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2.3L ('83-'97) 1990 2.3l Idles rough... vibrates horribly and idles around 800 RPM. HELP PLEASE!!!


scotts90ranger

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any codes at this point? This is getting to the point where OBDII is nicer since it's easier to interface and see sensor readings... I've done all sorts of stupid stuff with my '90 and it just works most of the time... it doesn't run great but normally runs.
 


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DustinW2

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any codes at this point? This is getting to the point where OBDII is nicer since it's easier to interface and see sensor readings... I've done all sorts of stupid stuff with my '90 and it just works most of the time... it doesn't run great but normally runs.
How do I run obd1 without the tool... do I just count the check engine light sequence? It sounds like it’s on time... but when ever that brand new tps was plugged in it dies
 

projectRanger93

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Dont know if its relevant but just based off the first problems I've read it sounds like you have the same issue as JR from the youtube channel WatchJRGo. He just fixed a 4 cylinder ranger that started up then died immediately. You might want to check it out.
 

scotts90ranger

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for codes go HERE, the pictures for the vol meter method show which pins to short before turning the key on and watching the flashes of the CEL. The connectors are on the rear side of the power distribution box on the passenger inner fender.
 

DustinW2

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Okay... I looked over everything and my CPS was faulty and this gave me the spark I needed and it started right up... but the timing keeps jumping, any ideas?
 

scotts90ranger

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what do you mean? If you mean at idle the spark jumps around all over the place then it's supposed to do that, if you unplug the SPOUT connector (I think it's near the ignition module, it's just a plug in a 2 pin connector hanging out) it will stop.
 

scotts90ranger

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Just to clarify, there is some spark stabilizer settings in the computer to move the spark advance around at idle chasing the rpm for a more consistent smooth idle.
 

DustinW2

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I’m sorry Scott for the very vague post lol. But what I was saying was that my CPS was faulty because I didn’t have any spark.... I put a newer CPS on and then it started right up. I was just wondering if there’s a trick I’m missing on the timing set up or what... I have a new timing belt coming because it seems like mine is stretched.
 

scotts90ranger

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I got that, I've had a bad crank sensor too, it's a pain in the rear to figure out unless you're expecting it... Once it's running, I wouldn't worry about the timing, it's not adjustable anyway. What I was getting at is at idle the spark will move around unless the SPOUT connector is unplugged for timing verification. You can't adjust the timing so I've never actually bothered checking it... The spark advance is only predictable with the SPOUT disconnected, otherwise it is going to change with both engine speed and load.
 

DustinW2

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That makes perfect sense... how do I control the spark advance? Do I have to replace coil packs? Or how does that work?
 

scotts90ranger

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Unless you get a way to program the engine computer (not common on Fords of that vintage) you can't change the spark curve
 

DustinW2

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I’ve been working on the truck for a couple weeks now and I haven’t pulled any codes but I’ve noticed my timing belt keeps walking. I’ve replaced the tensioner and belt. I’ve also tried different tightenings on the tension to reduce deflection. I can’t figure this truck out. I feel like I got it the worst lol 😂
 

scotts90ranger

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The belt doesn't need tightened, simply install the belt with both tensioner bolts loose, rotate the engine by the crankshaft bolt, once at TDC and at rest tighten both bolts, that's it, all it's supposed to have is the pressure of the spring at that point, don't put any extra stress on the belt. For some stupid reason my '97 was still running when the belt was loose enough that once I got the crank pulley and timing cover off I didn't need tools to remove the belt...

On my '90 I've had the timing belt migrate into the timing cover and wore a groove in it, it stopped there, doesn't do anything stupid, come to think of it I think it did that when the belt was loose enough to skip a tooth, after that I lined the belt back up (I was in the sand dunes, probably 2 hours from the nearest belt), set it like above and it worked for a couple more years...

I've had those times, I had a heck of a time with my F350 a few years ago when the high pressure oil pump went out, the $800 for a wild guess was hard to jump into but stumbled on a good deal on a used one that is still going... that took me 5 months I think to get going again, september to about february I think...
 

DustinW2

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Okay... nearly a year later i got everything replaced but idle is really high but super smooth. Throttle isnt there it just chokes the motor out. Only thing left is CPS... any help would be appreciated.
 

DustinW2

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Okay... nearly a year later i got everything replaced but idle is really high but super smooth. Throttle isnt there it just chokes the motor out. Only thing left is CPS... any help would be appreciated.
Maybe timings off? Idk. I got a code for a faulty cylinder. But thats it.
 


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