Typical 4.0 sputtering.. HELP!
First off, I'm new here, so hi everyone. I did tons of reading online to find that many people have similar problems but I have yet to find my cure.
I have a 1994 Ranger 4x4 4.0L with 200xxx miles. 5 speed. I bought the truck a few months ago for a winter beater for 1000 bucks.. 4x4 works great etc.. so when i first got it.. it ran good most of the time.. once in a while if I gave it some throttle at low RPM it would sputter. over the past few months its become more and more frequent. to the point now where it hardly runs right. its much worse at low RPMs and higher gears it chugs worse. like if I go around 35 in 3rd gear it should pull smooth.. but it bucks real bad and i have to downshift. First I tried just an air filter, plugs and wires... same problem... then I tried soaking the MAF in white vinegar... same problem... I swapped out the MAF for one i had in my mustang... not even sure if it should work, but the truck ran ok for about 5 minutes and as soon as i got on the gas at a low RPM in 2nd and 3rd gear... it started chugging again.. so I swapped it back.. I was looking around hoping i could find something wrong.. vacuum line, ground.. anything and i found 2 things one, the ground strap from chassis to motor was completely off..( but it still runs) not sure how significant that is.. and second, my airbox has some cracks and missing pieces around the edge where it clamps together...
I'm not sure if those are the problem, but im sure they dont help. I'm going to try a fuel filter just because its cheap, but any advice would be very appriciated... I'm getting horrible gas milage and no power...i need to fix this