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2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 03-20-2017
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At a complete loss.

I'll try to provide any information I can think of. I have a 2001 Ranger 2.3 DOHC, and today getting ready to leave school it wouldn't start. The motor was turning so it wasn't electrical. It turned over a couple times and i tried reving it to keep it running but it wouldn't go over 2000 RPM, it just kept bogging down and dying. It smelled like unburned gas really bad and white smoke was coming from the tail pipe. It finally started when the resource officer saw I was having problems and he came over, pulled off one of the spark plug wires and told me to turn it for a second to make sure it was getting spark, and that was good, and he put it back on, and it fired right up. Can someone please explain what happened, after it started it ran like there was no problem, I didn't have any lights or anything.
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Old 03-20-2017
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Not alot to go on.

If it happens again try turning key on and off 4 times, builds up pressure at fuel injectors, and see if it starts up OK.

Was engine stone cold or had it only been off a short time, still warm?

What was outside temp at the time of the no start?

White "smoke" is a concern, if engine starts to overheat pull over, do not "try to make it home" or any where else.
Wait until it cools off then move it in short hops to get it where you need it, that keeps a $300 repair from becoming a $2,000+ repair on any vehicle.
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Old 03-20-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Not alot to go on.

If it happens again try turning key on and off 4 times, builds up pressure at fuel injectors, and see if it starts up OK.

Was engine stone cold or had it only been off a short time, still warm?

What was outside temp at the time of the no start?

White "smoke" is a concern, if engine starts to overheat pull over, do not "try to make it home" or any where else.
Wait until it cools off then move it in short hops to get it where you need it, that keeps a $300 repair from becoming a $2,000+ repair on any vehicle.
engine was cold, sat for about 8 hours before this happened. It was about 80 degrees out side. The officer that came over and helped me said it smelled like gas bad (which was obvious) and the white smoke was probably unburned fuel
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Old 03-21-2017
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Black smoke is fuel
Blue smoke is oil
White smoke is coolant, or water vapor, burning gasoline(Hydrocarbon) with Oxygen produces H2O(water) as a by product, this is why tail pipes drip out water and why exhaust systems rust from the inside out.
So you could have had some water collected in the exhaust system and the extra fuel caused super fast heat up of Cat which vaporized the water quickly

Just watch your coolant level for the next week or so.

1998 and up Rangers have 65psi fuel pressure and a Pulse Damper on the end of the engine's Fuel Rail.

The Pulse Damper has a Vacuum Hose attached to it for safety reasons.
In side it is just a rubber diaphragm that absorbs pressure waves caused by injectors opening and closing, it prevents these waves from building up.
Vacuum hose is there in case diaphragm should ever leak, don't want raw fuel coming out onto the engine or exhaust.

Check that vacuum hose, make sure there is no gasoline in it.

Last edited by RonD; 03-21-2017 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017
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Yeah, coolant leaves my truck faster than it should but this has been a problem forever. Is there any reasonable explanations for why it didn't start?
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Old 03-21-2017
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I assume since it runs OK when started then compression is not an issue, so that takes 1 of the 3 out of the no start issue.

Other 2 are spark and fuel

You can carry a spray can of Quick Start(ether) with you.
And do a 50/50 test at the next no start.
Spray some into the intake, and try to start it
If it starts then fuel is the problem
If it doesn't start then spark is the problem.
50/50

And it could be you have a blown head gasket or cracked head, and it is now leaking enough to "steam" into the intake and exhaust when warm engine is shut off, fouling the cylinders enough so you have a hard restart.
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Old 03-21-2017
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I don't have coolant in the oil or anything is that still a possibility?
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Old 03-21-2017
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Coolant in the oil doesn't happen much any more with the newer head designs and head gasket materials, can happen, just not as common as the 'old days'

Head gasket breach happens in the metal ring that surrounds each cylinder, and since each cylinder is surrounded by coolant chambers and passages(the point of the cooling system) this breach will eat away at the softer head gasket material until it reaches a coolant passage between head and block, it will usually stop there but can continue to eat away at gasket material until it reaches an oil drain hole, or oil pressure passage(oils valve train), then coolant can get into the oil

If you have a blown head gasket or cracked head engine will overheat, temp gauge will start to go up and down and then up more than down as "air" from a cylinder(900psi) forces its way into the cooling system(14psi) and displaces coolant
So no overheating = no problem on that front
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Old 03-22-2017
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I've never overheated or even came close, coolant just leaves really fast
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Old 03-22-2017
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If coolant is leaving the system, it's either being consumed or leaking out.

Pressure test the cooling system. You can most likely rent these tools from your local parts store.

Also look around the cooling hoses and water pump for dampness, including the radiator cap. My radiator cap was leaking when I first got my truck.


I do have a theory for your hard start. You're losing coolant and you had white smoke, at least at that point. I think some coolant got into the cylinders. Just enough to make it difficult to run until the coolant left the cylinders, but not enough to flood or otherwise damage the engine.
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Old 03-22-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArcticWolf1911 View Post
If coolant is leaving the system, it's either being consumed or leaking out.

Pressure test the cooling system. You can most likely rent these tools from your local parts store.

Also look around the cooling hoses and water pump for dampness, including the radiator cap. My radiator cap was leaking when I first got my truck.


I do have a theory for your hard start. You're losing coolant and you had white smoke, at least at that point. I think some coolant got into the cylinders. Just enough to make it difficult to run until the coolant left the cylinders, but not enough to flood or otherwise damage the engine.
I technically don't have a radiator cap, its the reservoir that holds the pressure. I don't know if that will make a test harder or not, I do know that coolant is leaking somewhere above the driver side a arm, hopefully a broken hose or something is the source of my leak and not a blown head gasket. Thoughts?
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Old 03-22-2017
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What size engine do you have?
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2017
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Quote:
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What size engine do you have?
2.3 duratech
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Old 03-23-2017
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Oh those are fun. Not too familiar with how those are routed. I would look up a schematic for it (or follow the hoses).

You can also get uv leak dye to toss in there and use a uv flashlight to see where it's coming out. that would tell you if it's leaking externally
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Old 03-23-2017
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If its an external leak shouldn't be head gasket, right?
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Old 03-24-2017
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All depends on where it's coming out of. If it's glowing between where the head and block meet, well.....

If it's coming out where a clamp has gone loose or broken, then replace the clamp.
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