Symptoms - starving for fuel when cruising

hixs

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85 Ranger 2.3 L – 4cyl - 2wd– auto – EFI
Symptoms - starving for fuel when cruising, step on it and it begins to die then picks up and goes for a while then starts all over again.
Code 41 comes up, code states that HEGO lean condition.
Took EGR valve out of equation ( removed vac hose), still does the same thing.
When driving you can feel something change then the starving problem occurs.
Fuel pressure has been checked and ok.
Any ideas for this?
Thanks.
 

NickD

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Fuel pressure at idle or when driving?
 

hixs

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My point of view if it's the fuel filter it would starve all the time not just at cruising when it uses the least amount of fuel. If I put my foot into it, it goes.
 

The old man

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My guess it is low voltage going to the fuel pump at cruise speed and bad connections. The truck probably rusty on the frame and the ground needs to be cleaned and redone as well as loose connection to the pump itself, making the lean condition. Is your alternator up to speed and putting out proper voltage? Sound logical to me. Below is a TSB that sound a lot like your problem. Just my $.02 worth.
 

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Mobile Dan

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Have you checked the timing?

1. Place transmission in NEUTRAL or PARK with Air Conditioner/Heater in OFF position.
2. Connect an inductive timing light.
3. Disconnect the single wire in-line Spark Output (SPOUT) connector or remove the shorting bar from the double wire spout connector.
4. Start engine and allow to reach operating temperature. With engine at timing rpm, check or adjust initial timing to specification.
5. Reconnect single wire in-line spout connector or reinstall the shorting bar on the double wire spout connector. Check timing advance to verify distributor is advancing beyond the initial setting. If it is not, refer to Computed Timing Check.

Make sure you don't have a PCV hose that is sometimes collapsed and blocked and at other times leaking vacuum through a crack or hole.
 

billr

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How do you know it is starving for fuel? Maybe the FPR (fuel pressure regulator) is hosed and fuel pressure is too high during cruise, so engine runs rich and is down on power or even mis-fires. First check: look for fuel in the vacuum line connected to the FPR, should be none.
 

hixs

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always starts; acceleration fine; if I put my foot into it, it has no slouch for speed, it goes rite up; timing been done twice; it was set at 10btc n when connected jumps to approx. 20 btc; I will check the FPR hose for gas n PVC hose for leaks; BUT it always feels like something is opening/changing when it happens, some definite; I've also checked tsb #861915 and #871220; These have some similarity but not the same; the closest similar problem system is TPS; I've checked it with a digital meter but they hunt a lot so I'm going to dig out my analog meter and give that a try. if I have a chance I'll also check the connections for the fuel pump. Uh would you know the R and or amp draw for the pump motor? Thanks
 

The old man

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You probably know this, but there are two fuel pumps on your truck. A low pressure fuel pump in the tank and a high pressure fuel pump on the rail of the frame. The low pressure fuel pump feeds the high pressure fuel pump. Maybe the problem lies somewhere there. If the tps don't pan out, I would certainly check that area out real good.
 

hixs

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Well I hooked up my analog meter and found a hiccup in the reading that I couldn't find before with digital. I've ordered the TPS so it be a few days b4 I get back here. Where ever I checked it had to be ordered so I did it on line n saved 30 + bucks. Also I forgot it has 2 pumps so while I wait on TPS I'll check them out but I'm still puzzled why that would be a problem when I put my foot into it, it goes. If there was low voltage via pumps it won't accelerate because of lack of fuel right. Also can it be changed to one fuel pump? I have a Bronco 2 for parts. I could take the fuel pump out of that and put into the ranger. Oh if somebody interested, I have 2.9 (Albany NY area) that runs great with no water problems from the B2. Had to stop driving it cause my feet were getting soaked-cowl rotted. Thanks
A thought came to mind I mite be able to put the tank out of the B2 n stick in the ranger- I'll have to look that over. one pump.
 

The old man

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I don't know if it is your high pressure fuel pump on the frame that has intermittent problem or not because of bad ground or connections. I just run across that TSB and thought it sounded a little like your problem. I know that the fuel pump in the tank is a low pressure pump to feed the high pressure pump. You may have it figured out with that TPS. I would not do too much more until I got that TPS installed.
Remember you said that you had a code 41, being a lean condition, too much air or not enough gas. I don't know if a hiccup in the TPS would cause a lean condition, but maybe it could.
 

NickD

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Consider the 80's, the dark ages for automotive, gas was approaching a buck per gallon and the EPA was making new regulations faster than the automotive companies could keep up with them. Fuel injection was entirely new as was the electronics and these new scanners for self diagnoses. And yearly changes were made hiring software guys with no experience in this field.

Microprocessors were also fairly new and ram memory was extremely expensive, 8 bit processors were first developed, but still too darn slow, with automotive a rush was created that over loaded Silicon Valley with the EPA jumping all over them. Solution was to move this business offshore that created many new problems. With the training of all brand new, lets say ignorant people. Shops were also dead lost. And also a push for better fuel economy. What a mess, just as soon as forget about this. Plus also demands were made with the introduction of the personal computer.

Ha, still have one in my basement I should have pitched a long time ago, but laid out 6000 bucks for it and barely got a years use out of it. Just a note on the technology you are dealing with. But I assume your Ranger was running okay until something happened, what historically happened? How long have you had this vehicle and how many miles on it?

Still have a couple of 80's vehicles, a motorhome and a boat, but totally immune from the EPA and very conventional, both can be tuned to perfection. And both use an engine driven fuel pump I still can pick up a new one for in the 20 buck range.

Both suffered from a myriad of electrical problems, because pretinned copper wire was no longer used, but a wire brush and a soldering iron took care of that. That bare copper wire would shortly oxidize and that is exactly how these old copper rectifiers worked. You could have your work cut out for you.
 
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