Coil packs/toning ring/harmonic balancer - 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 03-06-2016
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Coil packs/toning ring/harmonic balancer

Oooooooookay, kinda been sitting on my ford ranger 97 2.3 L 4 cylinder with the two coil packs for five months...not gonna lie, I'm kinda aggravated. Beginning of october my truck just lost power brought it home found out it was the timing belt that broke so I eventually got that fixed, now it starts, yay!! Buuuuuuut it doesn't wanna move. It sounds kinda like it is misfiring and when it idles it is not all that rhytmic. If I give it gas the engine bogs down and eventually dies.

So I took the front part of the engine apart again to make sure the marks were lined up, which they were. So upon looking over the harmonic balancer (which has the timing ring), I understand there is a "missing" tooth do it looks a bit like this /\/\/\____/\/\/\ and I have that on mine, but a tooth musta broke off our something its like fifteen teeth before the gap so it looks like this /\/\/\____/\/\/\/\/\/\,, ,,/\/\
Was wondering if that is a big deal.

Figured I'd also check my coil packs the pluggerinnerdeal was up to spec ".5 ohm" but I tried testing the towers and got no reading at all? Kept the positive lead on the B+ coil then checked all the towers, got nothing. My multimeter is not digital so that could be the issue, surely im getting some spark if I can start my truck at all...right?
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Old 03-06-2016
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Yes, very big deal, you will need to replace the tone ring, for engine to run correctly.
Missing tooth tells computer when #1 and #4 pistons are at Top Dead Center(TDC), with 2 missing teeth it can't tell which is which.

You measure secondary resistance between the coil towers not B+
Coil pack uses series wiring to fire 2 spark plugs at the same time
Between 1 and 4 towers
Between 2 and 3 towers
I think it should be 12-14 thousand ohms

The .5ohm on primary is good
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Old 03-06-2016
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Thank youThank youThank you, I will hit that in two days!!!! Thanks Ron, if it wasn't for your constant help with my other two posts also, I would Prolly sell the poor bastard for scrap, I will let you know what happens, thanks again Ron!
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Old 03-08-2016
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Allright Ron, went to my local salvage yard found the harmonic balancer pulley I needed and tried to remove it. Knew I'd need abreaker bar, but I didn't know that the pulley would turn with the bolt, is there a secret to this? I don't have a pneumatic gun, is a salvage yard so bump starting won't help, and all the tires are gone so I can't push it. I tried using rhebarb to jam the crankshaft so I could break the bolt, but it was all to no avail, is there a cheap tool I could find to Immobilize the harmonic balancer? Or is their something else I could jam up?
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Old 03-08-2016
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Couple of ways to do it.

Pull a spark plug and feed some rope down into the hole, it will coil up, you don't need much, then turn the crank until rope compresses against piston and head, crank will be locked.
Turn crank the other way to release and remove rope.
The above is one way you can change valve stem seals without pulling the head, just FYI, the rope holds valves in place after springs are removed.

Strap wrench can also work to grip pulley and hold it, although very tough to do alone.

Or if its a manual trans and you have a friend they can use screw driver in driveshaft u-joint to hold drive shaft while you turn bolt.

You will probably need a puller to get it off the crank once bolt is loose
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Old 03-08-2016
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Ok, so I can pull out any of the eight spark plugs, then feed a rope (any kind?) Into the hole and keep turning the balancer till it finally stops, is that right?
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Old 03-08-2016
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Yes, you want a rope that fits in the hole of course.
You are basically "hydro-locking" the engine, lol, without the hydro part.


Some people use a screwdriver in the spark plug hole to do the same thing, and you can do that, but I worry about the pressure on the one small spot where screwdriver touches the piston, rope spreads out the pressure, just like when cylinder is firing.
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Old 03-08-2016
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Information that shall be put to good use tomorrow
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Old 03-09-2016
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Allright Ron, got a new balancer, put it on my truck but the problem is it runs REAL slug like. It starts up fine, it WILL NOT go above 35 mph it revs kinda slow in nuetral ( I dont have an rpm gauge) think it could be bad gas?
Truck was out in october ish and witnessed two months of freezing weather and now its getting warm again
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Old 03-09-2016
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^^^^^
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Old 03-10-2016
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I would add some fresh gas if possible, wouldn't hurt, but no doesn't read like "bad gas", you would also get misfires at idle as well as limited power, the gas doesn't get better at lower RPMs

Limited RPMs could be limited air in or limited air out

An Engine is an air pump, add fuel and it is a self powered air pump, but an air pump none the less.

So make sure air IN path is clear, tubes and filter.

Air OUT, Exhaust, is harder to check, but a collapsed Cat or muffler will block air out.

Get a Vacuum gauge, $20, this can tell you alot about any gasoline engine.
Running engine should have 18-20" of vacuum at Sea Level to 2,000ft
If it is down below 15" then timing belt could be off, I know you checked it a few times.
Compression test would be needed with low vacuum.

If vacuum is OK, manually open throttle full then let it close, vacuum should drop to almost 0 then pop quickly back up above 16"
If it is slow to drop and slow to come back up then exhaust is clogged

Good read here on vacuum gauge tests: Technical Articles: Engine testing with a Vacuum Gauge - at Greg's Engine & Machine

Does the engine ping/knock at all when the limited top speed(35mph) is reached, if so then fuel pressure could be an issue

Last edited by RonD; 03-10-2016 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 03-15-2016
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Ok Ron, thank you for the information on the vacuum test, I'll probably hit that up if I can't figure out the timing... speaking of, I was comparing my hb to the one I got at the salvage yard top discover that the tdc mark is way of, if that's off, I would venture a guess that the toning ring is off as well (didn't check it out, was to excited to hear my truck start up normal) could I possibly find tdc by placing the "missing tooth" under the ckps (crankshaft position) sensor? Or would that move my pistons around? Cause I thought the camshaft controlled the movement of pistons and valves etc.
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