1st Sep 2003, 08:15

I disagree with everything stated here.

I have a 87 Ford Ranger 2WD with the 2.9L V6 engine.

I bought it brand new in 1987 and have been running it for over 300,000 miles without any problems. It still has all the original pumps, starter, and alternator. The only time I ever touched the engine was to put valve cover gaskets on.

For oil pressure, I have never heard of a 2.9 with the problems described here. The 2.9 has a very good oiling system for the bottom end. However, insufficient top end oiling can result in ticking lifters, which isn't a big deal.

My oil pressure gauge (stock) sits in the normal range when cold, but as it heats up it drops to the "L". However, I'm almost 100% positive that it is just a sending problem. Seeing as how it has done it for 4 years and hasn't killed the engine.

Also, I have heard of the head cracking problems, but I've never had trouble with them. Just watch your temp gauge and you'll be fine.

Also, I would like to point out the 2.9's many good points, as in GREAT low end torque for big loads, great gas mileage, and how easy it is to work on when it comes to spark plugs and such.

Sounds like what we have here is just a couple of isolated cases of 2.9 problems in one group. Go over to www.therangerstation.com/forums and read the 2.9 board; most people like the 2.9.

It's a helluva little V6 engine. It makes me sad Ford decided to drop it for the much weaker 3.0 V6 engine. Which is mostly a Taurus engine turned sideways. It does not have good power for big loads like the 2.9, nor does it have 1/2 the character.

I love my little 2.9. IF it ever dies, I'll drop in another in a heartbeat.

There are bad apples in every bunch, but if you get a good 2.9, they're a tough engine to beat.



21st Sep 2003, 11:48

I too have had problems with this motor. My '88 Ranger 4X4 has the original 2.9 FI motor and it has developed a very loud tick/knock sound, which is progressively getting worse. Not sure what is causing this, the truck has always been well-maintained and is rarely driven. I'm thinking I will replace motor with the 2.3L 4-Cylinder, which won't have as much power, but gets better gas mileage and is practically bulletproof reliability-wise.

12th Jan 2004, 09:42

I totally agree with the scientist's rendering of the infamous 2.9. I owned an 89 Ranger GT with the 2.9, and it was nothing, but trouble. The original owner (my neighbor) took very good care of it and drove it not too often. When I bought it in 97 it had 65000 miles.

It was a good truck until about 90000, when the lifters started to click. I didn't see it as a big problem because it was a rare occurrence. After a while, it started to get noisier and noisier. I then decided to take the valve covers off and have a look. As far as I could tell there was nothing wrong, so I took it to the mechanic who did an oil pressure test and stated there was about 8 psi at idle and up to 30 at 3000 rpm. He advised that I change the oil pump and adjust the lifters, so that was done.

It was then free of the noise, but then it began to smell terrible of coolant. The head was cracked and water was entering the combustion chambers!! I then decided to get rid of it, and I sold it for parts. It was a good thing that I did because the connecting rods on cylinders 1 and 4 were ready to go out the block!! I was advised of this by a different mechanic, the one I sold the truck to.

I maintained it well, lube oil and filter every 2500 miles, and all the other maintenance according to the service guide. I liked it while I had it, but now I own a 92 4x2 with the 2.3 and 188000 miles and it has treated me much better.

18th May 2004, 13:14

I just bought a 90 Bronco II 2.9 with a dead motor. all the while I am pulling the motor I am trying to figure out why it failed. First thing I ran across was a locked up cam, broke the bolt right off. Then as I got further into it, I found #1 has a broken rod and #4 is almost there. You see a friend of mine has a similar (89 ranger 2.9) and it has the ticking problem too. He replaced the oil pump lifters and cam and it still ticks. What should be done when you start hearing a tick is start getting ready for a freshen up. the bearings will take the brunt of the wear so just pull the motor re-bearing the cam, mains, and rods put a high volume pump in and she should be good to go for another 90-100k. tight bearing uses less oil. Don't lug the motor and don't over rev it. Use the old racers adage "10psi of oil pressure per 1000rpms". If you're only making 30psi don't spend too much time above 3000 rpm. Use a good quality oil with a higher viscosity if you hear ticking. When the bearings are worn out, they make excessive heat. Stay away from oils that gunk up the inside of the motor. That gunk insulates heat, causing cracked heads and clogging up passages. It might or might not be a badly designed engine, but that doesn't mean you should help it along.

24th Sep 2004, 00:24

I have two Bronco II's. I have an 88, and a 87, both have had coolant in the oil. I just put new heads on the 87 because it is the XLT and is in great shape otherwise. I got new heads from "AlabamaCylinderHead.com", and installed them. Both of the original heads were cracked, but only one appeared to be causing the coolant problem. The other was causing low compression on that cylinder. I had the oil light staying on problem, and replaced the sending unit to no avail. I put a direct gauge on it, and it won't move the pointer off the rest. I was planning on just replacing the oil pump, but now wonder if that will be enough. I really hate to keep dumping money in a vehicle this old, with 167000miles. It still has a backfire through the intake that I have not figured out. I agree that there is a problem with oiling and indication. The oil on the lifter galley was burnt to a crisp. It was like taking burnt ash out of trash barrel.

I have friends with 2.9s in Rangers, and I have replace the sending unit in one of them myself. It did put the light out in his case, and still runs well with 170, 000 miles.

C Brown

Wichita KS


6th Dec 2004, 09:02

I have a 1989 Bronco II. I have the same ticking noise and low oil pressure problems as mentioned. I also have a problem when the engine gets warm it will start missing and become very weak. If anyone has had the same problems and found a fix for them(missing when warm) then please let me know. randy8302000@yahoo.com.