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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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  #1  
Old 04-06-2016
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Engines turns over will not start

Hello Everyone,
I have a 1996 ranger, 2.3L 5-speed, 4X2. Last night driving up a hill (about 6-7% grade - yes steep and around a hairpin corner) the engine quit. The engine turns over, but will not catch or start.

For the last month it has been running progressively rougher (smooth idle, but sputters under load or acceleration and hardly any power). This problem was somewhat intermittent initially - sometimes it would run rough in higher gears under a load, other times it would run fine. Gradually it ran rough almost all the time (like a dead cylinder, or one or two plugs not firing).

Anyway, I'm wondering if the place the start is the fuel pump, ignition coils, throttle position sensor and/or crankshaft position sensor.

Anyway - Thank for any advice.
Kevin
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Old 04-06-2016
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Check the fuel filter first and go from there. The symptoms you're describing say progressively worsening fuel starvation to me.

If the filter is OK change it anyway, and then check fuel pressure at the rail.
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Old 04-06-2016
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When you have an "engine cranks but will not start" situation the best way to proceed is to add fuel manually to the intake.

Quick start(ether) can be sprayed into the intake
Gasoline can be sprayed into the intake

Then crank the engine
If it starts and then dies, spark is working fuel is not
If it doesn't start then spark is not working.

50/50 test

Now on the 2.3l there is also the timing belt to be considered, it can break, which doesn't hurt the engine but it wouldn't start.
In this case compression would be the issue.

Do the 50/50 test.

Because of previous symptoms fuel pump could be the problem.
When you turn on the key you should hear the fuel pump run for 2 seconds, so turn key on and off a few times and listen, it isn't quiet.

Also on the 2.3l(and other Ford engines) the Throttle position sensor(TPS) can disable fuel injectors, but NOT while running, just starting.
Engine would start by manually adding fuel, but injectors would be off so it would die, unplug TPS and see if it starts.

Another unique feature of the 2.3l is the Dual coil/spark plugs.
Only the exhaust side coil and spark plugs work while cranking engine, intake side don't start working until RPMs are above 400, so after starting.
So just a heads up if checking for spark, check exhaust side

Last edited by RonD; 04-06-2016 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 04-16-2016
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Thanks to RonD and Bob in Gilroy for the replies.

OK here is an update.

Original fuel issue turned out to be blown fuses (both # 13 & #14) in the fuse box. Replaced the fuses and truck ran OK but a bit rough (OBD II reader says misfire in #2 cylinder). It was actually running rough before the original fuel pump issue. Last Wed (4/13) the truck backfired a bit when I started it, then quieted down after about a minute or two. Took off for work - running a little rough (still misfire in #2 cylinder), about 2 mile into my trip to work the truck 'bucked' 2 or 3 times - then smoothed right out. Drove 65-70 mph in 5th gear for the next 15 miles - like all cylinder firing, no fuel issues etc. Stopped at a stop light - truck then ran rough again for another mile into work. Parked the truck.

Came out after work - truck started just fine, backfired a bit (again about a minute or 2), then promptly died. Now turns over, but will not start. No fuel pump noise, but no blown fuse either - relay seems good as well.

I'm now thinking the PCM is getting bad info from a sensor (which one? I haven't a clue ). So I will start checking sensors & wiring and by process of elimination hopefully figure it out. My Haynes manual mentions a bad crank position sensor, coolant temp sensor, and MAP sensor can cause the PCM to shut off the fuel pump. Also will look at the inertia sensor. - then figure out the cylinder #2 misfire.

Never a dull moment!!

Anyway, any advice or ideas are always welcomed!!!

Thanks again, Kevin

Kevin A. Lawton
Dept. of History
Dept. of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
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Old 04-16-2016
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Based on your description, it sounds like 2 different problems. Have you checked the spark plug(s) and wire(s) for #2 cylinder? (I'm assuming here that your year has the dual plug heads-I'm new to the Ranger.) I would do so and see how the plug(s) look. (As an aside, when I first looked under the hood of my '97, I thought the dual plug head was one of the weirder things I've ever seen on a street engine.)

Non-start and no hum, coupled with the previous rough idle, bucking (fuel starvation at speed) and now no-start, would make me think you had a failing fuel pump that finally died. Before I replaced the pump, however, I'd make darn sure I had electrical connectivity.
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Old 04-16-2016
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+1 ^^^^

Yes check for power at inertia switch, it should have 12volts for 2 seconds just after key is turned on, only for 2 seconds though.
It will show some voltage anytime key is on, that's from the computers monitoring circuit, low amps so can't power fuel pump.

If you don't get the full 12volts for that 2 seconds then replace Fuel Pump relay, in engine fuse box.

If you have the 12volts but still no sound from fuel pump it is time to replace it.


2.3l(or 2.5l) Lima dual plug engine is a bit funny in how the spark system works.
Only the exhaust side spark plugs are working when you are cranking the engine with starter motor.
Intake side spark plugs don't start working until RPMs are above 400, so after engine starts intake side plugs spark.
If #2's exhaust side spark plug wasn't working then that cylinder would get loaded with fuel while cranking engine, once engine started you would get a backfire as intake side plug sparked.
So yes have a look at exhaust side spark plug on #2
And over time #2 intake side spark plug would start to get carbon fouled from over-rich mix on start up, so would start acting up causing misfires as it's the only working spark plug in #2

Last edited by RonD; 04-16-2016 at 02:49 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2016
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Bob in Gilroy and RonD -
Thanks so much for the heads up on where to start. First thing on Monday & Tuesday (my next two days off) check #2 Cylinder, Inertia Switch, connectivity to the fuel pump and the fuel pump itself (if needed).

Thanks again - I'll keep you posted.

Kevin

Kevin A. Lawton
Dept. of History
Dept. of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
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