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Many vehicles need to have the starter aligned. When you removed it did you find any small metal shims anywhere under the retaining bolts, etc. If you don't put them back in the alignment of the starter will be off and the starter drive will not properly engage the flywheel, this can jam or even break the started drive or flywheel teeth.
Try the starter solenoid, the contacts may be welded in it. I am not sure if the Ford Ranger has a starter relay also in the fuse box. If the starter solenoid is good then it could be the starter relay has contacts welded. Please rate my answer so I am rewarded points for it.
WHEN YOUR OLD STARTER WENT BAD IT MORE THAN LIKELY PULLED TO MUCH AMPERAGE THUS WELDING THE CONTACTS INSIDE THE STARTER SOLENOID TOGETHER. REPLACE THE SOLINOID ITS LOCATED ON THE FIRE WALL SAME SIDE AS YOUR BATTERY THE POSITIVE CABLE FROM YOUR BATTERY IS ATTACHED TO IT. THI IS A PIC OF WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE .HOPE THIS HELPS
Check ignition switch, the switch sit on the steering colum, under the dash, on the top side of the colum, make sure the rod that come's from the key is still in the switch, you will have to remove switch to check, held on with two small screw's, after removeble of switch, with screw driver work switch, if it don't feel spring like, switch is bad
it's a good chance that the solenoid on the fender is shorting and is the problem. it is hard wired to the battery so even if the key is off the voltage still flows to the solenoid. replace the solenoid on the fender. this is where most fords have them iit should be on the passenger side fender well. please rate this...thanks