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Old 12-17-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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Need a 2.3 guru please lol

1990 ford ranger,Know this isn't a stang but I'm getting desperate here, this is the problem, when you try to start the engine, it cranks like it's out of time, but it isn't, I replaced the timing belt, cuz I thought the other was worn and might have jumped alittle, but I've timed alot of 2.3s so the timing is good, replaced the fuel pump,(went bad at the same time it started cranking funny) fuel pressure regulator, it acts like it's vapor locking or out of time, ( cranks like it has too much compression,engine kicks back) after it starts it's very smooth sep for a small hesitation when you dump the throttle from an idle, has anyone had this problem on the 2.3? Need help, I'm out of ideas lol
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:59 PM   #2
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Question, what is the timing set at with the spout connector out? Should be @ +10 with spout out and +20 with it in. I ask because they changed it from +6 to +10 in 89. Just did a timing belt on an 89' LX. Just a little info. If your sure all of that is correct I personally don't know. I would pm Trojan Horse and ask him to take a look at the problem for you, he's pretty good with this type of thing.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
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Not 2.3 guru.just tossing some ideas.
If its running smooth its most likely not your timing.
This ones far out there but is your starter not disengaging .
If it was vapor locking it would start quicker with ether right?
I don't know much about those distributors but is the gear on the bottom sloppy.
Sorry I don't have anything real good but hope any of this helps.

---------- Post added at 05:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:11 PM ----------

Or pm Trojan to look at the thread so we can all see.I'm interested now.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you guys for your input, I put the timing right on the marks the first time, the same way I always done these engines, but it still sounded like it was out while it was cranking, so I retarded it then I even advanced it, both ways ran smooth after it was started but both still had the hard cranking thing going on, but I'll pm trojan and see what he thinks, I'd like to get this thing smoothed out so I can get paid, but it's family so no fix no money lol
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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Thanks to both of you guys for your input, I put the timing right on the marks the first time, the same way I always done these engines, but it still sounded like it was out while it was cranking, so I retarded it then I even advanced it, both ways ran smooth after it was started but both still had the hard cranking thing going on, but I'll pm trojan and see what he thinks, I'd like to get this thing smoothed out so I can get paid, but it's family so no fix no money lol
I know you said you checked , but it sounds like your timing is off by a tooth, 180 degrees, or retarded to far.
Check it again and verify that the pointer is at TDC with the rotor pointing to #1 cylinder plug wire then remove the spark plug and verify that the piston is all the way up. You may be 180 degrees off (piston all the way down) and while a V8 won't start a 4 cylinder might as it has only 1/2 of the timing events a V8 does.

As far as mechanical problems, a sticking exhaust valve might cause this too. Does the engine rattle or tick?
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:52 PM   #6
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I've checked the timing so many times I can't count lol, but this truck doesn't have a distributor, to advance and ****** I was intentionally putting it out of time a tooth at a time to see if I could get it to crank easier, but the sticky exhaust valve has my attention tho, how would I confirm this sticky valve is the culprit?

---------- Post added at 10:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:50 PM ----------

But when I times it I did pull the number one cylinder up to TDC on the compression stroke, several times lol, this thing really has me stumped, buy you may be onto something about the valve tho, and thanks so much for your expertise!
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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I would do a compression test.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:19 PM   #8
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Thanks dreamstang, I will!

---------- Post added at 11:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:13 PM ----------

Thank you all for your quick responses
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:04 AM   #9
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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I've checked the timing so many times I can't count lol, but this truck doesn't have a distributor, to advance and ****** I was intentionally putting it out of time a tooth at a time to see if I could get it to crank easier, but the sticky exhaust valve has my attention tho, how would I confirm this sticky valve is the culprit?

---------- Post added at 10:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:50 PM ----------

But when I times it I did pull the number one cylinder up to TDC on the compression stroke, several times lol, this thing really has me stumped, buy you may be onto something about the valve tho, and thanks so much for your expertise!
Ok, if you're sure it is timed correctly and it runs smoothly except for the hiccup on acceleration, then we should maybe look for other causes.

