My 96 Ranger 2.3 litre (Nissan) engine is driving me crazy. It performs
great on the highway but terrible in stop and go traffic. I've replaced
the timing belt, plugs and wires and a pile of sensors but it runs the
same as ever. Engine timing acts like it is off below 1500 rpm and
responds poorly to the accelerator pedal at the bottom of the stroke
through every gear.
Two questions, why do you have a Nissan engine in a Ford?
Secondly, Why not take it to a competent technician with the
proper analyzer and have it fixed properly rather than changing
parts willy nilly?
This is not A Ford (dual plug head engine) and I hav'nt changed anything.
Ford and Mazda are the same in these years except the Ranger has Ford
As far as having it analysed Iv'e gone to about every competent tech I
could find with no luck. The last guy phoned the Ford dealer with
questions about the MAF sensor even though he had no codes showing up and
the engine check light was out. He got a long moment of silence but no
insight and suspected Ford knows about this problem and it is universal
with all the standard transmission XL's of that year. He agreed it was a
pain to drive and dangerous (stalling in traffic).
I guess what I am asking is there anyone else out there with the same
Why the correlation of "Dual Plug Engine" and NOT a Ford? The ford 2.3's
were DIS/dual plug since 99 or so.
just a crazy hunch... try disconnecting the maf connector (WITH key OFF,
naturally) and see if it drives better.
if it does... then clean the maf.
if it doesnt want to run at all, that points to another sensor bad.. or
seen as bad by the pcm.
a dirty maf wont set any codes.
Thanks Backyard, That is the useful info Iv'e had so far. The MAF on this
thing is placed in the most retarded of places, right inside the air
cleaner housing where it picks up oil and gets soaked. This especially, if
the the previous owner (a woman) never bothered to notice the pcv valve
As far as the dual plug set up goes I hear they are used in airplanes for
depenability. Two separate(rotating) magnetos supply each set of plugs
with real voltage. I doubt any aircraft would dare employ this same type
of computerized coil pack system designed by Ford specifically to make
money off fools like me and cause nervous breakdowns.
The dual plug was to improve emissions. IMO your problem is one
of maintenance not design. When one buys any used vehicle they
can never know for sure how the it was used or abused, or whether
it was serviced properly or not.
I think you are wrong about that. The later Mazda trucks sold in the US are
literally just rebadged Rangers with slightly (very slightly) different
sheet metal, different grilles and different interior trim. Drive train is
all Ford with Ford electronics. They still sell "real" Mazda trucks in other
markets. And in some markets, Ford sells rebadged Mazda trucks as Rangers.
Now if you want to go back to the late 70's, you got some really strage
combinations. We had a Courier that had a cab and chassis built in Japan, a
bed built in California, the engine short block was a Brazilian built
variation of the 2.3L Pinto engine but had a Japanese carburetor and
electronics. The automatic was a Jatco transmission. It was a nightmare at
the parts store.
Someone is feeding you false information. The Ranger and the
Mazda 'B' Series truck were built on the same Ford assembly line
in NJ and the ONLY difference is in trim, MSRP and warranty.
No one can analyze your vehicle in a NG. Take your truck to a
Ford dealership and have one of the technicians run the VIN# and
you will get ALL of the TSBs and or recalls that apply to your
truck including any not yet complied, if you bought the truck
I assume he means Mazda instead of Nissan, but he's still wrong, I think.
The 96 Ranger is 100% Ford. The engine is a Ford engine. Even the Mazda
trucks of that era are 100% Ford except the badging.
The only exception, I think, is the 5 speed manual Mazda transmission that's
in both Ford and Mazda versions.
That's the way I understand it, anyway.
No sir,not a transmission problem. The engine is a dual head plug type with
coil packs and no rotating distibutor. It is Japanese just as Mazda and
Ford are affiliated except the japs know how to inject and fire an engine
using their own superior electronic systems. My Ford has FoMoCo sensors
PCMs etc. etc.
That engine is not a Japanese engine, it is an upgraded version
of the 2.3 that Ford first used in 1973. The same engine that
powered the Mustang SVO and the Thunderbird Turbo Coup, but
without the blower.
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