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Old July 7th, 2011, 01:16 PM   #1
Captain Ledd
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Default So I've done my best to figure this out on my own, but I'm absolutely stumped...

1997 Ford Ranger, 2.3L I4, manual transmission, 2wd.

Major issues:

Engine bucking and trying to escape at 60mph+
low power all around
miss at idle
stumbles when engaging clutch to start moving (seemed fine every subsequent gear) also bucks and backfires.

Timing belt went out a few thousand ago and these issues have become worse ever since.


I did a bunch of computer tests and other diagnosis tricks and it was advancing my ignition timing between 40-50 degrees! Cylinders 1,2 and 4 had 90psi, and cylinder 3 had 70psi compression. I decided things looked like I did in fact somehow mess up my timing belt job.

I've just returned from re-doing it, went to check torque specs and the keyway was supposed to be vertical afterall! I had spotted a dot the next tooth section over and moved the crank over one tooth so the dot was straight up and down. The timing cover also now says I'm about 20° BTDC.

So I guess I had the cam timing adjusted correctly all along. so what's the deal with the ignition?

Has all new fuel injectors, every thing has been cleaned with the appropriate cleaner.

Just put new plugs in it, speaking of which there was issues with those too.

The #3 cylinder plug was loose and missing the electrode. the catch? The computer didn't care about Cylinder #3 at all, it was hollering about a misfire on cylinder #2! and it's not like it's confused because the firing order is 1-3-4-2 on these engines, freaking 180° apart. This was probably the miss at idle. Though throwing a timing light on the engine showed cylinder 4 cutting out when it stumbled.

I have a strong feeling something else is going on though...

I'm truly at a loss with this engine. I have a ****load of new parts on the truck, even more ready to go in and in the last 5,000 miles the whole thing has gone to hell in a hand basket and I cannot figure out why.

Does anyone know anything I could possibly check? I honestly don't have the money or time to pull the engine "just to check on the internals".

Last edited by Captain Ledd; July 7th, 2011 at 01:20 PM.
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