Intermittently kicks like a mule. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-21-2012
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Intermittently kicks like a mule.

Hey guys and gals.

The GF has a '96 Ranger 4cyl standard with ~ million miles on it that's still in really good shape.
Although it usually purrs like a kitten, a few months ago it developed a random "kick", mostly when starting off from a dead stop. It feels like the whole ignition/combustion process stops for a split second and then, *thunk*, picks up where it left off.
I should note that, at least once, it occurred while cruising along @ 55, and not in the middle of a shift.
I replaced the fuel filter first [it was original, cheap and easy], then the TPS [on the recommendation of her ex-] and finally, the plugs and wires on the right bank. I noticed one of the wires had been poorly routed against the end of a bolt sticking out of a bracket and had rubbed through the insulation. I was hopeful that was the cause...starting torque causing the wire to short to ground, interrupting the spark. [Seemed logical at the time]
Looked good for a few weeks, but now it's doing it again.
It appears to do it more frequently after idling at a long traffic light or stop sign, and possibly more often if it's damp...first thing in the morning. But...the same exact scenario may do nothing the next 2, 10, or 50 times.
Any clues, thoughts, suggestions, incantations?

TIA.

-Spiff
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Old 06-23-2012
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take a look at the throttle body .. see if it's dirty.
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Old 06-25-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97ranger xlt View Post
take a look at the throttle body .. see if it's dirty.
When I replaced the TPS I removed the throttle body to make things easier.
It had been sprayed with some tar-like coating that Googling recommended against cleaning off, so I was hesitant to remove it. I'm assuming it's not supposed to be shiny bare metal.

However, the port from the EGR was completely blocked with gunk, so I cleaned it out and reassembled everything. [Oddly, that made no difference to how the truck ran]

The truck occasionally threw an EGR/Canister related code [forget the # at the moment] even after opening the EGR port, so I replaced the associated vacuum lines, cleaned the sensor and tested the relay. Haven't seen the code since.
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Old 06-25-2012
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In the continuing saga, the truck now tries to stall when idling with the a/c running.
You can hear the compressor kick on and off repeatedly.

I'm far removed from the days of idle screws.
Shouldn't the computer raise the idle to prevent stalls while stopped with the a/c on?
Am I looking at a bad sensor or computer or???
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Old 06-25-2012
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Did you check u-joints??? that wont help your new stalling problems, but a bad ujoint in the driveshaft will cause the "kicking like a mule"
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Old 06-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
In the continuing saga, the truck now tries to stall when idling with the a/c running.
You can hear the compressor kick on and off repeatedly.

I'm far removed from the days of idle screws.
Shouldn't the computer raise the idle to prevent stalls while stopped with the a/c on?
Am I looking at a bad sensor or computer or???
yes the computer should compensate while the a/c is on.

try resetting the computer...
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Old 06-30-2012
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How do you reset the computer, or do you just pull the fuse for a few minutes?
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Old 06-30-2012
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Does the truck puff out little clouds of light gray smoke when it kicks like a mule?
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