1988 Ford Ranger No spark


Shrunken_Head
01-27-2007, 09:27 AM
:banghead: I've got a 88 Ford Ranger with the 2.9 V6 and it has no spark. I've tested cap, rotor, wires, plugs. All good with no moisture in the cap. Next checked the coil, coil is good. All fusible links in the engine compartment are good. So I replaced the ignition module (TVI-IV). Still no spark. I am getting power to the coil, and the negative wire from the coil to the ignition module is good. The only time the coil shows any spark is when you turn the key back after cranking it. It will get one spark as you are releasing the key. Any ideas? I am starting to think the whole distributor may be bad, or the EEC is bad in this car. Any helpo would be great.

DonSor
01-27-2007, 02:04 PM
Any indication from the Check Engine Light at all? Or does it have one? Sounds like the secondary in your coil is bad.

Shrunken_Head
01-27-2007, 08:49 PM
yeah it has the OBD I system. No codes present. The car was brought to my shop after it had been sitting for at least 6 months. Battery was dead to the point of no return. So, if there were any codes then, they were erased when the battery was changed. I tested the coil; terminal resistance between neg and pos. was in spec. The resistance between neg. terminal and coil to cap wire was in spec. I even went to the point of putting a new coil I had in stock in it just to see. Still no spark. I pulled the distributor back out again today and there is a little moisture that was unoticed in the bottom but nothing severe. What worries me is the slight rust on the internal components. I have seen much worse and seen cars still run. Maybe this one is just picky.

butch h
01-28-2007, 06:36 PM
Does it turn over easy? When you have the spark at key release,it can mean excessive starter draw which doesn't allow enough power to the coil.

Shrunken_Head
01-28-2007, 09:53 PM
crank spins freely. No noticable problems when the starter engages. I'll do a draw test on the starter and see what happens. I'm kinda at a loss for this thing. I usually work on classics but this guy is a good customer of ours since we restored a 68 Fury convertible for him. I appreciate your suggestions. If i find anything tomarrow I'll let you know. until then keep the ideas comming.

DonSor
01-28-2007, 11:07 PM
I don't think you have a starter problem. Looks like you have no ignition at all and/or you are not getting fuel at the rail.

corning_d3
01-28-2007, 11:07 PM
Have you checked out the starter solenoid. I believe it and the coil are tied together somehow.. Here's a pic to help diagnose...

http://autozone.com/images/cds/gif/large/0900823d800f87a7.gif

Shrunken_Head
01-29-2007, 03:30 PM
okay......So here is what we did today on it. New distributor, still no spark. Rotor turns while cranking, no broken gears. Getting power to coil, getting power to distributor. Put in another module (sometimes you get a bad one), still no spark. Pulled EEC, no burnt cicuits, no bent pins, cleaned and reinstalled ground wire to EEC. Starter draw is not excessive. I am starting to go out of my mind. Still getting the one spark when you shut her down.

butch h
01-29-2007, 05:01 PM
If you use the old ignition system (points & condenser) as a point of reference, the opening of the points is the trigger that causes the coil to send the voltage surge (spark) to the sparkplug(s) via the distributer cap.If all else is checked out as good,then it would seem the problem is in the stator assembly or the module. You did use dielectric grease on the module/distributer interface?

DonSor
01-29-2007, 05:29 PM
Using the schematic diagram, most can be checked out (voltage, resistance, continuity, etc.) except the ignition module. Unlike the old distributor in which the opening of the contacts result in the collapsing field of the primary, this newer concept has a coil which induces the signal for the ignition module to interrupt the primary in the coil. That is not happening. I know that the module has been replaced a couple of times but pointer seem to be going in that direction again, perhaps not the module itself but the wiring, connections, etc,

Shrunken_Head
01-29-2007, 11:44 PM
as for the dielectric grease on the terminal and modulde back plate, yes it was put on it. DonSor, that was what we figured on it too, hence the distributor change. We figured all new components would be bullet proof. It is just crazy, according too all wire tests I have done they all have continuity. As for the voltage of each wire I have not checked the voltage of all the hot wires....yet. I had a Ford tech buddy of mine stop by today and he had come to the same conclusion as I did that the ignition module was bad. Can anyone think of any other components that might be in this system? I am at a total loss at this point but I hate to send one home that has beaten me.

butch h
01-30-2007, 08:38 AM
If this vehicle came to you not running,& all else seems to check out,another possibility is a faulty ignition switch.

