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Old 12-02-2006, 11:27 PM   #1
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Worked On The Ranger Today

I put some bold moves on it today!

It was nice for a winter day. Sun out, no wind, temps in the mid 30's, snow on the ground. Looked like a good time to tear into the Ranger.

This on going horrible MPG has to stop! The truck was throwing no codes according to the SG and no CEL light on in the dash.

Initial inspection showed no loose, unhooked or broken vacume lines or fittings. I did find the PCV valve in a bit of distress. It had a slight separation between the upper and lower half. I went ahead and took it apart to check that it was clean and otherwise in good shape. Put it back together and re crimped the seam. All is fine concerning the part now.

I ran all the emission sensors today. Basically it went like this. I targeted a part like a O2 sensor. I would do a key on test. No CEL. Then start,, no CEL. Then shut the truck off and unhook the device. Create a CEL then hook device up and clear CEL. Then move on to the next. I would also check the cold verse's warm resistance on devices also. I also pulled a vacume on devices that had a diaphragm like the purge valve, fuel rail surg, EGR, EVG and such. To make sure the diaphragms were not leaking and that they were indeed opening and closing said switch or valve. My last sensor was the cam timing unit thats down by the crank. It appeared ok.

Well grud. This has gotten me nowhere. Ive done all of this before. The Ranger has a new fuel filter, new plugs, wires, battery. Air filter is clean. What next.

Ive checked the MAF so lets clean it. Its clean now. Not that it was dirty. I dubble check all the connections, clean them, reseat them with a fresh coat of silicone grease.

I take the truck for a test drive after turning the heat shield of the cone style air filter backwards to try and recover some under hood engine heat.

No good. Its the same. I have to put the ubber xcel moves on the truck to get 30 MPG out of it on a mixed city highway run of 10 miles on a fully warmed engine.

To say I was unhappy would have been a huge under statement at this point. I decided it was time to take the front of the engine off along with the top half. I have been concerned that maybe the cam timing has changed.

So out comes the antifreeze, radiator, Then the crank pulley and other odds and ends. Im now looking at the timing belt, timing marks, water pump, tensioner and so on. The timing marks are spot on. Yep I knew I put that darn timing belt on right. Off comes the belt to check and see if something is wrong with the cam pulley. Its nice and snug on the cam shaft no play and key is tight. So at best the cam timing is at factory spec since it is keyed to the shaft. Rats I wanted to advance it one or two degrees.

So off comes the upper half of the intake manifold and valve cover. Maybe I have a worn cam lobe or two. Nope, all is fine in there. RATZ!!!!

At my wits end I'm ready to take the 44 mag to it. The wife begs for mercy and promises the truck will do better. And reminds me we need it to haul the new furniture home. RATZ!!! again. grrrr.

So I put the horrible hunk of junk back together. The whole time thinking. The heck with the wife. I will park the truck in front of the local Ford dealer. Put a brick on the throttle and let her toast its self. Then go buy a used f-150 or Tundra and be done with this awful part of my automotive life.

The trucks back together Ive found and tested a suitable cinder block for the roasting of the 2.5L I4. All thats needed now is a suitable death drudge of a tune to be blasting on the stereo. I secure that make sure the burned CD plays in the Ranger. I am all set with a sinister grin.

With the engine all nice and warm I back out of the driveway. Start down the street. Wait it didn't labor knock off idle. Hum,,, ok we can check this at the stop sign. It must know its going to die a horrible death. Nope didn't knock off idle at the next two stop signs. OK I look at the SG going down the road in 5th gear at 30 mph. Hold on its showing 32 MPG real time loafing down the road. Its never done this. HUMMM driving on by the left turn that needs to be made for the Ford dealer,,, I drive on. I come to a slight downhill section, ease out of the throttle ever so slightly, real time MPG shoots up to 65 MPG .

