Mechanics

2.3L CRANKS BUT NO START

1996 Ford Ranger • 4 cylinder 2WD Manual • 300,000 miles

I have a 1996 Ford Ranger 2wd 2.3L. It was running a little rough and had some power loss, but started reliably. Last year I replaced four fouled plugs/wires to improve performance, but was not able to replace the other four because of difficulty/time. Battery two months old. Brought it for new tires and when I went to pick it up it would crank but not start. The tire mechanic said that it was running a little rough, but started without problem and he backed it into the spot when he was done, no problem.
Checked the fuel port that looks like a tire valve and the gas just squirted out. Bought a code reader that showed three errors; bad coil, misfire on 1, and bad heat sensor. Replace both coils, but no start. The codes did not clear at first, but after several re-attemps the code reader now shows "No Codes." I purchased an ICM, but can not find one on the vehicle and do not think that I have one. I checked most if not all wire connections to see if anything shook loose, but could not find anything. Any help/direction would be appreciated.
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Florczak
February 28, 2011.




It's a 4 cylinder and you replaced 4 but not the other 4? So how does the spark look? What's a bad heat sensor? Temp sensor? Or heated ox sensor? Nice if you had the codes # to help.

Tiny
Fixitmr
Mar 1, 2011.
So you got the dual ignition version? What's next? If 2 is better why not 3 or 4? Only ford! IM should be on fender.

Tiny
Fixitmr
Mar 1, 2011.
Wait, it dont have an IM! 1 less thing to buy? You might wanna check actual fuel pressure as you need 40lbs.

Tiny
Fixitmr
Mar 1, 2011.
With that many miles i'd say it's gettin close to worn out? Maybe a compression test is a good idea!
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Tiny
Fixitmr
Mar 1, 2011.
Since I discarded the codes when they cleared, I went back to the manual and tried to find the original code numbers. Keep in mind they cleared after the coils were replaced and now show 0 CODES. The first two were P0351 then P0301 then the third was something about a heat sensor. I did reconfirm that the ICM is not on the fender or anywhere else that I can find. There seems to be a series of wires coming from the coils and various sensors to a grey "plug" 1" x 4" that looks like it goes into the upper firewall on the same side as the coils. I also purchased the attachments for my sockets set to change out the remaining plugs and wires (8 of each total - two per cylinder). I do not know how to test for "Good Spark", but I assume that is the missing link since there is plenty of fuel and the engine turns. This also went from starting even in cold weather without hesitation to not starting. Any clue as to how to trace this out or what would cause a sudden and catostrophic failure of the ignition system would be helpful. Also, can I check the fuel pressure using a standard air gauge? Do you do this while cranking or just sitting still?
By the way, if this was a late model with low miles it would be under warranty and at the dealer. Since this does have almost 300K, I am trying to keep this running with limited financial investment, doing the labor myself, and using this site to help with my limited knowledge/experience. I do appreciate any help.

Tiny
Florczak
Mar 8, 2011.
To test for spark, take plug wire and insert a plug and lay it on the engine(metal ground) and crank while to see if plug is firing. Bluish/white spark indicates good spark.
Fuel pressure can be read either way. Air gauge could work. Not pencil tire gauge?

Tiny
Fixitmr
Apr 1, 2011.

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