The starter could have a bad spot in the windings or be dragging because the brushes are worn out. Those issues might cause the starting problems you described.

To see if the valve(s) are sticking you would probably have to pull off the cover and watch them or failing that possibly remove the keepers and springs to check them by hand without letting any fall into the cylinders.
If the valve(s) are sticking you should get some ticking or rattling noises from a possible damaged rocker arm. Something has to give and that would be the most likely weak spot.

Is there a crankshaft trigger firing the plugs?
Is it marked so you can assure that you are on #1 cylinder, TDC?
Did you pull the #1 cylinder spark plug and ensure that the piston was all the way up when it is supposed to be?
Is it one of the dual spark plug engines (8 plugs for 4 cylinders)?

Sorry to be repetitive, but I no longer have my Chilton's manual for my 90 Ranger and it has been so long ago that I have forgotten exactly how it was set up for ignition.
I'd almost swear mine had a distributor though?
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:01 PM   #10
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Sounds like timing to me.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #11
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Does anyone know what that thing is that looks like a lawn mower muffler that sits underneath the intake kinda on the block?? 1990 2.3
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:28 PM   #12
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Sounds to me like its part of the intake.

---------- Post added at 04:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:25 PM ----------

Did you try adjusting or changing the crank postion sensor?
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:10 PM   #13
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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Does anyone know what that thing is that looks like a lawn mower muffler that sits underneath the intake kinda on the block?? 1990 2.3
Picture?
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:35 PM   #14
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Yea, I cleaned the crank sensor, just put a brand new fuel filter, still the same lol, Trojan I'll get you a pic of that muffler looking thing for you tomorrow
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:47 PM   #15
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Ive been searching the Internet down trying to find the timing marks on this engine with no luck, this is the 8 plug duel coil set up, and I can find plenty of pics of the engine with the diamonds on the crank sprocket but mine has the triangle or arrow, and i think it's supposed to point to a piece of plastic at about 5 o clock, and ofcorse the crank I put the key straight up which puts the mark at the tiny notch in the plastic timing cover, am I doing this right? Thing still acts like it's out of time, I also replaced the starter same crap lol jumps back and cranks hard just like it's out of time but I just don't think it is, someone mentioned a stuck valve, but wouldn't that make it miss? And when it starts it idles smooth as silk, but if you put it under a load it misses pretty bad
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:06 PM   #16
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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Ive been searching the Internet down trying to find the timing marks on this engine with no luck, this is the 8 plug duel coil set up, and I can find plenty of pics of the engine with the diamonds on the crank sprocket but mine has the triangle or arrow, and i think it's supposed to point to a piece of plastic at about 5 o clock, and ofcorse the crank I put the key straight up which puts the mark at the tiny notch in the plastic timing cover, am I doing this right? Thing still acts like it's out of time, I also replaced the starter same crap lol jumps back and cranks hard just like it's out of time but I just don't think it is, someone mentioned a stuck valve, but wouldn't that make it miss? And when it starts it idles smooth as silk, but if you put it under a load it misses pretty bad
Definitely sounds like the timing is off.

Check out the images in this Google search - 90 Ford Ranger Timing Marks
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:02 PM   #17
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Yep, my timing is spot on lol, I think I'm gonna try to bring the piston up on the other stroke instead of the compression maybe that will make a difference lol
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:11 PM   #18
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If u were 180 off then the distributor would not be pointing at #1 when the #1 piston is all the way up.but hey at this point I'm sure your ready to try anything.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:39 PM   #19
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

4 stroke engine = 2 times the piston will be up.
Once at the correct time and once at 180 degrees out.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Horse
4 stroke engine = 2 times the piston will be up.
Once at the correct time and once at 180 degrees out.
Right, but the distributor only makes one cycle per everytime the piston goes up twice right? There for it shouldn't be 180 off if pointing at #1 in the distributor.

Can't you also verify this by making sure that the intake valve is closed when all the other events we mentioned occur?

