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Old 05-23-2016
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Massillon, Ohio
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A "new" summer project

Hello all...
I just picked up a 97 Ranger extended cab as "salvage"...
2.3L manual 5speed... Pretty plain jane...
It was damaged on the passenger fender, and door...
It has the same basic rust all earlier Rangers have...
Frame looks good from engine back so that's good...
Has 145K miles on it...
It cranks but won't start...first thing is the OBDII then the timing belt...
It was taken care of so I have a good chance at getting it going again...
Because it is not running yet I have no idea what the clutch is like...
I have very little in the purchase price so I can afford putting some money into it...

I'm a Super Mod on kia-forums and a retired electronic tech...
I'm a 67 year old "kid"...
Been rebuilding KIAs and Hyundais for my family and friends...
Dave
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Old 05-25-2016
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Massillon, Ohio
Posts: 15
The inertia switch was triggered...
Located just above the carpet on the passenger side...
Reset switch and the car started right up...
Visited the local "pull a part" and got a complete passenger door and front fender, a matching aluminum rim, two center bolt covers, a good looking tire, a passenger front directional lens (orange plastic), some new looking brake pads...all for $180... Sure beats a standard auto yard...
Now to install these "gems"
Dave
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Old 05-26-2016
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Welcome to the forum

Reads like a nice project.

A few tips on the Ford system
Replace that inertia switch, once tripped they tend to trip again even just slamming a door or hitting a bump.

Ford computer runs the fuel pump for only 2 seconds when key is turned on, it won't run again until engine RPMs are above 400 or unless key is turn off and then on again to get another 2 seconds of run time.
This is a safety measure, so electric fuel pump won't keep pumping out fuel if line should break(engine stalls).

On the dual spark plug 2.3l/2.5l engines only the exhaust side spark plugs/coil is active when starting engine, intake side spark starts after engine is above 400 RPMs.
So if you ever need to test for spark use exhaust side spark plug wire.

Ford uses a Waste Spark system, so both spark plugs fire on the end of compression stroke(TDC) and end of exhaust stroke(TDC), this is not for emissions or power it is just simpler to fire spark plugs at each TDC and doesn't hurt anything, lol.
Lawn mower engines do the same, most spark systems that don't have distributors were/are waste spark as well.

Ford coil packs have 2 spark plugs wired in series, in the case of the 2.3l #1 and #4 are in series and spark at the same time(each TDC), #2 and #3 are also in series.
Because of the series wiring one spark plug will spark from center to tip and the other spark plug from tip to center, not a big deal except when it comes to buying new spark plugs.

You either want regular copper plugs or DOUBLE platinum, never use single platinum, because only the tip or the center will have the extra wear protection, so 1/2 the spark plugs will wear out just like regular copper plugs.

1997 2.3l is a SOHC Lima engine, same as the 2.0l and 2.5l, these were made at the Lima, Ohio Ford engine plant, also called Pinto engine since it was first used in the Ford Pinto cars.
2.5l is a stroked 2.3l, same block, pistons and head just different crank and connecting rods.
This is a non-interference engine so valves can't hit the pistons if timing belt should slip or break.

In 2001 Ford started using the Mazda L DOHC 2.3l engine in Rangers, no relation to the Lima engines, often called the Duratec 23
I mention this because you can get conflicting info when looking for "Ranger 2.3l" information

Last edited by RonD; 05-26-2016 at 11:26 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2016
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Massillon, Ohio
Posts: 15
Thanks for the reply...
I'm getting to know this little truck...
I got the replacement passenger door on and am working on the fender...
I have a "pull a part" yard here and they will allow a small generator and a saws all...so I'm going to cut a passenger rocker panel and the rear bed fender pieces (by the bumper).. The local "muffler shops" wanted $75 to remove a broken exhaust flange bolt so I'm buying a MAP/Oxy torch for $60 and will weld a nut to the left over threads and heat the flange... I will end up with a small torch in the bargain...

The truck runs fine and the clutch is smooth ... I'll have less than $1000 in it when I'm done... I may even attack the rusted radiator support... I'm having fun... :)

I'm not new to Rangers as I've helped a few friends (rear brake lines, master cylinder, calipers, and corroded wiring...

How's the replacement of the 8 plugs.... Any thing to watch out for?
Again thanks for the reply...
Dave
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2016
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Not a simple task which is why double platinum are best choice since they last longer between changes, lol.

Good guide here with pictures: How To: Ranger 2.3L-2.5L Spark Plug Change - Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations"
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