85 Ford Ranger Trouble Starting in cold


Old 01-02-02, 07:12 AM
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Angry 85 Ford Ranger Trouble Starting in cold

On mornings after we've had a freeze, I have a real hard time starting my 85 Ranger. I turn the key and it cranks (at regular sounding speed -- not real slow sounding) but doesn't turn over i.e. roar to life. I'll turn the key for a few seconds then wait a few seconds before turning it again. After 2-3 minutes of doing this it usually starts. In the afternoons, when its warmer, or on mornings when the night before wasn't below freezing, it usually starts right up.

I had an old battery in it and had that replaced over the weekend. I went out this morning, after it was below freezing last night, and had the same problem!

Could it be the motor oil I put in it last time (10W-40)?

Someone suggested it might be a bad ignition coil. Does that sound possible? If so, how hard is that for a low-experience-high-eagerness wannabe-grease-monkey like myself to do on my own?


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Old 01-02-02, 07:19 AM
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You don't mention engine size. 2.0? 2.3? V6 2.8L?

I believe these are all carbureted in 1985. Those carbs are the pits. Pesky, slow and annoying.

Be specific about the problem. Are you saying that the trouble is sometimes it doesn't crank? Cranks all the time and doesn't turn over? Turns over and runs rough? etc, etc, etc, etc.

Is the choke working? Should be 1/8" open upon initial start up and gradually open to full vertical (up and down) when it's fully warmed up. Take off the air filter housing cover and have someone start it stone cold and tell us what it does. If it opens wide upon cold start it will choke and stall. If it stays flat closed, it will run rich and you'll get black smoke out of the exhaust If it's not working right it will be a bear to start in the cold weather. Again, I'm assuming we are talking a carbureted Ranger.

10W40 is probably ok for an older model and higher mileage unit such as this. Check your owner's manual for the recommended grade for the temperature range anticipated between oil changes. There's usually a chart in the owner's guide to help.

10W30 was probably the original recommended weight, but it would probably leak or burn that by now .
Old 01-08-02, 04:25 AM
james gallagher
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cold starting on ranger

i have an 84 ford ranger and if your motor is the same as mine the 4 cyl. 2.0L than check the heat riser valve it is in your air breather body , where it conects to the big black air tubing, you will see a flap in there , check and see if it is working, not seized, i got that working the other day ,and solved the same problem,starts easier and warms up faster, aswell as better milage , hope this helps

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