Question about 1995 Ford Ranger Supercab

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Octane Ping and running lean

I have a 2.3 liter 1995 Ford Ranger that is having octane ping at 45 mph or greater even running high octane fuel, when speeds are less than 45 I can intentionally lug the motor and not get any ping. I found it had low fuel pressure and changed the regulator which cured the pressure problem. I pulled the egr valve and it was stuck open so that got changed. Both exhaust sensors were changed. There are no fault codes showing on the obd2. I have run seafoam through it (I believe that it is called that). I have sprayed all around intake areas looking for intake leaks. I'm at a loss on what to do.

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  • gttn Jul 24, 2009

    With further research online I have found this; so thanks may be in order to Pippal;-)

    I have read that there is a problem with the Mass Air Flow sensor on almost ALL ford vehicles from 1990-1999.
    Ford says to replace it.

    Symptoms include..

    * Lack of Power.
    * Spark Knock/Detonation.
    * Buck/Jerk.
    * Hesitation/Surge on Acceleration.
    * Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Illuminated. DTCs P0171, P0172, P0174, P0175 may be stored in memory.

    There is a TSB on this issue.

    Article No.: 98-23-10
    Date: 11/23/98
    Mass Air Flow (MAF) - Sensor Contamination

    The affected vehicles are:

    1990-97 Thunderbird
    1990-99 Mustang, Taurus SHO
    1991-99 Crown Victoria, Escort, Taurus
    1992-94 Tempo
    1993-97 Probe
    1995-99 Contour

    1990-97 Cougar
    1991-99 Continental, Grand Marquis, Sable, Town Car, Tracer
    1992-94 Topaz
    1993-98 Mark VIII
    1995-99 Mystique

    Light Truck:
    1990 Bronco II
    1990-97 Aerostar
    1990-99 Ranger
    1991-99 Explorer
    1994-96 Bronco
    1994-97 F Super Duty, F-250 HD
    1994-99 Econoline, F-150, F-250 LD, F-350
    1995-99 Windstar
    1997-99 Expedition, Mountaineer
    1998-99 Navigator
    1999 F-250 HD, Super Duty F Series


    * P0171, P0174 (Fuel system lean, Bank 1 or 2)
    * P0172, P0175 (Fuel system rich, Bank 1 or 2)
    * P1130, P1131, P1132 (HO2S11 lack of switching, Bank 1)
    * P1150, P1151, P1152 (HO2S21 lack of switching, Bank 2)


    * 181, 189 (Fuel system lean, Bank 1 or 2)
    * 179, 188 (Fuel system rich, Bank 1 or 2)
    * 171, 172, 173 (HO2S11 lack of switching, Bank 1)
    * 175, 176, 177 (HO2S21 lack of switching, Bank 2)
    * 184, 185 (MAF higher/lower than expected)
    * 186, 187 (Injector pulse width higher/lower than expected)



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Change the mass air flow meter.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009

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Have you changed your spark plug wires and spark plugs , this could cause a miss fire, ( what you call spark knock / octane ping) or it could be a crack in your distributator cap and rotor

Posted on Jul 24, 2009

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It seems that if the anti-knock sensor had failed it would produce a code but it might be something to check anyhow.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009

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Timing should be set by the PCM. So you cant adjust the timing. However if you have a faulty knock sensor the PCM cant tell the proper time to fire. The knock sensor picks up on ignition ping and adjust the time to send spark to the plugs.. Other causes of ping can be the engine temp, faulty EGR or the engine can be to lean.

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Octane Myth

What is octane? Octane cannot be seen, but it is of utmost importance when it comes to gasoline. One thing for sure, higher octane fuel costs more. Allot more! Simply put, octane is a measure of gasoline's ability to resist detonation, which you hear as pinging and knocking in your engine. The higher the octane the more the fuel can be compressed without detonating before you want it to. Detonation, ping, knock, whatever you want to call it, occurs when the air/fuel mixture ignites before the spark plug fires. The mixture ignites from compression and not from the flame of the spark plug. In other words, the higher the octane the less likely it is to ignite prematurely. The only benefit to a high octane fuel is that it allows an engine to run at a higher temperature and with a higher compression ratio without pinging. Higher octane fuel does not provide more energy, more power, better mileage, more torque, burn cleaner, clean your engine, and is not better for the environment. If the engine is pinging when using the correct octane fuel, then it may be necessary to move to the next higher octane to prevent pinging, and damage to your engine, unless there is another problem. If you are using higher octane fuel for any of these reasons, STOP, you are throwing your money away. Also, never use a lower octane fuel than is recommended by the manufacture. If the manufacture recommends 89 octane then use 89. If they recommend 87 then use 87. The key is what was the engine designed to run at to achieve optimum performance and mileage? One exception is when you are towing a heavy load with a vehicle designed to run on 87 and you experience pinging. In that case it may become necessary to switch to 89 while towing. In conclusion, race car engines are designed to run on high octane fuels due to their high compression engines. You cannot make your engine a race engine just by upping the octane. Save your hard earned money, and use exactly the octane you need.

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