Bought old Ranger. Tune-up options? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-17-2015
CajunPwnStar's Avatar
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Bought old Ranger. Tune-up options?

Sup guys. Just bought a 2000 2.3 with manual trans. Truck has 179k on it and was used mostly as a farm truck. I'm a diesel tech for Cat, so unfamiliar with small trucks.

What should I like at as far as tuning this up? I can already tell that I'll need ball joints and an alignment, but not sure what else starts wearing out around this mileage.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-17-2015
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Lima 4cyl is a pretty reliable engine, Ford used it in Rangers from 1983 until 2001, it was replaced with the 2.3l Duratec, not at all related to the Lima engines

Your spark system control is in the PCM(computer), so all you have access to is the coils, wires and spark plugs.
Ford uses a waste spark system, so each cylinder gets spark on power stroke and exhaust stroke, this cuts down on emissions but was basically done to save money, lol.
The 2.3l will have 2 spark plugs for each cylinder, they BOTH fire when engine is running, when starting only the exhaust side spark plugs fire.
Because there are 8 spark plugs you need two coil packs, one for exhaust side and one for intake side.
Same coil packs are used on the Ford V8s, for 8 spark plugs, but one per cylinder.

You can unplug a coil pack, while engine is running, to see if all cylinders continue to fire, if you get a miss then one of the two coils in the working pack is bad.
With both coil packs working you wouldn't notice that until both coil packs had a problem.

Plugs and wires are about the only tune-up there is, you can't adjust timing.

2.3l is a non-interference engine so valves and pistons never occupy the same space in the cylinder, the timing belt does wear out but if it breaks there would be no engine damage, in most cases, if you were at 7,000RPMs when it happened I can say, lol.

Fuel injection, as you know, relies on clean injectors with proper fuel pressure, on your 2000 that pressure would be 60-70 psi
I use a can of Seafoam once a year in the fuel tank and the injectors seem to stay clean.

2.3l is not a power house it was used strictly for MPG, and to that end they often put in high MPG differentials, 3.08 or 3.45
This made them even more "gutless" but made for great MPG
You can look at the drivers door sticker to see what you have, read here: Ford 7.5 & 8.8 Inch Axle Tag & Door Codes

Last edited by RonD; 01-17-2015 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 01-17-2015
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Thanks for the info. I bought it for really cheap and it's just going to be used for getting back and forth to work in order to keep the miles down on my new vehicle. The main purpose was to save on gas.
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Old 01-18-2015
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Looking through the Haynes manual and checked out my VIN. Apparently this is a 1995 with the 2.3l SOHC.
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Old 01-18-2015
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Wait you bought a 1995 thinking it was a 2000? Do you have a picture of it?
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Old 01-18-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunPwnStar View Post
Looking through the Haynes manual and checked out my VIN. Apparently this is a 1995 with the 2.3l SOHC.
That's a 5 year difference from a 2000?

1995 was the first year of Fords new EEC-V computer that uses OBD II diagnostics, it was a transition year but I believe all the '95's would have this.

Ford calls their computer a PCM(power control module), the EEC-V is still used today.

1994 and earlier Rangers had a separate ICM(ignition control module) and a PCM(EEC-IV).
The ICM controlled spark directly, this module was put in the EEC-V in '95 and later models.

4cyl with manual should be great on MPG and last you a good long time.
Make sure to change the oil and coolant if you don't have a history for it.
Old coolant can corrode an engine from the inside out.
Just use the regular "green" coolant, change it every two years.
When you do change the coolant I would Back Flush the heater core, Google: Back Flush heater
Just need a garden hose and knowledge of which is the IN hose and the OUT hose, warmer hose is the IN
The Lima engines don't produce alot of heat, so even a partially blocked heater core will make for cold driving :)

Last edited by RonD; 01-18-2015 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 01-18-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLong31 View Post
Wait you bought a 1995 thinking it was a 2000? Do you have a picture of it?
Lol it was $500 and is going to be used strictly to get back and forth to work. The guy said it was a 2000. I don't know much about Rangers, so just took his word for it. I drove it to make sure it wasn't terribly out of whack and made sure the frame and everything hadn't rust through. For now I'm just gonna tune it up and get it riding smooth. Maybe some day in the future look at a 5.0 swap....way, way in the future.
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