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88 Ranger Will not pass smog

augoldminer

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88 Ranger 2.3L

The truck will not pass Calif smog
Shows no fault codes (code11)passed all visual inspections
Passed all functional test,

Failed HC levels, Max they allow is 120 ppm at idle, the test place got 629 ppm.
And at 2500 rpm 180 ppm allowed got 224 ppm

I changed oil and air filter so that is not the problem.

Spark plugs normal color.
Compression in all Cyls 125 psi

New Cat.
The truck runs great just won't pass smog.

This truck now has me stumped.

I don't know what to do next.
Or how to tell if its working.

Anyone got any ideas that work.
I have just about run out of money and i live on disability.
 
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Tbars4

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tmwalsh

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Aha. Gotcha. They got me when my truck was just a year old. Would not pass, failed the second test, and the Ford dealer couldn't get it to pass, so I had to get a referee to issue a waiver. Talk about PITA. The truck was a CA EFI 2.3, the 1st year for EFI, and no one could make it pass.
But I figured out what was wrong, and it has passed every time since.
2009 numbers
HC reading 108 allowed 223
CO% read0.36 allowed 2.79
NOx reading 1633 pass

Remove the throttle plate using a 12 sided socket wrench [metric] on the 4 nuts. Take a catalytic converter safe and intake manifold coating safe carburetor cleaner spray, and using the spray tube, wash down the walls of the upper intake manifold. The PCV and EGR both feed 'stuff' into the intake, and it can coat the walls, leading to too many HC's coming through at idle. Apparently, they are not burnable or something. After douching the upper intake, put the throttle plate back on, replace the air cleaner ducting, and wait 1/2 hour or so for the cleaner to soak on the backsides of all the intake valves that happen to be closed. Start it up, prepared for a cloud of schmutz, so don't do this in a closed space. It will smoke for a few minutes or less, and then run better than you have had it run in a while. You can also spray the stuff around the backside of the butterfly and throttle body assembly, or even take a shortcut and open the throttle, and spray without removing the upper intake and hopefully it will pass, but if it's been a while, the best results are to have good access to see how much stuff is being removed and washed into the bottom intake. You will see plain metal if it is clean.
tomadd
 
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augoldminer

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Remove the throttle plate using a 12 sided socket wrench [metric] on the 4 nuts. Take a catalytic converter safe and intake manifold coating safe carburetor cleaner spray, and using the spray tube, wash down the walls of the upper intake manifold. The PCV and EGR both feed 'stuff' into the intake, and it can coat the walls, leading to too many HC's coming through at idle. Apparently, they are not burnable or something. After douching the upper intake, put the throttle plate back on, replace the air cleaner ducting, and wait 1/2 hour or so for the cleaner to soak on the backsides of all the intake valves that happen to be closed. Start it up, prepared for a cloud of schmutz, so don't do this in a closed space. It will smoke for a few minutes or less, and then run better than you have had it run in a while. You can also spray the stuff around the backside of the butterfly and throttle body assembly, or even take a shortcut and open the throttle, and spray without removing the upper intake and hopefully it will pass, but if it's been a while, the best results are to have good access to see how much stuff is being removed and washed into the bottom intake. You will see plain metal if it is clean.
tomadd

I had to work on a valve and replace the valve seals and while i was at it i cleaned the TAR out of the whole manifold system. and wire brushed the valves stems, plus i knew about the ball of exhaust byproducts that plugs the manifold passage from the EGR.

Great idea but i covered it already.
 
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augoldminer

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Just found this recall notice

Ford Motor Company DR-786(91E18) 5/8/92 1988 Ford Ranger with 2.3L engine and manual transmission. Calibrations
8-49G-R00 & R10 and
8-49T-R00 & R10 only
(JFM2.3V5FFG1)

Excessive HC in CARB in-use testing

My truck came from Georgia and this the first time registering it in calif

Now i have to find a copy of the notice and find out what is wrong and how to fix it.

I tried to look it up on the web and nothing.
 
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Tbars4

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..Is this the site you found it on?
http://www.epa.gov/oms/cert/recall/92recall.htm

...My thoughts are that the HC testing was noted by the EPA and Ford was notified...How it was handled as maybe a fine or just a notification, we may never know. How Ford handled it to may be also difficult to find..

..I did some quick searching on the 88 Ranger TSB's and found nothing pertaining to that. It may be worth taking that info to a Ford Dealer since you are in California and see if they have any info on a recall, TSB, or repair as a result of the EPA listing..

..Sometimes the parts are just modified without any notice to customers and most will never know until they replace the part themselves and notice it looks different..

