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have it checked out professionally as it may be worn rocker arm bushes/shaft or push rods as you say
unless there is cam damage ( rare ) then it is not necessary to replace the cam shaft.
cam followers may be hydraulic and can be checked
there has to be set pulses for the position sensor to work
normally both the crank position sensor and the cam shaft position sensor work together and send signals to the ECM and if one signal is not in sync with the other , the ecm thinks something is wrong and shuts down the engine.
Ford did not put a 2.5 in a Ranger, maybe a 2.3 ?
3.0 - The CMP sensor& synchronizer/shaft are located behind the intake manifold (i.e., back near the firewall on a Ranger) on the top of the cylinder block. If you just need to replace the sensor, it is a simple job of unplugging the electrical connector and removing the screws holding the sensor in place. Here is a sketch of the sensor to give you an idea what to look for:
If you have the 3.0 L or 4.0 L V6 engine, the cam position sensor is located on the top rear of the engine. If you have the 2.3 L 4 cyl. engine, you will find it on the left front of the engine behind the oil pump pulley.