• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

2.9L timing help

Bootz1385

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Columbia,TN
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
1986 Ford Ranger 2.9L Manual. I have replaced near everything on the truck. It was running then would stall when hot. Replaced the HP fuel pump and now it runs and idles but is rough and stumbles when you press the gas. Tried to drive it and got a few hundred feet and it stalls. It was hard to get it started back up but did start and run enough to get it back in the shop. Feels like the timing is off still. I set the distributor to 11 o'clock (facing the passenger seat) with the crank on the compression stroke (put my finger in the #1 plug hole till it blew it out) lined up with the TC mark on the crank. There was a code for the TPS, changed it back out and now I have no codes. Tried to do a KOIO test and it stalls out. Any help is appreciated as I think it is still a timing issue. Maybe a Bad timing chain that jumped a tooth? I haven't opened it up yet to see what y'all think before I go in deep. Also has good compression and fuel pressure now that I changed the fuel pump out.

New parts:
Distributor, cap, rotor, plugs, wires, Ignition coil, Ignition switch, Ignition key switch, ECM, Starter module, all 3 relays, Intake air control valve, TPS, Intake air sensor, Temp Sensor, Temp Gauge Sensor, Alternator, Battery, Battery cables and ground cables, Both Fuel Pumps, Cleaned the fuel tank, EGR Valve, EGR Sensor, Map sensor, and more. Only parts I have not Changed are the Fuel Pressure regulator, Injectors and heard there is a Knock sensor, if so I have not changed that.
 


franklin2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,363
Reaction score
979
Points
113
Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Bronco II
Transmission
Manual
You need to get a timing light. You have it close because it runs at all. But you are correct, it needs to be fine tuned.

Once you get the timing light, clean off the balancer behind the lower pulley so you can see the marks. I usually get some white out and mark the balancer. Your engine setting is 10 BTDC. You can put a mark on this spot so you can see it.

Then go up to the distributor and find that gob of wires leaving it. One of them will be sort of by itself, and have a funny looking jumper plug in the wire. This is the SPOUT connector. You need to disconnect this to take away timing control from the computer so you can set it with the light.

Loosen the bolt on the distributor so you can barely force it to turn. Set the timing light on #1 wire and start the truck. With the SPOUT connector out there is a chance it may not run. Twist the dist a little bit till you can get it running. Then shine the light down on the balancer and turn the dist till the pointer lines up with the mark you made.

Then turn the engine off, tighten the dist bolt and plug the SPOUT connector back in. Should run a lot better.
 

Bootz1385

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Columbia,TN
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Thank you for your reply. I had gone on vacation. Picked up a new timing light this morning as my old one died on me. Set the truck to 10 degrees and still have lack off power and no throttle response. I took a short video. I am dumbfounded at what it could be. Wondering if one of the new parts is bad out of the box. If I could just get pointed in the right Direction lol. video is below:

 
Last edited:

dirtymike

Active Member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
527
Reaction score
111
Points
43
Age
61
Location
knoxville TN
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger lwb
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
1 inch spacers
Tire Size
P23575R15
My credo
Do unto others then Split-probasti me et chognuisti me
Sounds like you are not firing on all cylinders, Like half missing. Parts are bad right out of the box, not many though. I for the most part test them before installation, when possible. You mentioned 25 items you replaced. Did it change anything. Check for fire, all 6 cylinders (blue/white arc). Correct fuel pressure.
 

Fast Eddie

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,625
Reaction score
2,635
Points
113
Location
On The Road
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
Ranger Edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
2x4 on 4x4 Factory Chassis
Tire Size
235/75/15
I'm with @dirtymike on this one. You can hear it as soon as you start to accelerate. I'm not familiar with the 2.9 (have the 3.0). Is it not throwing any codes? A misfire should be registering in the ECM/PCM. My misfire was caused by a coil pack. No sure if you have thos or not, but something to check. New wires, plugs and coil packs ans she was back to normal.
 

Bootz1385

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Columbia,TN
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Sounds like you are not firing on all cylinders, Like half missing. Parts are bad right out of the box, not many though. I for the most part test them before installation, when possible. You mentioned 25 items you replaced. Did it change anything. Check for fire, all 6 cylinders (blue/white arc). Correct fuel pressure.

