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Ford Ranger Engine questions



  • thanks kevin.
    The distributor is the original and was rusted and worn out. I changed the rotor and the cap. The idling revs went from 3/400 to 8/900. The pump was worn out and I did change them one at a time. There was aproblem awhile ago when mu niece owned it that the engine heat sensor said after a moment or too the engine was overheated and it stopped. Why then does this monster start then stall after a very little while and then refuse to start for 5 minutes and then the cycle can be repeated
  • That sounds an awful lot like a coil or ignition module. they are infamous for that very thing. What happens is the module, has a heat transfer plate built onto the back of it and if it is shorted, it will actually try to send power out of the already grounded plate once it gets hot, then the circuits touch from expansion, and you have to let it die, then sit for however long until it is cooled down enough to allow it to perform it;s normal duty. I would make sure the others are ok for sure before I replace it, but it sounds like you may need a new one anyway. I am very surprised that they did not try and sell you that at the parts store when you bought your distributor. A good ASE certified parts pro should have suggested that to you over and above the cap and rotor. Let me know man, won't be back on the email until tomorrow or late tonight. I'm an on EST time right now.
  • From my understanding if you vehicle was not equipt to run on E85 the most ethanol you can run is 15%. So unless there was a mod done to your engine that could be the whole problem.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    I totally agree with minoshiya..get that E-85 out of there before you do more damage to the vehicle. Check this link for more information....
  • I want to test the knock sensor on my 98 Ranger 3.0. Its not in the Chilton or Haynes manuals. Anyone know where it is?
  • Big question is why???????????
    Call ford and make sure you even have one to look for. You most likely do, but some variations of the 3.0l did not. So, with that in mind............
    It is either on the bottom of the driver's side block, inside of the timing cover setup, or if you're really lucky, it may actually be buried underneath the lower intake manifold! Remember, it has to be in a location where it will not be interfered with by ambient noises or vibration, so it's location is not usually easy to get at on a Ford. These are the most common locations. I don't remember exactly where yours is, but why are you needing to test the knock sensor??? What makes you suspect it as a problem?? Just curious to find out, since most manuals and other people like to point to them as a problem when timing is retarded, etc, when in fact, 99% of the time, it hears or feels something that you cannot and makes an adjustment so that you do not prematurely blow your motor up. 99% of the time, they work fine. Have you gone to and gone through the diagnosis flow charts yet?? might be well worth your time to look into. Make sure you have one and do a flowchart rundown to make sure you are on the right track. There are 3-6 things that you test for the same symptoms first, before the knock sensor is allowed as a candidate for the cause of failure. Cya.
  • Thanks, Sounds like a bear to get at.

    Couple reasons. First, I’ve checked just about everything else and the truck runs great but pings like crazy under load on everything but Premium Gas. In my area Regular Gas is $216(pre-election price) and Premium is $255. It also bugs me because from what I’ve read no OBDII vehicle rated for regular gas should ping. The ECM should adjust timing if it gets feedback from the knock sensor.

    To eliminate other possibilities, I used Autotap and found all sensors are reading normal. The front O2’s are fluctuating nicely and the back O2 reads clean. Short term fuel trim fluctuates between +.6 and -.8. I tested the EGR and its working OK. Vacuum is good. Engine temp is normal.

    I know that something solid-state like a piezzo element in the knock sensor shouldn’t fail, but I’m running out of options. I also know this is a common problem with the 3.0, and I’d love to get my hands on at least one of the TSB’s Ford put out about it (Bulletin Numbers: (6321, 12782,14076, 13528, 14366, etc) but can’t find full write-ups, only references. I did however find something similar happening with Toyotas and someone traced it to a bad ground on the sensor’s shielded cable, i.e, the signal getting back to the ECM was too weak to register. So, I’d figured I’d give it a shot. I was hoping they’d be easier to get at.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    You said ' I also know this is a common problem with the 3.0,'.

    Yes, very, very common problem with 3L Ranger motors, for years and years and years.

    You have the problem. The only thing I've heard Ford doing about it, and I think it was for older Rangers tham yours, was replace the coil packs with ones that supposedly was 'hotter'. Or some such thing.

    Can't you buy a subscription to 'Alldata' for one year for something like $20, and this gets you all the TSB's (except Honda doesn't give out theirs at all, and possibly some other manufactors. I think Alldata will have Ford's.)

