'88 Ranger, few issues, maybe you can help? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-25-2011
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'88 Ranger, few issues, maybe you can help?

To keep this short and sweet; recently bought an '88 Ranger, it runs pretty well but there's a few little things that I'd like fixed, and I was hoping perhaps someone could help me, or tell me what I need to do.

So, without further explanation, here's the issues:

1. The air conditioning system has a few problems. First off, the heater does not work. I don't know what the problem could be, I really don't know a lot about that kind of thing. Second, the blower works intermittently. Sometimes it works right when I start the truck, sometimes it comes on after a while, and sometimes it doesn't work at all. I don't thing the fan/motor/whatever is going out, I think it may be a connection issue with the switch, but I could easily be wrong. Any thoughts?

2. There seems to be an issue with idle speed. It likes to switch between idling at 800, 1500, 2000 or 2500 RPM. Usually with the higher idle speeds, I've been driving it along the interstate at 2500 the whole time, perhaps something is getting stuck? Sometimes at the higher speeds just revving the engine a bit will cause it to drop slightly, but usually not. Stopping and restarting the engine will bring it back down to 800 or 1500, but this still seems like a problem to me.

There's other issues like the speedometer being inaccurate, and the fuel gauge not working, but I figure there's really nothing I can do about those except replace them.

Any help is appreciated, thank you very much for your time.
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Old 01-25-2011
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Heater could be anything from a heater core to just the vents not working, The blower issues sounds like a bad ground/connection.
Try cleaning your IAC (idle air control valve) it looks something like this:

take some brake and parts cleaner, and spray the bejesus out of the inside.
could also be MAF needs to be cleaned, that requires special cleaner, or rubbing alcohol.
the fuel gauge not working could be as simple as a fuel relay. in your year, im pretty sure its seperate from the fuel pump, the fun part is getting it out.
i've got nothing for the speedo, could be a sensor in the trans or wherever it is in your truck.
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Old 01-25-2011
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Heater problem most likely is the blower motor resistor. Look under the hood on the heater box and there is a plug with about 4-5 wires that go to the resistor.If you can even get it unplugged due to corrosion your lucky.You might just have to remove the two screws and remove it from the box,more than likely it will be all rusted up.

SInce you have a 2.0 I assume it has a carb. I would look for vac leaks around the base of carb and all vac lines for the idle issues.
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Old 01-25-2011
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Thanks for the help guys, I'll try these things out and let you know how they go. :)

Oh and BTW, I thought that it was the 2.0 because that's what the owner told me, but I actually checked the little sticker under the hood, apparently it's the 2.3. Sorry about that.

Last edited by TheAbstracted; 01-25-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 01-25-2011
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Is it efi or carb?
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Old 01-25-2011
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EFI
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Old 01-25-2011
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Its a 2.3 then. Like others have already said clean the iac valve that should fix your idle problem if not next is vac leaks.The fuel sensor is in the tank you will have to drop the fuel tank or pull the bed off from the truck to get to the fuel level sensor that may be as simple as a bad connection or the float may have filled with fuel and is no longer floating the only way to tell is to get to the top of the tank and see for yourself. Good luck man hope she provides many years of trouble free service!
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Old 01-29-2011
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Took a look under the hood today, only found one thing that looks like an IAC to me, is this it? (sorry for the huge pics)

If not, here's a slightly more complete shot of the engine, maybe someone can help me find it? I can provide more detailed and close up pics if needed.

In either case, I'm not very experienced at working on cars. I've done routine things (oil change, oil filter, air filter, did a radiator once) but I want to make sure I'm doing things right and not screwing anything up. If someone could help me through the process of opening and cleaning this thing up, that would be awesome and greatly appreciated. Thanks once again.
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Old 01-29-2011
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See the silver thing on the air filter box that is your iac motor. Just remove it and spray the crap out of it with carb cleaner.
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Old 01-29-2011
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Thats a wiper motor. the pic above is approx. where it is.
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Old 01-29-2011
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Ah, thanks guys I'm such an idiot sometimes ha. I'll give it a try tomorrow and let y'all know the results.
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Old 01-30-2011
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Took apart the IAC today, it was pretty gunked up on the inside. Basically drowned it in carb cleaner, replaced the air filter while I was at it, and it seems to have worked. :) Idling speeds now range between 800-1300 RPM, much better then before, thank you very much. Also while I was under the hood, it appears that the wires for the heater core have been clipped. :/ I guess that would explain the heater issue.

Just one more little thing for you guys, if you wouldn't mind; we're expected to get some pretty cold temperatures in south texas the coming week, so I figured it would be a good idea to check radiator fluid levels. I thought it had anti-freeze in it, but upon closer inspection, water. "Well, no big deal, I'll just drain it and replace it" I thought. I took out the little plug/screw at the bottom, and instead of a large gush of fluid, it drained - quite slowly, somtimes just dripping at a fast rate, others just a tiny little stream. Took a good 20 minutes before it finally stopped. I figured this may have been an issue, but I decided to continue ahead anyway. Poured in as much as it would take, ran the engine for 15 minutes, then topped it off again. All seemed well, but on the way to work, I noticed that the temperature gauge was at a higher level then usual (For those familiar with it, the dial usually sits at the "M" of "NORMAL", but today it was almost just above the "O"). It's worried me a little. Granted, today has been the warmest day we've had since I've owned the truck, but at it's peak it was just about 85F today, I wouldn't think that kind of temperature should cause such a change. I don't know what the deal with that could possibly be, any suggestions?

EDIT: Ugh, typical me, always forgetting things; I'm sorry to trouble you all with so many questions, but hopefully, hopefully, this should be my last one for a while.

Simply, lurking around under my truck today, I noticed something that looked kind of out of place

Is that big gaping hole supposed to be there?

Last edited by TheAbstracted; 01-30-2011 at 09:48 PM.
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