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2.3L ('83-'97) Removing computer connector

Chapap

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I think I have a computer issue. I’m going to try replacing the capacitors, then get a new computer off that doesn’t work. I can’t seem to get the connector off though. The bolt holding it on spins like the nut on the other side is not being held in place. The connector is solidly seated. Is there anything I can do besides cutting the head of the bolt?
 


Shran

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Weird. Usually you just loosen the bolt and the connector slowly un-docks itself from the ECM as the bolt comes out.
 

RonD

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Its possible that the bolt or nut/insert is stripped

But there are also 60 pins holding connector in place, each has a small amount of friction, and when multiplied by 60.........

Well, it can be hard to pull off
Image here: https://www.diyautotune.com/wp-content/uploads/EEC-IV-connector-close-up.jpg

Try prying up on connector while loosening the bolt

Also open the computer and see if there is access to the nut/insert from the inside, I have never looked at that possibility, lol.
 

Chapap

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Its possible that the bolt or nut/insert is stripped

But there are also 60 pins holding connector in place, each has a small amount of friction, and when multiplied by 60.........

Well, it can be hard to pull off
Image here: https://www.diyautotune.com/wp-content/uploads/EEC-IV-connector-close-up.jpg

Try prying up on connector while loosening the bolt

Also open the computer and see if there is access to the nut/insert from the inside, I have never looked at that possibility, lol.
Is the comp accessible from under the dash? I haven’t tried removing it yet, but really don’t think the harness has enough slack to remove without disconnecting the connector.
 

RonD

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On my 1994 4.0l the computer is in engine bay drivers side down low between firewall and inner fender

Not sure if 2.3l is located in same place
 

Chapap

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On my 1994 4.0l the computer is in engine bay drivers side down low between firewall and inner fender

Not sure if 2.3l is located in same place
Mine is in same location. looks like it slides into a pocket inside the firewall so only the connector is sticking out into the engine bay. Seems like If I remove the interior fuse box under the dash I’d be able to see it.
 

RonD

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There is a nut at top and bottom that need to be removed and computer slides out, bottom one is a PITA but can be done with universal socket fitting
Never tried it with connector still in place though

I did end up pulling off the large round 40+ wire connector from the firewall, just the one small center bolt and it pulls off

The wiring harness to fuse box should just "unclip" from inner fender hold downs, can't remember that part
 

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Maybe your bolt is already loose enough and not stripped......I remember mine was like that I think its the design of the connector for the bolt not to come out "all the way" but the pieces are/will be ready to be separated.......the bolt comes out only if you're able to put constant backing out force on it, but you can't beCause it's recessed......... and separating the pieces they can be sticky
 
Last edited:

Paulos

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It looks like the threads are a knurled brass insert that it molded into the plastic of the connector. If someone over-tightened it when it was last installed, it's possible it cracked the plastic and is just spinning like you mentioned. As previously mentioned, try putting some tension on the wire/connector and loosen at the same time.
 

Chapap

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1.5” till I get these springs replaced
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225-70-R14
After tinkering and talking to a couple mechanics, it looks like destructive disassembly is the only option. One mechanic said it’s not a knurled insert, but a flanged hex nut that’s molded into the plastic. I’m going to get a junk yard computer to see if I can chop an access to the nut while it’s in the truck. I really hope I won’t have to attack it from under the dash.

First I’ll see if a dealer is willing to try. They might have someone willing to take a shot. All the private shops have policies that vehemently forbid any computer related work.
 

Chapap

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Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
1.5” till I get these springs replaced
Tire Size
225-70-R14
So there’s no easy way to do it. I’ve tried to finesse it but no luck. I found a former, long time Ford tech working at a local shop who said he has done it many times. Option 1 is to drill a hole straight in thru the connector and try to pin the nut. That’s not a very safe option and he won’t do it that way. Option 2 is what he does, which involves a lot of disassembly and pulling the comp out while connected. Then he hacks his way into the comp to get it free. He said he’ll charge 3 hr max but hopefully will be cheaper.
 

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