When I changed the parts I changed one at a time. each made an improvement as the truck didn't run when I bought it. I have spark at all cylinders but it is a yellow/orange spark. not white. I have 47 psi on the fuel rail. What would cause orange spark instead of white? Also pulled the in tank full pump today to see how the strainer looked and it was clean with good gas. checked codes again and got 35o and 34c, so I changed the egr sensor back out and 35o went away. 34c is still there but I did not clear the codes before retesting.
 

franklin2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,363
Reaction score
979
Points
113
Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Bronco II
Transmission
Manual
I agree with the others, you have one or two dead cylinders. That is what that thumping noise is. Several ways to approach this. We can make the assumption that the engine, the wires and the plugs are good, and the injectors are not clogged. If we make this assumption, then really one of the few things it could be is the sparkplug wires may be mixed up.

I would find a good diagram on the internet that shows the 2.9 sparkplug wire routing and or firing order. Since you timed it with #1, let's assume that is good. So start at #1, and looking at a diagram, make sure each wire in sequence around the distributor cap goes to the correct cylinder. It doesn't so much matter where #1 is. The diagram probably will have it as the front most post on the dist. If it's in a different place it doesn't matter, as long as the other wires are in the proper sequence.

If the wires are on there right, then the next thing I would do is loosen all the wires, either on the dist cap or the sparkplugs. By loosen, I mean gently take them off and put them on so they easily come off. Then start the engine, get a leather glove, and while the engine is running, pull each wire off the sparkplug or the dist cap one at a time. If the engine runs worse, that one was working. If there is no difference how the engine runs, note that one is not firing or working. Do all of them, see how many are not working and mark them.

Once you know which ones are not working, you first can take those wires off and take a ohmmeter and ohm them to make sure the wires are good, These sparkplug wires are pretty delicate and it's easy to break the ends inside the boots.

If the wires check good, then pull those dead cylinder sparkplugs and see what they look like. If they are dry as a bone, you may not be getting fuel to those cylinders, the injectors may be clogged. If they are wet with fuel, they are not firing but are getting fuel. Make sure there is not any anti freeze on the plug.

If you made it this far, you need to go to harbor freight and buy a cheap compression tester. Mark all the wires (magic marker works great for this) and pull them off and out of the way and then pull all the sparkplugs.

Then put the compression tester in each one of the sparkplug holes and crank it over, testing each cylinder and writing down the numbers you get. You already know from the previous test which cylinders are dead, so pay particular attention to those cylinder's numbers.

If the cylinders that were dead have low compression numbers, then you have something mechanical wrong with the engine. Might be as simple as a bent pushrod, or something more serious.
 

Bootz1385

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Columbia,TN
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
I agree with the others, you have one or two dead cylinders. That is what that thumping noise is. Several ways to approach this. We can make the assumption that the engine, the wires and the plugs are good, and the injectors are not clogged. If we make this assumption, then really one of the few things it could be is the sparkplug wires may be mixed up.

I would find a good diagram on the internet that shows the 2.9 sparkplug wire routing and or firing order. Since you timed it with #1, let's assume that is good. So start at #1, and looking at a diagram, make sure each wire in sequence around the distributor cap goes to the correct cylinder. It doesn't so much matter where #1 is. The diagram probably will have it as the front most post on the dist. If it's in a different place it doesn't matter, as long as the other wires are in the proper sequence.

If the wires are on there right, then the next thing I would do is loosen all the wires, either on the dist cap or the sparkplugs. By loosen, I mean gently take them off and put them on so they easily come off. Then start the engine, get a leather glove, and while the engine is running, pull each wire off the sparkplug or the dist cap one at a time. If the engine runs worse, that one was working. If there is no difference how the engine runs, note that one is not firing or working. Do all of them, see how many are not working and mark them.

Once you know which ones are not working, you first can take those wires off and take a ohmmeter and ohm them to make sure the wires are good, These sparkplug wires are pretty delicate and it's easy to break the ends inside the boots.

If the wires check good, then pull those dead cylinder sparkplugs and see what they look like. If they are dry as a bone, you may not be getting fuel to those cylinders, the injectors may be clogged. If they are wet with fuel, they are not firing but are getting fuel. Make sure there is not any anti freeze on the plug.

If you made it this far, you need to go to harbor freight and buy a cheap compression tester. Mark all the wires (magic marker works great for this) and pull them off and out of the way and then pull all the sparkplugs.

Then put the compression tester in each one of the sparkplug holes and crank it over, testing each cylinder and writing down the numbers you get. You already know from the previous test which cylinders are dead, so pay particular attention to those cylinder's numbers.

If the cylinders that were dead have low compression numbers, then you have something mechanical wrong with the engine. Might be as simple as a bent pushrod, or something more serious.

