Help finding Camshaft Position Sensor on 1996 2.3L. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-11-2016
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Help finding Camshaft Position Sensor on 1996 2.3L.

Hey everyone, my check engine light came on about a week ago and was unsure what the problem was. So I tested the codes and it said that the camshaft position sensor was bad. So I have tried finding this sensor but little to no luck. I was unsure if it was the 2 or 3 pin, but after looking at some pictures of the engine I'm thinking it is a 2 pin. I attached two pictures of what I think might be the sensor? But I am unsure. This was right next to the timing belt cover, which is where it said it was located.

Just for everyone to know, I have a 1996 Ford Ranger, 2.3L.

Hope to get some help!
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Old 08-11-2016
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Welcome to the forum.

First there are TWO commonly confused sensors
Cam Shaft Position Sensor(CPS, CMP)
And
Crank Shaft Position Sensor(CKP)

Cam sensor on the 2.3l is no where near the Cam, just FYI.
It is reading the Oil Pump Gear, so next to it.
Diagrams of location in this thread: Camshaft position sensor location - Ford Ranger Forum

It should have a Dark Blue/orange stripe wire and a Gray/red stripe wire, maybe a Ground wire(Black) on a 1996 2.3l

Crank sensor is down by the crank shaft, front of engine, passenger side in '96 I think.
Crank sensor is the Big Kahuna of sensors, engine will not start/run without it working

Cam sensor helps fine tune fuel injectors and spark advance


And another heads up, the computer has no way to tell if a sensor is bad, codes just tell you if sensor is out of range, high or low, or if there is no signal, circuit malfunction.
So look at the connector after you find the sensor.
90% of DIY replaced sensors were working just fine, just the act of unplugging the old sensor and plugging in the new one cleaned off the connector enough for it to work again.
Not saying sensors never fail, they do, just not as often as they are replaced, lol.

Last edited by RonD; 08-11-2016 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 08-11-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Welcome to the forum.
Thank you.

I appreciate you responding so fast, thanks for the all information. I don't know much about cars to be quite honest. I'm very new to knowing all of the parts and such so bear with me. In that other post I found the engine control wiring and there is a wire that leads under the A/C compressor, I saw it is next to the inner timing belt and I can't get anywhere past the first half of the inner timing belt because the A/C compressor is in the way. Unless what I'm looking at isn't the inner timing belt. I went out there and took some more pictures before it got dark and then I had to come in for the day. I couldn't really specifically find what you described with the wire colors. I did happen to find a two pin wire right below the power steering pump which is where another post said it might be, I couldn't tell what colors the wires were unfortunately as it was too dark to see, but it wasn't bolted onto anything. I'll attach a few pictures of what I think it might be again, once again thank you for the help.

I found the first connector/wire all the way towards the back of the engine on top of the engine, and then I found the second (blue) connector/wire by the power steering pump on the drivers side.

Sorry I'm such a noob!
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Old 08-11-2016
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No worries, ask away.

There is the fan belt that turns alternator, AC compressor, water pump and power steering pump.

You can see that belt.

Then there is a front cover on the engine, thin metal or plastic cover, it is behind the above accessories, that is called the Timing Belt cover, and behind it is the timing belt.

Picture of the front of your engine with cover removed: http://engineguy.com/media/catalog/p.../atkdf99-1.jpg

Small gear at the bottom is the Crank shaft gear
At the very top is the Cam shaft gear
The 3rd gear, same size as Cam gear, just below center line is the oil pump gear, this is what Cam Sensor "reads", and is next to.
(smaller round thing with no teeth in center of image is the tensioner, it holds the timing belt tight to the gears)

So Cam sensor will be on drivers side and down fairly low, it sits on the side of Oil Pump gear to read its teeth passing by.

I don't have a 1996 2.3l Ranger to look at myself, so not sure where AC compressor is or power steering pump, or other accessories, so can't go by that description.

You may be able to see it better from underneath looking up, it is just above front of oil pan, maybe 6" or so.

And if it is hanging loose then the bolts have come out and that is why you got the code.
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Old 08-13-2016
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Thank you so much for the informative post again! I did happen to find it and it ended up being the 2-Pin model which I expected it to be in the first place. I bought the part, the only problem I ran into is I don't think I have a small enough wrench to take the bolt off, the 8mm was too big, so I'm thinking its either a 6mm bolt head or a 7mm. Thank you for all of your help!
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