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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 35599
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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2003 Ford Ranger 3.0 80k miles with plug misfires and odd whistle or squeal.

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2003 Ford Ranger 3.0 80K miles: this problem started spontaneously last week, with no recent repairs or maintenance to cause it. It’s getting worse every day. It started as the engine knocking during acceleration. Then a squealing or whistling noise started during acceleration which is growing louder and more constant. The truck will barely climb a hill now. It is dangerously gutless in traffic.
Symptoms and codes:
Runs well for a few minutes when the engine is cold. Then it starts to misfire and knock when accelerating or climbing hills.
There is a squealing noise coming from the area right behind the AC compressor, around the #4 cylinder head. There are no vacuum hoses there.
Misfire on startup
Cylinder 5 misfire
System too lean (bank 1)
System too rich (bank 2)
Random multiple misfire
Cylinder 4 misfire
Cylinder 5 misfire
I Googled the problem and this other guy described the symptoms EXACTLY! He’s already thrown a lot of money at it; he’s done the obvious stuff with no results. The reply he got was not too helpful. Since one guy has the exact same problem, I’m hoping that a Ford specialist will have had some experience with it and be able to nail it.
Here’s what Google turned up:
03-30-2009, 06:39 PM
I have a 2003 ford ranger 3.0 V6 right now it has codes for # XXXXX and 6 cylinder misfire and also random misfire. it has All new injectors plugs wires the upper plastic intake manifold has been replaced a long with the gaskets when the motor gets to about 2500 rpm you can hear a squealing sounds i thought it might have been an intake leak but like i said the intake manifold and the gaskets are new any ideas??
03-31-2009, 05:51 PM
Ohm all the injectors any that are way out of line replace. I've used a small screwdriver with a light bulb in the handle slide the tip along side the wire and check for spark on all cylinders. I've also used an ohm meter and checked the wires it normally runs appx. 1/2 scale.
Take a compression test a bad lifter or valve can cause problems.
Use a can of carb. cleaner and spray along the edges of the intake manifold.
If the engine smooths out you have a leak at this point. Its always possible a gasket is pinched or you have a small crack.
Bad injector wires also cause misfires.
I have a 2000 ford ranger xlt 3.0 v6 I am having a cylinder 4 misfire. I replaced all plugs wires and vertical coil pack still getting same problem any help? Thanks in advance



Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer.


The squealing noise you are describing sounds like a bad
camshaft synchronizer and can cause the problem you are having. Its a very common cause for the noise you are describing. The noise may seem like it coming from the front of the engine but I would check the back as the noise can travel.







Ford also has a TSB that deals with this issue.


TSB 05-22-12




2000-2003 Taurus, Ranger


2000-2003 Sable



Some 2000-2003 Taurus, Sable, Ranger vehicles equipped with a 3.0L 2-valve gas or FFV engine may exhibit a buck/jerk/miss during drive cycles above 3000 RPM with no diagnostic trouble codes (DTC's). A possible cause is the camshaft synchronizer assembly. Since the camshaft position (CMP) fault monitor is not active above 2500 RPM, no diagnostic trouble code (P0340) is set during the drive concern, thus making it difficult to diagnose the root cause component.

Use an NGS to identify whether or not the synchronizer is the causal component. Refer to the following Service Procedure.



1.Select PID database.


2.Select "Fuel Priority" PID database.


3.Select kand RPM PID's.


4.Capture data during drive symptom.


5.Using graph mode, display1 and RPM.


6.Look for knock errors which can be identified by rapidly rising peaks which correlate with drops in RPM (Figure 1).


7.If the synchronizer assembly needs to be replaced, follow the appropriate model year Workshop Manual, Section 303-14, Electronic Engine Controls, Camshaft Synchronizer - 3.0L (2V) Removal and Installation procedure.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'll accept that answer! That's the type of answer I was hoping for, some critical part is screwing up a lot of stuff. I could tell from Google search results that replacing fuel injectors and ignition parts probably wouldn't get it.   Two quick questions: how do I change it? I see two small bolt heads on top of a black plastic cylinder. Do I just take those out? Next, Is this a dealer part or could I try NAPA?   Thanks
Let me send you the complete instructions. Give me a minute to round them up. Your going to need to get it from the dealer and it requires a special tool.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay. It's time to leave the office, but I'll stand by for the instructions

Here you are ,



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Wow, this is surgery, there goes my Saturday. Looks like I'm going to have to wing it to find TDC



Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer.


No you can remove the #1 spark plug, take a cut off cloth hanger and insert in the hole and on the compression stroke, have a helper bump it over(air will push out) . You might have to rock it back and forth a bit , but you will find TDC. #1 is the first one on the passenger side.

Ron and 9 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I bought the parts: $200 The dealer doesn't have the little angle tool, he referred me to Napa. He asked me if it was making the noise, he knew. My Haynes manual has instructions for changing the sensor also. I barely got the truck home tonight, knocking and bucking with that weird whine sound.
Thanks for your help! I may have been bankrupted by a mechanic who didn't know about this. Or bankrupted by a Ford Service Department even though they did know!

Thanks again
Gary Rush


Im sorry for the jacking you have received,this is a common issue and I hope its your issue, I suspect it is. Im thinking some Ford dealers should be letting there Techs get on JustAnswers, we do our home work here, we have to. Let me know if you need more help.