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2.3L ('83-'97) Fuel tank Trouble


John501

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Hey guys I have a question relating to my 1990 ranger 2.3 custom. I did a fuel pump awhile back, and noticed that it's tank is plastic, which from what I can figure means it 21 gallons. I wanted to test this fact so I drove it pass my normal 300 mile refill, and around 340 it started stuttering like it wasn't getting enough gas. So I filled it. I got the fuel pump off of rock auto, and it looked like the old one. So why am I not able to get around 400 miles a tank? I get at least 21mpg, if not more. Could it just not be filling the tank all the way? I Know the truck leans on the driver side spring putting the filler neck down a bit. Any help is appreciated

Thanks,
John
 

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

tomw

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Maybe all tanks were plastic. You would need the FoMoCo part number on the tank to be able to determine capacity. When you stuttered, and finally added some fuel, how much were you able to put into the tank? If around 16-17 US gallons, you likely don't have a 21 gallon tank.
Unless the filler neck is too deep into the tank, causing premature shutoff, being a little off-level should not reduce the available capacity on the order of 4-ish gallons.(400-340 = 60ish== 2-3 gallons or more, depending)
IMO
tom
 

John501

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Maybe all tanks were plastic. You would need the FoMoCo part number on the tank to be able to determine capacity. When you stuttered, and finally added some fuel, how much were you able to put into the tank? If around 16-17 US gallons, you likely don't have a 21 gallon tank.
Unless the filler neck is too deep into the tank, causing premature shutoff, being a little off-level should not reduce the available capacity on the order of 4-ish gallons.(400-340 = 60ish== 2-3 gallons or more, depending)
IMO
tom
I've heard both ways, that only the 21 gallon tank was plastic, but others say they are plastic. When I filled up it with 17.9 gallons. The reason I think it should be 21 gallons is because the plastic locking ring for the fuel pump. Going to Fords site and searching the parts, it say that the plastic ring is for the 21 gallon plastic tank only. I believe only the 21 gallon tank was plastic and the others were metal due to this statement. I've dug around more on the subject and found that the ranger custom model came with the extended ranger 21 gallon. So it should be what I have. Here is a link to the tank. Part 7& 8 are what my tanks mounting is. https://parts.lakelandford.com/p/Ford_1992_Ranger/Fuel-tank/62873942/FO7Z9002G.html
 

scotts90ranger

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All tanks are plastic past I think '88, my '90 is plastic and is 16 gallons, I've heard that many times over the years being on here...
 

John501

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Thanks for the conformation then. Like I said it seems to be a highly disputed topic, out of all the things on my truck this has been the most complicated/Time consuming problem.
 

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It’s not easy to know exactly how much fuel was in the tank when you stopped to refill. When it began stuttering, were you going up hill? Down hill? Around a turn? Accelerating? Decelerating? The fuel could have been sloshing around to cause the stuttering.
 

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Do you have the original window sticker? Owner's manual for that year?

How much gas did you put in the tank, when it appeared to be running low? That's probably the simplest way to answer the question.

Dimensions - length, thickness, etc., might help match to a tank of known capacity. Unless you owned the truck as new, someone could have put a replacement fuel tank in it, at some point.
 

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Every tank past '89 I've seen has been plastic.

The '90 I'm parting out right now has a big plastic tank. I think it looks bigger than the new 17 gallon tank (Spectra F20C) that I just put in another truck but maybe it's just my imagination. It may very well be a 21 gallon tank.
 

scotts90ranger

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Extended cabs had the 21 gallon tank as an option I think (don't know if they were standard, but might have been), the 16 gallon was most common, my '97 is extended cab and has the 21 gallon, don't think there's room on a regular cab short bed for the big tank.

I don't think there's been much dispute around TRS, I've always heard it as a fact unless someone read something from some other website. It used to be difficult to find fuel tank capacities if you didn't have an owners manual, and even if you did they didn't tell you which trucks had which tanks... heck, most Bronco II owners thought they had a ~13 gallon tank back in the day from everything you used to read when they have a 23 gallon tank. But that might have been back in the fordranger.com days, how the forums have changed since then!
 

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It’s not easy to know exactly how much fuel was in the tank when you stopped to refill. When it began stuttering, were you going up hill? Down hill? Around a turn? Accelerating? Decelerating? The fuel could have been sloshing around to cause the stuttering.
It was going around a right turn around 15mph, and once when I pulled a u turn on flat ground.
 

John501

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Do you have the original window sticker? Owner's manual for that year?

How much gas did you put in the tank, when it appeared to be running low? That's probably the simplest way to answer the question.

Dimensions - length, thickness, etc., might help match to a tank of known capacity. Unless you owned the truck as new, someone could have put a replacement fuel tank in it, at some point.
Here it is
 

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John501

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This is from the 1990 ranger manual.
regular cab 16.3 gallons
regular cab optional on the LWB 19.6 gallons
supercab 16.3 before 10/23/89
supercab after 10/23/89 19.6

My truck is a regular cab, with a six foot box, is that the long or short wheel base?
 

ericbphoto

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This is from the 1990 ranger manual.
regular cab 16.3 gallons
regular cab optional on the LWB 19.6 gallons
supercab 16.3 before 10/23/89
supercab after 10/23/89 19.6

My truck is a regular cab, with a six foot box, is that the long or short wheel base?
Regular cab with 6ft box is short wheelbase.

Your door sticker says 108" wheelbase. Same as mine - regular cab, short bed.
 
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tomw

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Somehow you are fitting 17.9 gallons.... into a 16 gallon tank.

Is this a station you regularly use? If so, get a gas can and mark the level where 1/2/3/? gallon has been added. Take that to the station, and fill slowly. Check the mark on the gas can vs the indication on the pump. They should match pretty closely. If they do not match, check the pump for an inspection sticker as most states inspect the pump delivery volume vs the indicated volume.
An old friend had a family owned station. The inspector would come by and inspect one pump, and then get ready to put stickers on all the others. His dad said, "No, inspect them all. I don't want to cheat my customers, but I also don't want to cheat myself."
OTOH, FoMoCo may have been pretty cautious in rating their tank. The Escort was made with an 11 gallon tank. It was made small to get the 'as shipped' weight down for emissions rating purposes as I understand. Sure was not very convenient when traveling US 50 across Nevada. It would make it IF you filled up at the one station on the route near the middle. If you missed it, you would run out of fuel.
tom
 

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My 96 explorer would hold more than it was rated. Filled up at a station in New Mexico one time (knew I was close to running out) and with the left rear tire slightly elevated, and the pump running slow (the pump would not run much faster than a trickle for some reason) got at least a gallon more than the tank was rated for, maybe more than that. I was *certain* that the pump was rigged and was cheating me.... but went a hundred miles down the highway, or so it seemed, before the needle went slightly below full.

So, I would take the fuel tank rating with a grain of salt, till it would be independently verified.
 


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