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Old 04-07-2013
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Post SICK of detontaiton/spark knock/pinging

Hello all I've been lingering around the forums reading for awhile but haven't solved my issues so I figured I'd post. Got my 1996 ford ranger when it had about 58000 miles on it. At first I never noticed and pinging issues but they are there now. If I had to guess they developed around 7?,??? miles. The truck was well maintained, If anything it was babied its whole life. I have been very stringent about maintenance. It pings when hot or cold Here is a list of things I have done in no particular order.

regular oil changes
kn air filer
new maf
cleaned maf
oxygen sensor
cleaned entire intake/throttle body
checked ALL sources of potential vacuum leaks
at least 12 bottles of fuel system/injector cleaner
at least 4 bottles of seafoam through intake
electric fan
throttle cable mod
replaced egr valve
replaced spark plugs twice and 1 coil pack and wires as well
replaced thermostat
flushed cooling system
replaced timing belt and tensioner
checked fuel pressure and replaced fuel filter
I think i replaced iac valve also
removed insides of intake air muffler
multiple computer resets
some other things that should have nothing to do with pinging....

No codes are thrown. If i get 93 octane it only pings under WOT instead of part throttle +. I talked to dealer they said they can't flash computer. It seems to me something in ford pcm/ecm looses its ability to accurately control ignition timing. Btw when the pinging started I only had replaced the air filter, throttle cable mod, removed intake silencer and removed the muffler. I can't see how that started the pinging. I'm out of ideas the only other thing I tried that helped was putting a resistor in the intake air temp sensor to make the truck think It's 130 degress+ out. That helped but it throws a code after awhile and the truck feels like a turd pulling another turd with its turd family also
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Old 04-19-2013
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Which engine and transmission??? When does it bing?? Can you explain when it does this?
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Old 05-12-2013
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1996 2.3L M5. It pretty much does it hot or cold accelerating using more that 30-40% throttle, higher rpm is worse. In the summer cruising at 60mph with A/C running it will do it constantly. 93 octane makes it much better but why pay for it when I shouldn't have to.
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Old 08-15-2013
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93 octane makes it much better but why pay for it when I shouldn't have to? well ...93 makes it much better,get you better mileage,cleaner injectors and combustion system, and is only a few bucks per tank..I think you should! they get good mileage any way.
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Old 02-08-2014
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Here's an update. Since starting this post I got frustrated and just started using 93 octane. One day I started my truck to leave grocery store and it instantly made a weird noise and starting shaking. I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary so I decided to drive home anyhow. Going down the road it shook violently and had no power and check engine light started blinking. Instead of trying to troubleshoot the problem I just started tearing it apart. This is a list of things I did.

-removed head had it checked/resurfaced
-had valve seals replaced
-cleaned layer of carbon off of cylinder heads(very difficult that stuff was on there)
-had injectors cleaned/flow checked replaced o rings ($144.00)
-cleaned/lightly polished head ports and intake manifold
-sort of port matched upper/lower intake with gasket and cleaned up exhaust manifold ports

Inspection of cylinders and cylinder wall looked fine to me.
One weird thing is my intake port on #4 was rusted??? Didn't find cause of initial problem I just assumed timing belt jumped. So I put everything back together and It runs fine but spark knocks much much worse than before. So I go to the gas station and the clutch pedal feels a little weird. Driving home after getting gas the clutch starts to release oddly in a way that I can't smoothly drive the truck. Pull in driveway and the clutch pedal stops halfway and after dicking with for a minute I finally get it in gear and pull into my spot. So I take the transmission out and replaced

-clutch (looked fine)
-pressure plate (looked fine)
-slave cylinder (felt worn)
-master cylinder
-rear main seal
-pilot bearing
-shifter bushings

I also had flywheel resurfaced. So after all that I get it running again. I think all in all it was down for 2 1/2 months. So now the truck is running again and spark knocking worse than before. So I continue to use 93 octane. The truck idles fine and revs normally but I don't seem to have the top end power that I should. Btw while driving in gear I can barely get the truck past 3300 rpms. It pulls fine up until about 2800 and slowly creeps to 3300 and I can barely get it past that unless I'm on a decline. So I searched the internet for info to no avail. While the clutch is pushed in I can rev up to 5000+ rpms. I decide one day (against my better judgement) to take it to the ford dealership. They tell me it's a fuel pump issue. I ask to speak to the person who came to this conclusion but by that time he had left. They say it will be a little over $1,100.00 to fix. lol I just paid the diagnostic fee (i think $80 ish) and left. SO knowing the fuel pressure is fine with engine off, engine running, and under load with and without press. regulator hooked up I replace the fuel pump myself for a little over $100.00. NO change in performance. Except my fuel level gauge is way inaccurate now. yay So all in all my timing reads normal, my compression is outstanding and I still haven't found a complete cure for spark knock or figure why I don't have full wot power. Just for the record I can only hit 80mph at wot going downhill for 1/8 mile or so. I tried the same thing only using around half throttle and still hit 76-78 mph. What gives? Thinking it could be a clogged cat. converter I cut it out and it looked fine. So I gutted it anyway and welded it back in. Copying off my car one day I decide to put a catch can in the pcv line because when I tore everything apart I noticed quite a bit of very fresh looking oil in my intake manifold. This has by far made the biggest difference in my spark knock. It collects around a tablespoon of oil every 500ish miles
(made it from pvc from lowes $16). I drove it for a couple months with no knock at all on 87 octane and just recently It started to knock a little again.

