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Old 07-12-2018, 03:55 PM   #1
forzainformer2
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Default Idling issues

Hi everyone Iím new here, anyways iím 16 and new to the ranger stuff in particular. I just got a 97 ranger 2wd 5-speed with a 4 banger and Iíve been tweaking it to get it road worthy, my issue is that it doesnít want to stay idling when it starts. It will run for a minute then die and it will stop after i run it slightly above idle for 5-6 minutes. Iíve put a new airfilter on in hopes of solving the issue and it didnt, i donít know if its spark plugs or injectors. The truck has sat for three years prior to me receiving it, but there is fresh fuel in it.


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Old 07-12-2018, 05:29 PM   #2
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My 2000 2.5L 5 speed has an idle problem too. I've been advised to look at the Idle Air Control valve and maybe the Mass Air Flow sensor. You might start with cleaning the connectors.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardbird View Post
My 2000 2.5L 5 speed has an idle problem too. I've been advised to look at the Idle Air Control valve and maybe the Mass Air Flow sensor. You might start with cleaning the connectors.


Thanks ill try that


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Old 07-12-2018, 07:06 PM   #4
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I've read that the piston in the Idle Air Control Valve gets stuck. In my case I think it sticks open sometimes and revs the engine. Maybe yours is stuck closed. Some people have cleaned them successfully, some not.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardbird View Post
I've read that the piston in the Idle Air Control Valve gets stuck. In my case I think it sticks open sometimes and revs the engine. Maybe yours is stuck closed. Some people have cleaned them successfully, some not.


Ill give that a try too tonight


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Old 07-13-2018, 07:23 AM   #6
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If the iac is bad don't go cheap. Get a good factory replacement or comparable. I have seen a lot of the cheap ones from autozone, advanced, even napa, show the exact same symptoms as the bad one taken off. Once replaced with a good hitachi or motorcraft the problem goes away. Again that is if the iac is bad go this route.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:02 PM   #7
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I fixed my idle problem by unplugging and replugging the connectors for the IAC and the MAF. It occurred to me that the problem started after I checked the air filter last week.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:58 AM   #8
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If the IAC is bad, you will not get a 'fast idle' after starting a cold engine in the AM. You will not get idle compensation when you turn on the A/C compressor or rotate the steering wheel(power steering) while parking. The IAC bumps the idle for those things if it is working.
Start cold and listen/watch the tachometer. The idle should be above 1200 when first started, then as the engine warms, the idle will fall back in steps to around 750. If not, clean and/or replace the IAC, check its connections for corrosion, etc.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:49 PM   #9
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Welcome to the Ranger family! I got my first car at 18, a 94 2.3 5 speed truck, and have had three 2.3 5 speed trucks since. They are pretty easy to work on and are practically indestructible.

It sounds like your particular issue has been resolved, but here is everything I learned about crappy idle having these 2.3 trucks, in case you ever run into issues again:

First thing to note, on these 2.3 trucks there is a long crazy list of things that can/will affect idle. Even stuff you couldn't dream of. It is possible for even the brake light switch to affect idle negatively... definitely get a Chilton's or Hayne's manual and read up on all the crazy things that aren't obvious that could affect the idle I have forgotten many of them.

The idle air valves are a CONSTANT headache. I have had issues with them on every 2.3 I've had. As others have said, Motorcraft is only replacement to go with... cheap ones are pretty awful per my experience. You can clean the idle air valve out with cue tips and a strong solvent, if you remove from the vehicle. I have had great luck with this sometimes. Other times I just used a motorcraft replacement and solved the issue when cleaning wouldn't.

Yes, the little solenoid in the IAC can get quite stuck and can affect startup idle and during driving, believe it or not. My first 2.3 used to idle like crap, cleaning the IAC made huge difference. Years later, the truck would feel like the throttle was stuck open in gear after I let off... cleaning the IAC again immediately fixed that (this was 5 years and 100K miles between cleanings). Truck never had sticky throttle feeling again after. I would not have thought this was possible while driving in gear, but it can happen. The dirty IAC would practically redline my truck at startup too and get stuck there as well, cleaning fixed that as well. That was my experience. I did no other repairs to fix those issues, no coincident repairs.

Cleaning the MAF sensor is a great thing to do as a general maintenance item and can help the idle and in general. Do NOT touch the sensor wires (sitting in MAF housing) with anything, and only use spray maf cleaner.

Any time you unplug any connector, use electronics cleaner and di-electric grease. Resistance on connectors can affect things in huge ways. Before anyone chimes in on the dielectric grease issue, YES it is non conductive (the name literally implies that...) but the point is, where the grease is, corrosion will not form, and the metal contacts of the connector will push grease aside and make contact still. Many people are unnecessarily afraid of di-electric grease because they don't understand how it works.

Next, since the truck is new to you, doing plugs wires and coil packs is never a bad idea. And of course good ignition = good idle, good run. If you do plugs, use double Platinum- the exhaust side wear out faster than intake side plugs on these engines and double platinum will last longer on both sides (they are spec'd to have double Plat anyway). Since the plugs on these dual plug trucks are a holy pain to change, its not worth cheaping out and changing more often, IMHO.

All your basic maintenance can only help idle and running condition, don't be afraid to pamper it. Other thing to note: These 2.3 trucks are very prone to spark knock due to their somewhat high compression, taking care of the cooling system will help a lot.

One surprising thing that seemed to help my truck run and idle a little better was cleaning the contact points between the coil packs and their bolts, between coil packs and their bracket, and between their bracket and the block (this is on a 96 with large aluminum alt bracket that also holds coil packs, I believe 94 had separate bracket for coil packs?). I assume the coil packs make some amount of ground through that bracket

On all my 2.3 trucks the CEL did not come on for a lot of things it should have. Having a good scanner and watching live data on the scanner can be SUPER helpful.

Feel free to message me anytime if you like. I'm no expert but I've put several hundred thousand miles on 2.3 trucks and have learned a lot.

Chris
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