I have a wonderfully bliss money hole of a truck which I am sure at least some here can relate to. Recently I have been having some power issues that I have been trying to iron out. I have gotten it running much better but it is still...causing its fair share of issues. The truck info is below.
1994 Ford Ranger with a V6 4.0L Pushrod Engine. 2X4 drive recently rebuilt Automatic Transmission. Burgundy in color (why not include just for giggles ya know.) In the past someone has dropped it by simply cutting the springs (
) which caused issues when turning left (more on that at the end. It's well worth the wait, trust me lol). Oh, and currently at 257,000 Miles.
Of course as we are all aware the OBD sensors were not installed on vehicles until 1995 and really started getting good in 1996...so no getting that pesky check engine light checked out.
So more about the actual problem. A few week ago I put some upper cylinder cleaner in a tank of gas and soon after the engine started to "lope" at idle, stall out consistently even with pressure on the accelerator, blow black smoke indicating a rich mixture and a STRONG fuel smell and just be undriveable. I changed out the fuel filter, the fuel pump, cleaned out the MAF sensor with MAF cleaner and the IAC with general carb cleaner. I also replaced the Fuel Pressure Regulator and checked all vacuum lines and couldn't find an issue. Finally took it to a mechanic and he deduced after a whole week that the problem was 3 plugs that had come unplugged (hence the loping) and a clogged Catalytic Converter and it was sending exhaust gases back into the engine. Of course this truck has a hard to find caddy and it would cost 550$ to put a new one in. Thankfully the county my truck is registered in has no concern at all with the environment so I simply put a huge hole in the exhaust before the caddy...and it did absolutely nothing. Nada. So now I have a hole in my exhaust which has fixed nothing (of course)
I gave the truck several sea foam treatments and even put a whole tank of high grade alcohol free gas in it. That seemed to help some. At least to where it was driveable, albeit rough running. Then it got to where it would run fine sometimes and then other times it would feel like I was driving a 4 cyl with a clogged fuel filter. Just no power at all, especially for such a beefy engine for that truck. I took it to another guy and he seemed to think that it was the fuel injectors. Of course these injectors sit under the manifold so changing them out is going to be a challenge. He was getting ready to move and didn't have the time to take on that project. But that does make sense. If you have a clogged injector then there could be a backup of pressure in the line that prevents it from reaching the engine. After several days of running a huge amount of injector cleaner through it it does seem to be running better. Check engine light is off and when it starts up it'll idle really rough for a minute (rough, pinging sounds, low RPM's etc) and then it's like a switch gets thrown and it smooths out and then it'll run just fine with no issues (even pulling full power). As far as I know these are the original injectors so they are 23 years old. I have new ones but now comes the task of finding the time to change them out. Anyone have any tips/tricks before I do this? Never done an injector job before. As I said I have to completely remove the Manifold and everything that's attached to it and the fuel rails to even reach them.
Also, I mentioned that I had the transmission rebuilt and the issues didn't start until AFTER I picked it up from them (like within a week). It is under warranty for 2 years. Is there a chance that this could be related to the transmission? If so then I just take it to them and see what they can do. Keep in mind it still has a strong fuel smell.
Now, about the spring. When they dropped it they didn't even cut the springs even so the truck sloped slightly and leaned to the rear left. Not enough to really notice unless you were looking for it though. That pulled on the front right to the point that turning left would cause a crunch and grind as the wheel itself was rubbing against the spring. The second guy I took it to (the one who suspected it was the injectors) literally welded the spring to the frame. It still works normal but now it is tucked away against the frame so it doesn't stick out. I mean it fixed the problem...but now I have a weld holding my front end suspension together haha. Oh man, this truck is the hardest thing I've ever loved in my life.
Wrenching away for now,