Last edited by 2000transam24; 02-08-2014 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 02-19-2014
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hi,
it seems I have the same problem and I have a 2.3l,5 speed auto,bought a sensor reader it said injectors so I bought injectors and was working a lot of overtime so I took in to dealership(yeah I know..ouch)well they called me and said it wasn't injectors it was just plugs and wires because #4 was really fouled...hmm I had just replaced those items for first time after 170,000 miles..ok so I picked it up costing me 500.00 for plugs and wires and labor!!!...didn't even get out of dealership driveway started misfiring took it right back,they gave me a rental,2 weeks later they still couldn't find problem...they reset computer and seemed to fix problem but now after about 18mos. problem seems to be coming back..if you find problem please post.as a note the dearership they could start swapping parts till they found problem at my expense....NOT!!...LOL...thanks for reading this guys.

Last edited by savejranch; 02-19-2014 at 07:41 AM. Reason: forgot info
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Old 02-19-2014
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also it is a 2006 sorry
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Old 02-19-2014
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To the original poster just throwing parts at it is a bad idea. If you don't pinpoint the problem first changing other things can create bigger problems after being torn apart you could have gasket leaks which compound the problem and make it even harder to find the original issue. As for the cat gutting cats on modern cars is a very bad idea! Back when they first came out they did hurt the engine and removing them cured that but nowadays the fuel system is so tightly tied into readings from the cats that may have made it worse. The computer reads the 02 sensors to make adjustments to fuel supply air intake and timing without the cat it probably sees it as running rich so it cuts fuel making it ping and lose power. Sounds like your original problem is a computer issue cutting fuel at the wrong times. But now it may be impossible to test/prove since the readings from the 02's are whacked from the gutted cat.
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Old 02-19-2014
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pinging/knocking is when gasoline fuel/air mix in cylinder self-ignites just prior to spark plug sparking, the noise you hear are the two explosion wave fronts meeting in the cylinder chamber.
Diesel engines tend to make the similar noise because they are all run based on self-igniting the fuel/air mix and sometimes it ignites in two separate areas in the same cylinder.


OK, so gasoline engine pinging is self-ignition of the fuel/air mix and delayed spark ignition.
Self ignition happens when fuel/air mix is heated to it's self ignition point.
Engine compression generates heat, above current engine temp, the higher the compression the higher the heat it causes.
An Octane rating is a heat rating, 87 octane with XX air mix will self ignite at XX temperature.
89 octane with xx air mix with self ignite at xx + 50deg temperature
91 octane with xx air mix with self ignite at xx + 100deg temperature
ECT......

So higher octane number means higher self ignition temp, octane numbers are only for temps, a gallon of 93 octane and a gallon of 87 octane have the same stored energy.

High performance engines must use higher octane gas because they have higher compression.
Engines that can run 87 octane have 9.5:1 or lower compression, the 2.3l Lima engine is right at the edge with 9.4:1, 3.0l Vulcan is 9.3:1, 4.0L is 9.0:1
The 2.3l and 3..0l are both prone to pinging if even a small problem occurs

So there are the basics.

In the past pinging would be prevented by retarding the spark timing, so ignite the fuel/air BEFORE it could self ignite, that is what a "knock" sensor did, and what a mechanic would do on an old carb/distributor setup, retard the spark timing.
But this reduces engine power, so MPG goes down and the word "gutless" is heard in the engine description, lol.
Pinging on a cold engine would be the sign of way too lean of a fuel/air mix and way too advanced spark timing, on newer computer controlled systems I would give a hard look at computer and its spark timing sensor and fuel control systems.

Cooling the cylinder temp is another method, a slightly richer fuel/air mix will cool the cylinder as it enters, this delays self ignition enough to let spark plug ignite fuel/air, we are talking milliseconds in the timing here.

