2.3L ('83-'97) LOWER RPM SKIP


BrHotte

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Ok, seems this is a similar problem to many others. I have a 94 Ranger 2.3 with 129,000 miles. I just bought this truck and it previously lived in Maryland. The issue is, during hard acceleration at lower RPMs it has a frequent skip. After around 3500 rpm (roughly), the engine pulls hard with no skip. It is manual 4 speed with overdrive. I haven't replaced any parts yet. I was hoping for that "magic bullet". I will be replacing many parts in the future, but I am keeping it as my daily driver. Any help on this would be great. The truck does run really well.
 


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RonD

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Best torque for the 1994 2.3l Lima is listed at 2,600rpm, so 500 below and above would be best performance, so no real load on the engine above 3,500rpm

It runs dual spark plugs, which BOTH fire at the same time, just FYI
After engine is warmed up and idling, use insulated gloves or pliers and unplug 3 wire connector on one coil pack, pull it back at least and inch as it can jump a gap
Engine is now running on one coil pack, if it starts to misfire then you have a bad wire or spark plug on that side of the engine

Repeat for other coil pack

It a long shot to have 2 misfiring spark plugs in the same cylinder, but....................if valve guide is leaking on that cylinder it can limit the life of a spark plug in that cylinder

And just an FYI, only the exhaust side coil pack and spark plugs work while starter motor is on, once engine starts, above 400rpm, both coil packs are used
 

Geddes84

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I've had plug wires give me weird problems similar to this b4. If you dont have a multi meter to check volts, resistance and things like that now would be a good time to get one, I use mine very often at least once a week working on things, very helpful tool. You can get a cheap one with a dial and they work great, I started using one on my first vehicle and the rest is history.
I've had plug wires be the issue and not have much resistance and I've had them give me problems with a lot of resistance. So I dont really rely on testing them all that much anymore, I will normally just replace them on a new to me vehicle if it has a misfire especially if it misses under load.. look at your plugs too
 

BrHotte

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I have multimeters. I will check spark and resistance on the wires. I will also check coil spark on Saturday. I am thinking this is all electrical, either spark or one of the sensors.
 

Geddes84

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I have multimeters. I will check spark and resistance on the wires. I will also check coil spark on Saturday. I am thinking this is all electrical, either spark or one of the sensors.
Missing under a load, in my experiences is usually due to bad plug wires. So hopefully that is it for you.
All of what RonD said in his post is accurate, and it's easy enough to unplug a coil pack to help pin point an offending (if there is one) wire or plug.
Another trick I would add is with the enging running I would remove the plug wire cap one at a time from the coil packs. Doing this will make the spark jump from the coil to the wire. I would do this and compare all of the sparks in color and the maximum length you can stretch it before it wont reach the wire anymore. If you find that one isnt as strong as the rest you probably have something wrong with that wire or plug. A good side note- When making this arc/spark longer it actually makes the coil produce more power and on a healthy plug wire combo will make the spark stronger sometimes this will clear up a fouled plug and get you home
One thing to consider when doing this is that each one of these coil packs only have 2 secondary coils to run the 4 cylinders, so 2 cylinders share one coil. If you find that you have more than one weak spark on a coil pack you might have a bad coil. I dont remember off hand which cylinders share coils on each pack but if you search around on the internet for how to test these coil packs you will find that information and also have what you need to check the packs with your multimeter. Good luck
 

BrHotte

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Reading over your suggestions has convinced me to buy a tune up kit off ebay. Kit includes both coil packs, all plug wires, and spark plugs for $125. I am going on vacation next week. I am going to order the kit when I get back (don't want porch pirates to get my goodies) I will let ya'al know what happens. Thanks again for all your input,
 

BrHotte

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2WD / 4WD
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Ok, finally back from vacation. Changed spark plugs, gapped to .044”. Changed plug wires and coils. I still have lower rpm skip when engine is under throttle. Was thinking about cam and or crank sensor. Any other thoughts I should be looking at before them . Is there a reliable test procedure instead of just replacing?
 


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