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Check the EGR make sure it is not stuck open. Then Check the timing and check for dirt and grease and moister in and on the Distributor cap and on the rotor check spark gap and clean plugs with fine sandpaper.
U need to verify the fuel pressure during this time that is acts up.if the fuel pressure drops below 30 psi then u may have a faulty fuel pump.you can get a fuel pressure tester from advance auto,Install the tester on the test valve on the fuel rail.Your truck has two fuel pumps but the main supply pump is mounted on the frame rail underneath the drivers side floor pan.
1988 ranger 2.9 runs great cold then after a few minutes when warmed up hesitates with intermittent black smoke from the tail pipe until i hit the the throttle then clears and will repeat this behavior...
I have a 1986 325e with high mileage 275,000. Car starts fine and idles ok. I'm experiencing an intermittent problem where when placed in drive the car will sputter, lightly backfire, and not move forward until i pump the gas and give it time to correct whatever is not operating properly. Then it runs just fine. I'm thinking it's an air or fuel issue. Just recently tuned up the car and put some bgk44 after the problem started but still experiencing the same problem.
Just taking a shot here as I have seen the same thing in the shop in that last month....I am going to throw you two scenarios as you don't say if it has a carb or F.I.
If it is Fuel Injection the filter or a weak pump would be the culprit.
If it is a carb engine there is an item called an accelerator pump. this pump pumps fuel into the throat unmixed so during startup and on acceleration it needs this raw fuel, on startup to just get fuel into the chambers and on acceleration when switching from the Idle to the venturi there is a dead spot that this pump covers for.. A 20 dollar rebuild kit for the carb is all you need. there should be a tag on the carb for the ID to give to the parts store..
You can use any brand starting from regular (87) to super or premium (93) depending on your budget. Lower octane gives you usually lower gas milage and can cause problems with engine starting in winter. So for winter time and better gas milage use medium grade.