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1991 Tune up

Dprocks100

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1991
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Hi, I'm looking for things to tune up on my 1991 2.3 2wd with 132,000 miles. I bought it in February and fixed it up and now I'm out of things to fix haha. Looking for Preventative maintenance things to do to it. I know I wanna replace the spark plugs and wires and I've heard to use motorcraft. Any suggestions would be great!
 


scotts90ranger

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motorcraft or autolite spark plugs are best (they are the same...) for wires just get a decent brand.

If it runs good, I wouldn't worry too much about it
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Preventative maintenance;
put truck on jack stands and thoroughly check everything
front end suspension - tie rods, ball joints, all bushings, steering box for leaks, rag joint
wiring - looking for frayed or chewed, mounting
hoses and filters - check hoses and change gas filter/s
Check trans fluid and change, replace filter if auto
grease all that you can
check brake pads and shoes and e-brake operation

Good luck,

Richard
 

Mark_88

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Since they are prone to cracking heads when overheated I'd recommend making sure the rad is in good shape, change out the hoses, flush and refill with good anti-freeze properly mixed, and check the water pump while you're at it...maybe change the thermostat to make sure it is working properly and test the fan clutch...

Only reason I'm suggesting this is I got stuck in traffic yesterday and the temp gauge started to climb...turns out I may need to replace the fan...it spins fairly freely now whereas it used to have some resistance to it...not sure if it's supposed to spin too freely but the overheat had me worried since I recently replaced the head because I overheated it a few years ago and it developed an appetite for oil...
 

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Since they are prone to cracking heads when overheated I'd recommend making sure the rad is in good shape, change out the hoses, flush and refill with good anti-freeze properly mixed, and check the water pump while you're at it...maybe change the thermostat to make sure it is working properly and test the fan clutch...

Only reason I'm suggesting this is I got stuck in traffic yesterday and the temp gauge started to climb...turns out I may need to replace the fan...it spins fairly freely now whereas it used to have some resistance to it...not sure if it's supposed to spin too freely but the overheat had me worried since I recently replaced the head because I overheated it a few years ago and it developed an appetite for oil...
The only time it should act "Free" with the spinning is when everything is stone cold. If you shut the engine off after it's at temp? Watch the fan. It should come to a halt pretty quick and be somewhat hard to spin by hand.

If the fan keeps spinning a lot? The clutch is no longer doing it's job. And in slow traffic, stop lights, slow climbs up hills.. It can overheat. Might be a good time to check the fan itself for splits and cracks as well. Even a hairline crack can cause the fan to come apart and send plastic bits everywhere.

S-
 

Dprocks100

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Thanks for the list guys! its 22 years old there has to always be something wrong with it haha id just rather check things now and find a problem when its cheep to fix rather than find out while im driving and have it cost a lot more.
 

Bachelor-house

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Flush your radiator,
check/clean your PCV valve, MAF sensor and IAC
check/replace timing belt, serpentine belt, air filter and fuel filter
Change tranny fluid. (auto or man)

At 132K, your timing belt is probably overdue..
 
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Dprocks100

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Yeah, my timing belt has probably never been replaced. does anyone know of any good threads to help show me how to do this?
 

Charles (in GA)

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Timing belt is a 60,000 mile recommended item, should have broken already. Absolutely replace it and the water pump now so you don't get stranded.

O'Rilley's sells Gates timing belt kits fairly reasonable ($75 list, $50 cost), and also Gates hoses. I would replace all of the hoses, and for any non-molded hoses, use higher quality blue or red jacket hose, will last a lifetime. Some of the molded radiator hoses are a shock, quite expensive now. Lower hose from O'Reilly was $30 just the other day (Gates USA made)

Don't use any kind of plug wires other than the OEM Motorcraft wires (p/n WR4068 $36 off of Amazon). They have a much longer/heavier boot and you can get hold of them on the hard to reach driver side plugs. Buy a couple of different types or spark plug wire removal pliers, they are not easy. Use lots of the silicone grease (Dow 4 or equal) on the inside of the plug boots and make sure you feel the "click" when the wires snap onto the plugs.

