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engine issues after new cylinder heads.


Mike0013

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I just replaced the cylinder heads on my 87 Ranger 2.9L and now I am having some issues. This is my daily driver so I'd like to get this resolved as soon as I can. During reassembly of my engine, it took forever to get the engine started as I was having issues getting the distributor to the proper cam gear teeth. After I finally got that resolved, the engine would crank and crank but not fire. It cranks slower than before, but it has good compression, spark, and fuel, as well as the ignition timing being right where it's supposed to be. Almost seems like to much fuel as I smell fuel from the exhaust pipe after cranking for a very short time. I unplug the fuel pump relay and crank it with a remote starter and while having it being jumped with another vehicle and after a few moments, it starts to fire and run, at that time I quickly plug the fuel pump relay in and it runs fine. But as soon as I turn the engine off, it cranks slow again, and I have to do the whole unplug the relay thing again to get it to run. Anyone have any ideas on what I might try next to solve this? As I stated before, this is a daily driver, and I need to get it back on the road ASAP so no time for a different engine like the 4.0 or 302. I'm wondering if a larger CCA battery and a higher output ignition coil would help any. It has a stock coil and the battery is a Motorcraft 550 CCA. It does have a slightly hotter camshaft in it from before tho, but I'm not sure if that'd make a difference. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
 


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jhammel85

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When you replaced the heads, did you forget to connect the ground to the back of the heads?
 

Mike0013

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Nope, both heads have their ground wires attached. I even double and triple checked each and every ground wire, and other connectors just in case. Wonder if a larger ground wire would make a difference or have any effect... :icon_confused: my friend used the same brand heads ( from CCH out of Florida ) when he rebuilt one of these engines, and it never had any issues of any kind like this. :annoyed:
 

snoopdoggie

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Was the cam changed at the same time as you replaced the heads or had that been done previously? Did you adjust the valves after head installation?
 

Mike0013

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Was the cam changed at the same time as you replaced the heads or had that been done previously? Did you adjust the valves after head installation?
The cam wasn't touched this time. 4 years ago roughly was when it was replaced. And as for the valve adjusting, that hasn't been done yet as I was told to do that while the engine was at operating temperatures. I'm not sure how much that would affect this as if they were out of adjustment, I'd just have some valve tick but should still fire up right? Or could it be that they can be just barely out of adjustment to where they aren't letting the proper air/fuel mixture or proper compression and ignition? Trying to get this completed tonight so I don't have to borrow one of my friends rigs to go to work tomorrow.
 

Mike0013

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well, I finally got it figured out thanks to you guys and my friend who is another member here: 87RangerSTX. It turned out to be my valves not being adjusted after all. I gave 87RangerSTX a call, who's been a friend of mine for many years, is a Ford mechanic and the person that actually directed me to this forum in the first place, and explained the situation and he came over and adjusted my valves for me in trade for some beer :beer: So thanks to him and you guys I'm back on the road and ready to go again! :yahoo:
 

87RangerSTX

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Hey man, glad I could give ya a hand. Gotta keep our 87 Rangers goin strong! :headbang: Or any RVB for that matter. Plus the brews were much needed as well! :icon_cheers: Later!
 

snoopdoggie

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well, I finally got it figured out thanks to you guys and my friend who is another member here: 87RangerSTX. It turned out to be my valves not being adjusted after all. I gave 87RangerSTX a call, who's been a friend of mine for many years, is a Ford mechanic and the person that actually directed me to this forum in the first place, and explained the situation and he came over and adjusted my valves for me in trade for some beer :beer: So thanks to him and you guys I'm back on the road and ready to go again! :yahoo:
I like beer.
 

fordfan

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Just found this, and maybe someone can help me. I just had an 88 2.9 V6 rebuilt at the shop and read that I should have the valve clearance re-adjusted after a (?) break-in mileage. At around 1800km I started to hear a tick that disappears EVERYtime at 1500rpm. It sounds 'loose, or sloppy' but when I took it in to the shop, the guy told me you did not have to re-adjust the valve clearances, as they are hydraulic. My hubby cannot hear it. This is NOT the same sound as a sticky lifter- it is a 'cleaner-sounding' tick, but it DOES sound like a valve thing? I did all the proper oil changes at break-in. I am about 6000km into the new motor now and need to know where to look. To me, it seems that it is quieter under load, and when I release from acceleration this tick gets noticeably louder, and disappears instantly everytime (for two months now) at 1500 rpm exactly (clutch in or not). Should I re-check clearances yes or no? I yes, at hot or operating temp? I know this IS a mechanical noise, not a pinhole in the exhaust. Also, seems a little harder to start than in the first 1000 km, and smells like fuel when starting cold, could these be related? I will be checking my IAC for stick, and cleaning if possible. Thanks for any input!
 

Spott

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You'll get a lot better response if you start your own thread, instead of tacking your post onto someone else's thread. Also, it would probably be more appropriate to put this thread in the 2.9l engine forum, instead of the "Need Urgent Help Right Now" forum.

In response to your question: The valves in an 88 2.9l do have hydraulic lifters, as well as adjusting screws. The factory shop manual doesn't say, but it makes sense to adjust the valves with the engine warmed up.

To adjust the valves (you've gotta have the valve covers off): 1. Loosen the adjuster screw until there's noticable "play" and a gap between the rocker arm and valve. 2. Tighten the adjuster screw until the rocker arm just barely touches the valve. 3. tighten the adjusting screw 1.5 turns more, from this position.

That puts the adjuster screws in the perfect spot, for the hydraulic lifters to do their job best. The hydraulic lifters will automatically fine tune the valve clearances after that.

Spott
 


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