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Old 08-10-2010
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Is it a timing issue or a fuel issue?

Hey everyone, here is my issue... My 1996 Ranger 2.3, 2WD has about 105K on it. It runs fine, but this weekend I changed the timing belt, timing belt tensioner, serpantine belt, and thermostat (while I had it all off for the timing belt swap). I followed the Haynes instructions, everything went smoothly, but now the engine pings during high torque (lower RPM's) and goes away when I reach a cruising speed. Also, at idle, the engine kind of hick-ups. Sounds like it's misfiring. Runs smoothly when driving (aside from pinging), but when at idle, it will idle smoothly for the most part then misfire every so often. It may be worth mentioning that the misfire is much more pronounced when the engine is at normal operating temp.

I'm certain my timing marks are lined up, I checked them 30 times. When the crankshaft is at the "TC" mark, and oil pump and camshaft marks are spot on. Could it be that the tensioner is just too loose? I only allowed it to tighten to the spring loaded tension, but keep in mind the spring is 14 years old. Should I loosen the tensioner and pry it tighter onto the belt?

The only issues I had while changing everything was getting the crankshaft pully bolt off. I first tried wedging a prybar onto a crank cog that looked to be the light-sensor crank cog for the crankshaft. (Looked like a bike gear). I used that as a means to hold the crankshaft still while I loosened the bolt. It put a couple very small grooves in the cog. Would that throw off the light-timing?

Also I forgot to plug one of the spark plug boots back onto the spark plug and when I started the engine it arced for a minute on the exhaust manifold. Could that have maybe shorted the something in the ignition coil?

I doubt that either of the latter issues are the problem. I think it's a timing issue, but I'm a welder, not an auto mechanic. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-10-2010
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It definately sounds like a timing issue, that some how the timing has been advanced and causing the pinging as well as the miss. Its been way to long since I have changed a 2.3 timing belt, but I suspect that's where your problem lies. You can try a higher octane fuel to see if it helps deter the detonation.
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Old 08-10-2010
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I think it sounds more of a vacuum leak than a timing issue.
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Old 08-10-2010
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It does sound like timing
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Old 08-11-2010
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i bet it jumped 2 teeth.
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Old 08-11-2010
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I'm ripping into it again this weekend to check everything out again. What I do remember, if it wasn't just perception, was the crankshaft pulley being directly on "TC", pulled it straight off and the keyway wasn't directly at 12 o'clock. It was closer to 11:55 or so. I'll get a better look at it this weekend, but I appreciate everyones input.
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Old 08-12-2010
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FIXED! So when I put the pry bar onto the crankshaft sensor flag (the cog looking thing), and used it to hold the crankshaft in place while torquing on the pulley bolt, the sensor flag slipped a little bit. While the damper is on a keyway, the sensor flag is only pressed onto the damper. This resulted in my timing being perfect, but the crankshaft sensor was getting a wrong reading due to me moving that cog. So the computer thought the crankshaft was in a place it was not, causing the timing advance.

We were able to use a 3 jaw puller to pull the cog off the damper setup, reposition it, and press it back on. All is good now. No more farmer-fixes for me. I'll stick to welding.

Thanks everyone for input, I greatly appreciate it.
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Old 08-13-2010
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Glad to hear you got it fixed!
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