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88 Ranger Will not pass smog

Stic-o

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fyi 1985 was the first year for EFI on the 2.3, or at least in California. I know because I had one!

Honestly, I would of just selling the truck to the JY, you can keep putting money into it or just get rid of it and buy something similar for around $1000 bucks:rolleyes:
 
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tmwalsh

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stic-o, I have one. Made in 1984. Still runs, and well. I can get 25mpg without even trying to do any economizing. Bought in Dublin, CA, right before Christmas.
I believe it was the first injected Lima. If it had been available when the 1st Limas were sold, I wonder what kind of mpg they could have gotten in the very much more aerodynamic Pinto and Mustang II. I maxed at 25 in a Pinto with the 2.3 during the 8-9 years I had it. Maybe just adding a 5 speed transmission would have made a significant difference.
With respect to the original topic, I still question whether the catalytic converter is working properly. Maybe it is not going into closed loop, and thus is leaving the mix too rich.
The OP has replace the ATC and ECT sensors, but I wonder if it was the correct coolant sensor. I *think* it has two sensors. One for the 'gauge/idiot light' and one for the computer. If the gauge sensor was replaced, but not the ECM sensor, that could account for the extra HC's.
tom

p.s. this is a challenge you don't walk away from.
 
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augoldminer

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With respect to the original topic, I still question whether the catalytic converter is working properly. Maybe it is not going into closed loop, and thus is leaving the mix too rich.
The cat is working as it does not show the extremely high HC at 2500 rpms when it has a lot more gases going through it.
Closed loop= i connected my meter to the sensor lead of the O2 sensor and it shows that its working and you can see and hear the minor variations of the engine as the computer adjusts the mix in relation to the readings from the sensor. and when i unplug the O2 sensor it runs really bad.
That is the only "test" for closed loop i can come up with.

The OP has replace the ATC and ECT sensors, but I wonder if it was the correct coolant sensor. I *think* it has two sensors. One for the 'gauge/idiot light' and one for the computer. If the gauge sensor was replaced, but not the ECM sensor, that could account for the extra HC's.
Got the right ACT and ECT sensor.( have two wires and fits the plugs)
I got the right sensor because i had to repair the idiot light' wire to get my gage working and know the difference,(has one wire)


I have talked to a mechanic that worked in a state where they did not smog test and he confirmed that some shops tinkered with the programing on ECMs to increase performance. His shop had the programmer and many of the mechanics did adjustment during tune ups to bring more business to there shop.
(In his state when they did start smog testing they made even more money replacing the ECMs to pass smog)

Since this truck came from a state and county that never smog tested there is that possibility, that is untestable as no one now has a program reader.

All i have left is to take the truck to a shop that can diagnose the problem as I have changed everything that would effect smog except changing the ECM.
I am not ruling out one or more of the new sensors i replaced being bad from the parts store.

But the truck runs fine and that even confuses things more.

I am waiting for my next disability check on the first of next month to cover the cost of the diagnostic testing.
 
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tmwalsh

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Can you take it to a CARB 'referee'? My 85 would NOT pass its first test back in Dublin. Took it to the 'smog station', a shop I'd been to before, and it failed with too many HCs at low rpm. Then the dealer where I bought it, and no luck there, then the 'referee'. I think my first post mentioned that.
Can't a referee 'find' that it would cost more than the $xxx that are allowed to fix the vehicle, and thus you are past the limit on spending? Words don't come out right, but I thought there was a limit on how much could be required to repair a vehicle that failed the test. Especially if all the components were in place and functional. Just as I was allowed to drive the truck I had just purchased... and it wouldn't pass the test. The referee issued a waiver.
Back to the computer. If you remove it from its 'holster' on the passenger side kick panel, you can open it up to inspect the ROM. If it has a non-Ford looking part number, or is a plain old 2532 or 25128 or whatever, with no cover over the window, it is likely non-stock. Maybe you could find one of the reprogramming companies that had access to the original data, and get that shoved in. Or, as an alternative, find out where Kragen or NAPA sends their units for repair, contact them to see if they can reset the EPROM back to factory. Your explanation does make sense, i.e., a swapped chip, but why would it have increased rich readings at idle and not up the rpm range?

added later:
Just because the HCs go down at higher rpms does not mean that the catalytic converter is working. The system has to flow more fuel at higher rpms, so may be able to control the mix and have good air:fuel ratio so that there are no excess HCs formed. They are all burned because the injectors are able to throttle the fuel properly, so the converter doesn't have anything to do... no?
I think a way to check for closed loop is to watch the timing. In open loop, the timing is fixed at 10BTDC, but can be controlled by the computer in closed loop. I think watching the timing as the engine warmed up would be a clue.
tom
 
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augoldminer

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I think a way to check for closed loop is to watch the timing. In open loop, the timing is fixed at 10BTDC, but can be controlled by the computer in closed loop. I think watching the timing as the engine warmed up would be a clue.

As soon as i start the engine (cold engine) it goes to around 26 BTC at idle

As the engine warms up it drops down and floats around (hot engine)16 to 18 BTC at idle.

