions???? During the day was 90 degrees, then in good Texas fashion, we had a front come through and the temp dropped 60 degrees over night. At the time it locked up, less than 24 hours later, it was 80 degrees again? Who knows.

Anyway, now I am only putting gas in the truck $20.00 (5-gal!) at a time.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:58 AM
nashvegas nashvegas is offline
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Default Re: 5 speed transmission question, 97 2WD

My shifting problems have been clearing up after changing the transmission fluid with Lucas gear oil.

Now it seems to only be notchy in 1st and sometimes in 2nd, and only when downshifting?
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