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

New to me 1996 Ranger

Old 02-22-2019
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tornado
Posts: 19
New to me 1996 Ranger

Hi folks! Just joined the site today and looking forward to reading.

Last weekend I bought a 96 Ranger for my boy's first vehicle. 2wd, 2.3 I4 engine, completely base model (doesn't even have power steering). It needs a few things, so I wanted to do a little research so I can guide him in fixing it a little better. I'm a pretty good shadetree mechanic with older cars, but I'm not real familiar with the 2.3 engines or sensors.

1. The CEL is on, and one of the problems is the upstream CO2 sensor is broken. Where is the plug for this sensor? I can't seem to see it on the firewall, but I'm almost certain that's where it should be.
2. The vacuum line on the EGR vacuum pod is blocked off. I know this vacuum line goes from the pod to the bottom of the EGR valve (I think...correct me if I'm wrong). Where can I find a replacement hose with the 90 degree end on it?
3. The other code that is showing is a bad cam position sensor. The truck bucks pretty bad while trying to get on the interstate/heavy acceleration. Also, it boggs down pretty quickly on steeper grades (my grandfather has a 94 2.3 and his does fine on the Interstate) I know these trucks aren't powerhouses but they do fine at speed. I'm pretty sure this is the main culprit (along with the EGR valve not being hooked up) but any input is appreciated. Is this sensor fairly easy to replace? Where is it located (I clearly need to purchase a Haynes manual).

I have other questions, but they are interior related so I'll post those in the appropriate forum. Thanks in advance for your help!
Old 02-22-2019
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,571
Welcome to the forum

Just as a heads up:
1983 to 1997 Rangers used the 2.3l SOHC Lima engine, also called the Pinto engine since it was first used in 1976 Ford Pinto
It uses a timing belt that needs to be replace every 100k miles or so

In 2001 Ford started using the 2.3l DOHC Duratec engine, a Mazda L engine, in Rangers, no relation to the Lima engine and nothing is the same except displacement, lol
So if you Google search "2.3l Ranger" prepare to get good and BAD info

Cam sensor is on drivers side toward the front, behind timing belt's cover, should be 2 wire in 1996, drawing here: https://ww2-secure.justanswer.com/up...3006_cmp23.jpg

O2 sensors, you have two, use universal type connectors, difference in part numbers is the length of the lead wire that comes attached to the new sensor
Its a Round 4 wire connector and will come out of the main wiring harness that runs to/from the computer
Computer is located at the top of the firewall, just off center to passenger side, large 104 wire connector held on with bolt
O2 Connector looks like this: https://therangerstation.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=8497&d=1347655792

Non-working EGR valve can cause ping/knock not bogging
High flow from EGR valve can cause bogging

1996 EGR system will have 3 parts:
EGR Solenoid, 2 wires and 2 vacuum hoses, one hose to intake and one hose to EGR Valve, computer uses this to open EGR valve
DPFE sensor, 3 wires and 2 smaller EXHAUST hoses, they run to the EGR Tube, this tells computer exhaust flow into the intake by pressure differences between the 2 hoses
EGR Valve and tube, 1 vacuum line from solenoid.

Always clean MAF sensor, should be done every year or so, easy to do, dirty MAF will cause bogging
New vehicle to you....... always change fuel filter, and PCV Valve

Get the codes read, and WRITE THEM DOWN!!!!!

Never google a code number, always look it up on a full list, like this one: https://therangerstation.com/tech_li...II_codes.shtml
Pretty much every system will have 5 to 10 codes the computer can chose from
This way you can see the codes the computer did NOT choose, which is as much help as the code it did choose

And code definitions are NOT in english, they are in binary computerese
i.e. LEAN does NOT mean engine is running lean, it means fuel injectors are being opened longer than computer things they should be
Old 02-23-2019
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tornado
Posts: 19
Thanks for the great info! I have the codes (not with me but are written down)...two are for the CO2 sensors and the other indicates the Cam sensor. Iíll post better details later. Also I plan on changing the timing belt this spring or Summer.
Old 02-23-2019
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tornado
Posts: 19
Ok so my codes are:

P0320 Ignition/distributor engine speed input circuit (from what I read this is the cam position sensor)

P0135 O2 heater circuit bank 1 sensor one (mine is broken off so I know why Iím getting this code)

P0401 EGR flow insufficient detected (as I said mine is blocked off. Where can I find the vacuum hose for the valve?)

P1131 lack of HO2S11 switches - sensor indicates lean (see above re: broken O2 sensor).

I beieve the first error is causing some of the bogging and the bucking under heavy acceleration. But someone correct me if Iím wrong.

My my plan is to clean the MAF sensor first and perhaps the PCV valve (this is way under the plenum in the intake correct?). Unless someone here directs me otherwise Iíll replace the cam sensor also. Is this just a bolt on and plug in sensor?
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