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2.3L ('83-'97) Bucking under load, no power, poor MPG


BrHotte

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Cstarbard, one other symptom my truck has that I forgot about is when hot it kicks back on the starter and starts hard. Was wondering if your truck does the same?
RonD. Do you think there might be some kind of timing issue. Given the issues with the lower rpm acceleration skip/buck/miss, also with cstarbard suggesting his timing remains flat throughout ecceleration.
 


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cstarbard

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Cstarbard, one other symptom my truck has that I forgot about is when hot it kicks back on the starter and starts hard. Was wondering if your truck does the same?
RonD. Do you think there might be some kind of timing issue. Given the issues with the lower rpm acceleration skip/buck/miss, also with cstarbard suggesting his timing remains flat throughout ecceleration.

Hey BR what do you mean exactly about the starter? I'm not sure I understand.

I have 10 days off from work so I'm going to take the timing cover off and have a look. I'll report back with my findings
 

BrHotte

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Ford Ranger XLT
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2.3 (4 Cylinder)
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Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Hey BR what do you mean exactly about the starter? I'm not sure I understand.

I have 10 days off from work so I'm going to take the timing cover off and have a look. I'll report back with my findings
Starting the engine cold everything sounds good and the motor tuns over fast and fine. When the engine is all warmed up and I shut it off, (like to pump gas) when I start it back up it turns over like it is out of time. turns over 3 or 4 times, hesitates for just a second and repeats a couple of times before finally starting. Definitely starts a lot better cold than hot.

Enjoy your time off work.
 

RonD

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No, that reads like the regular(87 octane) gas is pre-igniting during compression stroke on hot engine, so it ignites when piston is still on its way up so slows or stops the rotation of crank/starter
Could be some carbon build up in the cylinders, might try a can of seafoam in the gas tank

Can also be starter motor itself but doesn't read as much that way, starter motor can get "heat soaked" when warmed up engine is shut off, no air circulation and its usually between hot block and even hotter exhaust
So it cranks slower in general, I guess it could stop and go, its possible

Spark timing is also possible but not probable, you could get a timing light and check it
 

PanteraGT5S

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Cstarbard, one other symptom my truck has that I forgot about is when hot it kicks back on the starter and starts hard. Was wondering if your truck does the same?
RonD. Do you think there might be some kind of timing issue. Given the issues with the lower rpm acceleration skip/buck/miss, also with cstarbard suggesting his timing remains flat throughout ecceleration.

Given you've swapped out the plugs and don't mention a misfire (plugs=power, timing=miss) It could be a timing issue. Not an easy fix anymore. Too much crap in between. Start at the crank trigger and trace that all the way back to the ECU. Sucks but that's where you start and end.
 

cstarbard

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My credo
It do like it be
Hey everyone,

Sorry I disappeared for a while, life got real busy. BrHotte, I do not have the specific starting issue you describe. However, if I stall my truck it cranks abnormally long before starting and is sputtery at first- but that happens ONLY if I stall it. If I shut it off normally and restart (like at the gas station), it starts right up fine. Another thing I should probably try to figure out, lol.

I have an update. For kicks, I reached in through the wheel well and unplugged and re-connected my camshaft position sensor a few times (what a pain to get to, especially with big hands. Jeez.)

What do you know, 90% of my problem is gone now. Once I get some electronics cleaner and di-electric grease, I'll clean and lube that connector properly. But for now the jerking and bucking is completely gone. Not lacking power so badly anymore now either. The truck still doesn't run perfectly... when listening to the exhaust drone at a constant rpm (for example, while cruising 50-55), it sounds like it misses occasionally. But whatever misfire is left isn't enough to cause jerking or really any noticeable drop in performance, except maybe that the truck is lacking a tiny bit of pep that it used to have.
 


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