1986 2.9l electrical issues - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-03-2010
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1986 2.9l electrical issues

While trying to diagnose my no spark problem, I ran across some other problems.

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I'm pretty sure this is the backup sensing switch, but other than a location, my chilton manual doesn't say anything about it. I'm assuming those two wires hanging below it go to it, but someone attached speaker wire to them and there are no connectors. Should there be a plug connector or is there some other connector to attach them? The reverse lights haven't worked since I got the truck.

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I noticed this one before but my truck was running at the time and I didn't want to mess anything up. I can't find anything about it in the manual, but I'm guessing it's a ground. It's orange, comes from the bundle of wires that runs along the passenger side of the intake manifold. Is there somewhere specific it goes? I can't see any bolt to attach it to that doesn't require some tension to keep it in place. Grounding this didn't fix the no spark problem.

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I thought I saw the connector side of this before, also when it was running. But I just found the fusible link side. Any idea what this goes to or what I replace it with?

For the no spark problem, I'm pretty sure it's the dist. New ignition switch, tfi, correct voltage to the tfi, current from the coil to the dist. But I've never dealt with a dist. before and haven't had a lot of time to spend on it. So, I'll likely tear into that next week when I'm not so busy.
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Old 08-04-2010
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Ordered a new connector for the backup switch. Will be at the part shop tomorrow.

Found the Orange wire on the wiring diagram and it is indeed a ground, but I still haven't found a bolt close enough to not have tension on it.

Traced the wire for the fusible link and it looks like it goes to spout at the tfi connector. No links at the shop and they don't have the right ones in their system, so for now I guess I'll go with an inline fuse.

Pulled more connections and some of them are absolutely filthy, so I got some electronic cleaner. Letting them dry over night and I'll see how it goes tomorrow.
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Old 08-04-2010
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On electronic cleaner , no need to let it dry. Many come with a special lubricant which will remain behind.

The wires may also be a Park/neutral sense. Either shorting them or keeping them apart may help with th star problem , although this usually only affects the starter.
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Old 08-04-2010
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The cleaner said to be sure to let it dry completely. I had other things to do so I just left it for overnight.

I don't think there's a problem with the neutral sensor. The starter only cranks with the clutch in. There are two other wires that go up to the top of the trans to where the neutral switch is supposed to be, but I didn't have my mirror out to look and had to check by feel. The thing that throws me off is that the wires are not the same color as the wiring diagram. But I know the truck has been through at least one engine rebuild and who knows what else by previous owners.
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