Sometimes just before it gets to this point the engine will run real ruff and the timing and RPMS will jump around erratically unless i step on the gas for a minute

Its like it can not decided on open or closed loop operation?????
 
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tmwalsh

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Does this truck have an automatic or manual transmission? The reason I ask is that if you had a pinhole in the modulator diaphragm, you could be pulling a bit of automatic transmission fluid into the intake. Your post(s) mentioned whitish smoke, and ATF will burn white if ingested.
I am thinking I would consider disconnecting all of the intake/vacuum ports except those required by law when a test is done. You could even have a slight leak in the master cylinder pulling brake fluid past the booster, if you have one.

Was the computer case seal broken?

Did you look at the numbers for a 49 state vehicle vs the numbers 'allowed' for CA smog equipped. I never got the idea that you checked for Federal vs CA, as the numbers I had were CA allowed emissions, not Federal.

Did you ever check that the numbers for your injectors are correct?

The timing with the shorting plug removed will be fixed at 10 BTDC. I didn't realize that it diddled even in open loop.

I am assuming that you assumed that the gushing fuel from the broken regulator diaphragm did not cook/melt the catalytic converter.

As one added note, when I got my 87 vulcan smog check, they told me the catalytic may be on the way out as the NOx numbers were high. I thought about it, and next time, a year later, I didn't take it for the normal 10 mile run up the freeway, and ten back to get it all heated up before subjecting it to the test. And, NOx numbers were back down within acceptable parameters. NOx is generally caused by high combustion temperature, and my vehicle has no EGR, as built, which is used to cool the mixture by dilution, so depends more on the converter... I guess.
tom
 
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augoldminer

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manual transmission.

the white smoke was from valve stem seals and i caught that the first time i started the engine and fixed by replacing the seals.

At that time i ran the truck for maybe 5 mins at idle and the cat and pipes were so new they showed no heat discoloration.

Was the computer case seal broken?
There were no seals of any kind on the computer. and the board inside was encapsulated so no chips could be changed. but it has a PROM port that could be used to change the programing.

Federal vs CA,
the HC levels were way over even federal levels.

numbers for your injectors are correct?
yes Using NipponDenso E59E A2B injectors rated at 143cc/min/13.619 lb/hr
cleaned and tested for leakage and spray pattern and reinstailed with new o-rings and pentil caps


I am assuming that you assumed that the gushing fuel from the broken regulator diaphragm did not cook/melt the catalytic converter.
Found the broken regulator diaphragm right after i had fixed the problem with the valve seals and got rid of the white smoke and saw the black smoke and i still had never ran the truck on the road or under load to even heat up the cat enough to discolor the metal of the pipes or cat.
Once i had no smoke and no trouble codes but the O2sensor i replaced it as i did not want to damage the new O2 sensor because the truck was not running right.
They don't test NOx levels where i am at just %CO2, %O2, HC-PPM, and CO%
at idle and 2500 rpm

I did not road test the truck till i had it running right and no trouble codes.

Most of my experience with catalytic converters is with diesel exhaust catalytic converters used in underground mining equipment and sometimes in high control smog areas for stationary generator equipment.
http://www.dcl-inc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11
 
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tmwalsh

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In a previous post, I suggested disconnecting and plugging all vacuum lines and testing the HC output. I now suggest additionally to disconnect and plug the vapor recovery canister. It may pass tests without flaw, but it could be allowing the stored vapors out improperly.
There has to be a source of fuel that is not being controlled, or it is being controlled incorrectly.
A thought I just had was that the previous owner drove a long time with defective valve seals. The inside of the exhaust system is coated with the results of that. Is it possible all the oil oil had deposited on the inside of the tail pipe and is getting 'emitted' as the truck heats up.
I had to replace the tailpipe on my 85, and noticed that there was stuff that looked like fiberglass insulation. It was strands of something inside the pipe. I made the assumption that the 'fuel' we burn today has stuff in it that I cannot imagine, and does 'stuff' after combustion and whatever happens inside the catalytic converter.
Anyway, remove the tail pipe, perhaps the muffler, and get a short pipe to run from just behind the converter into the gas analyzer. A muffler from Advance [kragen, shucks, ...] is less than $20, is generic to fit even a 302 in a Maverick, and a tailpipe was $18, IIRC. I sawed the muffler off of the exhaust pipe from the cat on back, installed the new muffler, and added a new tailpipe a year later as the old one had become blessed and holy.
This vehicle has not been run at extended speeds for an extended amount of time to get rid of the old deposits?
Well, it was worth making the comment anyway.
tom
 
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mr cribb

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Unfortunately there is this.... 49 state emissions stuff and CALIFORNIA.

When looking for aftermarket/ replacement stuff I have to pay attention to weather it's CA or Federal.

The problem could lie in the cat... I understand it isn't very old but if it was bought and installed in GA, then the federal emissions cat could be "pissing off" the California settings.

Is the EGR system functioning properly? or is there one?
 
