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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 02-18-2008
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Engine dies when I stop.

Hey All, new guy here. I posted this in another Ranger forum but this one seems to be more active so let me tell you my dilemma and maybe someone might know what I am dealing with.

About 10 months ago my truck, 2002 Ford Ranger, was dying when I stopped. It would happen at my second or third stop of a journey and it would die just about when I hit a complete stop around 5 to 3 mph and it would kinda jerk and then shut down. I would put in park and it would start up fine, I would put it in neutral and it would start up fine but I would put it in drive and it would die, like it wanted to get up and go but then just jerk and die. Now this would happen initially once an month, then once every 3 weeks then once every 2 then once a week and then it would do it every day and each time I drove. But also keep in mind that it would only happen at the second or third stop on my trip, after about 10 minutes of driving it never happened again though I usually didn't go too far for fears I would dead far from home so I am not sure if this is really the case but it has never done this at the end of my trip.

So the first thing I thought of was transmission until a tech that swings by my office every so often said it could be a fuel problem and try a fuel filter first. I did and it was back to normal... for around 10 months and then it happened again. I took to a Ford dealership so they could run a test, it was pretty severe at this time and died constantly in their lot, and they said it was a torque converter (and wanted me to get a whole new transmission for 4,000 dollars but that is another story). I told them about the fuel filter and they had no answer. I asked other people and they had no answer either though everyone thinks it is a torque converter but they have no answer for the filter fixing the problem. I told them to put in a filter and bingo, worked again though it almost died twice while heading home but never fully died, it chugged till just about death and then it stopped and the engine was running smoothly. But it is happening again, this time I was leaving my hockey night and it died on my second stop, but after that I made it home. So now I am not sure what it is. Part of me is thinking I have crap in my tank or maybe a bad fuel pump, or heck, maybe it is the torque converter but there is really no explanation of why a fuel filter remedies the problem, unless there is and no one knows it.

I am willing to fix it but I don't want to drop 1,000 or so bucks on a converter when that is not the problem. So now I have come to you, the Ranger community, to see if maybe any of you have experienced this or may know of a solution. But keep this in mind, the transmission tech at the Ford Dealership was almost positive that it was a torque converter locking but he had no explanation on why a fuel filter would get it working again.

I thank you for any suggestions.
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Old 02-18-2008
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dang sounds bad so all you have done is changed the fuel filter?
i would check all the fuel componets since the fuel filter fixes it some what change the pump and check your injectors. Is it throwing a check engine light? if so whats the code? ill talk to some guys at work since im just a tech in training but i would check the whole fuel system
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Old 02-18-2008
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Does it cut out during acceleration? Does it idle good? Do the rpm's vary while the motor's idling?

I don't know what motor this is either? A little more info would be great!

I could throw a couple good guesses without really seeing the thing. The problems you describe could be anything from a weak fuel pump to a bad FPR to a bad IAC valve, if your motor even has one.




Allen
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Old 02-20-2008
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I would check the IAC valve first and foremost. This is a proportioning valve that "leaks" air around the throttle plate to maintain the proper idle speed in varying conditions. If it's stuck closed, it will choke the motor when it reaches idle.

Also, this valve is only operational when the truck is at idle speed, so that might explain part of the problem. Also, I would think by the 2nd or 3rd stop of a trip, your motor has reached normal operating temperature, so the problem would have to be something that is directly exposed to underhood heat.
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Old 02-20-2008
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This could be an IAC motor sticking or an EGR valve that is sticking open since it's not supposed to open at idle. But, if a Ford dealership has legitimately told you that the torque converter has gone bad I honestly don't think they were lying to you. The fuel filter could be a complete coincidence and it needed changed all along. I run into cars all of the time where one problem is masking another.
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Old 02-20-2008
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Actually, 67cobain94, this happened to me a while ago, put in a new fuel filter and then it stopped acting up for a good 10 months. Then it happened again, put in a fuel filter and it stopped acting up again but his time for only about a month, it is doing it again. So the filer fixed the problem twice but it is starting to not be as effective the first time around.

More Info:
It never happens when I first start my truck. For instance it has sat in my garage overnight, it will start up fine but when I hit my first or second stop that's when it dies. I went to the store the other night and it was acting up. I went inside and it was off for about 10 minutes and I got back in the truck and it was doing the problem right away.

It won't die in reverse but it will in drive.

It is a 4.0 liter engine (feedback fuel system) 6 cylinder fuel injection catalyst.

I am taking up to a guy I know in Duluth on Friday, I will ask him about checking the IAC valve and of course the fuel pump. I don't doubt if it really is the torque converter (mind you the first thing I thought of was transmission) but when the changing of the fuel filter fixes it twice then I am apt to say it is something else.

Thanks for the info! I will get back to you when I know the problem.

P.S. Sorry about putting this in the 4 cylinder category, I could have sworn it was a 4 and not a 6.
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Old 02-20-2008
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Um...for him to "check" the fuel pump, you do realize that will require him to drop the fuel tank, right? You're gonna pay for some labor time that can be done with a simple crescent wrench and about 5 minutes under the truck.

