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

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  #1  
Old 10-10-2009
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Tune up advice

My 02 is about to turn 82K miles. EVERYTHING, plugs, wires, cap, etc. are all original.
The mileage is starting to slip. Not that it was ever that great to begin with.
So I think it's time for a tune-up. It's been many, many years since I've done a tune up.
I usually trade in my cars at about the 50-60K mark. So never had a need to tune them.

Back when I was doing it, probably 25-30 years ago. I would change plugs, POINTS
(you older guys remember points, don't you?) distributor cap and plug wires.
Is it still necessary to do all that? Anything else I should be looking at?

Is it worth it to put on things like Silicone Plug Wire, Screamin' Demon Coil Pack,
Power Pulleys, etc.? (Sold by Underdog and others)
I'm NOT looking for performance. I'll leave that to you kids.
I'm after reliableability and maybe a bit more MPG.

So what do you guys think? What should I replace and with what? Assuming stock plugs.
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Old 10-10-2009
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POINTS ? You left out the condenser too. And also setting the dwell.(chuckle)
Now that you know where I'm coming from , let's get down to brass tacks.

An 02 3.0 .
Go to a dealer and pick up a camshaft syncronizer .It goes in place of the distributor on the older engines.If the package has 'Dorman' anywhere on it ,throw it back at them .
This part is known to fail on these engines without warning , it drives the oil pump.
At 82K the wires will be OK , change them if you want.
For plugs , go to NAPA and use Autolite Double platinums (sp)
Gap them at .044
The coil pack should be OK, Ford installed a decent unit .
Change the fuel filter , you may need help with this as it's different from days gone by, search the forums for more info . or PM me.

I assume you change your own oil ?
Do you check to make sure the old gasket comes off with the old oil filter ?
Use the weight oil called for in the owners manual.If it calls for 5W20 , don't use 10W40.The later engines have tighter tolerances than older ones.Thicker oil is not better.

Hope this gets you off to a good start.

Ken
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Old 10-11-2009
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Thanks Ken. Yes, I remembered the condenser. Didn't think to many on here would even know what points were.
Let alone a condenser. Dwell? If I remember correctly, if you set the point gap correctly,
(a real pain on the "duel point" Mallory setup I ran in the 60's ) that took care of the dwell.
The little trap door on the distributor cap to set the dwell didn't come until the 70's I think.
Am I dating myself?

OK. I'll get Autolite Double platinum's. Since I'm a believer in "preventive maintenance" I'll go ahead and change the wires.
Since N.A.P.A. only wants $35 and the Silicone ones go for $48, and it probably won't make any difference in a mostly stock engine,
I'll go with the N.A.P.A.'s.
I assume replacing the camshaft synchronizer, is the modern day equivalent of replacing the distributer cap and rotor.

The fuel filter was changed at 50K and plan to do it again at 100K. I've been using Valvoline 5W-20 since I got the truck.
Went to synthetic at about 8-10K and to MaxLife synthetic at 70K. The auto trans and rear end also got synthetic oil at that time.
Since I only drive the ranger about 6K per year now,
I store the Ranger from April until Oct, so I now change the oil in the spring before I store it for the summer.

Does that sound like a good plan?

Thank you again for the help.
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Old 10-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MemphisSenior View Post
I assume replacing the camshaft synchronizer, is the modern day equivalent of replacing the distributer cap and rotor.
Think of it as replacing the entire distributor.
This part runs off the camshaft and drives the oil pump.The gear on them is known to strip, only unlike a distributor , the engine will keep running but you lose all oil pressure.

Also crawl under the driver's side and look at the area under about where the seat is , just inside the frame rail . You should see a squareish wire plug with a 10mm bolt in the center . remove the bolt , unplug the connector and coat the inside with dielectric grease.

Last edited by OTRtech; 10-11-2009 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009
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Hell my truck STILL has points... lol
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Old 10-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MemphisSenior View Post
Thanks Ken. Yes, I remembered the condenser. Didn't think to many on here would even know what points were.
Let alone a condenser. Dwell? If I remember correctly, if you set the point gap correctly,
(a real pain on the "duel point" Mallory setup I ran in the 60's ) that took care of the dwell.
The little trap door on the distributor cap to set the dwell didn't come until the 70's I think.
Am I dating myself?

OK. I'll get Autolite Double platinum's. Since I'm a believer in "preventive maintenance" I'll go ahead and change the wires.
Since N.A.P.A. only wants $35 and the Silicone ones go for $48, and it probably won't make any difference in a mostly stock engine,
I'll go with the N.A.P.A.'s.
I assume replacing the camshaft synchronizer, is the modern day equivalent of replacing the distributer cap and rotor.

