Ever experienced this?

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Old 04-02-12, 06:50 AM
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Ever experienced this?

I have a 92' Ford Ranger XLT with 2.9 V6 engine. I was driving down the freeway Friday night. The engine misfired a couple times and then the engine shut down. About 30 minutes later it restarted and I have been driving it since then without any problems.

Normally when the engine shuts down while driving, it means a part has failed and you have to have it towed for repairs.

I checked all electrical connections at emissions and ignition parts and did not notice anything amiss. What the heck?
 
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Old 04-02-12, 07:19 AM
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If I read you correctly, after the shutdown it would not immediately restart but would 30 minutes or so later?

That's often a sign of a failing electronic component that breaks down when it gets hot. Not sure about your Ford, but on my wrecker (Chevy) I've had bad ignition modules do that.
 
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Old 04-02-12, 07:27 AM
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Years ago on a 1980 GMC work van I had a similar issue. It would quit running for a second or two [sometimes longer] and then go back to running. As time went by it got worse and on a slow work day I decided to take it to a repair shop and get it fixed. On the way to the shop it died and would not restart so I had it towed in. Once at the shop it fired up and ran perfectly. Not knowing for sure, they replaced all the electronic components in the distributor - I never had that issue again
 
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Old 04-02-12, 07:38 AM
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Crankshaft position sensor has done this to me on a couple different cars.
 
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Old 04-02-12, 11:32 AM
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I was sort of worried that it might be crankshaft position sensor. Isn't that an expensive repair?

But here are a few clues.

1. Shortly after I replaced all the emissions and ignition parts as preventive, the first occurrence happened. And it has done the same thing 3 times now over three years. Possibly a faulty brand new part at the time of purchase a few years ago?

2. I have original distributor with 305,000 miles.

3, Very long gaps between 3 occurrences.

4. also original crankshaft sensor with 305,000 miles even with engine replacement.

5. A few of the plastic clasps that hold ignition or emission parts tight broke. the remaining clasp seemed to hold it snug along with a cable tie. I wonder if maybe the parts comes barely losse enough to break connection. I hate those damn plastic clasps !
 
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Old 04-02-12, 11:46 AM
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That's not typical symptoms of a crankshaft position sensor from my experience - the stalling is more frequent and progressive.

Can't tell you cost, first one was a decade ago and the second one was a buddy from the shop where my old man works doing it on the side so I didn't pay full price for part or labor.
 
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Old 04-02-12, 08:16 PM
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I agree with the_tow_guy and marksr. It does sound like a failing ignition component. Heat can cause the intermittant issue. I once had a failing distributor pickup that caused the same situation, and module packs can do the same thing also when they get older and heat up.
 
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Old 04-03-12, 08:47 AM
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Well, I replaced almost all the small ignition and emission parts in 2010 because they were all the original 1992 parts (including ignition module). I thought why not replace all those before they fail. I also replaced plugs and spark plug wires.

They distributor cap and rotor are 60,000 miles old now. And the distributor is 20 years old. Maybe I'll inspect and replace cap and rotor. What is a distributor pickup? Thans for all your input.
 
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Old 04-03-12, 07:32 PM
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In the days when all vehicles used caps and rotors I never once managed 60,000 out of them. Barely half that. Sounds like yours should at least be cleaned up for good spark contact. The distributor pickup with reluctor I mentioned was old school technology just after breaker points went the way of the buggy whip but before computer spark control. Early 70's was when these first were used.
 
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Old 04-04-12, 04:33 AM
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60,000 on cap and rotor? Wow. When you replace them, look very closely at the rotor to see if there is evidence of burn through.
 
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Old 04-04-12, 06:46 AM
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The Chilton manual doesn't even give any maintenance interval for inspecting or replacing cap and rotor. Might it be better to just replace the 20 year old distributor? How much labor for this?

And why is this misfire/engine failure thing only happening at the rate of once a year? Thanks, Dave
 
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Old 04-04-12, 08:27 PM
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It's a 1992 with over 300K miles. If it otherwise runs well why not start with the lowest cost maintenance repair and just replace cap and rotor. If you do end up changing out the distributor later, you can re-use those parts anyway. Is the distributor worn out? Yes, but perhaps no more than the rest of the truck and at this point I would be doing only the minimum repair just to keep it running but that is only my opinion.
 
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Old 04-05-12, 04:09 AM
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That is a fair amount of miles; while following 'nox's suggestions you might wiggle the distributor shaft when you have the cap off to see if there's a lot of lateral play in it.
 
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Old 04-05-12, 07:00 AM
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Yeah, I agree. I'll clean, reaplce cap/rotor, and wiggle the shaft.

Can you believe this truck still has the original transmission with over 300,000 miles? But I have changed the fluid and filter a lot.

Thanks, Dave
 
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Old 04-30-12, 07:39 PM
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UPDATE.

I replaced cap and rotor. I also tried to wiggle distributor. There was little or no play

The old rotor looked fine. The old cap had no carbon tracks or cracks. But the carbon button on inside center was worn maybe 60%. It had sort of a rounded, flattened appearance.

I also noticed two of the electrical or metal contacts on inside of cap that is aligned with spark plug wire towers. These had a squished (or perhaps even melted?), burned or otherwise marked appearance.

Could this be what caused my misfire engine failure?
 
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Old 04-30-12, 08:55 PM
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A guess would be yes, but that still doesn't rule out something else in addition in regards to your stall/no start experience, but unless you find anything else enjoy your next 300,000 miles. With your luck around your cap and rotor lasting 60K who knows how much longer the rest may last.
 
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