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Old 02-08-2018, 07:55 PM   #1
RedRanger69
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Default 91 Ranger 2.3 running rough hard to start

Broke down while traveling, this is my tow vehicle behind my MOHO so I am not totally stranded, but do have limited tools and test equipment.

Day 1: drove out to the woods to hunt everything was fine, got out of the woods and started hard and shaking, died a few times while trying to get moving. thought a critter might have go to something so I looked all around as best I could in the dark with a fading head lamp nothing seemed out of place. Restated and revved the motor to about 3000rpm for a few seconds and then headed back home, one I got up to about 35mph it seemed to smooth out. Thinking it was a fuel issue and not remembering the last time I changed the fuel filter I figured that was it.

Day 2: Stated fine, drove to Napa bought filter drove home all normal, Changed filter and no issues.

Day 3: Drove about 15 miles to HD and back no issues ran great.

Day 4: (today) went to Grocery store less than a mile no issue, came out to leave, shaking a sputtering again. Tried same trick as day one, didn't smooth out and started knocking even worse, Thinking maybe I got bad gas because I had filled up at a local station the same day all this started. I drove to the closest station put in about 7 gallons of 93 and STP fuel injector cleaner. NO HELP.
Got a ride to the AutoZone for new plugs and wires and got one side changed (the easy side) before dark, Stated it again, no change but did notice the knock is gone.

Any Idea are much appreciated I am looking through the forum for similar issues but wanted to post asap, was suppose to get on the road in the morning.
TIA
Eric
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:08 PM   #2
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Sounds a bit like fuel starvation...like the pump may be on the way out. They don't always just die and some can hang on for a while but stop working for no apparent reason.

If you are unable to get it started you should try checking the fuel pressure now. If you have a Vacuum tester it can check fuel pressure on some of them. There is a valve on the fuel rail that you can connect a tester to and check the pressure and it should be around 40 PSI.

Before you do that find the Fuel Pressure Regulator (FPR) and pull the vacuum line off that and sniff it to see if is smells like fuel. If not then it is OK and you can move forward.

If it smells like fuel then the FPR is broken and needs to be replaced. That is probably your problem (and you would likely see black smoke coming from the exhaust if this was the case).

The fuel pressure may be inadequate though even if the FPR is fine due to the pump not being able to generate the necessary pressure.

You can listen for the pump coming on when you turn the key...you can also try turning the key on for a few seconds and off...repeat that a few times and if the pump is coming on it may build enough pressure to start and run.

If the pump is not coming on for a few seconds when you turn the key then it has failed or is failing. Needs replacing.

If you've ever pulled a fuel pump you will know that removing the bed is probably the easiest way to do it especially if you have more than a half tank of gas.

Anyway...test the pressure and go from there...if the pressure is fine but not running you may be having issues with Ignition module...which is separate from computer in this year config.
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:33 PM   #3
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Default

Thanks, yeah replaced the fuel pump back around 2009 maybe 2010. It was fun snapping and cutting the bolts for the bed. Not in any position to do that right now so I hope that's not it. I will check the other in the morning. Just read up on testing the ICM, sound like that could be it. It is running just rough I suspect two of the towers on one of the coil packs is not firing but will check in the AM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:17 AM   #4
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FWIW, the drivers side plugs could be disconnected, and the engine would start and run fine, so don't put a lot of effort into checking them for a 'no-start' condition. They are not used in starting, but are switched on as needed for emissions control needs.
The description made me think of a vacuum line that has come free or has a break that can open and close as the engine moves. A loose or broken line will/can make the idle very iffy, or can cause a higher than normal idle. I think a 91 would have a MAF in place of a MAP, but if you did have a MAP sensor, when they die, the idle goes nuts, unless they kick off completely.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:59 PM   #5
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Morning update, I have spark at all plugs on the exhaust side, so the ICM and that Coil pack are working. Replaced all plugs and wires while I was in there both sides. Still starts but rough and shakes. Pulled the vacuum of the FPR and didn't really smell any maybe very faint if I stick it almost up my nose, I assume it would be obvious. Even ran it disconnected and nothing came out, put the hose back on no change.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:47 PM   #6
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Have you been able to test the fuel pressure yet? Bad gas and low pressure can give the same symptoms...but so can a few other things...IAC could be malfunctioning and not allowing it to get enough air at idle.

