1988 2.9 problems - help... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 02-27-2007
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1988 2.9 problems - help...

I have a 1988 Ranger 2.9 which has been acting weird lately. It is doing a couple things that I suspect are related. First it starts like a champ when cold... but the CEL will be on... As I begin to drive the CEL will go off after about 5 mins and the truck will run fine. However when I stop and put it in N or P the idle surges way high. Like 2200+ RPM's high... up and down until I again put it in D. Once the engine is warm it will also surge in D... Also if I turn the engine off after it is warm it will not start. It just cranks and cranks and then it will very slowly begin to fire and then eventually start. Once it starts again the idle will be high and I have to let it run for a couple minutes or it will just stall out. Also when it finally does start I can smell the distinct smell of dieseling. After reading through the forums here I suspect the idle air control valve but before I pay $60 I thought I would ask. Has anyone experienced anything like these syptoms? Please advise. Thanks to all.
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Old 02-27-2007
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sounds like a possible vacume leak. But check the hoses first. see if they are crackes. and check the brakebooster to.
Also if you want take the IAC and clean it with brakeclean. Get the gunk out and re install it. Usualy the get gunked up and get stuck open or closed.

And cleaning costs like $6 so its 1 /10th the price.
there are other things that can do this.
But you are saying IT STARTS LIKE A CHAMP the first time when cold. Then when its warm it takes a whie.
The deisel smell might be the cat getting flooded with fuel then burning and not getting cooked by the cat since its burning mid to after cat.
Just to give you a place to start.
Also FUEL FILTER, OIL and filters have a big role in this stuff. Do you have any thing that is chronic to your truck like adding coolant, oil, or trans fluid.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2007
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I was losing coolant two months ago but I found two rotted freeze plugs and replaced them. Also I have to top off the oil every so often but nothing to severe.

And yes on the first start of the day it kicks right over, however I do need to use the gas pedal like a manual choke to keep it alive until I get rolling. Once the CEL goes out it runs fine.

Someone mentioned my compression could be shot because when it's warm it won't kick over... but that doesn't make sense since it runs strong once it gets started...

I'll try your suggestions tonight and post back tomorrow. Btw where is the IAC located?

Thanks.

Last edited by sdude42; 02-27-2007 at 06:50 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2007
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on this 2.9 its in the middle of the manifold where you see the 2 holes.

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this is what it looks like.
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the 2 holes to clean.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2007
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Disconnect the IAC electrical connector while the idle is high. If it changes the idle, it is probably NOT the IAC, but I would still clean it.

If disconnection has no effect, the IAC is not operating.

It will also be helpful to have the specific codes that cause the CEL.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2007
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since your truck is older than most the check engine light might just be just faulty i know my check engine has been on almost 6 months or less and it hasnt gave any problems. you said that it starts up fine in the cold so i wouldnt be to worried, id be worried if it didnt start at all. and i dont mean to go off topic but is there much of a difference with a 2.9 to the 3.0?
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2007
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I checked all my vaccuum hoses and found the line running to the trans was loose. Once I refitted it the surging idle seemed to calm down. It still revs up but not as high or for as long a period. I can hear some type of buzzing right before it revs up like something is kicking on and causing the idle to surge.
Also the CEL is still coming on at first start and going off after a few minutes. And the truck will not start back up after it is turned off hot... My next effort will be to get a code reader to see what is causing the CEL to light. Can someone show me a pic of where the code reader should be connected? Thanks (the pics are great and most helpful)
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2007
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the c-r goes on the pass side fender. there is a cover for the connector and it should be on a bracket or dangling. its a bige connector compared to relays. with a weird shape. Like the top of a stop sign.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2007
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the red connector is what you are looking for.
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2007
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also, your check engine light can be anything, for an example your check engine light can come on with just your gas cap not being put on tightly. funny how little things like that can do that.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2007
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But the thing is there is a physical problem with the vehicles running. That happens like clock work. There are symptoms and the light is the hint at what is wrong.
Speaking of witch: What are the gauges saying when all is happening? and also about how much time is going before you notice anyhing.
It seems to be a Vacume problem. But there is a chance that somthing else is inetrfering.
The usual things to check. Fuel filter, air filter oil, coolant, and trans fluid.
Check the hose to the fuel pressure regulator. The vac hose.when you get it started disconect the hose and plug it with your finger. see if fuel is leaking from the "fitting" If a drop of fuel comes threw replace it imediately.
I dont know if your getting back fire but if you are check the pressure reg out.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2007
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That is true about the CEL. I have had a phantom CEL on others cars. In this case I know it is due to some problem. So the tightening of the trans vaccuum hose has stopped the wild idle surging but still there is the CEL. The truck starts and revs for a few seconds and then the idle drops right down and the CEL comes on... I can begin to drive without stalling out and the CEL will go out after about 5 minutes. Then if I turn it off hot it will crank for about a whole minute before it will fire again. And then it chugs and diesels until it finally revs up and the idle smooths out. I heard I can go to Autozone and they will read the codes for me. I'll make a trip on Saturday.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2007
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You need to get the trouble codes because they might give you a place to start looking. Since your Ranger is pre-OBDII, you may be able to use this info to extract the OBD codes without investing in a code reader:

