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david, Auto Service Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1500
Experience:  Certified Master Technician,Certified in diesel & gasoline engines
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How do you change a timing belt in a 1996 Ford Ranger truck ...

Resolved Question:

How do you change a timing belt in a 1996 Ford Ranger truck with a 2.3 litre engine, 2wd ?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  david replied 11 years ago.

thank you for your question hope this helps.


  1. Rotate the engine so that No. 1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke. Check that the timing marks are aligned on the camshaft and crankshaft pulleys. An access plug is provided in the cam belt cover so that the camshaft timing can be checked without removal of the cover or any other parts. Set the crankshaft to TDC by aligning the timing mark on the crank pulley with the TDC mark on the belt cover. Look through the access hole in the belt cover to make sure that the timing mark on the cam drive sprocket is lined up with the pointer on the inner belt cover.

Always turn the engine in the normal direction of rotation. Backward rotation may cause the timing belt to jump time, due to the arrangement of the belt tensioner.

  1. Drain cooling system. Remove the upper radiator hose as necessary. Remove the fan blade and water pump pulley bolts.

  2. Loosen the alternator retaining bolts and remove the drive belt from the pulleys. Remove the water pump pulley.

  3. Loosen and position the power steering pump mounting bracket and position it aside.

  4. Remove the four timing belt outer cover retaining bolts and remove the cover. Remove the crankshaft pulley and belt guide.

  5. Loosen the belt tensioner pulley assembly, then position a camshaft belt adjuster tool (T74P-6254-A or equivalent) on the tension spring roll pin and retract the belt tensioner away from the timing belt. Tighten the adjustment bolt to lock the tensioner in the retracted position.

  6. Remove the timing belt.

Timing belt cover on the 2.3L and 2.5L engine

Timing belt assembly on the 2.3L and 2.5L engine

Releasing the timing belt tensioner using a special tool you may use a crows foot type pray bar


  1. Install the new belt over the crankshaft sprocket and then counterclockwise over the auxiliary and camshaft sprockets, making sure the lugs on the belt properly engage the sprocket teeth on the pulleys. Be careful not to rotate the pulleys when installing the belt.

  2. Release the timing belt tensioner pulley, allowing the tensioner to take up the belt slack. If the spring does not have enough tension to move the roller against the belt (belt hangs loose), it might be necessary to manually push the roller against the belt and tighten the bolt.

The spring cannot be used to set belt tension; a wrench must be used on the tensioner assembly.

  1. Rotate the crankshaft two complete turns by hand (in the normal direction of rotation) to remove the slack from the belt, then tighten the tensioner adjustment and pivot bolts to specifications. Refer to the necessary illustrations. Make sure the belt is seated properly on the pulleys and that the timing marks are still in alignment when No. 1 cylinder is again at TDC/compression.

  2. Install the crankshaft pulley and belt guide.

  3. Install the timing belt cover.

  4. Install the water pump pulley and fan blades. Install upper radiator hose if necessary. Refill the cooling system.

  5. Position the alternator and drive belts, then adjust and tighten it to specifications.

  6. Start the engine and check the ignition timing. Adjust the timing, if necessary.

Should the camshaft drive belt/timing belt jump timing by a tooth or two, the engine could still run; but very poorly. To visually check for correct timing of the crankshaft, auxiliary shaft, and the camshaft follow this procedure:

There is an access plug provided in the cam drive belt cover so that the camshaft timing cam be checked without moving the drive belt cover.

  1. Remove the access plug.

  2. Turn the crankshaft until the timing marks on the crankshaft indicate TDC.

  3. Make sure that the timing mark on the camshaft drive sprocket is aligned with the pointer on the inner belt cover.

Never turn the crankshaft of any of the overhead cam engines in the opposite direction of normal rotation. Backward rotation of the crankshaft may cause the timing belt to slip and alter the timing.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to david's Post: Need more in depth information on how to remove power steering pump and also air conditioning pump. The bracket that holds those in place is keeping me from removing the plastic cover over the timing belt pulley.
Expert:  david replied 11 years ago.

OK here is how to remove the power steering pump.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  2. Remove some power steering fluid from the reservoir by disconnecting the fluid return line hose at the reservoir. Drain the fluid into a container and discard it.

  3. Remove the pressure hose from the pump. If equipped, disconnect the power steering pump pressure switch.

  4. On the 2.3L, 2.5L and 3.0L engines, loosen the idler pulley assembly pivot and adjusting bolts to slacken the belt tension.

  5. On the 2.9L engine loosen the adjusting nut and the slider bolts on the pump support to slacken belt tension.

  6. On the 4.0L engine, slacken belt tension by lifting the tensioner pulley in a clockwise direction. Remove the drive belt from under the tensioner pulley and slowly lower the pulley to its stop.

  7. Remove the drive belt from the pulley. If necessary, remove the oil dipstick tube.

  8. If equipped, remove the power steering pump bracket support brace.

  9. Install power steering pump pulley removal tool T69L-10300-B or equivalent. Hold the pump and rotate the tool counterclockwise to remove the pulley. Do not apply in and out pressure to the pump shaft, as internal pump damage will occur.

  10. Remove the power steering retaining bolts. Remove the power steering pump from the vehicle.

To install:

  1. Position the pump on the bracket. Install and tighten the retaining bolts.

  2. Install the pulley removal tool and install the power steering pump pulley to the power steering pump.

Fore and aft location of the pulley on the power steering pump shaft is critical. Incorrect belt alignment may cause belt squeal or chirp. Be sure that the pull off groove on the pulley is facing front and flush with the end of the shaft ± 0.010 in. (0.25mm).

  1. Continue the installation in the reverse order of the removal procedure. Adjust the belt tension to specification.

  2. On the 2.3L, 2.5L and 3.0L engines torque the idler pivot pulley bolts 30-40 ft. lbs. for the 2.3L, 2.5L engine and 35-47 ft. lbs. for the 3.0L engine

  3. On the 2.9L engine torque the slider bolts to 35-47 ft. lbs.

  4. On the 4.0L while lifting the tensioner pulley in a clockwise direction, slide the belt under the tensioner pulley and lower the pulley to the belt

  1. Disconnect the coil wire.

  2. Crank the engine and continue adding fluid until the level stabilizes.

  3. Continue to crank the engine and rotate the steering wheel about 30° to either side of center.

  4. Check the fluid level and add as required.

  5. Connect the coil wire and start the engine. Allow it to run for several minutes.

  6. Rotate the steering wheel from stop to stop.

  7. Shut of the engine and check the fluid level. Add fluid as necessary.

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