They do tend to gum up over time and if you haven't pulled it recently it might show excessive rust. I sprayed mine with penetrating oil and gently brushed it but it is, apparently, not a good idea to let anything get into the upper area so be careful if you go that route.

You may also be seeing the results of a vacuum leak in the purge valve system since this clears up once the engine is warmed up (assumed). Check the purge valve on the driver side fender for hoses that may be broken or disconnected between the purge valve and the canister by the rad. Once the valve opens if there is a hose off it will act as a vacuum leak.

Short of that...it does seem intermittent so I don't suspect a vacuum leak anywhere else...maybe the brake booster but that has other symptoms like requiring extra pressure on the pedal and stalling when braking.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:41 PM   #7
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Same thing happened to my 2.3. I broke down in traffic on the highway. It was the idle air control sensor. That seens like what your issue is because i had the same shaking and dying issue before it completely stopped working and my truck would barely start

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Old 02-10-2018, 09:50 AM   #8
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So things have became terminal at this point. I with no way to check fuel pressure and it would run I decided to try and drive it and see if getting over 40 would help clear things up, which is what helped the original problem before I changed the fuel filter.
I went about 2 miles and turned around to come back, then I noticed white smoke pouring out of the exhaust. made it back and when I looked under the hood the radiator overflow tank was over full and had pushed water out of it all over.
Blown head gasket I assume?
At this point there is no water in the oil, but cant tear into where I am and not sure if I should spend the money to have someone else do it.
So now I am wondering if this was to completely separate issues, first the fuel filter which corrected the first problem worked fine for 2 days after. Then head gasket blew causing second problem, however there was no white exhaust smoke until yesterday(driving it made it worse?) or I blew it by driving it with a fuel problem. Either way I am screwed at this point 2,800 miles from home.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:51 AM   #9
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Starts, but runs rough and shakes....

Either lack of fuel, too much fuel, or a vacuum leak. Given the sparkers are good, unless your engine mechanicals(valves, rings, pistons, rods, etc) have gone belly up since your last drive, then the problem is in fuel, spark, or compression. You have reported good spark, leaving fuel & air, given the compression didn't just get up and go.
Does it run well enough to drive down the road? Has power? Normal in most aspects, but idles poorly? If so, you must have enough fuel supplied, or it won't go 'fast', nor up a hill.
Have you checked the 'bellows' on the air intake tube? They can crack down in the folds, and open to admit extra air as the engine moves on the mounts. The air is 'unknown' to the computer, and messes the idle mix.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:24 AM   #10
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As stated above, check that purge valve! Location will depend on model, but you can sometimes hear air wooshing to pinpoint the area.

I urge you to check this because it's easy to check (You can hear/feel air moving where it shouldn't be) and it's incredibly easy to fix if there is an issue present (It could cost you as little as $0.39).

My '99 had the same issue. Rough idle, shaking on top of that. It had me real scared that there was something incredibly wrong going on. As it turns out, it was just a little rubber hose that split where it mounted to the purge valve. Those few extra cubic centimeters of air that the broken hose was letting in per engine cycle was enough to throw everything out of whack.

I posted about your same issue, inquiring how to solve it. The link is here:
http://www.therangerstation.com/foru...38#post1609338

My thread had some pictures, of the purge valve itself and where the hose was leaking from. Take a look, and check under your hood to see if yours is doing the same thing.

If your issue isn't there, do check around where the engine takes in air, past the MAF sensor is likely. Those engine bays get HOT, and any sort of plastic/rubber will deteriorate over time. Perhaps yours got to the point where it broke.
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