1998 Ranger 4 cylinder 5 speed, 186000 miles. Drive train backlash or timing belt?


Asked by Jul 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM about the 1998 Ford Ranger XLT Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Pulls fine up the hills, but just as it tops the hill and is not under load, and begins to coast, I feel an irregular backlash, before it starts coasting against the engine.  I can't find any lost motion in the U joints.  Wonder if it could be in the clutch disk?  Or is the timing belt suspect for making the engine run irregular under no load?

2 Answers


Possibly an issue in the rear end. Might try jacking both back wheels off the ground(properly supported of course) and with truck in gear roll your rear wheels over forward and then backward. Feel anything that might resemble what you are describing? Hear any unusual noises? Just a thought.


Oh and watch wheel movement with driveshaft movement. Forward and backward. Is there a lot of play in it when you change directions?

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