..How many miles on the truck and some feedback may get others to jump in to better answer your question..

..When is the last time you did a complete tune up?

..Have you had the battery disconnected at all before the test?

..You will find some useful links in the first post of this thread?
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=219411
 
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tmwalsh

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HC means too much fuel, OR unburned fuel. Fuel pressure could be too high, and the ECM trying to cut the spray time, but if the regulator is not functional, it can't.
Does the evaporative canister system work, or is it purging extra vapors into the intake willy-nilly?
When you had the head off, you de-carboned the piston tops, right?
Is the PCV working? Is it possible the PCV lines from the separator under the intake manifold leading to the bottom of the upper intake are full of crud with built-in HC's to feed to the engine?
Basically, its either too much fuel, or fuel coming from 'somewhere else'. The somewhere else can be a 'storage point' that lets the HC's go whenver it wants to rather than on schedule... so to speak.
The O2 sensor flips between .1 and .9v as it goes from lean to rich. "low=lean" meaning the O2 will send a 'lean' signal to the ECM when there are extra O2's in the exhaust gas. It does not know HC's from Bob. So, when an O2 dies, or doesn't work so well, it gets lazy, and flips slower, or doesn't flip at all, and just stays 'low'. That would mean the ECM thought the mix was lean, and it would be adding extra fuel to try to make the O2 come back to life and send it a 'hi' indicating it was too rich. There is a limit in the 'fudge factor' allowed. You would need to gain access to all the ECM data to know what's going on. The ECM may not throw a code, as all it knows is that "the O2 works now and again, so it must be OK, right?"
Anyway if an O2 fails, it fails to produce no volts, and that means 'lean' to the ECM.
If yours is old, it couldn't hurt... You can test them with a propane torch, but I never had any luck trying to hold the torch, the O2, and a VOM and have them all function at the same time without burns or dropping something.
tom
 
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augoldminer

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HC means too much fuel, OR unburned fuel. Fuel pressure could be too high, and the ECM trying to cut the spray time, but if the regulator is not functional, it can't.
In repairing the engine i found a bad regulator and replaced it.
It had a hole in the regulator diaphragm and was feeding raw gas into the intake manifold through the vacuum line.
Though on the fuel rail there is a can unit with no vac line back behind the intake my Haynes manual does not cover what this is. Can not even ask the parts place how much if you don't have a name for the part.

Does the evaporative canister system work, or is it purging extra vapors into the intake willy-nilly?
it passed the functional test??
When you had the head off, you de-carboned the piston tops, right?
Did not shine them, but removed all excess carbon from the piston tops with a wire brush. was not much to begin with
Is the PCV working? Is it possible the PCV lines from the separator under the intake manifold leading to the bottom of the upper intake are full of crud with built-in HC's to feed to the engine?
Cleaned Inspected and found nothing wrong.
Basically, its either too much fuel, or fuel coming from 'somewhere else'. The somewhere else can be a 'storage point' that lets the HC's go whenver it wants to rather than on schedule... so to speak.
you may be right just did a drive of 191 miles to my VA clinic for lab work and only got 21.3 mpg. all highway at 65-70 mph. but where??? is the problem don't want to throw more parts at the truck just guessing.
The O2 sensor flips between .1 and .9v as it goes from lean to rich. "low=lean" meaning the O2 will send a 'lean' signal to the ECM when there are extra O2's in the exhaust gas. It does not know HC's from Bob. So, when an O2 dies, or doesn't work so well, it gets lazy, and flips slower, or doesn't flip at all, and just stays 'low'. That would mean the ECM thought the mix was lean, and it would be adding extra fuel to try to make the O2 come back to life and send it a 'hi' indicating it was too rich. There is a limit in the 'fudge factor' allowed. You would need to gain access to all the ECM data to know what's going on. The ECM may not throw a code, as all it knows is that "the O2 works now and again, so it must be OK, right?"
Anyway if an O2 fails, it fails to produce no volts, and that means 'lean' to the ECM.
If yours is old, it couldn't hurt... You can test them with a propane torch, but I never had any luck trying to hold the torch, the O2, and a VOM and have them all function at the same time without burns or dropping something.
tom
One of the first things replaced was the O2 sensor(code41) after fixing the smoke problem from the bad valve seals as i knew it was bad when i got the truck.its only got about 300 miles on it now.

