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SOHC - 2.3L & 2.5L Lima Engines Discussions and Topics specific to the Lima 4 cylinder engines

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Old 11-02-2014
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: San Diego. CA
Posts: 3
1983 Ranger engine questions

My name is Kyle, I was recently given a 1983 Ford Ranger and I have a few general questions so I can get an idea of what I am getting myself into.

A little back story. My SO's father passed away almost a year ago and her mother decided to donate/scrap the truck unless I wanted to take it. I talked with my SO about fixing it up so she would be able to drive her dads old truck one day and she really loved the idea.

The truck is not running at the moment and I am having it towed in the next few days to my parents house where I can have it parked and work on it for however long I need. As of right now I have limited information on the truck.

What i know is that it is a 1983 Ford Ranger, 2wd, 4 cylinder, no Power Steering, not sure about A/C, power breaks, and I am not positive what engine is in it. (mom's thinks it is a 2.3L)

Was running fine until April, 2013

On April, 2013, We had Riley Automotive rebuild the carburetor for $340.00. They said that the radiator had/has a leak. They did a Block test on it which showed the head gasket is blown. they quoted $997 to repair the radiator and head gasket.

They have not started the truck since.

As I said be for I am just looking to get an idea of what i might be getting myself into cost wise.

What other issues could I be looking at once i get the head off and replace the gasket?

If the auto shop ran a "block test" does that mean that the block and head are in working order/ no cracks? or could that still be a possibility?

I am assuming since the radiator has a leak that the engine may have over heated possibly causing the head gasket to fail. If so might that have caused other problems? any way of know if that was the problem?

Thanks for giving this short story a read. It ran a little longer than I wanted but I am a bit excited about the whole thing as is my younger brother. I would love to be able to work on this project with him. He loves tearing apart mini bikes n the like to fix up then sell or trade for a new project and this would keep us busy for a while as well as being a great learning experience.

TL:DR With your knowledge of blown head gaskets on a 2.3L 4c what other issues might i see once i start breaking the engine down to repair it.

Picture of the truck. I will post a few more once the truck is moved.
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Old 11-03-2014
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Parksville
Posts: 6
nice little truck, good luck with the build
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Old 11-04-2014
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
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1983 could have 2.0l or 2.3l gas engine, or 2.2l diesel engine, but carb rebuild makes the later unlikely, lol.

Block test is a bit misleading in name.
If there is a leak between an engine cylinder and the cooling system the exhaust gases from that cylinder will be forced into the cooling system.
A block test uses a chemical in a tube that will change color if exhaust gases are present.
The tube is placed over the rad cap opening and air is drawn from the rad thru the tube/chemicals, using a hand pump or engine vacuum if running.
If exhaust gases are present the chemical will change colors, it happens very quickly and leaves no doubt.
It doesn't test the block or head, lol, it just tests for exhaust gases in cooling system which indicate a failure in the system.

You can do a glove test to check for head gasket leak as well
Fill system with water/coolant, leave about an inch of air at the top.
Place latex glove over rad cap opening, use rubber band at base
Remove overflow hose and block off rad opening, vacuum cap or finger is fine
Cooling system is now sealed or should be.
remove coil wire, you want a no start
crank engine and watch the glove
if glove bounces you have a head gasket leak, or cracked head

The 150psi compression from leaking cylinder is being pushed into cooling system making glove bounce.
If you remove one spark plug at a time and crank engine, when glove stops bouncing then last spark plug removed was from the leaking cylinder, put it back in to confirm.
This can help you later on when inspecting for gasket failure or cracked head.

1983 4cylinder gas is a Lima engine, Lima 2.0l/2.3l/2.5l all used the same block and share many of the same parts, 2.0l block was bored out for 2.3l, and stroke was lengthened for 2.5l.

Parts are easy to come by, new and used.

Good project truck, no computer or other pesky electronics to learn about, has a timing belt which should be changed if you are removing the head, so you will learn about valve piston timing
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