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Old 12-06-2011
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New to me 97 2.3l having issues

Picked up a 97 ranger 2.3l with 5 speed, 256k miles on it about a month ago. Ran great for about a week then cel came on. got a reader and came up with 2 codes.
P1131 Lack of HO2S11 Switches - sensor indicates lean
P0302 Cylinder 2 misfire

Wasn't misbehaving to bad so I cleared the codes out and did some maintenance on it. Put a can of seafoam in the tank to clean out the junk.
This past sunday I started it up and took it for a small warm up run, got fuel then went back home, changed the oil, oil filter and air filter, fired it up and went out for a small drive. Took off fine but as soon as I let off the gas it died. Pulled over and tried cranking it over, nothing. Waited a minute and tried again and it fired right up. Had to feather the gas everytime I came to a stop sign to keep it alive untill I got it home. Checked all my connections and everything looks good. Took it out again and if I get it up to normal temp it will keep running, has a miss but wont die on me. Pulled codes again and now I'm getting a new one.
P0420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (bank 1).
Anybody have a clue?
Thanks in advance.
Rich
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Old 12-06-2011
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One more thing, I think I do have a small exhaust leak, it sounds like it anyway, after the cat but before the muffler. Cant feel it but can hear it. Need to take care of the big stuff before I can dig into this part.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Alrighty, checked out the idle air control valve and it worked as it says in the book. Disconnected it while engine was running and rpms dropped. So moving on to the next thing, EGR? Am I supposed to have vacuum from the green vacuum line going from the solenoid to the EGR? I pulled the line off the EGR and there was nothing.
Anything would help please!
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Old 12-09-2011
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Well, took the EGR almost off, couldnt get to the back to get the hose off, so I pulled it away from the manifold and cleaned it up the best I could with carb cleaner, put a new gasket on and put it back together. Cleared all the codes and took it for a 10 mile run. Ran better, still has a miss and has a hesitation when cold, but an improvement from where it was before. Still pulling P1131 and P0302 from the reader, but no cel after 35 miles.
Going to go pick up some plugs and see what happens from there.
Anybody have anything to add?
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Old 12-12-2011
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ok, so this weekend I changed the plugs, all looked clean but they put up a fight coming out. #2 plug on the passenger side had broken ceramic, dont know if it was cracked already or if I did it taking it out. Still no change in performance. Still stalls when letting off the throttle when cold and has a miss. Sometimes it will smooth out and run nice, but then the miss comes back.
I'm running out of options here, could I be fighting an injector problem? Looking for some help here please...
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Old 12-12-2011
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First thing I can think of is a vacuum leak. Probably a cracked hose somewhere.
How old is the timing belt ?
It could be stretched or jumped one tooth.
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Old 12-12-2011
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I'm still looking for any vacuum leak. Just got a hand vac to start checking hoses.
I have no idea about the timing belt, only had the truck a month and there is no maintenance data for it. Not thinking its the belt though, because sometimes it smooths out and runs like a top. Very frustrating...
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