General Technical & Electrical General technical and electrical discussion for the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

83 ranger 2.3 wire issues

  #1  
Old 03-24-2018
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83 ranger 2.3 wire issues

I just picked up a 83 ranger long bed single cab dual tanks 2.3auto it has 59k on it and had sat in a barn for 20 year supposedly any how it didn't run when I got it and the timing cover had been removed and guy I bought it from said that he was told it ran in 2016 but something happened with how it run and the original owner took the cover off to check all the timing and then it sat for 2 year s when I got it the wiring is a mess I can barely get it to try and fire it all in time but I believe the wiring was on fire once from how it looks and how it's all been spliced in the same area in the harness what do I need wire wise just to make it run I've also heard of a GM modlue route that eliminates most if not all the wiring ? I bought a Haynes manual but the wiring diagram is confusing and doesn't seem to match any help is appreciated and I can provide more information and details as much as possible
 

Last edited by tommy.reedy; 03-24-2018 at 03:32 PM.
  #2  
Old 03-24-2018
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On the inner fender is the Starter Relay(often called starter solenoid) battery Positive cable connects to one of its Larger Posts, doesn't matter which one, but that post then becomes the Power Distribution point for the whole vehicle.
So alternator connects there and all the Fusible links that power EVERYTHING in the vehicle.

The other large post on starter relay will only have ONE cable, big cable going to starter motor, nothing else can be on this post.

Starter relay will have 1 smaller post, "S" post, if there are 2 smaller ones, "I" post was for different system.

"S" post will have Red/Blue stripe wire, that wire comes from the ignition switch, it will have 12volts only when key is turned to START, this closes the relay and sends Battery AMPs to starter motor.

Red/Blue stripe wire travels thru a Neutral Switch
You should have a C3 automatic in an 1983 Ranger, Neutral switch will be on drivers side of trans, on the shift linkage.

When Transmission is in Park then this switch will pass the 12 volts from ignition switch to starter relay's "S" post

Battery--------ignition switch-----------Neutral switch-------------starter relay

If possible have someone turn the key to START while you test for voltage at the Red/Blue wire at starter relay, if no voltage then go to Neutral switch and test there, then back to ignition switch, should be Red/Blue wire all the way

That gets the starter working


Spark
You probably have a TFI(thick film ignition) system, it used a computer for spark advance, so no vacuum advance.
Yes, switching to vacuum advance distributor and HEI module would be very very good

Ford's Duraspark distributors were vacuum advance, and were used on 2.3l engines, for pre-'80 Mustangs mostly, these work great for HEI conversion, TFI distributors don't work for this
You DO need to heat sink the HEI module as it gets very hot
Yes, very very simple wiring, add 12volts and your done, lol.

Fuel
Can't remember if you have a mechanical fuel pump or electric?
If mechanical you don't need to do anything
If electric then you need to install an Oil Pressure switch to Ground a Fuel Pump relay, computer did that if electric
Very simple to wire
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-2018
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
On the inner fender is the Starter Relay(often called starter solenoid) battery Positive cable connects to one of its Larger Posts, doesn't matter which one, but that post then becomes the Power Distribution point for the whole vehicle.
So alternator connects there and all the Fusible links that power EVERYTHING in the vehicle.

The other large post on starter relay will only have ONE cable, big cable going to starter motor, nothing else can be on this post.

Starter relay will have 1 smaller post, "S" post, if there are 2 smaller ones, "I" post was for different system.

"S" post will have Red/Blue stripe wire, that wire comes from the ignition switch, it will have 12volts only when key is turned to START, this closes the relay and sends Battery AMPs to starter motor.

Red/Blue stripe wire travels thru a Neutral Switch
You should have a C3 automatic in an 1983 Ranger, Neutral switch will be on drivers side of trans, on the shift linkage.

When Transmission is in Park then this switch will pass the 12 volts from ignition switch to starter relay's "S" post

Battery--------ignition switch-----------Neutral switch-------------starter relay

If possible have someone turn the key to START while you test for voltage at the Red/Blue wire at starter relay, if no voltage then go to Neutral switch and test there, then back to ignition switch, should be Red/Blue wire all the way

That gets the starter working


Spark
You probably have a TFI(thick film ignition) system, it used a computer for spark advance, so no vacuum advance.
Yes, switching to vacuum advance distributor and HEI module would be very very good

Ford's Duraspark distributors were vacuum advance, and were used on 2.3l engines, for pre-'80 Mustangs mostly, these work great for HEI conversion, TFI distributors don't work for this
You DO need to heat sink the HEI module as it gets very hot
Yes, very very simple wiring, add 12volts and your done, lol.

Fuel
Can't remember if you have a mechanical fuel pump or electric?
If mechanical you don't need to do anything
If electric then you need to install an Oil Pressure switch to Ground a Fuel Pump relay, computer did that if electric
Very simple to wire
I actually got it running today unhooked all the wires leading to the mcu found out it has already had the duraspark distributor and module got the wiring for distributor hooked up only dumped some fuel down the carb and rotated cap little by little and it fired long enough for me to see oil pressure gauge come up and found out it was. Lacking a valve cover gasket also indicating it hasoil pressure since it blow all over the place thanks for you help
 
  #4  
Old 03-25-2018
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Good work

Thanks for the update
 
  #5  
Old 03-25-2018
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Good work

Thanks for the update
thanks for the break down of the wiring I guess someone had already did most the work distributor was 90% out when I first messed with it
 
  #6  
Old 01-10-2019
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Location: Maryland
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It most certainly makes a difference which terminal you connect the positive battery cable when you have a 4 post solenoid. I know this '83 doesn't . . .but that can become bad information for others to read.
 
  #7  
Old 01-11-2019
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Originally Posted by PetesPonies View Post
It most certainly makes a difference which terminal you connect the positive battery cable when you have a 4 post solenoid. I know this '83 doesn't . . .but that can become bad information for others to read.
Yes, good point

4 post solenoid has the added "I" post that powers the ignition Coil when starter motor is active
The larger post closest to the I post should be connected to starter motor, both posts get 12v when solenoid(relay) is activated
I stands for ignition

"S" post = starter, it activates the relay(solenoid)

"I" post was used because older coils would over heat if they ran long term on 14volts, alternator power, so a ballast resistor or resistor wire was added to the coil's "+" terminal to lower the voltage to about 8volts, which makes coil life much longer
But when start motor is active the voltage in the system drops to 9.5volts and power to the coil thru the resistor made for a Weak spark, at 5-6volts, so coil got direct voltage for start up, then went back to resistor voltage

In later years they added a second wire from ignition switch that was only active in START position, it by passed resistor wire for startup only, so the "I" post was no longer needed

And even later the coils didn't need the resistors any more


There are newer 4 post solenoid/relays that look similar, but "I" post is not an "I" post, lol, it is a Ground, these are used on boats, golf carts or other situations where there is not a metal body to bolt to for a ground, and a ground is needed to activate the solenoid
 
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