Rough Idling, low power (oh boy!) - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 05-02-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
Rough Idling, low power (oh boy!)

Hello, new user here to Ranger Forums.



Have a 2002 (made in 2001) XL Ranger 3.0 V6, automatic, 140,000 miles. It's bone stock save for the replacement K&H Air Filter that I swapped out when I was doing detailing work and hauling around a tank of water (and I already know I overspent for something I really didn't need).



It's been regularly maintained and cleaned throughout it's life and has never sputtered out or stalled on me ever. Had the transmission fluid changed out over a year and a half ago and was given a very clean bill of health overall. Have only had minor problems such as inconvenient bulb burnouts (which I have yet to replace behind the dash) and squeaks here and there.



Anyways, I certainly can't say that it hasn't been a reliable vehicle so far but when things start falling apart, they seem to all happen at one time. The biggest issue that I have (and the one that I can afford to deal with on a $2500 vehicle) is the rough idling/operation and low power. It also boggs down on the and shutters violently on the highway when over 3000rpms and at around 85mph on the gauge. That may just be the governor kicking in but it no doubt has lower top speed than it did a few years ago. I've been reading up on it and have my suspicions over bad ignition coils, crummy/clogged throttle body, bad spark plugs - all things that I will not be able to know for sure unless I physically investigate further.


I have only done minor things to my truck such as replace the oil, change out fuses, bulbs, install a third middle light for use on a topper and install my stereo system and speakers. I would like to able to attempt to work on whatever may be troubling the car itself at the moment, but have not attempted previously - at least not on my own.



I may have a friend or two that can help me but it would take weeks of planning to set that in order.



So my biggest question is this - Is this something that I would be able to attempt on my own/with help of a friend? Or is this better left to the (overpriced) experts?



Can take pics if it helps out.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-02-2011
j99ranger4x4's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delaware, OH
Posts: 1,381
i would start w spark plugs and wires. they need changed anyhow more than likely they havent been replaced.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-02-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
Sparks and wires were changed out around 8k ago (x2 oil changes ago), would they be bad that soon?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-03-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
Okay, so I splurged (all $6 worth!!!) on some MAF cleaner and had at it with some Q-Tips and paper towels. Took a bit of sweat to get it all out of there but needless to say I did.


I let it dry for about 45min and it seemed bone dry (the spray certainly works as advertised). It did make a marked improvement in overall stability - idle is better, engine runs noticeably quieter, increase in power (I would say about 10-20% more throttle @ all rpms) and the car does not seem to shake all that much once it gets going at normal speeds including highway speeds. The car still shakes more than it normally should which leads me to believe that it still hasn't exactly pinpointed the problem but it does reassure my feelings of highway driving again without feeling like it will stall at any moment. One of the easiest and


I talked to a couple of friends and they unanimously agree that it is highly unlikely that the spark plugs are the culprit as they are only 8000 miles old at this point. The ones that were installed before are rated 100,000+ miles, but I suppose there could be a lemon. It's just $40 to confirm lemon/not...


