Does The Ford Ranger Have a Timing Belt or Chain?


The Ford Ranger is one of the most popular trucks in the United States. 

Which is why I was excited when I bought mine a few months ago! 

It took me a while since there are so many excellent years for the Ranger once I started looking at used models. 

When I finally settled on one, I realized I never checked to find out if it had a timing belt or a chain!

Does The Ford Ranger Have a Timing Belt or Chain?

The Ford Ranger 3.2L engine uses a timing chain that is on the cylinder block to control two sets of gears – one for valves and another linked by cams, with both working together in order to keep an accurate time as you drive. 

This new design does away with belts altogether which are easier to maintain but can get stretched out over hundreds or even thousands of miles when exposed constantly under pressure from all four wheels turning at once- not just driving around town like normal people do (or so we think). 

Do you want to know more about the Ford Ranger and the advantages of using a timing chain instead of a timing belt? Then keep reading to find out!

For Ranger Timing Chain Vs. Timing Belts

Timing belts and chains are two of the more important components in your car’s engine that serve the exact same function. 

The timing belt/chain connects the crankshaft with each cylinder head so that all four valves can be opened up for gas intake or exhaust out through pipes at varying times based on how you drive.

Where timing belts and timing chains differ is that belts are made of rubber and the chains are made from metal, both are installed in different ways and come with varying maintenance costs.

Advantages of Timing Belts

  • The advantages of having a timing belt in your engine are that they are cheaper to replace.
  • They also are easier to install because they are usually much lighter than timing chains.

Disadvantages of Timing Belts

  • The disadvantages of having a timing belt in your engine are that if it breaks you can easily cause major internal damage within your engine which can be very expensive to repair. 
  • The belt will also need replacing more often than a timing chain, especially if you are running your car through dirt roads or off-road destinations frequently.

Advantages of Timing Chains

  • The advantages of having a timing chain in your engine are that they don’t have an effect on engine performance the way belts do. 
  • The timing chain is very durable and can last well over 300,000 miles before needing replacement if they are properly maintained.

Disadvantages of Timing Chains

  • The disadvantages of having a timing chain in your engine are that they’re much heavier than belts which makes them more difficult for small engines to power at times. 
  • They also are more expensive to replace and require a bit more knowledge when it comes to replacement.

How Do You Maintain a Timing Chain?

There are a few different ways that you can check the timing chain in your Ford Ranger to see if it needs maintenance or replacement.

Abnormal Noise from Engine

One way is by checking for any abnormal noise coming from the engine area when driving down a road. 

If you hear unusual noises coming from your engine, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with the timing chain.

Checked During Scheduled Maintenance

Another way to check for issues with the timing belt/chain in your Ford Ranger is by paying close attention to when you are due for scheduled oil changes or maintenance on other parts of your vehicle. 

It is always a good move to have your timing chain inspected during a routine checkup.

How it Feels at Ignition

Another would be feeling how difficult it is to turn over at first before the car gets going. 

If it is difficult to turn over when you are turning the ignition, then there could be an issue with your timing chain.

What Causes a Timing Chain Failure?

When you are trying to figure out what causes a timing chain failure, there are multiple things that can affect the performance of your engine over time.

Age and Mileage 

As with any other metal part in your vehicle, it will eventually wear down from use over time especially if you drive frequently on off-road locations which can be very tough on a timing chain.

Engine Vibrations 

Engine vibrations can also cause the chains to become loose and eventually break which will affect your engine performance as well.

Worn Gears or Guides 

Worn gears or guides are another reason why you might have issues with your Ford Ranger’s timing belt because it may not be moving through its gears as it should which can cause a lack of power or performance.

What Happens to the Ford Ranger Engine When the Timing Chain Breaks?

When the timing chain in your Ford Ranger breaks or becomes loose, this can cause a lack of power and performance to come from your engine. 

Not only will you likely notice issues with how difficult it is for your vehicle to start up but also when trying to accelerate on roadways which could be very dangerous especially if you are driving down busy roads.

Is a Timing Belt Expensive to Replace?

Yes, timing belts are much more expensive to replace than rubber belts. 

You should budget between $800 and 1,100 for a Ford Ranger timing chain replacement

This includes parts and labor costs.

Can You Replace the Timing Chain on Your Own?

Many people are under the impression that you can replace a timing chain on your own, however, this is not recommended. 

You should always have an experienced repair shop take care of replacing your Ford Ranger’s timing belt for you to ensure it gets done right and safely.

If you try to do it yourself there could be severe engine damage which would result in a cost much more expensive than a timing chain replacement.

Why Does the Ford Ranger Use a Timing Chain?

The Ford Ranger uses a timing chain, not a belt because the engine is powerful enough that it won’t be affected by using a heavier metal. 

The driver will notice no difference in performance when driving around town, towing trailers, and on highways with this type of design.

The use of a timing chain in the Ford Ranger allows for an increase in durability and reliability with a minimal effect on power. 

This is a truck that can handle all kinds of terrain, so it makes sense they would upgrade to using the most durable option available.

Closing Thoughts

The Ford Ranger uses a timing chain, not a belt because the engine is powerful enough that it won’t be affected by using a heavier metal. 

The driver will notice no difference in performance when driving around town, towing trailers, and on highways with this type of design. 

The use of a timing chain in the Ford Ranger allows for an increase in durability and reliability with a minimal effect on power. 

This is a truck that can handle all kinds of terrain, so it makes sense they would upgrade to using the most durable option available.

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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