The fuel filter was changed at 50K and plan to do it again at 100K. I've been using Valvoline 5W-20 since I got the truck.
Went to synthetic at about 8-10K and to MaxLife synthetic at 70K. The auto trans and rear end also got synthetic oil at that time.
Since I only drive the ranger about 6K per year now,
I store the Ranger from April until Oct, so I now change the oil in the spring before I store it for the summer.

Does that sound like a good plan?

Thank you again for the help.
No... Don't get Autolite... They are crap... get the FOMOCO spark plugs. That is what is recommended by Ford.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRanger91XLT View Post
No... Don't get Autolite... They are crap... get the FOMOCO spark plugs. That is what is recommended by Ford.
Really ? That's strange considering the original plugs I just changed at 125 K were FACTORY Autolites. And they were running just fine.
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRanger91XLT View Post
No... Don't get Autolite... They are crap... get the FOMOCO spark plugs. That is what is recommended by Ford.
^ this guy is gonna get flamed hahaha.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2009
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Well... I have always used FOMOCO plugs... so its just my opinion... lol
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Old 10-16-2009
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Some questions to the OP on what other maintenance has been done recently:
Have you cleaned the MAF sensor and IAC and EGR valves?
Have you done a Seafoam treatment?
Was the automatic transmission filter ever changed (some shops don't do this on a flush/fill)?
The onboard computers do all the tuning any more, but they need good sensor data to do it.

On a general PM note, have the other fluids (brake, power steering, coolant) been changed?
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Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_ee View Post
Some questions to the OP on what other maintenance has been done recently:
Have you cleaned the MAF sensor and IAC and EGR valves?
Have you done a Seafoam treatment?
Was the automatic transmission filter ever changed (some shops don't do this on a flush/fill)?
The onboard computers do all the tuning any more, but they need good sensor data to do it.

On a general PM note, have the other fluids (brake, power steering, coolant) been changed?
The MAF was replaced by an aftermarket unit about 30K ago.
I give it a good going over with cleaner about every 6K (about once a year)
due to the VERY dusty conditions here in the desert. I've never done Seafoam.
Don't see any reason to. I've used nothing but Valvoline 5W-20 synthetic since
the truck had about 8K on it and I only put Shell in the tank.
I also run a FI cleaner every 3K and a full fuel system cleaner every 12K.
The Trans and fuel filters where changed about 15-18K ago
and I plan to do it again at the 100K mark.
The IAC (not sure what and IAC is, I'll look it up) and EGR have not been touched,
so I guess I'll put those on my check list.

Thanks for all the help guys.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2009
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The IAC is the Idle Air Control valve , which is located on the throttle body. It works similar to an inlet needle valve on a carburator , only instead of regulating gas , it opens an air passage to bypass incoming air around the butterfly in the throttle body using a stepper motor to move the needle in and out in small increments.to vary the idle speed.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Thanks for all the help Ken. I went to the local Ford dealer today to get the camshaft synchronizer.
Told him what you said about "Dorman" parts. He said he wasn't sure if the part was a Dorman or not.
He only knew that all the parts they had on the shelf said "FoMoCo" on them.
So he went back and got one and all it said on the box and on the shaft itself was. FoMoCo.
I started to reach for my wallet. Then he said the part was $182 PLUS tax. So about $200 out the door.
Does that sound right?
I did and on line search at the "auto parts warehouse" and they show $62 for the part but it's a "Dorman."
I know you said "Dorman" was crap. But can the FoMoCo part actually cost TRIPLE?
Or should I keep searching the net?
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Old 11-10-2009
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i replaced my cam synchro at 170k when it started to chirp, at work we usually don't replace them until they start to make noise or chirp, not to mention you should have the special alignment tool to align it properly. they will start to make noise before they fail 99% of the time and they are a treat to get to if you truck isnt body lifted, which i know yours is not.

that price you got is normal, it is robbery. you should replace the synchro and the sensor that sits on top of it at the same time.

the reason you need the alignment tool is because unlike a distributor, you cant drop it in and then fine tune it with a timing light, you need to set this one in with the tool, and thats all you get.

i would change the coolant as well if i were you.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Thanks Justin. I change the coolant every 3-4 years.
When I started this project I was thinking in terms about $100 or so for parts and my labor.
Now it's beginning look more like several hundred for parts, plus buy or rent some special tools.
In the last 8 years since I retired, I've been averaging about 5-6K miles per year.
I plan to replace the 3.0 with a V-8 in 3 or 4 years.
By then I doubt if I'll have much more than 100K on the truck. (I just turned 82K this week.)
Think I'll just change the plugs and hope for the best until I do the engine swap.

Thanks again everyone.
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