http://www.troublecodes.net/Ford/
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2007
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Here is the flash code I saw... 9__8__5__1 then repeated 9__8__5__1. What's next? Thanks.
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2007
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51- ect fail at high end {aprox 5 volt} failure mode indicates -40* circuit open
Causes hard start and black smoke.
ECT sensor problem, wiring, or ECA

98- hard fault code produced when engine running.
Do the test before you start the vehicle in the morning. Then after you have it runnng follow the procedures for Key On Engine Running. mark them down seperately. then do this at the end of the day or after you get it warmed up when it wont start so easily.
Just to be sure.
Also check the wiring to the ECT. Its located at the upper radiator hose neck on the lower intake manifod. I dont know if it is in the left or the right. one of the is it. I believe its on the right though.
knowing your in Simi Valley CA and its gotta be warmer than here in jersey. In the morning if you check the sensor at about 50* it should yield about 58.75 k ohms
68*-37.30 k ohms
86*-24.27 k ohms
104*-16.15 k ohms
122*-10.97 k ohms
140*-7.70 k ohms
158*-5.37 k ohms
176*-3.84 k ohms
194*-2.80 k ohms
Boiling point 212*-2.07 k ohms
230*-1.55 k ohms
248*-1.18 k ohms
the hotter the less resistance. the colder more resistance.
If you get the idea to test it in house. Know that when you remove it coolant will leak out. so either ran some coolant out or plug it quickly. And dont forget that its plugged. If you decide to get a new one and its pluged then POP and splash. I have seen it happen to a friend. It was funny.
But you can test the sensor in water and adjust the temp by boiling it. With a thermometor you can accurately tell the temp of the water in a bowl. but checking the wtemp in the radiator might be off a few degrees. After it been cooled threw the fins and all.
Good luck and give us a report.
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2007
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What is the ECT? Is it something that would effect the idle? Since it starts right up in the morning with no CEL but then seconds later the CEL comes on and the idle drops... Also not too long ago the temp and gas guages stopped working. It sounds like maybe the ECT has something to do with water temp... Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2007
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the ect is the Egine coolant temp sensor. and it is the one on the left notthe right. It has 2 wiresgoing threw it.
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2007
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Changed the ECT sensor and the CEL is gone!!! The damn thing was plastic and broke right off... I had to drive a screwdriver down through it and twist the plastic out... Anyway the test drive will be tomorrow morning. Any ideas on my other problem... I changed out my whole steering column assembly and now I have no temp gauge or fuel level indicators... I have checked all connections or at least I think I have... Is there something under there that would cause these gauges to stop working? Oh and I have checked and rechecked all the fuses... THANKS!!!
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  #19  
Old 03-03-2007
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Hmm. the gauges dont work still. HUH. Well i need to know if you have a tach or not. Also what gaugs are there. IE- fuel amp water oil tach speedo.
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  #20  
Old 03-03-2007
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Speedo on the right and tach on the left. The tach also has the fuel gauge and temp gauge on it... Is there some relay that controls these two? Thanks.
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  #21  
Old 03-03-2007
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actually the 2 gauges share a wire. probably a ground.. Maksure the connections for the back of the cluster is in propperly.
on the back of the gauge there are bolts that look kinda like triangles. try loostening and tightening them. To resecure the connection. Also they lead to that funky box. its a circuit breaker. Heat activated. Like a blinker relay.
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  #22  
Old 03-04-2007
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The truck now has no problem starting when cold or hot now that the ECT has been replaced... Another question. Can I connect an aftermarket temp gauge? I see a sensor on the other side of the water neck from the temp sensor I just installed. Is this other sensor for the factory temp gauge? Is this where I would connect the new water temp gauge? Thanks.
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  #23  
Old 03-07-2007
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that sensor is for the computer. But i cant think of another place to install a temp gauge...
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