'96 2.3L Timing Issue
Hey everyone, here is my issue... My 1996 Ranger 2.3, 2WD has about 105K on it. It runs fine, but this weekend I changed the timing belt, timing belt tensioner, serpantine belt, and thermostat (while I had it all off for the timing belt swap). I followed the Haynes instructions, everything went smoothly, but now the engine pings during high torque (acceleration times) and goes away when I reach a cruising speed. Also, at idle, the engine kind of hick-ups. Runs smoothly when driving (aside from pinging), but when at idle, it doesn't idle smoothly.
I'm certain my timing marks are lined up, I checked them 30 times. When the crankshaft is at the "TC" mark, and oil pump and camshaft marks are spot on. Could it be that the tensioner is just too loose? I only allowed it to tighten to the spring loaded tension, but keep in mind the spring is 14 years old. Should I loosen the tensioner and pry it tighter onto the belt?
The only issues I had while changing everything was getting the crankshaft pully bolt off. I first tried wedging a prybar onto a crank cog that looked to be the light-sensor crank cog for the crankshaft. (Looked like a bike gear). I used that as a means to hold the crankshaft still while I loosened the bolt. It put a couple very small grooves in the cog. Would that throw off the light-timing?
Also I forgot to plug one of the spark plug boots back onto the spark plug and when I started the engine it arced for a minute on the exhaust manifold. Could that have maybe shorted the something in the ignition coil?
I doubt that either of the latter issues are the problem. I think it's a timing issue, but I'm a welder, not an auto mechanic. Any help would be greatly appreciated.