Ranger with some problems

I have a 91 ranger with a 2.3 4cyl engine that has an on going problem with black smoke coming out of the exhaust. It only does it while driving, not at idle. And it dont do it all the time. Also there are no engine codes. I
have replaced almost everything electrical even the computer. I have had it to the local Ford dealer but no one seems to know anything. Is there anyone out there who might have a clue?????
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Black smoke... probably running too rich.
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btmser opined in

Are you sure it's black? or maybe bluish?
Here's the first thing I would look for:
Pull and look at all the plugs, the insulators tell you a lot.
Black or gray/sooty = rich greasy looking = oil use
If it IS too rich on occasion but you dont get the check Engine light, there's a very good chance it's your Fuel pressure regulator acting up
--
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -

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If you are in the habit of filling your fuel tank till you can't get any more in, there is a chance that the emissions cannister is flooded. The purge solenoid will not open at idle but will open when driving and would allow any excess fuel to enter the motor.

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No there is not a chance. The most likely problem is a fuel pressure regulator that is not regulating correctly if it is really black smoke. I doubt that it is black smoke, which would indicate a real rich mixture. The processor would pick that up there would be a code for rich fuel condition. There would also be run problems.

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Excuse me, I thought we were allowed our opinions. Apparently many things have been replaced with no change and the problem is intermittent. I have no idea if it is black smoke or not but I must judge the symptoms I have described to me.
High fuel pressure would be more evident when fuel demands are low.... if we feel a running concern is related to fuel pressure, it is important to remind the diagnostician that the fuel pressure must be monitored WHEN THE PROBLEM IS OCCURING. It would be nice if live data was available but I don't recall this feature being available in '91.
There are many more things that will drive a mixture lean than things that will drive a mixture rich. I am unsure of the strategy that will set a mixture code on something this old but there is the possibility that the concern is intermittent enough that code may not be generated. One thing I have learned in all these years is to avoid putting blinders on... FWIW.... I have seen this condition in the past and I will say that yes, there is a chance.
"pick one" <try again!> wrote in message

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The processor is simply a processor... the strategy is in the program. Surely you must be familiar with reflashes to cure troublesome check engine lights.... the strategy that sets the CEL is changed in most cases rather than any operating parameters. It is vital to know the difference between PCM and the strategy programmed into the PCM. Many ( I might even go as far as to say most) concerns require the concern to last for a specific amount of time on at least two consecutive drive cycles.
Sad to say, I do know what is involved in the EVAP system... that is why I suggest the original posters problem may be due to a flooded EVAP cannister. Some newer models *may* purge the cannister at idle depending on conditions. Pre-OBD2 purge the cannister only while driving. If I didn't know the parts of an EVAP system, I certainly wouldn't be a Senior Tech at a Ford dealership.
While you appear to have a firm grasp on the relationship between required voltage and spark duration (though a high primary resistance may give you a new perspective on scope pattern or digital KV interpretation), you'll need to explain why a flooded cannister wont produce black smoke.
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Pardon me? Where did I specifically mention reflashing an EEC-IV processor? I used the reflash example to demonstrate the difference between "PCM" and "strategy".... or did we forget the "It's called the processor" remark when I mentioned computer strategy?
Drive cycle... call it what you want drive cycle... start the car, drive the car, shut it off.... drive cycle Again... did I even suggest that I was either completing moitors or even suggesting that there were any systems monitors on OBD1?
You say "no way" and offer no substance. In spite of what you may believe, cannisters can and will become flooded.... the vent valve you speak of is simply a ball floating in a tube on the 91 Ex - hardly a high tech solution. While flooded cannisters are rare, they are still very, very possible.
One last question... why are you so set on having the original poster avoid checking for this condition?
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"The processor is simply a processor... the strategy is in the program. Surely you must be familiar with reflashes to cure troublesome check engine lights"
Need more?

Not by the statement above.

as to say most) concerns require the concern to last for a specific amount of time on at least two consecutive drive cycles."

No it is not just a ball floating on a tube. But even if it were, you would then understand how the canister can not become flooded. Look it up. Even if it were possible, with enough fuel to cause a balck smoke out the exhaust it's rich, the processore will pick it up and the engine will run like crap. You are way off the mark.

posts you would be aware that drivability problem would exist. Hell, the engine at this point would barley run!