I use Bosch platinum plugs with no problems. Bought a set of the Autolite platinum plugs and it ran terrible, removed them and threw them away after about a week, and went back with the Bosch (currently using the +4 plug, #4458).

If its a stick shift, change the three rubber plugs on the back of the shifter housing, they should be hard and ready to fall out by now, you will lose your trans fluid and destroy the tranny if they go bad. 3 ea of 1L5Z*7A107*AA about $7 each. I posted pics of the shifter rail plugs in THIS THREAD, not my thread, but scroll down to posts #6 and #7.

Change the tranny fluid, frequently. I do it every 10,000 mi oil change. 3 qts and a CRC pump and it only takes a few minutes. If it is this old, the shifter bushings are probably shot and need replacing too. Use synthetic ATF in the 5 spd, it will help make it run cooler and last longer. Pics of shifter bushing replacement I posted in THIS THREAD, not my thread, but scroll down to posts #9, 10, and 11 to see the pics.

Inspect the plastic of the fan closely, between the blades. If it is cracked, get a new one. Fan is E5TZ*8600*A and is about $85 from Ford. Bolts on to the clutch which is a separate item.

Starter, if it is by some weird chance original, or very old replacement, it will have a flat spade terminal for the small wire on the solenoid ON THE STARTER itself. If it does, you want to replace the starter with one with a threaded screw terminal on the solenoid (again the solenoid on the starter itself) since the flat spade type will hang and not release, leaving the starter running after the engine starts up. Even if you shut the engine down, the starter will continue till you get the battery cable removed to stop it. Design flaw. Many starters still come with the stub of wire with a butt splice and a ring terminal to change out the end on the wire. Had this happen a hundred miles from home leaving a Chinese restaurant with the GF. Luckily I was able to twist the battery cable clamp off by hand. Took two tries before it started and released properly. Drove home, called and went and got a new starter the next day. Found out it was a chronic problem on Rangers and Mustangs of the era.

Someone above mentioned fuel filter. It is inside the left frame rail beneath the drivers area. Two bolts remove the bracket from the frame, loosen two worm clamps to get the filter out of the bracket. Two clips to pull out and the hoses slide off. You don't spill much gas, a oil drain pan will catch the small loss. Make sure the new filter has the plastic clips in the box before you start, sometimes people filch them from the box and you are left with nothing. I remove them carefully and save a couple for spares.

I know this is an engine thread, but if you experience front tire wear, esp outer edges on just one tire, your toe in/out is drifting caused by bad radius arm bushings. Install new Polyurethane ones from Energy Suspension and they will never go bad. The old bushings will not look bad and you cannot see any slop in them, but it is there if the tire is wearing all of a sudden and alignment people want to keep resetting the toe in/out.

Differential, you might consider replacing the fluid. Remove the cover and let it drain. Clean the cover and housing surface and put a bead of RTV on it, let it set for a few minutes, install cover and snug up bolts, let it sit, later tighten to proper torque, and refill with synthetic fluid 85-90W gear oil, and you will be good to go.

I have a '91 I bought in year 2000 with 18,500 mi on it, and it now has 278,000. I throw a lot of parts at it, but don't have any problems either. It is now a second vehicle for me.


Charles
 

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Dprocks100

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1991
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Sweet! thanks man! I replaced the starter in April when it kicked the bucket, it was the original motorcraft one, and i replaced the fuel filter about the same time cuz i was having problems getting enough fuel (I also believe it was the origional :p ) and I did the Diff fluid when I replaced my rear axle seals and bearings.

Quick question, since its a stick, do I have to change the tranny fluid? do i have fluid to replace? if so, how do i do it?
 

scotts90ranger

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Location
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Vehicle Year
1990, 1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
The manual tranny takes auto tranny fluid (I think it's 3.5 quarts), drain is low, big head on the bolt, says "Drain" right next to it, fill is on the passenger side about the middle and says fill next to it.
 

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