    There is also another thing that can be done. And I never remember the correct name for it. There is a SPUG or SPUNG or some such named 'connector' that can be 'pulled'. But what this does is retard the timing, which should reduce ping. Of course, retarding the timing also reduces power.....
  • Well, I certainly would not start unplugging SPNG plugs as bolivar suggests. What you do not want to do is mask the problem or create a temporary solution for a premanent problem. Sounds like you have done your homework, and I think you have, but I'll ask anyway. Did you spray the intake and check for small or large vacuum leaks at all? That will cause the same result, moreso with Reg gas than with Super. You might also try running injector cleaner through it and then change to a stage hotter plug. You have to wait until after, because it will kind of ruin a brand new plug. Check off those 2 things and you may have a knock sensor failure. They are quite sensitive. Have a good one. BTW, I know that Mitchell ON Demand has ford tsb's and alldata does as well.
  • he changed the fuel pump and crank shaft sensor and hit the relay switch but there is no spark to start the truck. what can be the problem. :sick:
  • Hey bolivar,

    Just bit the bullet and went for your plug…. Bought an subscription.

    At first Nothing….None of the tsb's (as listed) by the site below are shown at Alldata
    for ping problems e.g.,
    The list goes on- Bulletin Number’s: 15095, 6321, 14076, 14366, 0073, 00248

    But then I found a real TSB Number 00-7-3. And it stated just what you said:

    Replace Coil, if between a set of code numbers… and then it also said replace the PCM

    Ackkkk. That says to me a faulty PCM. … i.e maybe it doesn’t HEAR the knock sensor.

    Anyway, after weighing my options, (i.e., how long of paying for Premium gas would it take to pay back for a new PCM, coil and time spent fixing something on an 8 year old vehicle.) I’ll just go for the gas. I repeat Ackkkkk…. :mad:

    All in all, Thanks for your help. I got the right answers…
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Well, I didn't 'recommend' pulling the SPNG (or whatever it is) connector. Maybe it could be read as I did 'suggest' it. But I really don't suggest it. Especially since a 3L needs all the power it can generate, and retarding the spark will reduce power.

    But, I've read that this is exactly what some Ford service people have done when people complain of the 3L pinging - pulling the connector.

    The motor has a design problem, has had it for years and years, and Ford does nothing about it. I've not heard of anyone actually having any damage from the pinging.
  • Thanks modanncnr,
    Yes I did check vacuum leaks, even cleaned the MAF filament as suggested at Very frustrating. I think this engine should be rated for a higher-octane fuel. I’m still going to try the timing light/ whack the engine with a wrench test- to see if the timing retards. From what I’ve read, the resonant frequency of the Piezzo element is about 15 KHz, about the same as hitting an engine with a wrench… Besides at this point, it might be fun. :D

    Thanks for your help. As I said above.. I got the right answers.
  • Well that didn’t work. (Wrapping the wrench on the block)
    Saw it at
    I tried it on the 3.0L Ranger, and I could’ see any perceptible change. I didn’t know if the sensor was bad or if the test was bogus, so then I tried it on my 4.2L F150. Same thing. There may have been a small change but it was too small to be conclusive.

    To make matter worse my wife came out and asked what I was doing. I told her and then showed her the posts I put here. The only thing she picked up on was a major Blooper in one of my posts. She’s still laughing.
  • My truck ahs 120,000 miles I bought it from a private owner. It ran good for about a month I gave it a tune up replace the cap and rotor. and after it runs awhile it starts missing and then stops. It seems it's not getting any air I really don't know. But when it cools down it will run again for awhile. The truck does not over heat and all the readings are normal what can this problem be.

    Thank You
  • i am probably just going to get rid of my 85 ranger stick 4x4 4cyl. I bought the truck for a case of beer and ten bucks. the guy who had it before him raged on it real bad. now the timing sprockets only turn when i mess with the bottom sprocket and then turn the second one. the top sprocket dosent move. and the belt just sits there. i think i should just get a new engine. but i just wanted to see if there was anything i could do to fix it. i dont have the money for new so i want to fix . please help me out.


  • 2002 ford ranger no check engine light but no power. will not pass 3000 rpm. Hits about 3200 rpm and starts to miss fire and bog down wont pass that point. Dont matter if in drive or neutral still does it any one have any ideas. :sick: No trouble lights have come on.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Bad cat converter or other exhaust restriction.....?
  • My truck will not run when it gets hot. The water temp is fine but when I first start it up it runs but after about ten minutes it sounds like it's casping for air and woun't go over 5 miles and then bobs out. Please help me. I've tune it up change gas filteres.
  • dude, you need a cat converter, or a MAF meter. Both of those will cause the exact result you are seeing. Take a thermometer(non-contact) and check before and after the cat temps while the truck is running and warmed up. THere should be no more than a 50 degree difference from the inlet pipe to the outlet pipe. If there is, then the cat is done. If they are fine, then the truck is limiting itself electronically somehow. THis would send me the direction of the Mass Air Flow meter (MAF) and in a hurry. If neither of those 2 make a difference, save yourself some money and time and take it to a dealer. They can find it quickly if those don't work. Good Luck.
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