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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 05-27-2015
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Pensacola, Fl
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98 Ranger won't crank

i need someone's insight on my 98 Ranger xlt, 2.5 L, 4 cylinder. It's turning over but it will not crank and i know it's not the fuel pump, plug wires, and fuel injectors.. The plugs and wires are brand new but i bought some new duralast wires just to make sure it wasn't the wires ( i've had a problem with them in the past) but i took them back after the problem wasn't fixed. Today i was told it could be my cam shaft position sensor so i went and bought one but i have yet to install it.. If this doesn't fix the problem what else do you think could be wrong with it?
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Old 05-27-2015
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Hi, welcome to the site.

Cranking is when starter motor is turning the crank
Starting or firing is when engine is igniting fuel and turning on its own
That's just so we are on the same page with my comments.

Cam position sensor(CPS) won't cause a no start, it is there to fine tune fuel injectors for better MPG.

Crank position(CKP) sensor failing will cause a no start, but they rarely fail, and you would get/have a CEL(check engine light) if that was the problem.
If you want to see if CKP sensor is working, crank engine and then pull out a spark plug, if it is wet with fuel then CKP is working and so is your fuel delivery system.
If it is dry then CKP could be the issue or fuel delivery is, the later being more common.

First do a little 50/50 elimination
Get some starting fluid(ether in a spray can)
Remove air tube from intake and spray some into the intake, open throttle when you do.
You can leave the air tube off if it won't hit the fan
Now try to start engine
If it starts and then dies, fuel delivery is your problem
If it doesn't start/fire, then spark is the problem.

Spark is pretty simple on the post-'94 2.3l engine.
You have 2 coil packs but only 1 works when starting
Follow the spark plug wires on the exhaust manifold side of the engine, the coil they plug into is the "starting coil pack".
Usually the front coil pack but not always.
Check it's connector first, clean and dry
If you have a volt meter or test light the center pin should have 12volts with key on.
If not check EEC Fuse in engine fuse box, 30amp

You can swap coil packs they are the same but only the exhaust side coil works when starter motor is turning, the other coil pack will start working when engine RPMs are above 500(engine is started)

The ICM(ignition control module) is in the computer on post-'94 models and very rarely fails, never even heard of one failing.
This is why the post-'94 spark systems are so easy to work on, you have the coil pack, spark plugs and wires, that is it.

When you turn the key on does the CEL come on and then go off?
If not then that could indicate a problem with computer or previous owner, lol.
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