Since you're so determined to find a fuel system issue, it may be that the fuel pick-up sock is clogged and sucking up some debris on occasion. It may also be a bad inertia switch. This is a switch that senses a sudden jolt and shuts off power to the fuel pump, preventing a fire in the event of a crash. It's behind the passenger's side kick panel, and has a large red depress button on the top. Check it for a short while you're doing the simple garage diagnosis before paying anyone to look it over.

Did you have any major service work done right before this problem arose?
Also, you never said if you have a check engine light on. Do you?
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Old 02-20-2008
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It only takes you 5 minutes to drop your fuel tank?
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKendall View Post
It only takes you 5 minutes to drop your fuel tank?
It's two 13mm bolts that hold the straps on. It takes about 1 minute to grab a socket wrench, 12" extension, and 13mm socket, 1 minute per bolt, and about 2 minutes wrestling it to a good spot on the ground to disconnect the hoses and wiring. Yep...about 5 minutes. I've done it.
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Old 02-20-2008
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I prefer not to lay on the ground and undo the (6) T-55's in the bed and pull the bed back a couple feet to get to the fuel pump in the tank. Well, you must also loosen the (3) 6mm bolts holding the filler neck to the bed and unplug the tailights but it's far easier in my opinion.




Allen
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Old 02-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67cobain94 View Post
But, if a Ford dealership has legitimately told you that the torque converter has gone bad I honestly don't think they were lying to you.
Just because a dealer tells you something, that does not mean it is true. I was once told by a dealer that the head on my 86 Topaz was cracked and needed to be replaced. It had the high performance head and was going to be very expensive to replace. I told them not to replace it. I inspected things when I got it home. Yes, there was a coolant leak and it appeared to be the head. However on closer inspection I discovered it was leaking from the thermostat housing. I installed a new thermostat gasket and all was well. That car was driven for almost another 100,000 miles with no problems before the head finally did fail.

At the same time they told me the timing belt needed to be replaced. I looked through my Ford repair manual and discovered it had a timing chain that does not need periodic replacement. Obviously I told them what they could do with their timing belt.

I think dealers, in general, can be trusted but you have to use some judgement too.
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Old 02-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IN2 FX4 View Post
Just because a dealer tells you something, that does not mean it is true.

I think dealers, in general, can be trusted but you have to use some judgement too.
True that. On my last visit to the dealsrship, on their inspection they listed my clutch action as "N/A". I thought It was prety applicable on a stick shift. They also claimed they replaced my K&N. Even dealerships can hire idiots.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2008
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The Infinity Dealership actually replaced my dad's K&N on his G35 couple with one of their crappy paper filters! He threw a fit and got the whole service job for free! Dealerships are a bunch of morons in a corporate fish bowl just trying to make a buck.
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Old 02-23-2008
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Though it has not been taken apart yet the good folks at Dave's Transmission in Duluth have confirmed to me that it is the torque converter. But not the converter per se but something effecting the converter. Why a fuel filter solved the problem may be due to a leaky valve or something, I will let you know what it is exactly when they check it out. He said if it really was the torque converter it would have been dead a long time ago, which is why I didn't fall for the dealerships claim that I should get a whole new transmission.

So, we shall see in the next few days what it really is.
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Old 02-23-2008
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All be damned. Sounds simple enough. Pretty sure it would take me an hour, minimun.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2008
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Yeah it's just getting to those top bellhousing bolts that is a pain. Bust out the 24" impact extension and swivel joint!

Really though, changing a torque converter can be done in one evening with minimal tools. However, when it comes to dealing with transmission fluid, I don't blame you for letting someone else deal with the mess! My garage floor is permanently stained from that stuff.

Did you ever check your IAC valve?
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Old 02-24-2008
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Well, I'm not going to argue how good dealerships are because we can argue until our faces turn blue. There are always going to be some really good technicians out there and then there are going to be glorified parts changers. They are at any place that works on cars, the only difference is the price of a dealership magnifies the situation at hand.
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  #18  
Old 02-24-2008
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sounds like the torque converter isn't unlocking. Is there a plug that controls lockup that could be unpluged or is it part of the computer?
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  #19  
Old 02-24-2008
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Lock-up is controlled electronically via the PCM and a valve. It is proportioned by the Vehicle Speed Sensor on RWABS models, and by the 4WABS Module/VSS on 4WABS models. More than likely, there is nothing that can be done except to replace the TC.
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  #20  
Old 02-27-2008
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It was a valve in the housing that was affecting the TC. I will get more details when I pick it up this Friday.
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  #21  
Old 02-27-2008
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ive had that problem but mine was that i had a bad air filter fitting... it would only die during idle but yours sounds more complicated haha
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  #22  
Old 03-08-2008
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Had it back for one week now. All better, even sounds better. Total bill was 198.02, I would have to say a lot better than the 4,000 the dealership was trying to cut out of me.
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  #23  
Old 03-08-2008
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It was a valve in the bellhousing!? What valve?
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  #24  
Old 03-10-2008
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Try replacing your throttle position sensor (TPS)
located on the throttle body
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