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Jack the vehicle up and check the brake caliper. If it isn't a seal on the caliper make sure you check the shock absorber to make sure that isn't leaking. If that is not leaking it is most likely the axle seal. Unless Ford has changed the design of that your going to have to open the rear differential, remove the retaining clip for that axle and extract it from the Axle housing. The seal is typically pressed on so it is going to be a pain to remove the old seal then press the new seal in place and re-assemble the rear end. Make sure you fill the differential with the proper fluid or you'll burn the rear end out. When your checking the caliper make sure you check the brake line for breaks and the bleed valve to make sure that is in place and not leaking.
1. The rear suspension components. The noise may be emanating from a failed shock absorber. There could also be a number of failed rubber bushes in one or more rear suspension components that is allowing metal to metal contact.
2. If an exhaust hangar on the exhaust system has broken the exhaust system will swing and bang against the underside of the vehicle.
You need to get the car on a hoist with the rear wheels removed to inspect all items and identify the likely source of the noise.
Classic signs of a Ford Ranger in need of new rear shocks.
Since your vehicle is a 1998, its just about the right age for
the OEM shocks to fail.
Checking your shocks:
1. take off rear wheel & check for fluid leakage from the upper 1/2 of the shock - presence of fluid
indicates shock failure.
2. get in truck bed over the axle and jump up & down. Excessive play/bounciness indicates shock
have you adjusted the shoes prior to fitting the drums? I know that they are supposed to be self adjusting but if there is too much gap between the shoe and the drum, the auto adjust takes too long to catch up
High CO usualy means the O2 sensors are not reading properly. Take it to a parts store that can read codes, I know Auto Zone does in my area. If it is the O2 sensor it is an easy fix but the sensors run about $50.00 each.
Its NOT difficult but you would need a SPRING compressor. This tool can be rented from an AUTO ZONE when you return this tool you will get you money back. You just have to compress spring and remove shock absorber and replace in the opposite. Good luck and contact if you need more help. Thanks for using FIX YA
The colour of the oil will depend of the where the leak may be from.
If the oil seems tobe a light brown in colour it would sugest that a brake pipe or rubber hose has failed. The flexible rubber hose is a very common fault on this paticular vehicle as the brake flexi hose is secured on the shock absorber / front hub assembly. The brake fluid level should be checked and if found to be low it would indicate that this is the problem. If this is the case , in some rare circumstances the fluid can cover the brake pads. If this is the case then the front brake pads should be changed and all parts thouroughly cleaned with water as the brake fluid is hydroscopic which means it absorbs water and water alone will wash of the brake fluid and stop any further corrosion this may cause.
If the driveshaft gaiter has failed the colour of the oil would be a very dark green almost black, but you will only have a small amount of this within the system so it is very unlikely to be this.
If the oil is very dark brown, almost black then this will normally be the front crankshaft oil seal or camshaft seal. Both of these require removal of the cam belt assembly if you have the CVH engine ( if you have a large silver top cover on the engine ) or if you have a slim black cover this is a Valencia engined model which is very easy to work on in replacing the front crankshaft oil seal but does not have a camshaft seal like the CVH engine but it does have a rocker cover gasket like the CVH engine which are very prone to going hard through lack of maintanance as it is made from cork and does go hard with age and then leak oil.
Good luck with car and if any further help is required then just ask.