Shrunken_Head
01-30-2007, 11:16 AM
Okay here was this mornings dedicated hour and a half. I cut open the tape and traced the wires. All the wires (three) to the coil, tach/coil, and to ignition. All wires have good continuity and no shorts or breaks. I have power to the coil, to the ignition module from pos. side of coil, and green (tach) wire from coil to ignition module. There are three wires that go to the EEC and to the ground in the passenger side kick panel. I have two questions. Should the red wires from the ignition (they go from three to one wire, two wires from dash, one wire from coil then join and go to module) have power when the key is in the run position but not cranking the engine? And the other is there are two ground wires attached to the metal behind the passenger side kick panel. The black wire is sheathed and goes straight to the ignition module. That wire is good. There is also another ground wire attached to the same contact. It is not sheathed, just bare wire and runs right along with the black ground wire. Problem is this wire is broken. Does anyone know where this wire connects? I have not found another bare wire in the area of the distributor, let alone a broken one.

butch h
01-30-2007, 12:12 PM
Red/lt. blue start only,red/lt. green start & run bare wire unknown.

Shrunken_Head
01-30-2007, 01:54 PM
Just put a new ignition switch in her, no change. All wires have good continuity. Has new: distributor, ignition module, coil, ignition switch. The only other component I haven't changed (do not have in stock and more expensive) is the EEC.

Shrunken_Head
01-30-2007, 02:19 PM
Okay, just talked to a Ford tech buddy or mine. bare wire is just an insulator and serves no purpose. At the module I am getting power from the coil (thick red wire), getting power from the green (tach/coil wire), and my red/blue wire from the ignition is getting power when you crank it. The only thing we can think of, and everything points to, is a bad control module or bad distributor components. I have a new distributor (loaded) from Ford comming. I'll keep you posted.......If this doesn't work, I believe this thing is going to the scrapper.:rofl:

Shrunken_Head
01-30-2007, 03:50 PM
New distributor didn't change a thing. All ignition components have been replaced. If you all have any more ideas please tell me. I appreciate all the help but I believe this one is going in the trash. Maybe this is why I drive a Chevy.

HNTR22112
09-30-2010, 06:30 PM
Ive got the same exact problem!!! what the heck is goin on here,,, checked and replaced most everything and still no fire,,,,, next step ,,, crusher !!! 88 ranger 2.9 bout done with this truck

rhandwor
10-05-2010, 08:08 PM
Ive got the same exact problem!!! what the heck is goin on here,,, checked and replaced most everything and still no fire,,,,, next step ,,, crusher !!! 88 ranger 2.9 bout done with this truck
Check for a loose ground wire on older ones it was by the computer in the left kick panel. The relay should be close by the computer.
Check with a test light for power to coil negative it should blink a test light when cranking. Feel the eec power relay it should pulse when trying to start the vehicle.

danksauce
10-12-2010, 11:53 AM
we have the same problem we have been doing so many test and replaced everything. but we got ahold of a breakout box and if this doesnt show me whats wrong i give up

bigums1
11-08-2010, 06:37 PM
i have the exact same thing happing to my 86 ranger 2.3L the only thig i got left to do is rewire it and change the cumputer. sombody tryed to getto regg it so i think that may do it. have u cheacked all wires to make shure theres not a short?

danbythesea
11-27-2010, 01:46 PM
My parents recently purchased an 87 ranger with 2.9... note that engine and tranny are not the originals, it is distributor system. we have replaced all of the electrical components and are still having this "intermittent" problem, will be okay for an hour or a day, then no spark. Have any of you found the problem yet. My parents spent good money on purchase of truck, parts and plow (truck is to be used as snowplow for giant driveway.....this winter!!!
Please somebody tell me that you have a solution for this problem,

Desperate

danbythesea
11-27-2010, 01:48 PM
please tell me that you found the problem, my parents are having the same problems as your customer

rhandwor
11-27-2010, 03:55 PM
My parents recently purchased an 87 ranger with 2.9... note that engine and tranny are not the originals, it is distributor system. we have replaced all of the electrical components and are still having this "intermittent" problem, will be okay for an hour or a day, then no spark. Have any of you found the problem yet. My parents spent good money on purchase of truck, parts and plow (truck is to be used as snowplow for giant driveway.....this winter!!!
Please somebody tell me that you have a solution for this problem,

