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  #1  
Old 11-15-2009
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Truck 145 miles from home! HEAD SCRATCHER

Alright, my 2.3 1988 ranger is not running aboviously. I was going down the road and got a sort of miss happening then my ignition completly cut off. I got the truck to start and running for about 30 seconds then back off and nothing since. The truck has a new coil, plugs and is in time. Fuel delivery is good and the battery has a full charge. Luckly i had a volt meter on hand. I tested the plugs for spark and nothing. so i tryed to coil to see if it had an output. I had power there but nothing coming out of my distributor... it is the single vacume one. I pulled off the dist. cap and checked all the terminals for continueity and the all passed. the rotor appeared to be in good shape and had good continuety too. next thought was the pickup. I checked that and it had good continuity too. I started workin my way back from there and all the wires to the ecm are good. the ecm is even good. my wires goin to the ecu all have good connection to the battery. I then tryed again and nothing. I tryed wiring the ecm straight to the battery too and nothing. A few days earlier it shut off too but imdediatly started up. Also found a c clip stuck to the pick up, im not sure if this had been holding something in the base together(or from somthing grounding out). Someone PLEASE let me know asap how to get out of this head scratcher.
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Old 11-20-2009
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Nobody can figrue this out?? Im screwed unless someone can figure it
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Old 11-22-2009
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Well, you already did an excellent job of roadside troubleshooting and I'm not familiar with the late-80s Rangers, but here goes...

Since there is no spark, I'd suspect the ignition module (if it has one) first. I've also heard of stators/pickups causing some strange things (e.g., shutting off at speed) even after testing OK.

Hopefully someone comes along who can really help you out--good luck!
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Old 11-22-2009
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my 86 was doing the exact same thing but every 20 minutes, so now im on the hunt for a 5.0
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Old 11-22-2009
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check the module....little square thing on the driver side fender

a cheap one at O'reillys is about $25

i had the same problems with mine...it would die randomly but after sitting for a few min. it would run fine, but it eventually started getting worse and i could never track it down.
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Old 11-22-2009
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This sounds like a problem with the TFI Module mounted either on on the distributor or the fender apron - a very common problem on early Rangers and other Fords of the era. Go to The Ranger Station, then select "Tech Library" from the menu bar. There is a good article on TFI troubleshooting under the "Computer" heading.

Going with the odds, it is most likely that the TFI Module itself has failed. (In some manuals and parts books, the TFI Module may also be called the ICM.) Good luck.
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Old 11-23-2009
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thank you all, ill see what i can do and get back with yall
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Old 11-29-2009
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So i got a new distibuter in it, it ran yesterday. I came back to it today to time it and it wouldn't fire. I had spark for a min then nothing again. Help me cause im about to smash this truck to peices
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Old 11-29-2009
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no don't smash it....i'll come take it off your hands if it comes to that


have you checked the module on the driver side fender yet?
O'reilly's can check those for free.

also.....check your coil to see if its putting out spark.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2009
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yes the module has been checked, its the same issue as before with no power out of the distributer
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Old 11-29-2009
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check your coil to see if the spark is getting to the distributor.......

work backwards until you narrow it down
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2009
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Yes i check and re checked and it is getting plenty of power, as much as the battery has
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Old 11-29-2009
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is the Rotor making contact in the distributor?.....it may not be pushed down all the way or it popped loose.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2009
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well the truck is not here but i can say that i have pressed it on there very firmly to where i was worried about breakin it.
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Old 11-29-2009
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Old 11-29-2009
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Whew...this one is tough!

You know, I just remembered that I had a somewhat similar issue occur on my old '85 F-150. I had the truck running in my driveway (not 145 mi. from home, thankfully!), decided I needed to top off the washer fluid, shut the hood and...the truck shuts off. Tried to restart it; cranked strong but wouldn't even try to fire.

I could smell raw fuel so I went looking for spark--nothing. I poke around and see that one of the wires coming off the coil looked a little odd. I bend it, try to start the truck, and the thing fires right up. I go back to that wire, bend it back and the truck shuts of again. Turns out the wire had corroded internally. I ended up replacing the ignition coil harness pigtail ($13) and the truck ran fine for years after that.

Maybe there's something similar going on here?
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  #17  
Old 11-29-2009
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maybe there is a wire bad, i wouldn't doubt it but the coil has a very strong output to the distributer
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  #18  
Old 12-01-2009
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the thing is tho i have checked for continuity through all of the wires leaving the distributor that go to the ecm. when i had the ecm checked out before i put the distributor in it was good, the truck even ran perfectly fine after the distributor install. I came back the next day and nothing.... SO frustraiting
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2009
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Yeah, Check connectivity through all wires using the ohms meter.
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2014
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does the dist turn while cranking?
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  #21  
Old 01-07-2014
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Well it's been a little over 4 years ago.

I would venture to say that he made it home already.
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