2.3L ('83-'97) Slow acceleration; Little power; what else can I replace?


JR307

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Location
Wyoming
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
1993 2wd Manual 2.3L
248k miles; it had 109K when I got it

Over the last couple of years performance has diminished where going up grades or wind would force downshifting into 3rd and 45mph. Fuel economy tanked (15ish mpg) and oil consumption increased (~ qt/500-1000 miles) but none visible on the ground.
About a month ago performance further reduced to where i am not able to get up to 55 nor go up any grades without shifting down to 2nd or 1st and crawling.
I took it to my usual mechanic and he said engine compression was fine. I didn’t ask for particulars. He changed the Fuel filter, cleaned the MAF and advised the catalytic converter was bad and that I should replace it with a straight pipe. I ordered a direct fit replacement catalytic converter and installed it. Runs worse, so I start reading forums and start replacing parts, most of which are original.
List of parts replaced:
Catalytic converter
All 8 spark plugs (passenger side plugs very fouled and worn. Driver’s side worn but clean, no residue)
All 8 plug wires.
Both ignition coils
At this point I go for a drive, slight improvements, but check engine light still came on as well as acceleration and power issues remain.
New IAC
New PCV
New ECM
Problems persist, Check engine light still on.
New O2 Sensor upstream above new catalytic converter.
Since the new O2 sensor, idles fine and no check engine light after several different drives puttering around town. Power and acceleration issue still present. Feels like it wants to go, but just can’t quite. Like it is constipated (sorry for crude comparison).
What additional information would be helpful?
I am now considering that perhaps timing is off? Timing belt last changed at 181K (now at 248k).
Or EGR / DPFE issues? Is there another O2 sensor? Could it be the alternator?
Thank you for any input, the Dove and I appreciate it! We have coozed a lot of miles together. Now she is the crippled coozer
JR
 


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rusty ol ranger

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I would definatly get the timing looked at. I would also get a 2nd opinion in compression...unless you 100% trust your mechanic
 

scotts90ranger

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Wouldn't hurt to do a timing belt, but not likely the issue. Normally when they skip a tooth they don't run.

The oil consumption tells of compression issues somewhere

Any strange noises? Ticky valves? It's rare but a bad lash adjuster or two could cause some bad running, but the compression would likely be wonky (to be technical). but you would also have worse looking spark plugs on some cylinders and not others.

Being EEC IV it's harder to diagnose than just plugging in a OBD II thingy and pulling up Torque on your phone to check things, but have you cleaned the MAF lately? It might be worth the $8 for a can of MAF cleaner, they can do odd things.
 

Dirtman

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Stop replacing things and start testing things. Check fuel pressure, do a wet and dry compression test, check for codes (description for doing this on an obd1 computer is in the tech section) and finally do a full range of vacuum tests. Once those are done you will have a direction to go in. Until you do tests you might as well just start shuving $20 dollar bills in the intake...
 


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