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

Long block 2.3l replacement not running well

  #1  
Old 12-18-2018
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Long block 2.3l replacement not running well

I have a 1992 Ranger XLT supercab 4x2 with a 2.3l engine and 5-speed transmission. The oil pump drive gear stripped and the engine of ~130k died. After much debate with myself, I decided a long block was in order and a trip to Macco.

Everything seemed to go smoothly on the replacement. No extra or missing parts. I do not see any loose wires or vacuum tubing. About 5000 miles before the original engine died, I replaced the coils, wires, and plugs. The original was running great until it lost oil pressure.

The engine started nicely and idled like a puring kitten. I let it run for a few minutes while I cleaned a few things up.

I reved the engine and it started coughing, sputtering, and a backfire or two for good measure then stopped. I tried to start it again and not so much as a burp for 15 seconds, then is started up an calmed down. When I reved the engine again, the same thing happened, I was ready for it this time and feathered the throttle to keep it alive, I have it fully open at one point and it was like it was running on 1/4 of 1 cylinder, almost like the old school running after you turn it off. It would return to a normal idle after 20-40 seconds until I increased the RPMs. If it had a distributer, it is almost like the vacuum advance is not working.

I have disconnected and reconnected every wire and vacuum tube in the engine compartment to make sure it has a good connection to no avail. I swapped the spark plug wires between coils to see if one went bad during the swap, but that did not work either.

The only thing that did not do as planned was the sensor on "harmonic balancer" I had to cut the wires, route the wires behind the timing belt cover, and re-splice them with water proof connectors. I had no way of checking continuity on either side of the splice, but there was no play when tugged. I am temped to solder and liquid tape them together, but I is several hours of work to take enough apart to get to them.

I am at a loss and really would like to get it running again, I miss the truck, but the long block was $1500 and I certainly cannot return it or know where to recoup some of the $1500 if I was to junk the truck.

Anyone have any idea on where to start?

Thanks in advance!
Terry

 
  #2  
Old 12-18-2018
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Dirty fuel filter comes to mind
Or dirty sock in the tank

Reads like it is running out of gas, so could even be fuel pump is not outputting enough volume

1992 uses computer in place of "vacuum" advance
The ICM on the front of lower intake only does RPM advance, it relies on computer for "vacuum" advance, the spark changes needed for rich fuel mix

But no "vacuum advance" would be slow REV up, but once you were at stable higher RPM it would run fine

Yours is stumbling when it requires more gasoline, from what I am reading
 

Last edited by RonD; 12-18-2018 at 09:03 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-18-2018
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Okay, I have a new fuel filter on hand, but it will be a few days before I am able to have the time to replace it. I will also look on how to check the fuel pressure.

It has been a really long time since I have messed with a car with a distributer and vacuum advance, it seems that is what it was like, thanks for the refresher.
 
  #4  
Old 12-18-2018
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Distributors had weights and springs to advance and retard spark with RPMs, thats what the ICM does on yours
The Vacuum advance was used to retard the spark with Rich fuel mix(because it burns faster)
So when you stepped on the gas, throttle opened, and vacuum dropped, spark advance was retard for the extra fuel being burned
And then as RPMs caught up with throttle position vacuum returned and advanced the spark back to regular air:fuel mix

The Crank sensor(sets spark timing) on your 1992 does need to be "setup" there is a tool to align it, its possible at higher RPMs it is wobbling causing the issue
The 3 wires are 12v, ground and signal, so should be OK to cut and splice but never have done that so can't say for sure
 
  #5  
Old 12-22-2018
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I finally had a chance to change the fuel filter. Unfortunately, it did not change the behavior.

I am going to see if I can get a fuel pressure test gage to see if it has pressure. The fuel pump seems to flow a lot of fuel as I let the pump flow with the filter off. I did order a new crank position sensor, no idea when it will be in though.

I am open to more ideas.

Terry
 
  #6  
Old 12-23-2018
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1997 and earlier Ranger used 30-40psi fuel pressure, so a tire air gauge will work to test pressure, both use the same valves, a schrader valve

The spark module, ICM, is on the front of the lower intake, most auto parts stores can test these

New crank sensor should come with an alignment tool, use it, Red part on the new sensor is the tool to align it

Links to 2.3l timing and pictures here: https://www.ranger-forums.com/2-3l-2...s-help-154980/

Click on the links
 
  #7  
Old 12-27-2018
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With the EGR stuff in the way, I could not use tire gage so I picked up a real fuel pressure tester.

It stayed at ~32psi when rev'd up and it sputtered and died. The fuel pressure stayed about 30 for the minute or so I watched with the engine off. It is dark and to cold for me to continue.

I disconnected the EGR connections, no change. I disconnected the front coil pack, no change. I disconnected the vacuum tube to the fuel bar, no change, although the pressure went to 40psi when I removed the vacuum and down to 32psi when I connected it.

I hope to replace the crack position sensor over the weekend. It did come with the alignment tool.

After that, I am not sure what to try next. I was thinking to see if I can get those funny lights that go on the spark plug wires to see if they stay in harmony when it sputters.

Terry
 
  #8  
Old 12-28-2018
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Funny lights are Noid Lights and they plug into fuel injector wires

Yes, with vacuum hose unplugged fuel pressure should go up to 40-43psi, that is correct
And 25-35psi pressure is in normal range
 
  #9  
Old 01-13-2019
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I finally had time to replace the crankshaft position sensor, long story short, I have the same problem. New fuel filter and new crankshaft position sensor. Good fuel pressure. Looks to be good spark (Just not sure it is at the correct time.

It starts up and idles like a kitten and when I open the throttle, it starts running rough (cold or warm). It will run rough at a idle again for a bit, then purr again.

I did find out the wires come out of the connector easily and that allows you to snake the wires around where they need to go. I took pictures to be sure I got the wires in the correct place. Started right up.

Another data point if you will, I picked up a set of 4 "inline sparkplug lights". They seemed to light "normally" when it was running rough. This is leading me to think it is fuel related now. I looked at the NOID lights and it seems you have to remove the wire from the injector which would make it run rough I think being that it only has 4 cylinders. I am going to order one anyway to see maybe the light does not go on when it is running rough. I guess I could clean the injectors as well. Lots of YouTube on that.

Terry
 
  #10  
Old 01-14-2019
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NOID lights are plugged in in between wiring harness connector and injector so injector still works

NOID light is used because injectors are Grounded too fast for volt meter or test light to give accurate results

Injectors are grounded, opened, once every 2 RPMs of the engine, so at idle, 750rpm, thats 12.5 RPMs per second, so each fuel injector is opened/grounded 6 times a second, at IDLE
 
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