1999 Ford Ranger V6 3.0 Auto, tell me stuff.

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Feb 1, 2006
My lil cousin bought one of these vehicles. It's clean, but so far I found that it has a Fram on it and PS fluid is so low that I can't get a reading. We'll correct those 2 items, but tell me more about the engine. I also plan of pulling the ATF, does it take Type F? BTW- there is no manual. Where is the PCV? What diff oil does it take, GL-5...140? Anyway, thanks...it has 87k.
Well, the Wix site says that it's a Vulcan V6. Very good engine ..excellent for durability, imo. I've used everything from 5w-20 up to 15w-40 in my daughter's Taurus (91). It doesn't seem to care. Just follow the valve cover vents ..you should find the PCV valve on one or the other (vent on one - valve on the other). There will probably be a tag on the diff cover or stamped into it telling you what it requires. Pull the trans dipstick to see what was spec'd at the time of manufacture. Anything you buy will refer to it being spec'd for all that have this requirement.
Originally posted by Auto-Union: ..... I also plan of pulling the ATF, does it take Type F? BTW- there is no manual. ..
My daughter has a 99 Flex-Fuel Ranger. The auto trans uses Mercon V. The spark plugs fire both directions. OEM used two different plugs at various cylinders. When I pulled one boot off, the center electrode came out with it. I replaced them with Double Platinum. You can download a manual from Ford website. No time now to chase down a link. Look for something like "glovebox manuals", 2 or 3 clicks into the site. I put Schaeffer 75W90 in the rear. When we bought it, I thought the oil filter was an easy change, but my arm would need to be about a foot longer to be able to reach it easily from above. Now I do it from below,and try not to have it drain onto my face -- or the starter. There is a plastic drain tray there that gets much of it..
The Vulcan 3.0 is an extremely durable engine. I have heard it is prone to pinging and some have cured with a different heat range spark plug. Mine (actually wife's) pings and I just run midgrade fuel. Mine uses a lot of oil but no blue smoke (about a quart every 1300 miles). Likes an oil around 12 cSt which is best obtained by 50/50 mix of 10w30 and 10w40 or just use Maxlife synthetic (11.5 cSt). Biggest drawback is it is weak on power and the power band is higher in the rpms. This, I believe, makes for the auto tranny to be finnicky shifting, but it is fun to wind it out (I have had it up to 5300 rpm with matted pedal). Would be a great engine for a T-bucket IMO (putting a V8 in a T-bucket is insanity).
We have one in service at the office doing phone system service, it's a 1997. Has 140K on it, and runs like a top. 4X4. Hasn't had great OCI, either. Mostly Jiffy-Lube, and sometimes the mooks that drive it take it out to 10K before it's realized that the oil hasn't been done in ages. Thing gets crummy gas mileage, but it's a heavy vehicle, and with the O.D auto transmission and air conditioning, I don't think we expected anything different. Those motors are supposed to get a timing belt at 120K, but they're not the kind that break the engine up if it slips or fails, so they're letting it slide til they decide to keep it or not. We haven't done anything with the tranny fluid. Decision was made to let it slide, the thinking being at this point that new fluid might kill it, as happened with one we had a couple of years back. Overall, a pretty good truck.. [Cheers!]
Do they have timing belts now? My daugthers had a timing chain. When I had the water pump done the cover had to come off for a broken bolt. The chain had enough slop to justify changing it. I figure, based on the consumption (1-2 quart every 6 months) that it should be good for many years if it doesn't rust any more ..or get cracked up.
Well, Mr. Gary, this one does, anyway. A-U's is a 99, but I think the 3.0 is the same structure and technology. I could, of course, be wrong [Freak] but in a general sense, these are pretty stout vehicles in my experience over about a 15-year stretch of seeing them used in severe service duty, day-in, day-out city driving (D.C. area). Without exception they've been treated to pretty lousy habits regarding oil and regular service. These outfits depreciate em for 5 or six years, and when they die, they die, they don't spend a lot on them. Not much point. In spite of it, the seem to go on and on. The 4-banger Rangers do very well also. Slow, lousy mileage, but very durable chasis and suspensions, too. Go figure! [I dont know]
Vulcan 3.0 is chain driven cam in block. I think there is a late model ohc V6 that may be 3.0. Don't know if it was put in Ranger, but should be easy to tell.
I've driven 3.0 Rangers exclusively since 1992. Very tough, reliable engine that will last a LONG time if given basic maintenence. Cast iron block and heads, proven design and no timing belts (they use a chain). The OHV Vulcan is the only 3.0 ever put in Rangers. 10w30 or 5w30 are probably best oil choices. Use Motorcraft filters and spark plugs.
Thanks. I gave hime some Delo 30 and grabbed a ST 3600 as well as 2q of PS Fluid. It will need some ATF service, but I have the extractor for that and the PS flush. Thanks again.
+1 on what everybody above has said about this engine's durability. I've heard the same for years and having put 93k on my current one I have no reason to believe it won't go for a very long time. You PCV should be all the way at the back of the engine in the valve cover. It is kinda hard to locate the first time I think - maybe because the motorcraft PCV is black and it blends in with the cover and the hose. I ARX'd mine last year and felt that it made a positive difference. If you do plugs use double platinum and stick with either Motorcraft or Autolite (both the same made by Honeywell). OEM plugs are to be changed at 100k mile intervals - I just changed mine at 90k and they looked like they would have made 100k easily but I still noticed a smoother idle from the new plugs. Fuel filter is easy on this truck too - just make sure you get the little ford filter tool.
3.0 is a great engine had one in a 95 2wd Ranger, good power, spun the tires very well [Wink] didn't pull to bad either but the 4.0 was definitely better at pulling
He got the ST because I was buying. I buy more car items for other people's cars than I do mine. He's 18, I don't mind, but I also do it for Mom and MIL's cars too. Grrr.
The weak spot is the auto tranny. I would do a trans flush ASAP if you're not sure it's been done. Most Ford automatics call for a fluid change every 30,000 miles. Tranny takes Mercon V, Type F is only for older Fords. If it's a 4x4 you should change the transfer case lube at 60k but I'd do it sooner. I did mine at 40k and the old fluid looked like tar. The transfer case takes plain Mercon ATF, not Mercon V, and don't overtighten the drain and fill plugs.
The twin plug head was only on the 4 cylinder Rangers and Mustangs starting in either 1989 or 1990. It was done primarily for emissions control...It didn't make any more power than the single plug version. Reliable as a rock though! Same with the 3.0 V6. That Vulcan V6 is one of my favorite Ford engines.
Weak auto tranny is why I run Redline D4 in my Aerostar tranny. That tranny gets HOT. You can run the larger FL1A filter on the Vulcan 3.0 provided there is clearance. Threads are same and gasket is only slightly different, but mating surface is same as on my F150 that takes FL1A.
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