How to Change a Timing Belt on a Ford Ranger 2.3 Ltr Engine

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The 2.3-liter engine inn your Ford Ranger uses a synthetic rubber belt to synchronize the engine cylinders and valves. But years of service tend to wear out and stretch the belt. It is possible for you to change the belt at home; however, you will need a special tool, which you might be able to rent from your local auto parts store or find through your local dealer.

Things You'll Need

  • Drain pan
  • Ratchet
  • Ratchet extension
  • Socket set
  • Small standard screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Timing belt tensioner wrench No. T74P-6254-A
  • Large standard screwdriver
  • Torque wrench
  • Timing belt
  • Timing belt cover gasket

Preparation

  • Place a drain pan under the radiator and drain the coolant from the radiator.

  • Squeeze the spring clamp holding the upper radiator hose to the radiator fitting with a pair of rib joint pliers and slide the clamp towards the engine.

  • Twist and pull the upper radiator hose off the radiator.

  • Remove the fan blade using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

  • Rotate the belt tensioner pulley using a breaker bar and remove the drive belt.

  • Detach the water pump pulley using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

  • Pry off the access plug from the upper part of the timing belt cover using a small standard screwdriver.

  • Set the transmission to Neutral and apply the Parking brakes.

  • Rotate the crankshaft pulley with a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket to align the "O" mark on the crankshaft pulley and the "O" mark on the belt cover.

  • Look through the cover access hole. If you see another timing mark on the camshaft sprocket aligned with the mark on the inner belt cover, cylinder number 1 is at Top Dead Center (TDC). If not, rotate the crankshaft one complete turn again and check for the alignment marks.

Removing the Timing Belt

  • Unscrew the four mounting bolts and the Phillips screw next to the access plug from the timing belt cover using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket and Phillips screwdriver.

  • Detach the crankshaft pulley using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket and remove the belt guide (large washer) from behind the crankshaft pulley. You may need a pulley remover to take the crankshaft pulley off. If so, you can rent one from most auto parts stores.

  • Loosen the adjusting bolt on the tensioner pulley assembly using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

  • Rotate the tension spring rollpin (this is the screw next to the adjuster bolt on the tensioner pulley assembly) away from the timing belt using timing belt tensioner wrench number T74P-6254-A. As you hold the timing belt loose, tighten the assembly adjuster bolt to lock the tensioner using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Now remove the tensioner wrench.

  • Remove the timing belt.

Installing the New Timing Belt

  • Install the new timing belt starting at the crankshaft sprocket. Route the belt in a counterclockwise direction over the auxiliary and camshaft sprockets. Properly engage the belt lugs on the sprockets' teeth and keep any slack on the belt to the right side, between the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets. Make sure not to rotate any of the sprockets as you install the timing belt.

  • Loosen the adjuster bolt on the tensioner pulley assembly so the tensioner rolls against the belt. If necessary, push the tensioner pulley against the belt with a large standard screwdriver to remove any remaining slack on the belt.

  • Make sure the transmission is in the Neutral position and the Parking brakes are engaged.

  • Rotate the crankshaft two complete revolutions so that cylinder No.1 is back in TDC. This will help to tighten the timing belt on the sprockets.

  • Tighten the adjuster bolt on the tensioner pulley assembly between 14- and 21-foot lbs. (19.0 to 29.0 Nm) using a torque wrench.

  • Tighten the tension-spring bolt between 28- and 40-foot lbs. (38.0-54.0 Nm) using the torque wrench.

  • Install the belt guide (large washer) and the crankshaft pulley. Tighten the pulley bolt with the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

  • Install the timing belt cover with a new gasket using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket and Phillips screwdriver.

  • Reinstall the water pump pulley, drive belt, fan blade and upper radiator hose.

  • Refill the cooling system with coolant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Removing the spark plugs from the engine will make it much easier for you to turn the crankshaft when setting cylinder number one on your 2.3L engine to TDC.

References

  • "Haynes Repair Manual Ford Ranger Pick-ups, 1993 Thru 2008"; Eric Jorgensen, Alan Ahlstrand and John H. Haynes; 2009
  • Photo Credit torque wrench and accessories image by Christopher Dodge from Fotolia.com
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