DOHC - 2.3L Duratec / Mazda L Engines Discussions and Topics specific to the Duratec 4 cylinder engines

2002 Duratec 2.3L NS Intake Manifold Removal & Installation.

Old 11-09-2015
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Killeen, TX
Posts: 110
Just a follow-up remark:

Its a year later and I just had to start the process of pulling my head due to a blown head gasket.

Got the manifold off and other than being dusty, its still solid - no issues. Looks like this fix stayed fixed.

My recommendation to anyone who is having to deal with this issue - use the brass plug method of repair - I don't think I'm going to have to address issue again during the remainder of the time I have this truck.
Old 01-03-2016
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Florida
Posts: 6
Learning the hard way.

Long story spanning a year almost to the day. I was looking on craigslist list one day. And came across a little Ford ranger for $950. So I went to go look at it. Had 49,138 on it at The time. The whole seller didn't know any thing about. Other then it would run. It had 4 flat tires, no seat, and the tail lights were missing all with other minor parts. The rest of the truck was intact. So I bought the truck. We loaded it with a tractor. When I got home with it. I put a battery in it. Tried starting with the key. Nothing. The security light was flashing, which made me think that it was the pat system was out. So I used some starting fluid and bumped it with the screw driver off the starter. The engine fired. After that. I looked in the fuse panel. And noticed the diode fuse was gone. So after a few more weeks of tinkering with. And no luck with getting to start with the key. I took it to the dealer. One month and $1289.00 later. I was able to start it with the key. Had a $512 Ford fuel pump put in by the dealer. Still unable to drive it do to no clutch. I loaded it back on the trailer and bought it home. Took the transmission out. A lot of bolt in the bell housing. Put a new clutch kit and completely new clutch master cylinder kit. Along with new u joints. I was able to drive it around the yard and down the road a short ways. That's when I noticed the miss in the engine was serous. So after plugging in the scanner. I see multiple. Codes. The same as every one else had. Running short on money. I left the truck sit tinkering with it when I was home. So after replacing the fuel lines, fuel filter. The misfire and rough idle was still there. No change in how it ran. So I replaced the ecu with new chip keys. hoping that would fix the problem. $250 on eBay. Plus another $125. For key programmer. Also from eBay. After installing and programing the keys. Still no change in how it ran. So still being short on money. And frustrated with how it ran. I left it sit again only tinkering with when I was home and had the time. Close to late August. So after more diagnostics work. I finger the injector were. Bad. After all when I bought the truck. The only thing I knew for certain. Is it sat for at least 6 years broke down. But how the gas smelled back when i first got the truck. So I left the truck sit again. Planned time off over thanks giving to work on the truck. Ordered new injectors and new coil from eBay. $135.00 for both. 2 days before thanksgiving. My home was robbed by the neighbors boy. On his way out he stole the mail and packages left at the gate. So bye-bye injectors and coil. I got the call while I was delivering in New caney, Texas. We got got him. Used my eBay account to get him. Back to the truck. So had to leave truck sit again until this Christmas. Ordered new injectors from another source. $155.00 for 4 injectors Got them installed them. Started the truck. And it ran worse. So frustrated with it still. I went to O'Reilly auto parts. And bought new coil, plugs, and wires. Installed those!!! Ran better, but still had the misfire on number one. So thinking that everything that could be done, Had been done. And that's how it's going to run. Disappointed with it. I left it out in the yard think it was junk. And better off as parts. So I started tinker with it again this Saturday. Checking everything again. Still frustrated with the engine. I cleaned all the tools out of it. Got ready to post back on craigslist. And decided to give the internet one more try for help. That when I found. Lemmys post on this sit. And then found. This very thread. So I went out and checked the intake I took off 5 times before time. Started the truck. And checked the intake. Sure enough there it was. The whole in the front and the missing plug. So I placed my index finger over the runner hole with the engine running. And the engine ran smooth. So after yanking the intake off again. And not having the original plug for the hole. I used a large rubber vacuum plug and jb weld to fix the problem. It cured the codes, misfire. And the rough idle. I only wish I could have found this tread sooner. It would have saved close to a $1000 dollars.
Thankyou for taking the time to post this fix on the internet. And being honest in doing it.
Old 01-27-2016
BlackRanger04's Avatar
iTrader: (2)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Louisville,KY
Posts: 1,240
I admire you guys for even working on a 2.3 Duratec, because I had my first experience working on a 2002 2.3 DOHC about a month ago and I have vowed never to buy another Ford Ranger with this engine again.
I think the five 10 mm intake bolts were the worst part because you can't hardly gain access to them. Then the main coolant lines run on the back side of the engine and you can't hardly get to them either. A lot of people sell these trucks real cheap when the engine goes bad because they're so expensive to repair. The replacement engines are also very hard to find. I ended up putting a 2003 2.3 DOHC in my 2002 because the one salvage yard within a 500 mile radius of me wanted like $1150 for a 2002 with 135,000 miles on it.
Old 01-28-2016
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Florida
Posts: 6
Thank you. They are some fun little motors to work on.
Old 10-24-2016
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: WA
Posts: 92
I'm in the midst of replacing the intake manifold and valve cover gasket now. But I wanted to say that jacking up the drivers side front wheel, removing the wheel and then removing the fender liner makes getting at those 5 intake bolts soooooooooo much easier. And it makes getting to a lot of the other stuff easier.

Yeah, this thing is still kinda tough to work on with all the wires, tubes and junk in the way but having that wheel liner out makes it just a bit less stressful.
Old 03-09-2019
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: RIDGE
Posts: 3
I know this thread is old,but have a question for you. you said (damn it now I lost your post) Anyway you mention a temperature sensor at back of cylinder head?
Im looking for the intake air temperature sensor on duratec 2.3l engine..The pics on line suck for most part and its very hard to see.
I know its not in air cleaner box or on air intake duct. The replacement part looks like it screws into either block or manifold..
Anyway I was hoping you might have found this sensor during your dismantle of manifold.
Any insight suggestion on this would be appreciated
Hope your end result with your rebuild was a success

Old 03-10-2019
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: WA
Posts: 92
I sold my Ranger back in early 2018 but I do believe the intake air temp sensor was an integral part of the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor on my 2003 2.3L Duratec.

If you are talking about the coolant sensors well then there were two; one is in the valve cover which is the Cylinder Head Temp Sensor (CHT) which you can see its black
connector in the middle of the cylinder head below and then one on the back of the engine in the coolant pipe (circled in red in the pic below) which is the temp sensor for
the coolant gauge in the dash.


Last edited by Soledad; 03-10-2019 at 05:43 AM.
Old 03-10-2019
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: RIDGE
Posts: 3
Thanks for your response. I'm looking for intake air temperature sensor. I have seen pics with sensor
and maf. Combined. My maf single in itself. Now being an "air intake" I'm gonna go out on limb and say it has to be mounted somewhere where fresh air is going to manifold. It's not in air cleaner box or air tube..when weather breaks I'm going to look in "air flow body".
I will keep you posted

Last edited by dpsmarkia; 03-10-2019 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Spell check changed my words
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