• 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.

88 overheating/troubleshooting


ranger58

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum. I have a 1988 Ford Ranger 2.9 4x4. When I go on drives longer then an hour it will suddenly bog down. I try to give it gas but it slowly dies. If I pop the hood and let it cool for about 30min then it starts up fine and keeps running. When I overheat the temp gauge still says normal and isn't even close to H. I have replaced the water pump, thermostat, all coolant hoses, Heater Core and have given it a radiator flush. Is this truly a overheating problem, or could this have something to do with the computer/fuel/anything else? Could it be my auto tranny overheating? I don't know what to do. Please help.
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: DE2235E7692E8C: July 5th, 2021

ranger58

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Thank you so much! I will move the tfi.
 

Lil-Pony

New Member
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Age
27
Location
San Antonio, TX
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Take a Guess
Engine Size
2.8 soon to be 4bt
Transmission
Automatic
You might want to put an aftermarket temp gauge on it the factory ones are will be call idiot gauge.

Edit: the relocation prevents failure, doesn't fix a failure unless you replace the tfi
 
Last edited:

RonD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
18,986
Reaction score
3,272
Points
113
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
To test the temp gauge, look for a 1 wire sender near the t-stat housing.
Remove the 1 wire from the sender.
Turn on key, gauge should go all the way up or all the way down, above H or below C

Now ground that 1 wire, gauge should do the opposite of above, all the way up or all the way down.

If it doesn't do that then gauge is bad(could be the wire), if it does do the max. in both directions then replace the sender.

Never use teflon tape on 1 wire senders, they use the engine as the ground so the tape can restrict good contact, if you must use a sealer then leave the lower threads bare for a good ground.
 

Tedybear

New Member
Firefighter
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Messages
1,094
Reaction score
13
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1994, 2001
Make / Model
1994 Ford Bronc
Engine Size
5.8v8
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
Failing is easy. Everyone can do it.
Have the cat converter checked. That problem description is also what a clogged cat can do. Our 79' T-Bird did the same problem. Drove fantastic...and then suddenly the engine would just bog down due to severe exhaust restriction. Let it cool off for a while? It was good for a short while longer...and then same issue.

Put a vacuum gauge on it and see what happens. As the engine exhaust starts to build up back pressure? The vacuum will drop like a rock and the engine starves for air.

Most likely the TFI.....But just throwing this out to suggest options.

S-
 

kimcrwbr1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
6,033
Reaction score
40
Points
48
Location
maplevalley WA
Vehicle Year
1983
Make / Model
ford
Engine Size
2.8l
Transmission
Automatic
I am thinking a ignition control module also (TFI) acting up when the engine comes up to temp. You can isolate the module away from the dizzy by mounting it on a heat sync away from the engine and running three wires to the dizzy?
 

Lil-Pony

New Member
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Age
27
Location
San Antonio, TX
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Take a Guess
Engine Size
2.8 soon to be 4bt
Transmission
Automatic
Have the cat converter checked. That problem description is also what a clogged cat can do. Our 79' T-Bird did the same problem. Drove fantastic...and then suddenly the engine would just bog down due to severe exhaust restriction. Let it cool off for a while? It was good for a short while longer...and then same issue.

Put a vacuum gauge on it and see what happens. As the engine exhaust starts to build up back pressure? The vacuum will drop like a rock and the engine starves for air.

Most likely the TFI.....But just throwing this out to suggest options.

S-
Didn't think about the cat, mainly because I've been lucky I guess and haven't had to cut mine out and either straight pipe it or replace it.

Also ranger58 pull the code and see what the ECM has to say.
 

ranger58

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Thank you all so much for the help. Just ordered a custom harness and heatsink, that was just a dumb idea on Ford's part to put the tfi on the distributor...
 

Lil-Pony

New Member
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Age
27
Location
San Antonio, TX
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Take a Guess
Engine Size
2.8 soon to be 4bt
Transmission
Automatic
It saved them money, you know car companies how they pinch pennies.
 

mhavoc

New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
ford
Transmission
Manual
Hey Ranger58..... Im interested to hear what the results are on yours, so be sure to let us know...

I have had very similar problems on my 86 4x4 and after I got rid of several other issues, I have the same symptoms as you. Im getting ready to take off my bed and replace my in-tank fuel pump next. I already did the remote mount TFI but it didn't make any difference... http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140960

Im interested on yours if when it starts to bog down if you get air in your fuel rail? Does it 'decelerate' when you press the gas once it starts to bog down on you?
 

ranger58

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
So i replaced the tfi and even got a kit from mcully motors to relocate it to a cooler place. It still has the same problem so now im going to do the fuel thing. What the hell ford :thefinger:
 

88 XLT Ranger

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
355
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Age
59
Location
Pollock Pines Ca
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
ford
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Automatic
I had this same issue 2 years ago with my 88 Ranger 2.9L v6 I was 30 miles out of Virgina City Nevada on a hot day going up winding roads. The truck lost power started missing than quit running it was not over heated. I pulled over tried to start it she woulden't I walked 6 miles in the heat. To far to any gas station came back it was cooled of started right up ran great the rest of the day

My Mechanic friend said it was vapor lock gas got hot if you pull over let it sit for 20min your fine? I never had any issues thus far
 


Top