2004 2.3L Engine and Timing Problems - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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

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Old 05-21-2013
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Location: Lafayette, LA
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2004 2.3L Engine and Timing Problems

For a while, my 2004 2.3L was driving pretty rough, idling rough, poor acceleration, lots of exhaust. I kept getting error codes that the EGR valve was not working properly, the PCV valve was not working properly, and each of the four cylinders were constantly misfiring. I changed the valves, put in new spark plugs, new wires, new distributor, but still had the same problem. I decided it must be a timing issue, so I took the front engine cover off and found that the plunger on the timing chain tensioner had slipped past the ratchet and was applying a lot of extra force against the timing chain, causing the cylinders to misfire. I replaced the chain and the tensioner, but I had not set the engine to TDC. At one point, I was unable to turn the crankshaft, apparently because a piston was hitting a valve. I decided to leave it alone and work on it later. This morning, I took the chain back off, and I was able to turn the crank, but I noticed that the pistons were not moving. In fact, each pistons was at the very top and would only go down if a lobe was forcing it. I don't know what's causing the pistons to stay up like that. I guess I got in way over my head when I decided to replace the timing chain and tensioner without doing proper research. Now, I need to figure out how to get the pistons back how they should be and also how to get it all lined up correctly so that the pistons don't strike the valves.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Without doing a ton of research on the subject, I'd just like to suggest talking to some of the focus guys on either focusfanatics or focaljet. I used to have a focus with a duratec, and have a duratec ranger and love them. When I was over there on the fourms there were a lot of guys doing some crazy builds their cars.. turbos.. etc. I have to expect that somebody at some point had blown a head gasket.. or wore a chain guide out or something. Our motors are very similar with external differences mostly (intakes.. etc) With that, somebody is bound to know how to get the thing timed up well. I've heard of guys sticking wooden dowls down the spark plug holes and watching it rise and fall during rotation to determine TDC. I've never had to do that, but at least that would get you in the ball park of TDC. Just thinkin aloud..
Ill see if I can't find more information to help you out, but when I'm in this situation, I try to spread myself out as wide as I can for input. Hopefully you find something, and if you do report back.
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Old 05-22-2013
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Last edited by Smalltoid; 05-28-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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