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96 Ford ranger 2.3L 4 cylinder acceleration hesitation


Mark_88

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The crud in the air inlet and no filter reminds me of when I first bought my Sidekick...I drove it to work happy as a clam but noticed it was using way too much fuel...the air filter had a slick of grease...not accumulated road grit over years of driving, but an actual stick your hand in the grease can and slather it on the air filter coating.

I couldn't believe it...but I replaced the air filter and the fuel consumption was fine...

I wouldn't be able to say that this caused your problem...it certainly could have compounded things...and having your battery go dead flat and not start would also...but the issue is...if I am following along...the hesitation is still there.

And this seems to only happen when accelerating...idle is smooth and otherwise no jitters...

So...again...hesitation...rather than going through the explanation myself...and mostly because I can't remember half this stuff when needed...I found this bit of reading that might help you...

http://www.aa1car.com/library/problem_hesitation.htm

It's basic but it might trigger something in your mind that might help...but still sounds like possible fuel delivery or maybe electrical problems with wires to appropriate sensors...
 


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haizrail

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Thank you Mark_88 for the information. I have read the article and nothing stands out. I've asked them about all that is mentioned in the article except the fuel pressure regulator. I will bring that up tomorrow when they open up. I forgot about the truck braking down because it has been 6 years. but what we found in the place of the air filter was leaves and acorns and a few sticks. the main reason my friend at the time had me press the gas pedal to the floor was because he wanted to see down in the throttle body. And he did find a a small stick that he removed that's when we decided that it needed a air filter.
Everything with the wiring has been confirmed working properly, and that goes for the vacuum lines as well.
and they cleaned the throttle body.
they confirmed that the mas was good along with the air filter.
and they also said that it was getting enough fuel as well.
and I did ask about if the fuel pressure was correct and they said that it was.
 

tomw

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Most cases of hesitation are MAF sensor or fuel pressure. You have replaced the MAF back when it would not start. Did you take that back or is the old one in place? They can get dirty, especially when you do not use an air filter(also can cause the engine to ruin the rings, lose compression, and burn oil, so filters are a good thing, plus the sticks won't get in) If you kept the old MAF, by now it may be dirty. It has two wires, tiny tiny tiny, that can get a dab of stuff, from a dead bug to a clot of mud, and cause it to not report the air flowing into the engine, thus the fuel will not be correct.
The second is the fuel pressure regulator, which will change pressure (bump it up) when the throttle is opened. Vacuum in the intake will drop, vacuum modulator on the fuel pressure regulator will bump pressure in response. Have the mechs put a pressure gauge on with the engine at idle, jumped on the throttle and off, and watched for a pressure rise from 40-ish to 60-ish, then go back down? That is what make the injectors squirt to counter the quick air flow increase on acceleration.
I have read too much, and don't know what the truck is doing now. Hesitation getting on the freeway was the last. If so, check the above two, and if the pressure is good, also check fuel flow volume over time. Capture the flow, count the seconds, do some math to determine if it flows enough to run the engine.
tom
 

haizrail

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Thanks tom, I just returned from the repair shop to see if the compression test yielded anything. and the test yielded that the truck had 176 pis of compression across the board with was surprising.

They have put some motor pep in the oil and he says it's running a lot smoother. He wanted me to drive it a few days to see if it cleared up, but I told him that if it did turnout to be a sticking valve, Which at this point seems unlikely, I didn't want to cause any damage to my motor or have it quiet on me. So he said he'd drive it a few days himself.

I did bring up the fuel pressure regurlater after this and I told him if the truck didn't Completely clear you to test the regulater and if it came back good test it again. because he said the test arn't always 100% accurate. However, I'm thinking of just having it replaced.

and as for the mas it is the one that came with the truck, and he did clean it and verified that it was properly working.He also, put a new air filter in as well.
and the throttle cable was checked and was verified that the cable was good and in operating range.
I did tell him about the breakdown when I first bought it, and he said that if anything had gotten down into the motor that I would've lost compression.
Lastly, I did tell him about the coil packs I replaced myself with a friends help.
I bought them on ebay for about 20 bucks for both new, and like I told him I was wondering if one of those packs could be faulty. so he's going to check them out.
 

Mark_88

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To be honest, this is not the first time I've seen something like this where pretty much everything has been changed, checked, cleaned, or tested (not just checked for whatever) and the problem persists.

In most of these cases it is something that was easily overlooked or considered "done" and pretty much taken off the list of things...and most of those the cause was a small break in a wire, hose, or in a few cases the wrong sensor was put in and not checked for compatibility.

This is generalization of course...which leads me to suggest having another look at the MAF...

http://easyautodiagnostics.com/ford/4.6L-5.4L/how-to-clean-the-maf-sensor-1

It sounds like these guys are being more than fair with you and all..and maybe it is fuel pressure caused by a weak or wonky Fuel Pressure Regulator...

EDIT: The other part of this response was to agree with what tomw said about possible dirt or damage...one TRS member fought desperately with a similar issue and was nearly bald from pulling out his hair...then he noticed that the air filter box was broken in an area that was not easily visible...and that turned out to be the problem...
 
