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Old 09-25-2012, 01:39   #1 (permalink)
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86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.


Hello fellow ford rangers out there.....

Ok...here we go again. I'm still having issues, but it's intermittent.
1986 Ford Ranger / 2.3 EFI / 140 CID OHC /4-Cyl/5 speed

So the last time I was here, I was having doggy issues which I thought were fuel related. I'm still having issues, although it appeared to cleared up a bit.

When I start the engine, it cranks over, I'd give it some gas, it would rev up, then suddenly die, no matter if I pressed down on the gas pedal or not. After two or three times doing this, it would turn over and maintain a steady idle, then off I go.........

The problem now?
Well, late today I tried to get it going, and after about 15 times, I gave up. It would not stay idling, it would crank over then die. I did not want to ruin the starter. It seems the gas pedal is worthless after the engine decides to conk out, and no matter how many times I step on the gas pedal, nothing happens.

It would be so pleasant if I could get close to pinpointing this cause, instead of playing the expensive process of elimination game. I DO realize what a long shot that would be, for someone to just tell me, "Hey, dude, check your ##$@&&, that's definitely your problem!", but life seems never to be easy.

Has been replaced within the last few months:
Fuel filter regulator,
Inline fuel filter,
Cap and rotor,
Lucas fuel injector cleaner,
ECC computer, and Fuel relay switches, (multi-function relay/connector switch)
Air Control Valve - Removed and cleaned.
Checked all vacuum hoses.

Has not been replaced:
Map Sensor, (was told it's located on Pass. fender wall, but can't find it, according to the manual)
EGR Valve and sensor,
Throttle Position Sensor,
EVP sensor,
Spark plugs, (two years ago)
Plug wires, (two years ago)
Ignition control module, (replaced about six years, or more)

So, I can sure use some help from anyone who experienced these symptoms, and what did you do to correct the problem?

With trying to keep the gas going to turn it over, it does not, so to me, it seems to be more of a fuel problem than electrical, but I'm no mechanic. Thank you for any help! :-)
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Old 09-25-2012, 22:56   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.

Try checking the engine compression. Find out if your base engine is any good before you look at other options.

I believe these had a timing belt. You may want to pull the cover off and physically look at it.

Neither of these checks will cost you anything but time and they will help you immensely.

And life can be easy. Always knowing what to do and when to do it is the hard part.
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Old 09-26-2012, 20:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.




Ok thanks!
After a routine oil change a few months ago, the guy told me that I need a new timing belt. his charge? $185.00......the belt is $15.00!

I shrugged it off thinking he wants to make money for the shop, so I ignored it.
If it was cracked, or reeady to snap, would that cause this problem?

So with not much money and no ride, I'm going to first remove the EGR from the engine, remove the sensor, and clean all parts with carb cleaner. I will also remove, clean , and replace the Air Control valve (AIC)


I am not in any position to nickel and dime myself into oblivion, and play this dangerous game of "process of elimination" until I find the real cause(s).


If I feel adventuous, I will go to Autozone and use their vacume gauge to test the EGR pressure, then maybe try to look at the timimg belt, and check my plugs too.. Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2012, 21:14   #4 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.


Ok, At first I thought it may be a fuel problem, but now that I can smell gas after trying to crank the engine tells me I maybe wrong but...)

Fuel pump is sending gas to the injectors, pumping rich, and hence the smell, but I think I'm not getting a spark.

I removed my distributor coil and had it tested, it's fine. The guy did not have a tester for the TFI Module ( Under distrib. cap, it's gray and elongated, with metal surface for dielectric grease, and plugs into three prong electrical.

I have replaced four of these in the past 26 years. And this part is infamous for causing these exact problems with this RANGER Model.

The other part of this 'spark" system would be the (very expensive0 EEC-IV computer thingie that's inside middle cab, under dash. Don't think I ever replaced that before.

The plugs and plug wires are about 2-1/2 years old, they appear to be fine. So I will take this TFI to Autozone for them to test it tomorrow and get back here to report.

Oh yeah, Autozone's price, $45.00.....and FORD'S price? $198.65., and the ECC-IV is a few hundred dollars.
Thanks again!
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Old 10-06-2012, 13:10   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.

If your timing belt is shot, your timing might be off enough to cause your problems. If your timing belt braks, you may damage your engine by trying to run it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 15:42   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.

