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  #1  
Old 02-28-2016
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need some tech help....

ranger 4x4 2.3 88/89 fi
question....
what controls the timing advance on this ?
replaced ign mod, seems to run ok around town, hwy use....wont get out of its own way...timing not advancing suspected......
ideas ...????

tx
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Old 02-28-2016
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Hey Bob, Have you advanced the timing just a little bit ? sometimes when these engines get a lot of miles on the timing belts you can advance it just a tiny bit and it helps a lot..loosen the bolt holding the distributor down just slightly enough to turn the distributor..start the engine and slowly move the distributor just like 1/8 inch at a time and listen for the engine to hear the best spot you can where it sounds like it sounds the best.. tighten the bolt and drive it.. repeat as necessary.. unless you have a timing light and that is easier.. but I am old school.. good luck
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Old 02-28-2016
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If it is an '89 2.3l then it won't have a distributor.

It will have a CKP(crank position) sensor and an ICM(ignition control module) on the front of the intake, along with 8 spark plugs and dual coil packs.
No user adjustable spark timing on these.

If there is a distributor then yes, disconnect SPOUT jumper and then use timing light to set spark timing at 10-12deg BTDC, then reconnect SPOUT and you should see timing jump up, that is the computer adjusting the spark timing, SPOUT disconnects computer assist

Higher RPM sluggishness can be partially blocked exhaust, back pressure is building up.
Dirty fuel filter or "sock" in the tank, fuel flow is limited at high demand.
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Old 02-29-2016
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the 88/89 ranger was a trasitional yr, it does in fact have a dist, now the exaust, well its basically " straight piped " so no back pressure, new fuel filter, pumps etc.
while driving, fuel pressure is solid, low side " idle " 30, load is 40 PSI.
i replaced nearly EVERYTHING electronic under hood, just trying to determine if maybe pickup in dist OR maybe the dist itself, cant tell for sure if timing is advancing under load or not, was just trying to determine WHAT system controls ign advance.....
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Old 02-29-2016
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It will most likely be a TFI spark system, TFI module can control basic spark timing but has no advance/retard control, it is connected to the computer with 2 wires.
PIP signal is on one of the wires and goes TO the computer, this is the pulse signal from the hall effect sensor inside the distributor, pulsing at each TDC of lobes on distributor shaft.
Computer uses this for RPM and fuel injector timing.

Other wire is the SPOUT signal, this comes FROM the computer, the computer has more sensors to read engine conditions and driver input(TPS) so is better equipped to determine best spark timing at any given moment.
SPOUT signal "suggests" these advance and retard curves to the TFI.

Computer assumes base spark timing of 10-12deg BTDC, so all it's "suggestions" are based on that.

To set base timing you must disconnect SPOUT signal temporarily, a SPOUT jumper is on that wire just for this purpose, it is removed and then base timing is set, it is then reinstalled and computer will now aid TFI module for best spark timing.
If you still have the timing light set up and install the SPOUT jumper you will see the timing jump, than means computer is working on spark timing, if it doesn't change then there is a problem with the SPOUT wire or computer.

You can have or can use a Duraspark distributor, these were electronic but stand-a-lone.
They had a vacuum advance so no computer control was needed.
And used a Duraspark module to fire the coil.
The Duraspark modules had their own issues, most were changed to the Chevy HEI modules, wiring is very simple and they last a long time, also cheap, lol.
But you do need the Duraspark distributor to use them.
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Old 02-29-2016
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ok i got that, but how could one use the duraspark dist with no carb for a ported vaccuum for advance ??
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Old 03-01-2016
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Sorry, you can't switch to Duraspark with EFI, computer needs the timing pulse(PIP) from TFI to time injectors.
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