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Old 05-06-2010, 05:53 PM
Loki Loki is offline
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Default 1990 2.9 Timeing ?'s

Long story short I got 162 miles for $50.00 of gas. My truck is a 1990 ext extended cab 4x4 2.9 5 speed. I was told it's a 19 gallon tank and the $50.00 just about filled it. Now I know my math is bad but it seems to me my little 6 banger should get more then 8 - 9 MPG . So I called a mechanic shop that just opened up a few months ago and he thinks it's the timing. Does this sound right? And how much should it cost to get it fixed ? Just asking for a ballpark so I know if I'm getting ripped off when he give's me a quote.

What is engine timing ?
How does it effect the proper running of an engine?
What are the signs of a truck being out of time ?
Does engine timing effect gas mileage ?

Also the first start of the day apon first engange of the starter the engine starts right up sounds fine for a sec or 3 then sputters out and stalls unless I flutter the gas. If I hold the gas peddle it does not help and still stalls, If I punch the gas peddle it still stalls, It only stays running if I flutter it ( Light presser then let off and repeat ) Could this also be timeing related ? The rest of the day it starts fine unless it's sitting for longer then 9 or 10 hours.
.1990 Ranger XLT 4x4 Ext Cab 2.9L V6 5 Speed.

Mileage Exceeds The Mechanical Limits

Last edited by Loki; 05-06-2010 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:51 AM
Psychopete Psychopete is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,488
Default Re: 1990 2.9 Timeing ?'s

Originally Posted by Loki View Post
What is engine timing ?
How does it effect the proper running of an engine?
What are the signs of a truck being out of time ?
Does engine timing effect gas mileage ?
Engine ignition timing is when the plugs fire versus where the piston is on the compression stroke. It can cause all sorts of problems, but if the distributor is in there good and tight, I would think that the timing hasn't moved.

You'll need a timing light to check it. Pull the SPOUT connector


Start the engine up and watch the timing pointer against the engine balancer with the timing light on plug wire #1 (front left cylinder)

Mark the line I have marked in red on the engine's front pulley (10BTDC) with a fine point marker to help with the timing procedure. You can typically get away with 12 degrees for slightly better performance, but if you hear any spark knock, you'll want to bump it back down.

To adjust the timing, you loosen the distributor and turn it until you get the correct amount of degrees of base timing.

I would start with a basic tune up, plugs, wires, rotor, cap, fuel filter. Would be helpful to do a fuel pressure check to test the fuel pressure regulator as this can be the cause of too much fuel getting into the engine, either by it not regulating the fuel correctly (too high) or it simply has ruptured (common problem, check for gas in vacuum line after truck has been ran).

And be sure to pull codes from the computer.

Once you're done, put the SPOUT back in. This essentially prevents/allows the computer to advance the timing.


1987 Ford Ranger Short Bed 5.0L/T-5 Project
1988 Ford Ranger Long Bed Parts Truck
1993 Ford Tempo 2.3L OHV HSC Auto - D/D Stock.
1999 Honda Accord VTEC Auto
2002 Dodge Caravan - 3.3L Auto

Last edited by Psychopete; 05-07-2010 at 09:54 AM.
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