Also replaced the MAP, EGR valve and EVP sensor(code31) TPS replaced and set at .97 volts, hand cleaned injectors while I had them out. good spray pattern.
And replaced the EGR Vacuum Solenoid.
New cap,wires. rotor, and plugs. tested coil over 1 1/4 inches of spark before the spark broke.
Cleaned IAC valve/motor. ( buzzing noise and slow to return to idle. Works right now)

Before the smog test i ran the truck for about 30 miles after the battery cable had been off.
_______________________________________________________________
Tbars4

How many miles on the truck 913XX.

That is the site i found it on.
..I did some quick searching on the 88 Ranger TSB's and found nothing pertaining to that. It may be worth taking that info to a Ford Dealer since you are in California and see if they have any info on a recall, TSB, or repair as a result of the EPA listing..
I checked with two ford dealer service departments they knew nothing.
Wanted me to bring it in for diagnosis and repair. I am on a fixed income (disability) and don't have that type money.
Plus i have done most of the checks that they would do(i still have my tools and test equipment) and likely they would just throw parts at it till they got lucky. About the only thing i can not test is the smog.
I am a mechanic (heavy equipment, marine, electromotive equipment, generator(both ends as i am also a electrician.) mining equipment,)so i have a system of troubleshooting that works in most cases.
I just never liked to work on peoples cars and trucks so i never worked that part of the trade.PITA. I only do my own.
 
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Tbars4

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..I was just suggesting you ask Ford and would never send anybody there to get reamed on them trying to figure it out..:D

..The first link I posed here, if you click on "Failed Smog" link then scroll down to the bottom of the other site, it has info pertaining to each of the reasons to fail so you click on your reason.. Then it has some useful suggestions on what to chase..

..Sill curious if you have changed all plugs and wires along with a coilpack..Have you double checked your codes again?
 
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Tbars4

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...Any updates on your progress?
 
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tmwalsh

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I just thought of something. The numbers 'allowed' for my 85 truck were California numbers. The numbers reported as allowed for the 88 - likely a 49 state emissions rig coming from Georgia, are just about the same as the CA numbers. That doesn't sound right. Is it possible the SMOG checker hasn't realized this is a 49 state truck, and is testing against much lower limits?
Final thought is have you checked the ACT and ECT sensors against the table or range of values they should exhibit at specific temperature? They will not throw a code as long as the resistance reading is within the range, i.e., not shorted and not open. If they were defective, the ECM would or could be enriching the fuel mix to make up for cold air or coolant. Just takes a VOM and the knowledge of the proper resistance at ambient and coolant temperatures.
You should be able to get 25mpg without trying real hard. Possibly high 20's on a good highway cruise. Your mpg numbers seem a bit low to me, which makes sense.
Come to think of it, what temperature thermostat are you running, and is it functional?
tom
 
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augoldminer

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I just thought of something. The numbers 'allowed' for my 85 truck were California numbers. The numbers reported as allowed for the 88 - likely a 49 state emissions rig coming from Georgia, are just about the same as the CA numbers. That doesn't sound right. Is it possible the SMOG checker hasn't realized this is a 49 state truck, and is testing against much lower limits?
its still got georgia plates plus the HC are way over eve federal standards.at 629ppm.
Final thought is have you checked the ACT and ECT sensors against the table or range of values they should exhibit at specific temperature? They will not throw a code as long as the resistance reading is within the range, i.e., not shorted and not open. If they were defective, the ECM would or could be enriching the fuel mix to make up for cold air or coolant. Just takes a VOM and the knowledge of the proper resistance at ambient and coolant temperatures.
I changed the ECT and will check the ACT sensor as soon a i get the truck back together.
I have the intake system apart to replace all the gaskets to make sure there are no air leaks and service the injectors. you would not believe how long it taking me to get just the injector service kits they are saying a week just to get the kits.
You should be able to get 25mpg without trying real hard. Possibly high 20's on a good highway cruise. Your mpg numbers seem a bit low to me, which makes sense.
Come to think of it, what temperature thermostat are you running, and is it functional?
tom
I was flogging the truck on that trip just to get the cat as hot as i could to burn out the old oil from the previous owners non repair of the valve stem seals.

I also have been told by a mechanic to inspect the ECM case to make sure it never been opened. some people that lived in states or areas that never required smog have put in performance chips to make the engine run better instead of fixing problems with there system as they aged. He has found a few in older vehicles that have never been smogged before
 
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tmwalsh

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Go here:
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/ncvecs/research.docs/escort.html

read on down... "We also thought the CAT was probably dead because the HC would stay high even when exhaust O2 was present."