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haizrail

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Well I'm having them replace the fuel pressure regulator. and if that doesn't fix it. I'll replace the mas myself. and if that doesn't fix it I'll replace the injectors. At this point that's all that's left. And I will post if the problem has been fixed or not.
 

haizrail

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hesitation

The truck is a lot better, the shop couldn't figure out what was causing it. So when I got home from picking it up, I decided to take the air filter off and check it my self. low and behold the the filter was dirty as hell. so I went to Napa and bought a new one and replaced it in the parking lot. as I drove it back home I noticed a huge difference.

However, theis still there some but nothing like it was. Also, when I have the truck in park at idle and press the pedal down I get a check engine light coming up and it sounds like it's taking out with half throttle. and when I full throttle the truck now when it get's to about 30 mph it's like it shuts off. I will upload those two videos I made prior because they demonstrate what I'm talking about. I think it's time to put the truck on a dino mechine.

here is video link 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ6Wzu2ve6A

here is video link 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehU94aEPBZs
 
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Mark_88

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I watched both but didn't pick up on what was happening...my ears don't work too good...

But if you are getting the CEL this would be an excellent time to pull the codes...that should indicate what is going on...but the transmission popping out of gear could indicate a wonky shift solenoid...or the PCM...I just recently went through that on the Caravan...the dealership recommended the PCM first at $1,000...since it wasn't my money being spent I researched and discovered the shift solenoid as a more likely problem...and it was.

Maybe I didn't follow that right but one of the symptoms of a wonky SS is the popping out of gear...the other is limp mode...but that is dodge and not sure how ford works because my transmissions have all been M50D...come to think of it...except the last one it was the same one for 14 years...but, anyway...

I would suggest search on that one too...before taking it to anyone at least...so you have an idea what the issue may be and they may not try to jerk you around with that knowledge.
 

RangerDange

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Recently I was working on an rv with a similar issue. At a certain rpm the cel would come on and it had a slight hesitation. Pulled the spark plugs and found one plug with a hairline crack. Replaced plugs and problem solved. Granted this was a v10 motor it was still a ford. Just a thought.
 

haizrail

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I just went out and picked up food on the truck, and while I was in the middle of town it lost all power for about 3 seconds and then as I took the corner the check engine light came on. I then pulled into a o reallys and had them pull the code. it came back with the evap code as I was expecting, but what I wasn't expecting was the code po231 Which is low voltage to the fuel pump. Tomorrow I'm going to go and replace the relays for the fuel pump and wide open throttle ac cut off.

I wish I could check the spark plugs myself but I can't.
 

Mark_88

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Could be a problem with a plug too...however...I suspect a bare wire shorting out...

What direction were you turning when you lost power...left or right...find where the battery and power distribution wires run and visualize them in a turn...see if anything is loose under the hood...

could be the relay too...so maybe change them out as planned...that would explain the hesitation if the relay is cutting out....but hard to say...

Also trace the throttle cable...see if it is making contact with a bare wire somewhere...it seems to be when you blip the pedal it flashed the cel...so might be a contact issue somewhere near where the cable moves the plate...not much movement there at all but it does't take much...
 
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haizrail

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Hello, I was going straight when it happened. I turned right after it cut out tonight. I am talking with a online friend of my from the Seattle area who's a mechanic and he watched both videos and told me to check the fuel cut off switch and the mas. since I'm unsure that the shop it was in said the air filter was good when in fact it was not.
 

Mark_88

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Yes. inertia switch can actually be behind the hesitation and other problems too...because it affects the fuel pump...and can or might cause a low voltage to the pump if the circuit is wonky...

I almost forgot about that...but it can produce a number of symptoms that look like something else...typically it just causes the engine to die for no apparent reason and then it will run again after a brief pause and it resets.

You can actually bypass the inertia switch temporarily to test it...do not leave it bypassed because it is a safety feature...tampering with it might run you into some real problems with insurance if it ends up in a fire....but testing it by jumping the switch is fine...and they are not that hard to replace if wonky.

I had one go bad on me in my Tempo and it resulted in a replaced motor and transmission because it was mis diagnosed...and they messed up really big time on that one...but, anyway...

Worthy of another round of tests for sure...yours should be up under the dash on the passenger side or it might even be behind the passenger kick panel...that's were mine ended up.
 

haizrail

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I went this morning and pulled the kick panel and hit the switch to see if it reset and it didn't so I'm assuming it's good, unless it can go bad without it resetting.
I did drive to Napa this morning and bought two relays one for the fuel pump and the other for the full throttle cut off ac wac relay. I replaced them in the parking lot and as I drove home I noticed a very notable improvement in acceleration response. Also, the starting of my truck went from 5 seconds give or take to less than 1 to 2 seconds.
 

haizrail

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I also ordered a brand new oem Mass Air Flow Senser from ebay for 57 bucks and I'll be replacing it around the 24 when it comes. I'll let every one know if this helps or solves my problem.
 


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