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Old 01-17-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
AJ_Fritz
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Default symptoms of wrong cam timing.

I've been suffering with what i thought was a bad VAM, or possibly too tight of a combustion chamber on the bronco2 or something way out of wack in the new transmission. i swear i been chasing gremlins in this thing for what seams like a year.

here is what i changed when i rebuilt:
93 DP head ported, reshaped polished combustion chambers and filled and reshaped intake runners.

complete redo on the engine harness converted to DIS.

totally rebuilt A4LD to 4.0L specs.

these are the symptoms i was getting from the start and all the chasing around Ive done:

1.)would hold first gear till 30 mph, 2nd till 55, wrong VacMod on trans.
2.)extremely poor gas mileage (8-10 mpg)
3.)seemingly constant load on the engine at anything but idle.
4.)20 inch's of vacuum at idle. zero at cruise past 45mph.
5.)run pretty decent when in boost but felt like it was laboring.
6.)would ping anything more then 8psi under a heavy load (3/4 throttle).
7.)was virtual undrivable in 4wd felt like you had E-brake on.
8.)narrow band AFR light would not act like i should. would go full rich at 0in vac instead of 5psi. also if idling for an extended period would go full rich and then CEL. maybe a bad 02 sensor?!
9.)extended warm up. used to blow warm air in a mile now was taking 5.

why a had a problem figuring out if it was cam timing. i changed so many thing it was like a new swap. i didn't know if the trany was rebuilt right. if i really screwed something up with the head. i was pretty much breaking new ground with the head. i don't know anyone thats filled intake runners on the early ranger head. i basically made it perfect and when it still didn't run right the only thing left was the cam timing.

now why i burnt. way to many things going on. i was like a frog in a frying pan set to simmer. plus the cam timing looked wrong both ways. i swear i line up the crank and anyone else would say its wrong right now lol. i don't have a pointer on the head so i just point the key-way straight down and bam done. done it that way on about 5 2.3 engines so far. never had a problem before. this one just don't look right though either way. its like the belt is stretched a half tooth between the crank idler and cam.

so anyways the dam thing flys now with only 10psi. OD i get 10in vac at 65mph and barely got my foot in it. it doesn't feel or sound like your lugging it around anymore. actually the exhaust note got quieter. I'll be cranking the boost up to 20 psi tomorrow see if it still want to ping.

just because i know what i am doing doesn't mean i know what I'm doing lol cam timing FTL!
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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20psi!!! And 4wd. Jealous...

Well i'm glad you got it figured out! Usually always is something so simple its stupid.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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bet your exhaust temps went way down too,,,
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:54 PM   #4
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Yeah i have been wondering about mine being off, cause my belt broke and when I put the new one back on I looked up how to do it and it said the timing needed to be 5 degrees btdc and have the pointer on the head lined up. So thats what I did, and my truck runs okay, but has a stutter at an idle. So in taking apart my new engine, I see that its at 0 degrees and not 5, WTF. I don't have the cam sensor with the oil pump so don't need to worry about that, but I do wonder what is the right cam timing. The new engine is missing the spring for the belt tensioner, so It has probubly been changed or messed with, so I really don't have a good reference to what it should be.
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:57 AM   #5
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you know, a trick that i learned that really worked for me is using the string method. I had a similar problem when building my engine. I sent my timing belt and tried to run it. ran like crap or didn't at all. I spent all weekend retiming the belt. must have did it 5-6 times. Each time I swore it was timed correct and it was according to my plastic belt guard that I got from another year ranger. The timing marks on the cover were in a different position. Ha

Anyway if you take a string and line up the cam bolt, cam timing gear mark, the aux gear timing mark, and aux gear bolt then those gears are perfectly lined up. Match them up with a crank that is TDC and you are good to go.

Happens to the best of us brother.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:08 PM   #6
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anybody found a really good picture tutorial? Both my Chilton and Haynes totally blowed when I was setting mine up. I had forgot just about everything on how to re-time my 2.3, and some good tutorials would have been a time saver.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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I only found that if you google ( 2.3 timing pictures ) it has some. I had the same problem with my online repair guide, just not enough info.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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I didnt wanna screw up the timing either so when I built my engine I bought the Mr.gasket degree wheel and the adapter/holding fixture(it screws into the crank in place of the bolt and holds the degree wheel in place). I bought it from Racer Walsh, I recommend it!
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:50 PM   #9
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Yeah i seen that, but i just didnt know how many times i was gonna be messin with the timing belt so i passed on it
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:37 PM   #10
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Isn't there a bar method or something like that?

I had a hard time getting my timing right the first time because of the slack in the belt before you install the auto tightener. I'd like to get my timing 100% perfect with an adjustable cam pully so i know what i got. Right now i'm just on stock parts so its really a shot in the dark as to now close it is to perfect.
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