Is it possible that the catalytic converter installed is dysfunctional? Is is factory or aftermarket? There used to be pages at CO state that explained what you should expect to come out the tailpipe, and what you got with a failed converter. I think they are selling that information now, or at least I can't find it. They had stories about several vehicles, their 'output' and the 'calculated output' and based on the combination of output gas components could figure out if the cat was indeed dead, or it was another problem. Maybe search on "IM240" ..?
tom

I poked around some more, and found this page:
http://www.colostate.edu/depts/NCVECS/converters/az.html

It yacks about HC output in gpm -grams/mile- and the calculated CO in gpm, stating they track with catalytic converter efficiencty. I am not a chemist, so can't comment beyond what's there.
 
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augoldminer

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Go here:
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/ncvecs/research.docs/escort.html

read on down... "We also thought the CAT was probably dead because the HC would stay high even when exhaust O2 was present."

Is it possible that the catalytic converter installed is dysfunctional? Is is factory or aftermarket? There used to be pages at CO state that explained what you should expect to come out the tailpipe, and what you got with a failed converter.

When i got the truck the the owner before me had tried to fix the problem with a new cat. i checked it and its a approved Calif cat for the vehicle.
Plus he had never cleared any trouble codes.
He maybe put 50 miles on it.
Then gave up

But he had never fixed the bad valve stem seals so the truck would never pass visual inspection. An had a visible cloud of white oil smoke.

Only a few thing will kill a cat like running leaded gas.
oil does not kill one but can make it sick till its burned out.
 
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tmwalsh

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Did you convert the ppm into gpm to see if your vehicle tracked those with failed cats? I only ask because the previous owner had a problem too, even with a new cat. I remembered that you 'blew it out' on a trip trying to get the crud off the converter honeycomb after changing seals. I expect it is possible the oil coated the cat so it's not effective, but don't know the chemistry to know if it would poison a cat, or make it permanently ruined.
I am betting, with my 2 cents worth, that you need another new cat, or something that will clean the surface. If you are adventurous, try removing the cat and using a 'cat safe' cleaner product. You may find the thing just too heavily coated to be effective, and cleaning with a good solvent may make it functional.
I don't see what's left...
tom
 
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augoldminer

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Failed again with even higher HC. Now the HC is up to 779ppm.

This is not making any sense at all now.

and thanks tmwalsh
but there is no conversion when your talking apples and oranges. ppm and gpm
they are two incompatible to conversion system you could only guess.

this last test shows 779 ppm at IDLE (state max is 120)
but only show 209ppm at 2500 rpms (state max is 180)

This to me shows the cat is working and the problem is with fuel control.

but where.
 
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tmwalsh

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Maybe you have the E85 injectors installed. They have a larger opening to flow more alcohol, and will not be restricted enough by the 'normal' computer to be able to pass.
In other words, they flow too much and the computer can't reduce the pulse enough as it is not programmed to be able to run with that amount of fuel[from normal injectors].
Check the part numbers... What's to lose?
tom
 
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augoldminer

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Using NipponDenso E59E A2B injectors rated at 143cc/min

This is a 13.619 lb/hr injector

I would think just a computer program change would be all you would need for E85
 
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tmwalsh

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You would think that, but I have heard/read of the wrong injectors being installed, and the numbers to run correctly are outside the range allowed. I would check with my local parts house to see if the number crossed correctly.
The computer does not know fuel pressure, does not know injector size or flow/min, and all it does know is milliseconds of pulse. If the pressure is wrong... you HAVE checked your new regulator... right? ... if the orifice is wrong... part# check... it won't know except what the O2 sensor tells it. If the O2 is on vacation, it will bias the mixture towards richer. "Low == Lean" .. no volts, lean mixture. How does it know? Extra O's hanging around in the exhaust. Extra Oxygens that didn't get used up in the burning. And, lo is the default if it is broke. Get a DVOM or analog, and put it on the output of the O2... you should see 'flips' from .1v to .9v as the computer diddles with the injector pulse time. But if the O2 is on vacation, or the pressure is high, or the injectors are too big, it cannot compensate. Another thing to try is the MAP sensor, as it diddles based on vacuum. High intake manifold vacuum means ... No load.. so, it can lean out the idle mix, or the cruise mix. Low vacuum indicates a working engine with the throttle pretty much open, and thus under load. Add some fuel to make it work better.. So, if the MAP is fiddled, it will add fuel when it shouldn't. There is a Hz reading to 'altitude' or barometric pressure table. At idle at XX feet above sea level, the Hz should be YY from the MAP. A DVOM with a Hz function can read it and tell if correct. If we haven't covered them, the ATC and ECT sensors should also give a specific reading ... and the ECM don't care if it is bananas because it is just an ohm number... at specific temps. You can look up the table, and read the numbers and eliminate them from the 'package'.
good luck
tom
 
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