The following is a Do-It-Yourself article that documents how to change the timing belt,
timing belt tensioner, serpentine belt and water pump on a 1993—1997 Ford Ranger equipped with the 2.3L 4-cylinder engine. Keep in mind that all fasteners on the truck are metric; consequently a solid metric tool kit is required in order to accomplish this job.
It’s also worthwhile to note that the A/C compressor and power steering pump DO NOT need to be removed, despite what is commonly believed. They just need to unbolted and scooted over a tad.
Without further ado, here is the succinct write-up on the job:
Serpentine belt (V-Belt)
2 gallons of 50/50 mix anti-freeze
Tube of light grease for o-rings
Metric tool kit
Long 3/8″ rachet extension
1/2″ breaker bar
1/2″ impact wrench
Large 24mm socket
Various vice grips and screwdrivers for hose clamps
–Replacing the Timing Belt–
Remove 3 of the fan bolts with a 10mm long wrench.
Remove the two fan shroud bolts above.
Remove the last fan bolt.
Remove the fan and fan shroud.
Remove the fan pulley.
Remove the serpentine belt.
Drain the radiator. Note: Dispose of used coolant in an ecologically-friendly manner as antifreeze is extremely toxic to wildlife!
Remove the top radiator hose.
Remove the bottom radiator hose.
Remove the top two bolts and pull the radiator.
Remove the 4 bolts holding the A/C compressor, but DO NOT disconnect any of the hoses.
Remove the bolts for the A/C and power steering pump bracket. It is NOT necessary to remove the A/C and power steering pump— you just need to be able to move them out of the way a tad. There are three 13mm bolts and one 10mm bolt holding the brackets on. One of the 13mm bolts is located directly under the A/C compressor. The 10mm bolt is down and to the right of the one under the A/C compressor. The last two bolts are down by the power steering pump.
Remove the harmonic balancer. An impact wrench and 24mm socket is required. The bolt may be too tight for the impact wrench. If it does not come out, try heating it with a torch. If you do not have access to a 1920s style mobster torch, use the 24mm socket with a large breaker bar. Brace the breaker bar against the frame, and quickly bump the starter. This should break the bolt loose. The balancer is not pressed on and can be removed at this time. You may need to tap it a few times with a rubber mallet.
Remove the two bolts holding the timing belt cover.
Un-do the snaps holding the timing belt cover.
Remove the timing belt cover.
Now keep in mind that the engine needs to be aligned BEFORE the timing belt is taken off. There are timing marks to use to align the engine. Screw the harmonic balancer bolt back in the crank and use it to crank the engine over by hand. Turn the engine over until the keyway on the crank is straight up and diamonds are aligned on the other two pulleys.
Remove the two bolts holding the timing belt tensioner, and remove the belt tensioner.
Remove the old timing belt.
Put the new timing belt tensioner on. Screw in the bolt and spring all the way tight then back off one turn. Use a long 3/8″ socket extension to use as a lever to push the tensioner over. Then put the other tensioner bolt in while holding the lever. Use the lever to push the tensioner to the end of its adjustment slot then tighten the bolt.
Now put the new timing belt on. Start at the crank, and work up and clockwise, keeping the belt tight as not to screw up the alignment of the pulleys. Now loosen the bolts on the belt tensioner a bit and let the tensioner take up the slack in the belt.
Crank the engine over a few revolutions to let the belt and tensioner settle in. Recheck the alignment of the timing marks. If it’s off be sure to fix it now.
–Replacing the Water Pump–
Remove the two small 8mm bolts under the alternator that hold the bottom radiator hose tube on. This will be hard to remove. Twist it back and forth and pull it out.
Remove the three bolts holding the water pump on.
Remove the water pump.
Lightly grease the o-rings for the new water pump.
Install the o-rings in the new water pump.
Put some teflon tape on the three water pump bolts.
Install the water pump and tighten the bolts.
Lightly grease the bottom radiator hose tube, the end that will be inserted in the water pump.
Install the bottom radiator hose tube.
Now put it back together!
Install the bottom radiator hose and clamps.
Reinstall power steering and A/C bracket, and bolt down the A/C compressor.
Install fan and fan pulley.
–Installing the Serpentine Belt–
Install the serpentine belt. Thread it over and under the pulleys as shown on the diagram sticker located under the hood. Crank the belt tensioner over to the left with a 3/8″ rachet and extension, and slip the belt over the tensioner pulley.
Hang the fan shroud over the fan.
Install the radiator.
Connect the top & bottom radiator hoses.
Bolt down the fan shroud.
Refill the radiator. Start and run the engine until the thermostat opens up. Fill up the radiator the rest of the way.
Cap off the radiator and go for a test drive. A ticking noise is normal and will disappear after the belt breaks in. (it usually takes a few miles)
—Jimmy Brown Automotive Writer/Enthusiast