The synchronizer shaft for the camshaft position sensor can cause a loud squeak or chirping noise due to failure of the upper bushing. The noise may be erratic and is usually present when the engine is warm.
1997 Ford Ranger Problem Reports
Most Reported 1997 Ford Ranger Problem Reports
The magnet for the camshaft position sensor may fall out of its mount and damage the synchronizers. This causes long crank times when starting the engine and may cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. If this happens, both the magnets and the synchronizers need to be replaced.