'95 2.3L starting issue - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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

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Old 02-20-2011
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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'95 2.3L starting issue

Hello all. I know it's a long read, but I appreciate any help/advice I can get. I'm stumped, and I don't want to replace parts at random.

A few facts about the truck before I begin:

-1995, 280 000 kms, never driven too hard as far as I know
-2x4, 5 speed manual
-2.3 L engine with dual spark plugs / cylinder
-well maintained (service guide followed throughly)
-timing belt done in last 30 k
-most other parts/sensors changed at least once, no idea how many km's ago (MAP, MAF, CPS, TPS, IAC, fuel pump, plugs, etc)
-all of the above parts have been tested with a scan tool, if applicable, and are working
-CAT Converter is original as far as I know
-exhaust system has very slight cold leak(stops leaking when warm) right before the CAT
-post CAT oxygen sensor is NOT connected (melted wires)
-MIL is on due to O2 sensor (checked on scan tool)
-I believe the thermostat is stuck open, or at least is not closing completely

I own a 1995 2.3L Ford Ranger that has a starting issue. The issue is that after the truck is shut off after it's initial startup, it does not start again easily. It takes about a minute of cranking to get it to fire and cough a bit, and another few seconds before it catches enough to start. It doesn't matter if the truck is up to temperature, cold in -20 C weather, warmed in a garage, etc. It just becomes a pain to start. During the initial startup, it fires right away.

So here is what I've tried to diagnose:

At first, I thought it only didn't want to start after it got up to temp, so I suspected the air filter or a vacuum line issue. I replaced the air filter and checked the lines, no issues with the lines. Problem still occurs. I then thought it might be my fuel pump or filter, so I put a guage on it, reads around 40 PSI KOEO, and 40-45 PSI KOER. So that's all good. And since the engine runs fine when it's running, I don't suspect any failing ignition or fuel systems.

Then, I tried to start it it right after I shut it off one day, when it was still cold and had barely ran for 30 seconds, and it did it again, so I believe temperature is not a deciding factor. This is where I become stumped at what could be causing the problem:

-I wonder if my IAC is clogged up with carbon, or jammed open, but wouldn't that cause a rough idle/stalling? It idles like it has 280 000 kms on in, a miss here and there, but never stalls. I will be taking it off and cleaning when I have some time, probably tommorow.

-I then wonder if my EGR is stuck open, letting in too much unburned fuel/exhaust into the intake when it's trying to start after the initial start, essentially flooding the engine, and only when the gases have been cleared, does it start. I don't know if a failing/failed EGR can cause that. Anyone shred some light on that?

-Could the truck be over-compensating, or under-compensating, (adding/taking away too much fuel), because of the disconnected O2 sensor while it's trying to start? Since it run fines once it starts, I doubt this, but I don't know.

-Could a clogged CAT cause this? I don't know. I really hope this isn't it, CAT's are damn expensive. The only reason I really worry about this issue too much anyway is because, what if I stall it at a red light, or the middle of the intersection? A lot of people will be pissed off, and I could cause an accident.

-And finally, I wonder if dirty injectors could cause this, but then wouldn't it be a hard start all of the time? Again, I don't know. I have some injector cleaner I will be running through it soon.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Have any questions, just ask.
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Old 02-22-2011
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Location: aspers, PA
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well you could start off by replacing the o2 sensor that will help with it buring rich, and try cleaning out the IAC and the MAS, you could run injector cleaner though a tank of gas, as well as check the fuel pressure, and if the 02 sensor's wires are melted then the cat maybe cloged and getting too hot or if the wires are just hanging around and fell on the cat then that coud cause them to melt, if you thingk the egr is the problem, then you caould do whit i did which was just make a solid gasket out of lets say 18 gauge sheet metal, mine runs perfectly fine with out the egr, however if you have go through emissions testing then that would not be your issue, and if there is an egr problem it would have a code stored, about it. and you can take a timing light and make sure both coild are fireing proberly as well.
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Old 02-24-2011
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Thanks for the reply.

I plan to replace the o2 sensor in the future. The wires melted on the CAT, but only because the wire harness broke, so I don't think my CAT could be too hot, but I'll check that.

I'll clean the MAP and IAC as soon as I can, and run some injector cleaning through it.

And I think I'll block off the EGR, yeah. I heard you get better MPG without it, anyway. I don't need it to pass emissions.
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Old 02-24-2011
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Location: aspers, PA
Posts: 801
i'm not sure if you get better mpg with out the egr, i din't but then agin my trucks 22 years old, and i do everything to get the best gas milage and only get 18 on average, but before i replaced the 02 and the TPS i was getting 13.6, any ways i think i did get a little more hp, not much but it did a little better on a steep hill like i usualy do with all my mods, i did it cause i didn't like the idea of putting exaust back in my engine, and filling it with carbon from it, just to get some unburnt vapors
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Old 02-24-2011
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Clinton, SC
Posts: 49
Liberally spray your ignition components with brake clean (makes them cold) as you may have a thermal issue with a controller or coil. If cold burst makes it run correctly, change the affected component. I would bet on ign mod on front of intake manifold, if installing new make sure to use proper heat sink paste. A sticking EGR will also cause your issue, easy to test with hand held vacuum source. Always start with the cheap and easy stuff first (grin)
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Old 02-24-2011
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Location: Upstate,NY
Posts: 2,598
Put the fuel pressure guage back on , start the truck and let run for a minute .
Note the pressure .
Shut the truck off and watch the pressure.
If it bleeds off within about 30 seconds , you may have an injector sticking open , dumping in raw fuel and causing the restarts to be too rich.
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