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  #1  
Old 12-05-2016, 07:38 PM
thaley615 thaley615 is offline
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Default Expanding electrical problems on 1998 Ranger

Purchased a low mileage 1998 Ranger about 6 months ago in very good condition. As a new vehicle (to me), thought all of the electrical components were working fine. First indication of problems when I noticed that the dome light switch seemed defective and set it in the extreme left position which served my purpose. Couple weeks later, noticed light was no longer going on and, around the same time, noticed that the warning 'chime' only sounded 2-3 times when key left in ignition or faster sound when lights left on. Looked at some posts and took off door panels and confirmed switches on doors were functioning properly. Checked roll dimmer switch seemed fine, fuses checked out (and cleaned), no sign of corrosion.
Within few days, saw that the dome light was working again, chime working as designed....but only lasted a day or so......
Then driving, a 'flash' on the instrument cluster caught my eye and dome light and chime working again. I then realized that what had 'flashed' was the indicator lights of the 4wd high low settings on the instrument cluster. While dome light was working again, heard distinct 'click' under the dash when opened doors, check relays after dome light reverted to being inoperative. There are three, purchased a replacement and tried in each of the locations under the dash, no luck. I have now noticed that the 4WD actuator, that worked when truck purchased, no longer illuminates the dash signal light when engaged, presumably, also not engaging 4WD. Checked continuity of switch per another post, actuator checks out fine. Only power going into actuator was the when the instrument panel lights were on, presumably to light up the actuator? Just today, after poking around again, the dash lights are not working.......checked all the fuses again...all working.......
Other trouble shooting, check wires going from A-pillar to door as was advised as been know to break, took off dome to check it out, took off bed light to check (brake light there works fine). Unfortunately cannot find the Battery Saver Relay or the Interior Lamp Relay as advised (unless they are one of the three mentioned above).... Have gently tugged and pulled wires, wiggled the key, giggled gear selector........
Now, after a period of weeks where, for some part of the week, I'd see the dome light back working, I have been in darkness. Thus, I have been unable to determine if, when the dome circut comes back, whether the 4WD actuator functions as well?? Luckily, through all of this, the truck runs and drives great, so as of now.......any help or suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.... Tim
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1998 Ranger XLT 4.0 Ltr 4WD, no power accessories, auto trans, 56K miles
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2016, 10:16 PM
sheltonfilms sheltonfilms is offline
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Default Re: Expanding electrical problems on 1998 Ranger

Dome light/door ajar warnings and 4wd actuation is controlled by the GEM module. This is behind the radio on the left side.

Happen to have an aftermarket radio installed?
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2016, 05:49 PM
thaley615 thaley615 is offline
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Default Re: Expanding electrical problems on 1998 Ranger

Thanks for the reply Sheldon......in my search I did locate the GEM module but was reluctant to replace until I had a sense that it would resolve the issue. I understand the GEM is expensive? Do you know a good 'source' if I have to get one? Do you think the likely hood of a new GEM resolving the issue and being very likely....or 'maybe'.....
When purchased, the stock radio was not working so I got a Ford replacement at salvage yard, slipped. Old. One out, new one in....although not from a Ranger, a Ford van......was an upgrade as it had a CD player, but a stock radio....
Tim
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1998 Ranger XLT 4.0 Ltr 4WD, no power accessories, auto trans, 56K miles
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Old 12-22-2016, 08:35 AM
thaley615 thaley615 is offline
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Default Re: Expanding electrical problems on 1998 Ranger

Trouble shooting and Anthony's advice above led me to GEM. Got used one on eBay, disconnectedness battery, installed. Problem seemingly resolved but, on test drive. When auto trans shifts to 2 new gear, stalls and speedo says I am going 70-100 mph? If I shift the selector to low (1) 2wd, sputters but does not stall when his 5 mph and shifts to second...idles for 15 min after install and then sputtered around neighborhood for 30 min as a post said it would re-set itself after a while...bad GEM?....suggestions?
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1998 Ranger XLT 4.0 Ltr 4WD, no power accessories, auto trans, 56K miles
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:32 PM
thaley615 thaley615 is offline
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Default Re: Expanding electrical problems on 1998 Ranger

Once I got a tested reconditioned GEM module (almost $400), problems have been resolved. Appreciate the guidance and feedback on the forum.
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