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I think you are losing sight of the original complaint and, in all honesty, I shall leave you with your assumptions. I know what I have seen and I know what I have fixed. After you are done with your efforts to send your customer to the poor house, send him to me and we can remedy his problems. Until then, I bid you good day.
FWIW, if flooded cannisters are an impossibility, why does Ford find the need to mention flooded cannisters in driveability traing? Or is that one of the specialties you are waiting for?
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Section 03-13: Evaporative Emissions 1994 Aerostar, Ranger and Explorer Vehicles Workshop Manual
DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION
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Fill Control/Vapor Vent System Fill control is accomplished through a vent line, attached to the fuel tank filler pipe (9034) which extends inside the fuel tank (9002) . The fuel vapor valve (9B593) mounted in top panel of fuel tank and the attached vapor line to fuel vapor valve , also contribute to fill control by controlling pressure in the fuel tank when fuel rises to cover the fill vent opening in the fuel tank . The vent system is designed to provide an air space, approximately 10 percent of the tank volume, above the fuel level in a full tank. The air space allows for thermal expansion of fuel and provides clearance between the fuel level and the fuel vapor valve which is mounted in the top panel of the fuel tank . The clearance is sufficient to allow vapor venting through the fuel vapor valve under all static and most dynamic vehicle conditions.
***************************************************************************************************************************Section 03-13: Evaporative Emissions 1994 Aerostar, Ranger and Explorer Vehicles Workshop Manual
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING
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Diagnosis and Testing Physical damage, leaks, and missing items are the major answers to diagnosis of emission system complaints. Damage to the fuel tank filler cap or contamination that renders the pressure-vacuum valve inoperative may result in deformation of the fuel tank . Care should always be exercised to make sure a proper fuel tank filler cap (in working order) is used.
Refer to Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis Manual for individual components.
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***************************************************************************************************************************
1994 PCED OBD I A SECTION 2A: Diagnostic Routines
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Diagnostic Routines Index Gasoline Engines Driveability OASIS Number Chart Number Starting No Crank 601300 1 Concerns Hard Start/Long Crank/Erratic Start/Erratic Crank 602300 2 Stall After Start - 3 No Start/Normal Crank 603300 4 Unique Slow Return to Idle 617400 5 Idle Rolling Idle 618400 6 Concerns Fast Idle 619400 7 Low/Slow Idle - 8 Driveability - Performance While Driving Concerns Stalls/Quits Idle 607400 3 (607000) Acceleration 607500 9 Cruise 607600 9 Deceleration 607700 8 Runs Rough Idle 608400 6 (608000) Acceleration 608500 9 Cruise 608600 9 Misses Idle 609500 6 (609000) Acceleration 609500 9 Cruise 609600 9 Buck/Jerk Acceleration 610500 9 (610000) Cruise 610600 9 Deceleration 610700 9 Hesitation/Stumble (611000) Acceleration 611500 9 Surge Acceleration 612500 11 (612000) Cruise 612600 11 Backfires Idle 613400 12 (613000) Acceleration 613500 12 Deceleration 613600 12 Lack/Loss of Power Acceleration 614500 13 (614000) Cruise 614600 13 Spark Knock Acceleration 615500 14 (615000) Cruise 615600 14 Additional Driveability Concerns Diesels/ Runs On 621000 7 Poor Fuel Economy 622000 15 Emissions Compliance 623000 16 Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) Concern DCL Message Received (Continental Only) 698298 698198 17 Electrical Warning Indicators -MIL 206000 17 -DCL (Continental Only) 698298 -TCIL, 4x4 Low, SIL 698198 Climate Control Lack of cooling (AC) (AC not functioning) 208200 29 (208000) AC always ON/AC compressor runs continuously - 30 A/C does not cut off under WOT conditions. (Applications with WAC circuitry) - 31 Instrumentation -Tachometer Inoperative 204000 204128 204228 19 Lighting Systems-Exterior Lighting 201000 -Stoplamps always on 201228 -Stoplamps always off - 33 Driveline Manual Transmission Concern -Shift Indicator Lamp 505698 17 Automatic Transmission Shift Concerns -A/T upshift concern 501000 -A/T downshift concern 502000 18 -Engagement concern 503000 Engine Oil System Concerns 401000 -High Oil Consumption 401100 20 -Leaks 401800 Cooling Overheating 402300 21 System Runs Cold - 22 Concerns Electric cooling fan never runs - 21 (402000) Electric cooling fan always runs - 22 Exhaust System Concerns Visible Smoke 403400 23 (403000) Odor (Sulphur/"rotten egg" smell) 403596 34 Fuel System Concerns (404000) 404201 24 -Odor, Engine Compartment Engine Noise (Under Hood) 497000 25 Governor will not Limit rpm (7.0L MFI) - 27 Noise/Vibration Vibration Concerns 703000 26 No Symptoms Present EEC-IV Quick Test - 32 DIESEL ENGINES All driveability symptoms - 28
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You will find any mention for the EVAP system on any routine for drivability or emission compliance very far down the list, if mentioned at all.
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