Could it be its fixed? After 6 plus years of disappointment,,, naw,, all this truck knows is heart break. I continue on. The real time MPG numbers are looking near Accordian like. I pull out on the highway and head north as if I were on my way to Tulsa. Thats it lull it into a false since of security. Its bound to start messing up anytime. I execute a short FAS like I always do on one stretch of the road. I dont want it to think anythings up yeah know. I ease on down the road running 5 mph under the speed limit. I come to a light. Stop and let it idle. WOW its showing .1 gph on the SG. The best I have ever seen is .2 gph at idle. So I shoot off away from the light. Get into 5th gear and let the speed climb to 55 mph. Once steady I start watching the current MPG . 22, 22.3, 22.6, 23, 23.5,,, it keeps going up. Before I'm at the city limit and after Ive pulled a small hill. Its at 26 MPG . This has never happened. Its a fluke! Its not real! Bang SG around. WOW 27 MPG . OK its time to do a Ferrari tune up. Make a U turn in the proper place and smash the gas to it. Cant be holding up on coming traffic yeah know. I give her hell. No rev limiter to be found. Let it pull until it cant pull anymore than grab the next gear. Did this thru third gear. Dropped it into 5th and looked at the SG. 22 MPG after that on slot of rpm madness. Not bad! I continue on down the highway at 55 mph. Lookie there, the MPG is coming back up. Within two miles its back up to 27 MPG . I throw a few FAS at it and its bumping up close to 30 MPG . With 42 degree intake air temps. I end back in the driveway at 29.2 MPG . Thats 2 MPG better than EPA highway!

The very best the truck would have ever done in the past at any temp on a run and romp like this,,, would have been 20 to 22 MPG . I set in the driveway dumb founded. And there it was idling at .1 gph. Not its normal .2/.3 gph. I'm not convinced that its fixed. But it wasn't tortured to death today either. I'm going to take it back out and make a run in it from stone cold later tonight and see what it does.

Wish it luck

psy
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:34 PM   #2
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More Testing

Well I just got back from doing some test runs.

Went out,, hopped in the truck and turned the key on. I was hoping the truck would be stone cold. It was pretty close. SG showed 44F for water temp and 33F for static intake air temp. I start the truck up. It is in open loop. I let it idle for about 1 min. Loop goes close. I pop it in first and we are off. No knock off idle. Thats good. I run this test loop like the last one. get back to the house with 25.6 MPG . Ok it was real near to stone cold. Air temp is now 25F and falling. Intake air temp was running at 30F.

I turn the truck off and reset the current MPG for the SG. Fire it back up and make the loop again. Same speeds, everything as the other runs. Get back to the house with 29.6. But its back to idling at .3 gph. RATZ!!!! Maybe this is being caused by the low air temps. Who knows with this can of worms. But the 29+ MPG loop was repeatable with even lower air temps than earlier.

So I think,,, lets do it one more time. But use a different test loop. This one will have some stop signs and lights and allow for some 55 to 60 mph time. Then a stop sign at the bottom a large hill that has to be pulled, a FAS , two lights that can never be timed or made, a FAS , stop sign and home. About a 9 mile run if that. Reset the SG and take off. The truck behaved good and returned a 27.2 MPG segment.

None of these segments were done in ubber hypermiling mode. I know what I can do. I was more interested in what the truck would do.

Bottom line is. It seems to be doing better for some odd reason. With that I will hold on to some very causes optimism. I will see what the warmer temps of Sunday will hold. Then see if maybe a Wai at this point will help. If not induce more summer time intake air temps and see if its constant labor knocking returns.

It would seem if just for tonight the off idle knock that has plagued the truck since new has went away. I sure hated to see the .3 gph idle fuel used come back. But the over all MPG looks better than I think Ive ever seen it.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theclencher
Is your truck's name "Christine" by any chance?

It sounds like you have a weird truck. My g/f's Ranger with V6 a/t will get close to 30 mpg in good conditions and it's been very comfortable and reliable to boot. I had one major issue with it- oil pan gasket failure. I mean, that freaking gasket disintegrated and Ford did nothing to stand behind thier obviously defective component. I replaced it myself and that job was a real bear!

Ive never had good luck with Rangers. Millions do I guess. I hope I have learn my lesson.

I bought a early model v6 (carb) AT, 4x4 standard cab long bed brand new. Little truck was as loaded as Ford made them back then. Dual tanks,,, the works. It was one of the early small body trucks. I don't remember what year. Anyway you would be darn lucky if it got 18 mpg on the hwy, down hill with a tailwind. Put it in 4x4 and you could watch the gas gauge fall. Put it in 4x4 low,,, those dual tanks weren't worth 25 miles. If you rolled the windows down at anything above 55 mph you had to stop to get them to roll back up. If you turned the steering wheel left at the wrong time it would blow the filler cap off the power steering pump and blow the power steering fluid out all over the under side of the truck. Then if you drove it long enough to get it out of the street it would roast the pump. The paint fell of it. The tranny had to be replaced twice in it. It was a constant pain. I finally got fed up with it and left in the high desert outside of the Mormon Mt. Range when doing some prospecting.

