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Old 03-21-2010, 19:01   #1 (permalink)
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83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

I was driving,about a mile or so,when I started hearing a clacking sound from the engine,the sound grew more persistent,louder and then white smoke started billowing out of the tail pipe.i was able to limp her back home,35 mph was all she could muster.the smoke was such that if I kept moving I could keep it behind me,but when I stopped to pull into my driveway my poor truck was enveloped in a white cloud: she did get my home though,I love that truck! How bad is it,and what can I do? your help is very much appreciated in advance. I've had that truck for 8 years and She's never left me stranded
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Old 03-21-2010, 20:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

With that much smoke, it appears to be a modulator on the transmission. If you have an automatic. The diaphragm breaks and the engine draws the trans fluid into the engine and burns it. Have you checked the fluid levels?
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Old 03-21-2010, 21:28   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

I have a standard transmission;the engine oil level was low but adequate.This may sound odd but the smoke actually has a syrupy smell,if that helps
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Old 03-21-2010, 21:37   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

That's probably coolant then. Pull the spark plugs, disable the ignition and crank the engine. You'll probably see coolant mist blow out the plug holes. It probably blew the head gasket. What engine is it?
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Old 03-21-2010, 21:42   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

It's a 2.3 liter,with carb
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Old 03-23-2010, 17:48   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

Is there an "replacing a head gasket for Idiots' manual out there,for the non-schooled in auto mechanics? and worse,what's the going price(approx.) to have it done in a shop.Again,this is an "83" Ford Ranger,2.3 liter
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Old 03-23-2010, 18:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

I can't say what it would cost at a shop since I've worked in a county shop for quite awhile. Check your local library to see if they have a Chiltons or Haynes manual for your truck. Read it and see if you want to tackle it. You could also call around and get prices.
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Old 03-23-2010, 22:54   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

Thanks for your expertise and help,does the head need to automatically be ground or is there the chance that I could get by with just replacing the gasket,with some studying?
Us poor folk need to learn how to do things ourselves,wish I would have studied auto in High school but better late than never.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:05   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 83 ranger;white smoke and clattering engine

I would take the head to a machine shop and have them check it. It's worth the money. I always do that on any I do.
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