Catskinner,
I will look into the belt thing, but just got back from getting my TFI Module tested, and it was BAD! So hopefully, this was my main problem all along, or at least it contributed to it. I was going to also check my EEC-IV, but knowing the TFI, is bad, I'll try to work it with a new one and see what happens. :-) Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-08-2012, 14:51   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.

Thanks!

I'll have to go rent a pressure regulator tester first. Is it 35 or 40 psi's? What am I testing for...a bad fuel pump, or clogged injectors? I replaced the Fuel Pressure Regulator about two months ago. I also replaced the IN-LINE fuel filter, which had metal shaving from the pump, but after 26 years, that's normal, I've been told. I should have that replaced while it was up on the lift.

The TFI I had tested at Autozone was a MOTORCRAFT part and it tested BAD. I also had two extras I had laying around, and one of those tested GOOD. So I bought the TFI Duralast Module for $46.00.

I got it home, installed it (using the supplies dielectric grease) and I'm back to the cranking a few times, then it starts and maintains an idle for a few minutes, then stalls out. Sometimes it wants to idle, most times it only cranks.

I located my EEC-IV on the inside cab, passengers side kick wall, behind that plastic cover, (one Phillips screw, and another on the metal floor door trim) that loosens up this cover.

I DO appreciate the feedback here and those who suggest me testing codes or checking fuel pressure, but I have no tools like that, so I'm trying (wasting my time) to figure out what's causing this. I am tempted to save time, and have it towed to a repair shop that can do diagnostics on this...(cheaper than Fords prices) Being disabled with Cancer, I just needed to try to save money that I don't really have.

I smell gas when I crank, so fuel must be getting to the injectors. Spark is there, Distributor coil also tested GOOD.

When this was idling that one time, I removed the vac line from the VAC Hose tree, (that connects from the Fuel pressure regulator) and there was a lot of suction over the metal tube on the tree.

EEC-IV, I was told, don't go out as much as the TFI (Ignition control Module )

I also replaced my Pickup coil some years ago.

So does everyone still think this may be a fuel pump problem? or an electrical?
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Old 10-09-2012, 19:06   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.

Sorry to hear about the cancer, I wish you well.

The TFI could have caused the timing issue. If you're building pressure (35-40psi sounds about right) and you've confirmed spark, you're probably looking at plugged injectors or cat. Bear in mind that I'm making a few assumptions. Easy check would be to unbolt the flange between the cat and the exhaust manifold and see if she runs... loudly.
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Old 10-10-2012, 22:17   #9 (permalink)
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Tongue Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.

Catskinner...thanks for that. I just hope it does not metastasize to bones. I've had this rare "C" since 2005, and managing well so far with excllent doctors.
:-)
So here is the update:

This is so crazy! I still could have engine problems like fuel pump, electrical, or emissions, etc., but all this time I was chasing something that was probably causing these problems....... on my steering column.

About three years ago or so, I replaced my key cylinder from FORD, and it was really easy to do, because (as I try to remember) the original switch had a tiny pin hole that you poke a wire in, then it releases. (...or I'm dreamin')The replacement I bought does not look like it has anything to push in to release, so if it is a faulty the switch, then I'll need to find out how to replace it.

I also replaced my TURN SIGNAL SWITCH last year, (left side with Hazard light, turn signal, and bright lights) so I hope this has nothing to do with the key cylinder on the other side.....

Anyway....I removed the two sided Column pieces from steering column, gave it a once over and used Co2 air to blow any dust out. I screwed the two phillips screws back in, I even used 2 zip ties to get a nice solid tight column, the key in the ignition is no longer loose or causing the engine stall, no matter how I played with it.

and......guess what? It started right up! I shut down and restarted several times without it stalling. UNBELIEVABLE! I would have NEVER thought it could have been my switch. Good thing I waited and did not have my truck towed to the repair shop.

So that was yesterday, and today I drove it down the street and all around and it did not once stall, also kept a steady idle.

So I certainly hope I'm out of the woods and all the other components are still good. I turned the key and hear the pump priming so that's still ok. (fingers crossed )


Thanks for all the help.
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:57   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 86 Ranger 2.3 - Gas will not keep engine running.

I've lost a few dear friends to that disease, it's good that they've found it early enough to help you.

As far as your Ranger, glad to hear it. There's been many times that I've been in a similar situation and find out that, not only was it simple, I caused it, to which I sighed and recited that immortal phrase: "D'OH!"
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