Car has plenty of power in park but not when put in gear

Tiny
ALEXWITHAC
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD RANGER
  • 4.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
The engine has all of it's power when it is in park and the throttle responds fine. But the moment it is put into gear, the engine has a rough idle, stalls out, and has no power. You have to floor it to reach 10mph. The engine does not rev up high either when it is put in gears either. The engine seems to not even try. I'm assuming it has a bad fuel/air ratio but I don't know what it could be. Again, it is perfectly fine when it is in park.
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Monday, September 29th, 2014 AT 9:48 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
This could be many things. Have you checked for trouble codes? Have you checked to make sure the catalytic converter isn't plugged? Have you checked fuel pump pressure to make sure it is within the manufacturer's specs? When was the last tune up? Any vacuum leaks? Have you checked ignition timing?
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Monday, September 29th, 2014 AT 10:56 AM
Tiny
ALEXWITHAC
  • MEMBER
The motor was just replaced. It has had this problem since the swap. It's not a clogged catalytic converter or fuel pump because it didn't have that problem before. I don't understand how any of that would make it run fine in park but not in gear. I cannot get codes from it because I would have to drive to a dealership because it is too old of a car and it isn't drivable. The new motor has 80k miles on it and had a tuneup before it was pulled from the donor vehicle.
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Monday, September 29th, 2014 AT 1:29 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
When an engine takes on a load, it makes a big difference. I assume the donor engine ran fine before it was removed. Since it only happens when in gear, have you checked to make sure the main grounds to the engine are clean and tight. Maybe the torque of the engine is causing a loss of ground.
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Monday, September 29th, 2014 AT 7:31 PM
Tiny
ALEXWITHAC
  • MEMBER
How can I check that?
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 AT 8:11 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Check the negative cable between the battery and the engine block. Make sure it is in good condition and where it attaches to the engine, make sure it is tight and clean. If you can, have a helper place the vehicle in gear and watch to see if the engine is moving excessively due to a bad motor mount and causing an issue with the ground.
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 AT 5:20 PM
Tiny
ALEXWITHAC
  • MEMBER
I checked the negative cable and it is fine. I was finally able to pull the codes from the OBD and I fixed the few codes it gave me and it has not fixed the problem at all. The problem only arose after replacing the motor. I do not know what else it could be
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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 AT 8:49 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
What codes did you get?
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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 AT 8:47 AM
Tiny
ALEXWITHAC
  • MEMBER
Mass air flow sensor and throttle position sensor but those were both replaced and I'm getting no codes now. If the catalytic converter was clogged, would I get a code for that and would it cause the loss of power under a load? If there isn't a code for that how can I check it without a vacuum gauge or removing it? I've heard I can remove the O2 sensors and that if it runs alright like that it means it's clogged. How effective is that?
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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 AT 1:33 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The right way is by checking back pressure. However, if you can't, removing the sensors will help the engine breath a little better and you should notice a difference. And yes, the converter will cause a power loss if plugged. However, normally it won't run that great in park or neutral. Finally, often times a converter, when plugged, will get so hot it will glow red. Look for that too.
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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 AT 5:04 PM
Tiny
BRYANT TAYLOR
  • MEMBER
I was having the same issues and I mean exactly. I changed the fuel filter and nothing. I changed the air filter and it fixed it. No one ever says to change that and air flow especially under a load like putting it in gear is EVERYTHING I repeat E V E R Y T H I N G. Auto experts do not impress me.
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Friday, March 9th, 2018 AT 7:37 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
O man you are right I have seen the same thing. We address this issue in this guide.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-has-low-power-output

#1 thing to check

Use 2CarPros anytime, we are here to help. Please tell a friend.

Cheers, Ken

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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 12:27 PM
Tiny
BRYANT TAYLOR
  • MEMBER
It's amazing that all the so called experts didn't even mention this and even charged me for their wrong advice. It took a non mechanic like me to fix my problem. Experts don't impress me.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Nobody is perfect that's for sure we help people for free so you cant go wrong there.
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Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 AT 9:56 AM

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