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I have been having all the symptoms of this problem for nearly a year now on my 97 Ranger 4.0L. It has mystified me up until I read this post. My truck has 176k.
I have been losing coolant and I cannot figure out where it is going! However, before I dive into such a complex repair, I want to make sure that I'm addressing the right issue . . . here are my concerns:
I didn't see any coolant in the oil . . . just changed it a week ago.
Every once in a while I smell burning coolant really strongly outside the truck (never inside the cab). This usually happens when I stop after long highway stretches.
The CEL is not on, but the truck has a slightly rough idle and acceleration. Other than that it runs great and gets me 20-22mpg. It is a 5spd and I drive it really conservatively.
Since the truck is getting me great mileage for a 4.0, I really don't want to mess with this unless I'm certain that is the problem.
There is no smoking and no CEL.
About a year and a half ago, my #3 and #6 cylinders fouled their plugs, but once I replaced them all, the truck ran fine since.
Could the coolant be leaking through my Lower intake manifold gasket and fouling my plugs? Is that even possible?
The thing that has me scratching my head is that I've never lost more than a gallon or so of coolant. I can't get any visual under the hood on where else it could be coming from . . .
Is there anything else I should check with this?
97 Ford Ranger, Ext. Cab, 2wd, V6, 4.0, 5spd,
90 Ford F250, 4x4, 7.3L Diesel, E4od
66 Ford F100, 2wd, all stock 352 V8 and 3spd, ugly as sin, but it runs!
Someone asked about the '97 4.0l fuel rail gasket. The gasket between the intake manifold and the fuel rail (not the gaskets on top of the fuel rail, to the plastic plenum).
I tried and tried to buy that gasket one day, all that I could find was the Fel-Pro one that is almost 1/4" thick. I didn't want to use that thick gasket, because that would raise the fuel rail and risk poor injector sealing.
I finally went to the dealer and they had the correct gasket in stock: F8PZ-9E436-AA, about $20 (Apr2012).
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