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How reliable is the 4.0 SOHC engine for daily driving?
 Moderated by: MaDMaXX, Mike69
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 Posted: Wed May 1st, 2019 10:42 pm
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wh23g3g
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I'm looking to replace my 98 Ranger with another later Ranger since I can't afford the remake. Like a 2003+. I kinda wanted one with power windows, mirrors, and locks. So I have some features for the specific Ranger I want. I've got to have an extended cab with the rear jump seats even though they aren't likely to be used. I kinda was looking at the 4wd models since they tend to be more heavily optioned except the one I'm currently wanting to go take a closer look at. It's an 07 XL stripped down fleet truck. It's got the 4.0 SOHC and automatic. It is 4wd, non-limited slip. Plus it's manual everything and doesn't have the rear seats. It's got a little over 150,000 miles. But the price seems fair. I'm just wanting to know more about the 4.0 SOHC because it appears to be a quite complicated engine compared to the 3.0 and 4.0 OHV engines. We did have an 01 Explorer with the same 4.0 SOHC it was still running good at over 200,000 when we got rid of it. I remember the only repair was the thermostat housing that I know are notorious for leaking. I don't think we ever put a water pump or any ignition part on it other than plugs and wires. I see it has a timing chain on the front, a cam chain on the front and back. I've heard from various mechanics say that the guides start to break on high mileage and it's a good bit of money to do a timing set on it. I would be using the truck as a daily driver. But I only have a 5 minute commute back and forth everyday. I do drive a bit the two days I'm off but not always. I know the SOHC has more hp than the OHV 4.0 but not a huge difference in torque. So which is the best for reliability? Or do I need to look back to the 2000 model year as the last year of the 4.0 OHV?



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 Posted: Thu May 2nd, 2019 12:34 am
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Tsquare
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Just as an FYI. A five minute commute does not allow the engine components to fully heat up. You will be at a higher risk of sludging up the engine.

I work 2.5 miles from where I live. On my trip home I make sure I take a 15 to 20 minute ride to get everything up to temperature.

I try to ride my motorcycle as much as possible.



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 Posted: Thu May 2nd, 2019 02:14 am
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wh23g3g
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Well my drive home is usually the only time it's 5 minutes. It takes about 15 minutes to drive about 5 miles in the morning. By the time I get to work the temperature is at normal operating temperature. When I go to lunch it definitely gets warmed up enough, because I usually drive further. Depending on the time I go to lunch the truck is still warm by the time I get ready to leave. Anyway it's already got well over 200,000 miles on this engine. The whole truck has 391,000 miles on it so I'm trying to find a replacement Ranger with at least under 200,000 miles.



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 Posted: Thu May 2nd, 2019 06:43 pm
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JAMMAN

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Isn't it great we can get a Ranger with 200,000 miles and still expect to have it a while? I love these trucks!

You could play it safe and get a 3.0. If all you are going to do is drive it then they are perfectly fine. 1 or 2 better in fuel mileage too.

The 4.0 SOHC is a decent motor but your mechanic is right about the guides on the excessive amount of timing chains.

In my opinion the 4.0 OHV is one of the greatest little motors ever made, why the decision was made to replace it with a multi-cam beast for minimal gain is beyond me and that plastic t-stat housing was a joke at best.

The only problem is a good non twisted minimal rust 98 thru 2000 is becoming harder to find by the month.



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 Posted: Thu May 2nd, 2019 09:50 pm
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wh23g3g
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Yeah I wanted 4.0 OHV because I know they are easier to work with. I had a 1992 that a 4.0 and it was fairly easy to do regular service and repairs on. The 3.0 probably too, but never had one. Although I hear from owners they are severely under powered in any Ranger. The 07 Ranger I'm thinking about going to check out is a stripped down XL. So I'm not sure it's going to be what I want. Plus it's from up North, which was why I wanted to check it out first to see how bad it is rusted underneath. I don't necessarily need a 4x4 in this area but they do seem to be the ones with all the options I'm looking for. I would be happy with a limited slip equipped Ranger but I haven't seen but one that wasn't a 4x4.