---------- Post added at 10:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:49 PM ----------

Sorry I forgot there was no distributor.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #21
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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Right, but the distributor only makes one cycle per everytime the piston goes up twice right? There for it shouldn't be 180 off if pointing at #1 in the distributor.

Can't you also verify this by making sure that the intake valve is closed when all the other events we mentioned occur?

---------- Post added at 10:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:49 PM ----------

Sorry I forgot there was no distributor.
Yes, the valvetrain operates at 1/2 speed of the crank.

Both valves have to be closed.
The piston needs to be up on the top of the compression stroke right at when the plug will fire.
The ignition pointer/rotary cap has to be on #1 cylinder whether it is a distributor or crank trigger.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:28 AM   #22
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So your saying I'll be wasting my time if I time it on the none compression stroke?
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:50 AM   #23
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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So your saying I'll be wasting my time if I time it on the none compression stroke?
Pretty much.
It has to fire the cylinder right at the end of the compression stroke.

The piston comes up compressing the mixture as much as it is designed to do, then the plug fires it at the end of the compression stroke and at the beginning of the power stroke.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:37 AM   #24
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I'm starting to think maybe something internal is causing it since the timing is not the problem, maybe valve sticking or something lol I don't know, I'm gonna run a compression test and see what that shows, thanks guys
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #25
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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I'm starting to think maybe something internal is causing it since the timing is not the problem, maybe valve sticking or something lol I don't know, I'm gonna run a compression test and see what that shows, thanks guys

If it is "kicking back" or "hanging" when you go to start it.
The only scenarios I can envision are:
1. Timing (Which you have ruled out.)
2. A valve that is sticking closed when it should be open.
Which could be a sticking valve, broken rocker, etc. etc..

I wish you luck in finding it.
I want to know what it is too.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:07 AM   #26
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If it started smooth before, it must be something that you did. I know this has been said multiple times, but it sounds like timing. Are you sure you lined up the correct marks when the timing belt when it went back on? If you pull the spark plug wires off and turn over the engine, is it smooth?
Sorry to rehash, PJ.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:46 AM   #27
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Well, he said that all of the sudden it started doing the hard to crank( starting thing) a couple of times, then he pulled it beside his house with it idling and it died, I came over and checked it out and the pump wasn't running, so checked fuses and relays and figured bad pump, so I replaced the pump fixed the pump problem, but it was still cranking like it was out of time, so I replaced the timing belt, still acted the same, then replaced, fuel filter,fuel regulator, starter, and there is bo trouble codes! Lol but I haven't had a chance to do a compression test yet, I hope I find something there haha, this thing is driving me crazy!
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:50 AM   #28
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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Originally Posted by Trojan Horse View Post
I know you said you checked , but it sounds like your timing is off by a tooth, 180 degrees, or retarded to far.
Check it again and verify that the pointer is at TDC with the rotor pointing to #1 cylinder plug wire then remove the spark plug and verify that the piston is all the way up. You may be 180 degrees off (piston all the way down) and while a V8 won't start a 4 cylinder might as it has only 1/2 of the timing events a V8 does.

As far as mechanical problems, a sticking exhaust valve might cause this too. Does the engine rattle or tick?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:53 AM   #29
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How probable is a sticky valve on an OHC engine? What about a hydraulic lifter that has collapsed and is not filling up (I guess you could say stuck).
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:01 AM   #30
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We all keep second guessing your timing but u say it did this before u ever even touched the timing belt?
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:15 AM   #31
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Yea, it was doing it before I did the timing, I figured since he had the pump problem it might have kicked and jumped timing, but I've retimed it several times and according to Trojans search he sent i am spot on, plus I've timed more than a few of these 2.3s and never had any issues
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:57 PM   #32
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Re: Need a 2.3 guru please lol

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How probable is a sticky valve on an OHC engine? What about a hydraulic lifter that has collapsed and is not filling up (I guess you could say stuck).
A collapsed lifter is also a possibility. That would serve to leave a valve closed when it should be open too.
The stuck valve scenario may be less likely, but if one did stick it may break or bend some parts, so that's why I asked about engine noises.
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