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


cstarbard

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I got a new NAPA fuel pump and new NAPA injectors, as well as a new Denso camshaft sensor + pigtail.

My plan this weekend is to replace the cam sensor and pig tail, and see what difference that makes, if any.
Then, I will replace the fuel pump and see what difference that makes, if any.
Lastly, I will replace the injectors and see what difference that makes, if any.

Assuming all this doesn't work, I feel like I ought to try a different ecu just to be sure that isn't the issue here.

My question is, does anyone know which ECU part number is correct for my 1996 Ford Ranger 2.3L 5 speed/Manual Trans 4x4 reg cab short bed? When I search on car-parts there are a lot of options and it's not clear to me which one I need.

Will my current ecu have a part number on it?
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

RonD

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PCM(ECU) part number won't ID which specific PCM would work

Yours will look like this
F67F-12A650 - ???
F6 = 1996
7 = Ranger/Mazda
F = electronics

12A650 = any PCM from any year or Ford model

None of the above references engine size or transmission type, just "Ranger/Mazda"

The Suffix "???" can be specific to 2.3l engine and manual transmission, but Ford never released a cross reference

Usually car-part will "ask" you for engine size and if for M/T(manual) or A/T(automatic) before the Search

You can use a 1995(F5) to 1997(F7) PCM for a 2.3l manual, the 1995 PCMs would be a last resort, as they didn't always have good OBD2 protocols, but would work
Can't use 1994 or earlier, or 1998 and higher

There will also be a Stamped 3 or 4 digit CODE number on the PCM label, this is the Software designation loaded at the factory during assembly, it is good to match this but very hard to do, since it could have been changed weekly or even daily as changes were made to the software, and its not required
2.3l engine and manual transmission are required

CODE number article here: http://www.fuelinjectedford.com/page17.html
 

cstarbard

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Hi Ron,

Awesome, thanks for all that info! I will use it to try to find an appropriate PCM. If my truck is build date 1995, model year 1996, should I still be avoiding a 1995 pcm?

UPDATE:

I replaced the cam sensor and its connector. I drove 50 miles or so after only changing the cam sensor and connector, and the bucking is completely gone, has not returned, and truck doesn't struggle to accelerate anymore. It seems to be running quite good. So I feel pretty certain that the issue was the cam sensor or its connector.

I already had a new NAPA fuel pump on hand, and my truck had what appeared to be original fuel pump (Ford scripted, Motorcraft) with 187k miles on it. I felt like putting in the new fuel pump wasn't a bad idea considering the mileage on the original and I wanted to be able to eliminate the fuel [pump as a possible cause of the issues. After driving 50 ish more miles I don't know that replacing the fuel pump made much of a difference, since the bucking had already resolved. It does seem to start a little faster, fewer cranks, but I'm not totally sure if that's just in my head.

The only remaining issue is that the idle surges a little sometimes still, only at startup. And it sometimes hangs high briefly when I put it in neutral at a stop light. I happily welcome suggestions on tackling that but at this point I'm pretty satisfied.
 

RonD

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Good work (y)

Thanks for the update and THE FIX
 

BrHotte

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Thanks for the update cstarbard. I was going to order a new tps to try. I am going to go ahead with the cam sensor instead. I love my truck, but it is so frustrating with that bucking. Thanks again. I’ll let y’all know how it works out.
 

cstarbard

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BrHotte I totally feel that. I hope it fixes it for you.

So, I took a 80 mile highway drive today with my empty 5x8 utility trailer. Two things stuck out:

It ran fine but struggled to get past 50 going up even light hills, and I calculated 21.33 mpg for the trip. I have had the truck long enough to know it can do much better. I used to get 25-27mpg consistently, and I know its just a 2.3L but it never used to struggle to keep speed like this.

I thought about starting a new thread, and probably will, but I figured everything that has happened so far is significant background info.

Anyone have any thoughts about the low mpg and difficulty keeping speed?
 

BrHotte

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Just out of curiosity, did you happen to change the throttle position sensor? I am going to change the cam sensor and the tips.
 

cstarbard

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Just out of curiosity, did you happen to change the throttle position sensor? I am going to change the cam sensor and the tips.
Hey! I did not change the TPS. I found a writeup about how to test its output with a digital multimeter. It was pretty straightforward and mine tested fine. Is that a guarantee that it's not part of the issue? Probably not, but at least in my case it was not a cause of the bucking.

Test write up:

https://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/ford/2.3L/how-to-test-the-TPS-
1
 


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