The EGR system actually cools cylinder temps, yes, sounds odd but it does.
Spark timing is advanced during acceleration to give more power, this timing is based on the exhaust gases(EGR) being mixed with the fuel/air, if the EGR system is not working correctly then pinging would be the result.

Spark plugs come in different heat ranges, the heat range is important in that is has to do with how fast a spark plug tip can bleed off the heat it created when igniting the fuel/air mix
If the tip is too hot it will cause the self ignition.

Carbon build up does a few things, first it absorbs the gasoline part of the fuel/air mix, so leans out the mix which in essence lowers its octane rating, so self ignition comes at a lower temp.
Carbon also holds in the heat, so cylinder temp is running a few degrees above designed levels.
Double whammy in Carbon build up.


Pinging is self sustaining, when you first hear the pinging the cylinders are starting to get too hot, pinging heats up the cylinders very fast, you can actually melt pistons and valves with the heat pinging provides.

Last edited by RonD; 02-19-2014 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 02-20-2014
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so...as I said above guys...I took it to a dealership and they could not pinpoint problem with all of their diagnostic machines and"experts" this is a bone stock truck...lol...any thoughts???...lol...thanks in advance????....boy do I wish for the days of carbs and points ignitions...:0)
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Old 02-20-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savejranch View Post
so...as I said above guys...I took it to a dealership and they could not pinpoint problem with all of their diagnostic machines and"experts" this is a bone stock truck...lol...any thoughts???...lol...thanks in advance????....boy do I wish for the days of carbs and points ignitions...:0)
You have a bit of a highjack going in this thread, as your issue, as far as described is not Pinging/knocking.
You have a misfire.

Carbs and points could be adjusted by the user, but that was also one of the problems with carbs and points, lol.

EFI and electronic ignition is much more reliable and gets better MPG.

Ford dealerships have no magical powers, they often have access to more information on Ford specific issues and more experience with Fords in general, but they are still just people.

Except for a few specific codes an OBD II reader never tells the user to replace anything.
The computer has a list of parameters in memory, if any data coming in from sensors or controls is outside of the parameter(range) in memory, the computer will "set a code" in memory, this doesn't always turn on the CEL(check engine light), it is just a history code that can be viewed by user.
If a code repeats a few times or a code effects MPG or emissions then computer will turn on the CEL.
If engine damage or stalling could occur the computer will flash the CEL for 30 seconds every few minutes.

If #4 spark plug looked different than #1, #2 and #3 then I would first look at a spark plug comparison sheet to see what may have caused this difference.
too much fuel
too little fuel
oil
water/coolant

It is all still simple mechanics, the computer and sensors make it more reliable but seals still wear out, injectors or jets still F* up, and coils, spark plugs, wires all need to be checked.

You may want to start your own thread and post codes in history from your reader.

Last edited by RonD; 02-20-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2014
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thanks ron d,
guess I will ck plug and go from there again...lol
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Old 02-22-2014
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have you ever ran any type of injector cleaner through your engine

as to what RON D stated , it sounds like a partially clogged fuel injector(s) is your problem

also possibly a carbon clogged EGR valve ( partially stuck open from carbon build up )

allowing exhaust gases to enter the intake manifold all the time

you should run a can of seafoam in with your fuel ( for several fill ups ) to really clean out your fuel injectors

seafoam also helps to clean out your catalytic converters
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Old 02-23-2014
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Thanks,
ron and cheese_man I will do the seafoam additive and post findings.
thanks again guys!
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Old 07-03-2016
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still waiting for a update to your problem
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Old 07-04-2016
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Sorry everyone I forgot about this thread. Well I found the issue. And it's embarrassing to admit but my timing was off. Of all the things I did It was a simple issue of making sure all the timing marks were lined up. Its a shame because I would have thought the dealership would have picked up on my timing issue easily. One thing that sucks since It runs fine is that my gas mileage doesn't go above 23 anymore. At one time I could get 27 mpgs. But oh well. At least everything I replaced had quite a bit of mileage on it already so It wasn't a complete waste. One thing I'm glad I did is the catch can. On both my vehicles It has caught a lot of oil and I don't even think they get it all. Also I ditched my electric fan. I'm sure that is a contributor to my gas mileage decrease. The reason I ditched it is the thermostat broke and I almost overheated a couple of times. The fan was only 1 speed (high) and was quite noisy but all the searches I did on new thermostats had terrible reviews. So I gave up and went back to stock style fan. Also just so everyone knows the hayden fan #3565 is supposed to bolt directly to your water pump (with a spacer also I think?) NOT your fan clutch. Found this out the hard way. Anyhow I hope this helps someone.
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Old 07-04-2016
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in warm climates it is actually better to use a manual radiator fan without a clutch
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