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 Posted: Thu May 2nd, 2019 11:19 pm
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black06xlt
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The 4.0 ohv is a good little engine. The 4.0 sohc is also a good engine. The ohv is very dependable as is the sohc. The early sohc is prone to timing issues. But the sohc is the more powerful of the 2. The sohc has a higher rpm range and more bottom end power. However the ohv seems in my opinion to get better mpg's. If I was going to swap one for the other considering the time and money involved. I would go with a 5.0



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1992 ranger xlt reg cab 2wd 2.3 5 spd (SOLD)
1996 explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0 AWD sold
1995 ranger splash reg cab 2wd 2.3 5 spd
2001 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0 4x4 auto
1998 Ranger XLT ext cab 4x4 4.0 auto
2000 Ranger XLT ext cab 4x4 4.0 5 speed
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 Posted: Fri May 3rd, 2019 01:09 am
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Eddie Money
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black06xlt wrote:
The 4.0 ohv is a good little engine. The 4.0 sohc is also a good engine. The ohv is very dependable as is the sohc. The early sohc is prone to timing issues. But the sohc is the more powerful of the 2. The sohc has a higher rpm range and more bottom end power. However the ohv seems in my opinion to get better mpg's. If I was going to swap one for the other considering the time and money involved. I would go with a 5.0
I agree 5.0L. I had rangers with both the OHV and SOHC. Both were great. 200k on the OHV before I sold it. 140k on the SOHC and still going, but soon to be a V8. SOHC is a bit more peppy than my OHV. The one thing about the SOHC is it has lots of plastic internals that can get brittle over time. I wouldnt reccomend swapping a high milage SOHC as a replacement. If you are going to pull your engine you are halfway to a V8 swap. Some members even claim better mpg afterwards.



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 Posted: Fri May 3rd, 2019 02:05 pm
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black06xlt
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Eddie Money wrote:
black06xlt wrote:

The 4.0 ohv is a good little engine. The 4.0 sohc is also a good engine. The ohv is very dependable as is the sohc. The early sohc is prone to timing issues. But the sohc is the more powerful of the 2. The sohc has a higher rpm range and more bottom end power. However the ohv seems in my opinion to get better mpg's. If I was going to swap one for the other considering the time and money involved. I would go with a 5.0
I agree 5.0L. I had rangers with both the OHV and SOHC. Both were great. 200k on the OHV before I sold it. 140k on the SOHC and still going, but soon to be a V8. SOHC is a bit more peppy than my OHV. The one thing about the SOHC is it has lots of plastic internals that can get brittle over time. I wouldnt reccomend swapping a high milage SOHC as a replacement. If you are going to pull your engine you are halfway to a V8 swap. Some members even claim better mpg afterwards.

I had a v8 expo that got the same mileage as my 4.0. To me it seemed the 5.0 had more down low but the 4.0 had more top end. But keep in mind it was a factory 5.0. It shifted right when it was making good power



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2006 ranger xlt ext cab 4x4 4.0 auto
1992 ranger xlt reg cab 2wd 2.3 5 spd (SOLD)
1996 explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0 AWD sold
1995 ranger splash reg cab 2wd 2.3 5 spd
2001 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0 4x4 auto
1998 Ranger XLT ext cab 4x4 4.0 auto
2000 Ranger XLT ext cab 4x4 4.0 5 speed
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 Posted: Sun May 5th, 2019 11:14 am
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Mike69

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My wife had a 99 Explorer Sport which we purchased new w/the 4.0 SOHC & when we sold it the engine had 275K miles on it, her current 99 Sport has 105K miles on it.



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08 Escape 4x4(spare)
00 Ranger Extd Cab 4x4 4.0 OHV, Auto(My DD)
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