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Timing belt on 2.5L cyl 1998 Ranger       #: 1102
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX
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 Posted: Thu Aug 2nd, 2018 03:38 am
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Owns A Torsen

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This is for timing belt replacement on a 1998 Ranger with a 2.5L 4 cylinder. If the timing belt breaks don't worry this is a "non interference" motor and there will not be any damage to the valves or pistons, you can replace the belt and be on your way.

I read like 20 tutorials on removal and replacement.Though they helped somewhat there were some mis conceptions. Many actually.
Mis conceptions and do nots:

1. No fluids have to be drained at all
2. You do not need an impact for the harmonic balancer pulley nut.
3. DO NOT listen to most of the "triangle vs diamond" alignment drivel I found half to be wrong.
4. DO NOT use the trucks starter to remove the harmonic balancer bolt! So much could go wrong.
5. Follow these instructions and your life will be much easier.

Tools needed:

Cheap chain wrench, got mine at Auto Zone. Must be able to clamp on 6-1/2" diameter, mine was screwed all the way out but did work.

22MM 6 point socket
Breaker bar and ratchet for socket... 1/2" drive preferred.

A length of iron pipe that fits over the breaker bar at least, if it fits the ratchet also that is handy. This is a must unless you are built like an angry Bruce Banner.

A 3 slot cheap puller, I paid like 10 bucks at Advance auto for mine. Must be 3 slot.

A kit with assorted sockets and combo wrenches is handy. I used 10MM, 12MM, 13MM, 19MM, 22MM but a complete set makes it easier.


Remove the 4 bolts that hold the fan to the pulley. Easer to do this before removing serpentine belt! Do not attempt to remove the fan yet.

Remove the 2 bolts at the top that hold the fan shroud to the radiator.

Without hitting the radiator with the fan, pull the shroud and fan as a group upward. I grabbed 2 blades on the fan and everything came right upward.

Using a 3/8 drive breaker bar inserted in square hole in serpentine belt tensioner, turn CCW till belt can be removed.

If equipped with AC, take the electrical connector off the pump clutch then take the 4 bolts off that hold the AC pump on. With cardboard or a rug guarding the radiator, wiggle the pump till it comes off the pins and lean it forward to the radiator.

There is one bolt under the AC pump, one of the 4 attaching the bracket to the motor.
Remove the 3 other bolts, the one on the left will have a nut on it to attach a wire bracket, remove nut first. 3 of the bolts had a 13MM head the other one has a 10MM head.

Take the one bolt out of the plastic timing belt cover, it is in the middle right to left and about 1/3 way down from the top, mine had a 10MM head.

Move the bracket you unscrewed earlier away from the cover enough to remove it. There are several "tabs" around the perimeter of the cover you can pry with a flat blade screwdriver, the cover will come forward and can be removed by wiggling around while pulling upward.

You are changing the belt anyway, if it isn't broken just cut it with a knife and remove it.

There is a bolt on the tensioner that holds it in position, then a 17MM head bolt that goes through the spring. Loosen (don't remove) the positioning bolt then slightly loosen the 17MM screw till the tensioner snaps to the right. With a pry bar or large screwdriver pry the tensioner to the left to the extreme of the slot and tighten the positioning screw. This will make sense later when you install the new belt.

Put chain wrench around harmonic balancer NOT ON THE GROOVES but farther back where there is solid metal. position the handle to the left of the water pump and tighten the chain wrench as tight as you can clamp it.

With the 22MM socket on a breaker bar or tough ratchet (I used a ratchet) put iron pipe over breaker bar or ratchet and turn CCW. Mine came right off, I had about 4 feet of leverage. Remove the bolt.

Using the 3 slot puller and 3 M8 X 1.25 bolts about 2-1/2" long, screw the bolts in as far as you can without breaking them (the holes will be rusted, use oil and you may get 4 turns if you are lucky) and tighten the center bolt of the puller till the pulley starts coming off. Most pullers come with a pointed center you can put over the center bolt of the puller, but even if you don't have that the center bolt is usually much larger than the hole in the crankshaft and will still bring it off. It should come off relatively easy. Do not use a jaw style puller you could crack your balancer pulley.

Now the alignment for the belt. I'll see if I can find pictures that are correct, I attempted to take pictures but it didn't show what was needed.
Here's the text version:
Start with the top pulley, I forgot the size of the nut but you are just turning it so use a crescent wrench if you must!
*NOTE* If your belt was snapped AND the top pulley will not turn... your cam is locked up and you have big problems. The pulley should turn, it is fighting springs so it will feel tight then loose then tight...

There is a stamped metal plate behind the pulley that turns with it. There are 3 marks on it, an indent, a diamond shape and a triangle shape. On the plastic behind the pulleys under the cam pulley and a little to the right is a triangle. Line the triangle on the stamped metal plate with the triangle in the plastic. If you don't see the triangle in the plastic wipe it off it might be covered by grease.

The second pulley is further down and to the right, drives the oil pump and is the same diameter as the cam pulley. There are the same 3 marks, but the oil pump uses the "diamond" shape, align it with the diamond shape in the plastic.

Now the crank pulley. You might need to put the bolt back in the end to turn it but it comes right back out. After it bottoms out you can turn the motor with a wrench to align it. There is a "dot" on the pulley just clockwise of the key, this has to be aligned with a notch in the plastic cover. My notch was filled with grease and I had to wipe it to see it at all. The notch is in the rib that is at the top of the gear I hope I can find an appropriate picture, my phone would not pick up the nuances.

With all 3 timing marks in the right spot, put the belt on. The oil pump pulley moves very easily so be careful. Once the belt is in and all the alignment marks are in the right spot you can loosen that bolt on the tensioner. It will tighten the belt the minute you loosen it. Confirm the pulleys timing marks are still in the right spot. If they are not, pry the tensioner back and try again! Once everything is aligned, tighten the positioning bolt on the tensioner then tighten the bolt that goes through the spring (17MM head).

Put everything back on in the order it was removed, make sure to tighten the nut on the harmonic balancer! If you have a torque wrench it does have a specification for torque, I just tightened it about the same force it took to remove it with the pipe.

This shows the top 2 pulleys just fine:

Here is one that shows the crank position better.

Truth sounds like hate for those who hate truth.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 2nd, 2018 12:10 pm
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Ordinary Biker

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I think that is the very diagram that I used.  I didn't have any need of a chain wrench, are you loosening against that when you pull the bolt that holds the harmonic balancer?  I also didn't need 4' of pipe.  But I was younger back then...  Did this in maybe a couple of hours in my Dad's driveway.  Was impressed how easy it was, upped my respect for that little 2.5.  Then I had to replace the heater core...

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