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augoldminer

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Up date i have it in a shop for "diagnosis only" of why it will not pass.

I am smart enough not to let them try to repair it as i have been there done that with other shops with cars and trucks i have owned and got ripped off every time.(changed oil, filters and parts i had already done and could not show a reason for doing it.)

So far they have been working on it for two days.

There are charging book hours of 2 hours so they now are losing money.:D

They are a smog shop that should know what they are doing.:rolleyes:

I am a retired/disabled diesel and heavy equipment mach so i can get the parts and change them for 1/4 of what they would charge.
 
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augoldminer

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Up date i have it in a shop for "diagnosis only" of why it will not pass.

I am smart enough not to let them try to repair it as i have been there done that with other shops with cars and trucks i have owned and got ripped off every time.(changed oil, filters and parts i had already done and could not show a reason for doing it.)

So far they have been working on it for two days.

There are charging book hours of 2 hours so they now are losing money.:D

They are a smog shop that should know what they are doing.:rolleyes:
and have a number of shops around Calif. (smog pros)
Likely they are calling for help from there shops around Calif.:notworthy

I am a retired/disabled diesel and heavy equipment mach so i can get the parts and change them for 1/4 of what they would charge.
 
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tmwalsh

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I don't particularly want any shop to lose money, but I've been futzing with cars, and emissions systems since the mid 1960's, and I have gone through everything I can think of. I wish the shop good luck in figuring this one out.
tom
 
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augoldminer

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what they say is wrong is a burned #4 valve.
Even on the standard compression test (cranking compression test) it shows to be in the acceptable range.
there reading #[email protected] #[email protected] #[email protected] #[email protected]

but they say that a running/Dynamic compression test shows its leaking at 75 psi.
there readings #[email protected] #[email protected] #[email protected] #[email protected]

I always understood that a running compression test was more for checking the cam, intake valve carbon buildup, lifter collapse. sticking valves ect and not for burned valves.

I am still going to do reading of my own because there don't match my standard compression test reading when i was troubleshooting the problem.

I am also going to try the Dynamic compression test to see if my reading match there,s.

I looks like i will have to bring my other Ranger out of storage(77 F250 4x4 Ranger) because the repairs are going to take a while to afford.
 
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Red FX4

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Your cranking compression reading at 103 psi in #4 does not seem to me to be in an acceptable range. That is 30% lower than your other lowest reading.
 
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Tbars4

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...I second that and was surprised they didn't mention anything to you about that...
 
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tmwalsh

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I have heard of cylinder leakdown tests, but not 'dynamic compression' tests. How's that done? Is it a 'contribution test' to get comparative output for each cylinder? I can't believe that they remove all the spark plugs and install some sort of pressure sensor...
tom
 
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tmwalsh

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After reading what the test is trying to accomplish, if the numbers are correct, you don't need to run one. You know that the #4 cylinder compression is down relative to the other three. That was indicated by a standard compression test.
Somehow I got the idea that you had disassembled the head, cleaned up the valves and seats, and installed new valve stem seals. I think my assumption was that you lapped the valves or checked the seats when the head was apart.

If you took the highest pressure as 100%, the relationship would be:
#1 #2 #3 #4
100% 92% 96% 64%

That is not good, and is way out of tolerance. It would run, but I'd expect the idle to be a little lumpy. Performance at speed would be ok until climbing a hill in a higher gear, when it would likely have some 'bucking' as the weaker cylinder failed produce...

If this is the problem, it's not so bad. I was thinking something way more esoteric.

All of the tests point to the #4 cylinder being weak, whether it is 'breathing' or straight leakage of the piston rings and valves tested by a static test. Taking the head apart is not much fun. I always seem to get cut by the sharp edge of the cam lobes, so if I were doing it again, I'd wear gloves, and NOT the cotton kind. Last one I did, I placed blocks of wood on the bench under the combustion chamber in question, and used a 'one arm' Chevy style spring compressor hooked into the exhaust or intake port to depress the hydraulic support enough to remove the follower. Then use it differently to depress the spring and remove the keepers. At least there are only eight valves...
I wonder if a used cylinder head would be quicker and easier. They should be pretty cheap. Other than that, a head gasket, cam cover gasket, and a set of head bolts should do the trick. May be less expensive to get a valve grind gasket set.
have fun
tom
 
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augoldminer

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I think i will pull the head and make a "off the engine valve testing plate".

I have some flat 1/2 aluminum plate that i can drill four holes for the head bolts and drill and tap a hole for a schrader valve in the center and glue a 1/8 flat rubber gasket on the face for a seal.

Then i can test the valve sealing before putting the head back on or test a head at a wreaking yard before buying it.

Have a couple I have built for big diesels and one for the 351 in my 77 ford F250 ranger.

Once you have bolted the plate on you just put some air to the schrader valve and see how fast the valves leak down.
 
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Red FX4

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That is a good idea. However, once you have the head off it can't very expensive to have a valve job done. If it has an overhead cam there is a little more work to it but a good machine shop can do it.
 
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