Desperate
Check the computer ground wire by the battery and where it grounds next to the computer a loose ground will cause these types of problems.

danbythesea
11-27-2010, 04:40 PM
Ground by the computer is nice and clean, all battery connections have been brushed clean as well

rhandwor
11-27-2010, 07:00 PM
Ground by the computer is nice and clean, all battery connections have been brushed clean as well
Look at the small ground which connects to the big ground wire make sure it is in good condition. The connection that plugs into the module check all of the wires they sometimes break. Did you purchase a rebuilt distributor or did you change the pickup in the distributor?

danbythesea
12-01-2010, 10:58 PM
Update.....
After much searching and prodding and a great variety of parts replaced. My father found something in the passenger compartment, on the passenger side, on the fire wall in the foot well , up on the left, below the heating cover...
...This find: is the elusive "inertia switch", it "trips" and by doing so shuts down the fuel pump relay, this action causes the computer to shut down spark to coil.
The truck appears to be running, up until the switch t"trips", then resetting gets the truck going again...
We have ordered from Ford @ $ 71.40 can. should be ready by Friday.
Will keep you posted, crossing fingers that this saves the truck, good luck to us all .

rhandwor
12-02-2010, 09:04 AM
Update.....
After much searching and prodding and a great variety of parts replaced. My father found something in the passenger compartment, on the passenger side, on the fire wall in the foot well , up on the left, below the heating cover...
...This find: is the elusive "inertia switch", it "trips" and by doing so shuts down the fuel pump relay, this action causes the computer to shut down spark to coil.
The truck appears to be running, up until the switch t"trips", then resetting gets the truck going again...
We have ordered from Ford @ $ 71.40 can. should be ready by Friday.
Will keep you posted, crossing fingers that this saves the truck, good luck to us all .
If the new switch trips check the amp draw on the circuit as this is unusual for this to occur.

danbythesea
12-05-2010, 01:21 AM
We received the new inertia switch, but instead of installing it. We chose to jump the wires plugging into the existing switch, so the switch is unplugged and wires are jumped.
Truck has been running every-time we ask it to start .....keeping fingers crossed, planning on returning new switch.
So do not throw your truck away, try to bypass the inertia switch....under dash passenger side.

rhandwor
12-05-2010, 06:43 AM
We received the new inertia switch, but instead of installing it. We chose to jump the wires plugging into the existing switch, so the switch is unplugged and wires are jumped.
Truck has been running every-time we ask it to start .....keeping fingers crossed, planning on returning new switch.
So do not throw your truck away, try to bypass the inertia switch....under dash passenger side.
This switch is a safety item to shut off fuel in case of a wreck or roll over.

danbythesea
12-05-2010, 07:36 PM
We received the new inertia switch, but instead of installing it. We chose to jump the wires plugging into the existing switch, so the switch is unplugged and wires are jumped.
Truck has been running every-time we ask it to start .....keeping fingers crossed, planning on returning new switch.
So do not throw your truck away, try to bypass the inertia switch....under dash passenger side.

danbythesea
12-07-2010, 09:40 PM
This switch is a safety item to shut off fuel in case of a wreck or roll over.
Yes I know, sorry I should have warned people before suggesting to bypass it....I was just so excited that we were able to get the thing to run. We will only be using it as a "yard" plow truck , it will not be going out for "regular" driving, (well not often).

Thanks for the reminder, safety does come first for me as well

madmh
07-04-2012, 05:42 PM
Yeah, I had the same problem with no spark until the key was switched off then one flash. Damn near pulled my hair out over this problem. Turns out it was a fuse link issue in my case. The voltage was right, just would not creat a spark with the load of the starter running. I hope this helps.

greasygirl
12-16-2012, 08:23 PM
:banghead:same problem going on here with 88 ranger 2.3l efi but to make it worse some tweekers got ahold of it before i did and the vacuum lines are a mess and i have a now have mass of wiring coming off the starter silenoid and going into relay and fusable links and god knows where else. i would love a pic of the components properly hooked up on the passenger side firewall. I am not sure whats what and where it goes. I'm not a mechanic nor a demolition expert and this truck needs both

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