I still have my finger pointed at the ignition coil which is only about $40 to get a new one and replace (which is 90% of the hassle) but a buddy and I could handle that in an hour or so. Do I proceed with this or is there something else I'm not catching?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-03-2011
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 14
You should also try cleaning the throttle body. It's pretty easy to clean. First get some Throttle Body cleaner. Next disconnect the battery. Now remove the hose clamp that holds the intake to the TB. Also remove any other shield around it(I have a 98 and there is a bit of a shield). Next, wiggle the TB loose, pull it away gently and have a look inside. Yours is probably quite carbonned up inside as mine was. Put a towel around it and start spraying. I had to use an old (clean) paint brush to loosen the carbon. I didn't disconnect the wires or cruise cables from the TB assembly either - just was careful not to break anything off.
After the cleaning - the idle speed dropped to a bit below 1000 rpm from about 1350.
This was a relatively easy job and worth it (IMO)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-03-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian K View Post
You should also try cleaning the throttle body. It's pretty easy to clean. First get some Throttle Body cleaner. Next disconnect the battery. Now remove the hose clamp that holds the intake to the TB. Also remove any other shield around it(I have a 98 and there is a bit of a shield). Next, wiggle the TB loose, pull it away gently and have a look inside. Yours is probably quite carbonned up inside as mine was. Put a towel around it and start spraying. I had to use an old (clean) paint brush to loosen the carbon. I didn't disconnect the wires or cruise cables from the TB assembly either - just was careful not to break anything off.
After the cleaning - the idle speed dropped to a bit below 1000 rpm from about 1350.
This was a relatively easy job and worth it (IMO)
Yes, if you read the above post that's exactly what I just did!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-03-2011
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 14
Oh - I thought you cleaned the Mass Air Flow sensor since you used the MAF cleaner.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-03-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
I believe that they are one in the same here...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-03-2011
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 14
Perhaps they are the same. I thought the MAF would be a sensor that measures air flow - I have one at the entrance of the air tube very near the filter housing (at least I thought this was the MAF) and the throttle body was the butterfly valve assembly very near the intake manifold. I noticed in the Parts Store that they had MAF sensor cleaner as well as Throttle body cleaner.
In any event - you cleaned the 'thingy" that I was talking about - so all is good.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-03-2011
Masteratarms93's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Goose Creek SC
Posts: 4,685
No MAF is right next to airbox, throttle body is on top of the intake that the throttle cable runs to.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-03-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
The throttle body it is then. I took pictures anyhow and it was labeled throttle body...




Perhaps I can take a hack at the MAF assembly while I'm at it. When I'm not having to drive it around...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-04-2011
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: aspers, PA
Posts: 801
well i would at least pull every plug and check before you get new ones, you'll know a bad plug when you see it, possible that one of the boots is not making a good connection, so just take them off one at a time and put them back on and hear for the click, ignition coils go bad they go bad as in they don't work at all, so they don't really wear out and act up.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-06-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
Just completed a complete flush on my radiator, can't say for sure how it is affecting the overall shaking issue but I do notice yet another decrease in engine noise.


Wasn't too hard using this guide: https://www.ranger-forums.com/showthread.php?p=1554834


Did everything that was demonstrated and needless to say I now have four 5 gallon buckets and a large cooler's worth of exo-coolant gunk that was previously terrorizing my coolant system. The coolant meter never did much of anything yet I can't help but feel that it has dipped somewhat as a result of all of this.


Still monitoring the coolant levels and topping off every couple of minutes but the shaking is still present. Haven't checked the spark plugs as of yet...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-06-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
Also had some diagnosis as the auto store and had some error codes pop up:


P0455
P0457
P0301
P0708
P0303



301 and 303 are cylinder missfires. Besides the 708 (which is a transmission range sensor) all the signs seem to indicate vapor leaks and bad EVAP (fuel cap light is on but fuel cap is fine and tight) and consequently the 457 code indicates possible bad fuel filter, which I believe would be the culprit here.


Those are a bit harder to work on and replace it seems...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-06-2011
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: aspers, PA
Posts: 801
yeah the fuell filter would probably help, but if it misses then its a spark issue the truck will shake violently when it misfirs, well not that bad but its still bad, and you will have horrible power
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-07-2011
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 13
My bad, I don't mean fuel filter - I meant fuel injector; the more complicated peice of equipment that's hooked up to the fuel lines and EVAP system that most likely explains the reason for the fuel cap indicator light.

I'm not looking forward to spraying gasoline everywhere after I just flushed my radiator fluids...
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-07-2011
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: aspers, PA
Posts: 801
yeah i would check them before i would do that, i know theres a way to do so i'm just not sure on it, but you can research it, sometimes gas caps go bad so maybe a new gas cap wouldn't hurt to try, check the plugs and check for current i the wire with a timing light
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2003 3.0 Ranger - rough low idle (400 rpm), bogs at 2500K, rough shift, NOW FINE ChargerOnDavins 2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech 3 03-23-2015 04:25 PM
LOW LOW LOW RPMS JRacer 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 23 05-07-2009 12:25 AM
Rough Low Idling!!! JRacer 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 2 10-16-2008 08:31 PM
Low Idling Speed when cold [email protected] General Technical & Electrical 2 12-26-2007 10:07 AM
Idling Rough and Rich Exhaust DefyBass SOHC - 2.3L & 2.5L Lima Engines 1 04-03-2007 02:18 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:10 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.