I'll test the cylinders tomorrow to see if the is any change. I did a compression test when I first bought the truck and it seemed good but that was also before it was running. Can't remember the numbers but I'll post wet and dry numbers as well. Also noticed today when warming it up to check codes again, if I pressed the gas it would bog down and lose rpm. May be time to just pull the ole 2.9 and drop in the 302. I was trying to keep my mpg up as this will be a daily lol. Thank you for everyone's continued help.
 

dirtymike

Active Member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
527
Reaction score
111
Points
43
Age
61
Location
knoxville TN
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger lwb
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
1 inch spacers
Tire Size
P23575R15
My credo
Do unto others then Split-probasti me et chognuisti me
If this truck has sat for a length of time(1 year or more)the fuel manifold is probably full of fine rust. When started it mitigates to the injectors and clogs them one at a time, it seems. I have cleaned mine out twice when it sat for a length of time. If you decide to go with the 302, get your pocket book and your schedule free for a couple weeks. Lets us know what you are going to do with the 2.9l cologne engine. Dirty
 

Fast Eddie

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,625
Reaction score
2,635
Points
113
Location
On The Road
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
Ranger Edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
2x4 on 4x4 Factory Chassis
Tire Size
235/75/15
Coil packs are not binary (on/off). They do deteriorate. Your wires may be shorting somewwhere, not allowing all the volts through. If you have a meter, check the volts coming into the boot.

If the compression test shows low cyclinders, an old trick was to squirt some oil into the spark plug hole. If that raises the comression, the rings are shot. If not, Id sus[ect the mentioned pushrod.
 

Bootz1385

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Columbia,TN
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
So I did the test with the truck running pulling the spark plug wires. There was no change in the way it ran on cylinders 1,2,4,5. pulled out the compression tester and got these numbers. CYL1: 150 CYL2: 150 CYL3: 150 CYL4: 145 Cyl5: 160 CYL6: 150. I did the compression test with the engine to temp. All 6 spark plugs are burnt bad and they are a few weeks old with the truck only idling. All but Cyl6 smells of gas. Would you suspect the injectors are bad? I also have good white spark at the distributor cap ( my tester must be bad showing the yellow spark). There is no coolant on the plugs. Also going to change the plug wires out to make sure it is not the wires ( I bought the cheap ones as I was low on cash).
63589
 

dirtymike

Active Member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
527
Reaction score
111
Points
43
Age
61
Location
knoxville TN
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger lwb
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
1 inch spacers
Tire Size
P23575R15
My credo
Do unto others then Split-probasti me et chognuisti me
You need to make sure it is in time and the firing order is maintained. Looks like you are using double platinum plugs? If they all smell like gas they are fouled and are not firing. If this vehicle has "sat for a length of time" the fuel manifold(Gen 1) had lost its pressure and rusted on the inside. This rust had mitigated to the screen in the injector's. If your getting fuel why is it not burning, I would make sure the injectors are working and receiving the correct voltage. Is the vehicle using oil.The plugs look a bit black. Don't know much on plugs. I clean and gap mine often.
 
Last edited:

Bootz1385

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Columbia,TN
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Yeah, they didn't have the copers in stock as that is what I like to run. I have the timing set at 10 degrees with the spout out. Firing order I have at 1,4,2,5,3,6. just changed the wires out and it is a lot better but still no power on acceleration. It stalled out. It wouldn't restart for a few cranks but fired back up. I'm going to clean the injectors first before I pull the front cover to check internal timing. What do you think? And I think you are right. The truck sat for 3 years. When truck stalls the injector clog may loosen up but at full pressure is clogging back up. I'm pulling the intake now and will report back.
 
Last edited:

dcpppf

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Points
8
Location
KS, USA
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford/Ranger
Transmission
Manual
Just another thought to throw out; what about the TFI module? Didn't see it in your list of replacement parts. I did my ignition coil/dizzy/plugs/wires/etc. not long ago and had a similar problem. Replaced the TFI module and that cleaned it up. My problem was that the truck would stutter HARD like it stopped firing all together for a brief moment. On throttle or off didn't matter just every 15 seconds or so it'd stop firing for 1-2 then start again.

Other than that a few weeks later the truck died on me on the highway and wouldn't restart and it ended up being a loose connection to the ignition coil. I have an '88 and so when I got in there pulling a lot of these plugs apart for the first time in a VERY long time the plastic just bit the dust. so might be worth walking back through your wiring and just making sure nothing jiggles too much... or better yet have the truck running while you're walking it down to see if anything you touch has an immediate impact.
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Top