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Lack of torque & stalling in an 87 Ford Ranger diesel (Mitsubishi 2.3L turbo diesel)
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Howdy,

I've got an '87 Ford Ranger 4x4 with a Mitsubishi 2.3L turbo diesel in it. I'm used to diesels being slow as dirt till the turbo kicks in (used to have a Mercedes 300D, and I've driven non-turbo Benz's and a Datsun truck), and this thing really moves on flat ground, or the freeway no problem. Two problems that I'm trying to figure out.

* Stalls easily. Often stalls when downshifting (stalls in neutral, before I can even get to the next gear down), and sometimes just when slowing down. Stalls out on me a few times a day.

* Total lack of power going uphill. I'm used to slow diesels, no big deal. However, when it can not make it up the hill in 1st gear and I have to back down, go around the block, and give a running start at it... Is that normal? I'm used to vehicles that you can park on a hill, and actually go up the hill from a stop. So speed is not the issue, not being able to make it in low gear, thats the issue which to me seems unusal for any vehicle, much less a diesel powered vehicle (which are usually known for their torque). I've never had a vehicle stall out trying to get up this hill.

Anyone got any ideas? I changed the fuel filter, and it hasn't helped a bit with either issue.

Not sure if this belongs in Ford or Mitsubishi forum...
 
Location: Ashland, OR USA | Registered: July 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No, it's not normal. I've got an '84 Dodge D-50 with the same Mitsubishi 2.3L engine, and it's got great torque (more than 4 cylinder gas engines at least, more like a V-6). It has trouble accellerating up hills, since upshifting drops the rpm out of the power band (min at about 2,000 rpm), but if you start at the bottom at 3,000rpm in 3rd gear, it'll make it all the way up without slowing down much, even with a load of bricks or metal. And I've never had it stall out in first gear. This is at 9,000 feet elevation too.

If you've got power at full throttle, but not at idle and it stalls, I'd suspect the injector pump has something wrong -- hopefully just an adjustment. Could it also be the timing perhaps?

I haven't found any good forums for this engine, but VWdiesel.net might have some useful stuff -- these are very similar engines to the VW's.
 
Location: Boulder, CO | Registered: September 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The stalling is not normal. I have an '86 Ford Ranger Turbo diesel and it never stalls unless the fuel conditioner is clogged. It has good power going up hills but don't expect good acceleration up a hill. On flat land, it will take off like a jack rabbit.

Check the air filter and make sure there is nothing restricting the flow of air to the engine. Do a diesel purge with lubrimoly and see if that helps. If not, get the compression checked. If the compression is good, you may want to pull the injectors and inspect them and drop the fuel tank and clean the strainer. Otherwise, it is possible that it's time to have your injection pump rebuilt. Is the IP leaking? If you get the Nippondenso pump rebuilt, make sure you get a really good rebuilder to do the work. The top cover is prone to cracking if they are not careful when they drill out the bushing. (don't ask me how I know!)

VR


'99 VW Jetta GL TDI
'99 VW Jetta GLS TDI
'87 Mitsubishi Montero TD
'00 Ford Excursion Ltd 7.3 diesel
'97 GMC Suburban 4wd TD
'95 Dodge RAM 2500 diesel
'98 Porsche Boxster EV Prototype
'00 Club Car 48V Electric Daily Driver
 
Location: Peachtree City, GA | Registered: May 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi,this could be helpful,I have an 85 ranger 2.3 diesel,I had my timing belt break,and after replacing it,it ran terrible,no power.When the belts go on these,9out of 10 the pistons,hit the valves,but the valves don't bend,instead it cracks the rocker arm shaft and the cam holddown caps,it will run,but very poorly.Also,these parts are very hard and expensive to find,CHANGE THE TIMING BELT OFTEN.
 
Registered: August 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have another suggestion,I had a similar problem,I had to take my injection pump apart and clean all the rotten swelled up pieces of rubber hose out.After doin this,I made sure i replaced all rubber hoses with steel .
 
Registered: August 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Don't mean to hijack this thread but does anyone out there know where I can find a camshaft for a 2.3 Mitsubishi turbo diesel engine?

Thanks,
John
 
Registered: August 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I have an 86 4x4 ranger also with the mitsubishi 2.3 turbo and 5 speed. When i first got it, it was incredibly spritely, getting up to 50mph still in third gear and not redlining, considering i've owned 2 other rangers and a bronco II. Not long after i got it (the diesel one) i discovered the previous owner ran some bad/unfiltered biodiesel or WVO, and scored up the IP, causing it to leak fuel. I had the IP overhauled and replaced the fuel lines and filters, but it never quite ran the same ofter that, and is continually getting more sluggish; that being said, it'll still do 75 on the freeway under its own power and still make it up hills better then my (i believe) 2.3 gas powered ranger. Unfortunately i dont have any suggestions for you, but in my opinion this is one of the greatest overall engine/body/designs in a diesel i've encountered, so i look forward to putting my time and money into keeping it going strong. I was stoked to hear about the guy who's friend in NM restored his diesel ranger, as thats what i plan on doing. Recycle old cars instead of buying new ones!!
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello Forrest

I have a truck similar to yours. The '87 Ranger 4x4 with the 2.3L turbo diesel.
My injector pump had been leaking a little here and there, but the costs were too high to replace, as the truck still ran great.
I had an 'incident' that I blamed on the IP and decided to take it in to the local diesel shop. They, having never seen a diesel ranger before, were a little wary about working on it. They discovered that the IP was pretty much destroyed and they ordered me a new one (hard to get and expensive!)
When they got it back to me, it ran great, it sounded good, no more drips, I was happy. Drove down the highway with nice easy acceleration. When i tried to drive back out of my driveway, I couldn't. It had no power on hills. I took it back to the shop and they adjusted some things on the injector pump for me. Apparantly the IP was set on too low a flow and there was not enough fuel when power was needed. Now it runs great, and I have more power and fuel mileage than i've ever had before.

Maybe you should tinker with your Injector Pump settings!
 
Registered: March 29, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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hey yall iv got a dodge d 50 diesil i need a set of rocker arms any one got some
 
Registered: December 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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have a 83 d50 4x4 diesel with new head just installed and cannot get running. Truck has 60 k miles and no rust(very nice condition). I want to sell it or part it out (419)834-1284
 
Registered: July 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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