So back in 2000 I decide I want another small truck. Don't need a big one. Well not being able to buy enough stock in K-Y to be able to take the reaming I would get on a Toyota lot. And not willing to be caught dead in a GM product. I end up with another Ranger. When I test drove the truck it was perfect. Signed the papers and drove off. 10 miles down the road it starts labor knocking. And starts a knock off idle. I turn around and go back. They cant find a problem. Its been that way ever since. Sucks gas and runs like crap. The two weeks into ownership a weld breaks in a cab seam. It just went down hill from there. It does not have the Mazda 5 MT in it.... Of course not. It has the junkie Mitzu tranny in it. Shifts worse than a F-250 5MT. The clutch pedal never holds a constant level. And the third member has more slop than a two dollar *****. But thankfully it does not whine like a GM rear end. It also broke the front sway bar link bolts one day when I was pulling into the parking lot at work. When they let go I thought somebody was shooting at me. OOO and it also broke another weld in the cab later in life. Then to top it off the paint fell off of it on the side of the bed passenger side. Made me so mad I kicked the side of the bed in. Thats when I swore off new American name badged cars and trucks. NEVER AGAIN. Used,,,, ok,,, but never ever new again. I haven't owned a American name badged car since 1969 MY that the damned paint has stayed on.

I just want it to run right. I sold it once to a fellow I know. He knew of it problems. Ive known the guy for years. He was sure he could fix it. Two weeks later hes back asking me if I would please take the truck back and I could keep two or three hundred of the sale money for my trouble. I gave him the money back and took the bad penny back. I wouldn't feel right selling it to anybody or trading in on anything. Some poor sob would get burned.

So I keep beating my head against it trying to get it to run right. But I think 2007 will be its year. Either I will make this pos work right or it be used for something good. Like maybe be recycled for beer bottle caps or something.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:21 PM   #4
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Messed around a bit more with the Ranger today.

Its been a picky beast about its oil. Ford say 5w-30 is whats needed. But we know better than that. It really seems to prefer MotorCraft oil over anything out there. Ive ran M1 5w-20 and 5w-30 in it and it hates it. It seems to burn a little of it and harmonics seem to setup in the motor. It gets real loud and sings if that makes since. Last oil change I put in the Wal-Mart SuperTech Syn, 5w-30 and a SuperTech oil filter. I bet I haven't put 1500 miles on this oil. And the motors back to its harmonics and low tone rumbling noise's. Really strange.

So today in the arctic chill I got out and took the Ranger for a spin to Wal-mart to get,,, The Tree. Ho darn Ho Ho has started here at the shack. Any way I asked the wife to listen to the motor as we drove. She pointed out that the knock off idle was gone and she liked that. And that the shifter wasnt jumping around like it wanted to break loose from the floor pan. But stated the motor still had a grumbly sound,,, like she could hear every part in the engine working. Now after driving near silent I4 Honda's anything but a Yota sounds loud under the hood and we both agreed to that notion. Knowing shes driven the truck more than I have in the last year her input was very important.

So while at Wal-Mart I picked up a 5 qt. jug of MotorCraft 5w-20 and MotorCraft filter for the Ranger. Apon getting home after the Wal-Mart journey and a few other stops the SG posted a solid 25 MPG all city. Not bad for limited hypermiling and temps below 30F. I pulled the oil fill cap and dip stick and felt the oil on them. Sure enough it was very hot to the touch, but thick. Man was this stuff thick! I went back to the shed where I have some use 5w-20 and 0w-20 and HD30. None of it was as thick as this hot 5w-30 to the touch.

Out went the current Wally World Syn. In went the MotorCraft 5w-20 and filter. I took the truck over to a buds house to pick up some of his used oil and had about 20 qt's of my own to take to Auto Zone. The drive to his house and to Auto Zone netted a solid 28 mpg.

Maybe just maybe the Ranger is getting right as near rice.

psy
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