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Old 01-06-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4
Vehicle Year: 1986
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger XL Shortbed
I use this vehicle for: Everything
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Default Electrical Issues - Opinions Needed!

I posted in the 2.9L forum last week, hoping it will get a few more views and your opinions here. Truck is an 86 2.9 Auto which I purchased last year and have pretty much gone through every part of the truck less opening the motor,trans or t-case. Truck had sat for a few years before I bought it and needed a lot of attention, especially on wiring, connectors and grounds. There were multiple broken wires on the inner fender near the solenoid that needed repair, every ground needed attention and connectors had some issues with corroision and looseness.
Still having an issue though, I think I have isolated to the charging circuit - if the alternator is connected (Y/W - B/O - LG-R wires) near the master, the engine misses consistently at idle (hot and cold, worse when cold) and stumbles to death (won't rev over 1200-1500 rpms) with the tach bouncing on every miss. Engine misses even worse with headlights or heater on. Unplug
the connector - runs like a top no misses, shifts fine through all gears - plently of power until voltage drops from the battery not charging and the truck dies. I have searched through the forums at length and really haven't been able to find anyone with a similar issue or solution.

Alternator is new and wiring seems to be ok from the alternator to the connector on the driver's side fenderwell, and then into the cab. Got continuity from the connector to the instrument panel connector for the ammeter, checked black/Orange to the fuse panel, and yellow to fuse panel and ignition. Wiggle test on harness under dash with meter in continuity mode gives no indications of loose or broken wires. Dash lights seem ok brightness wise, so I don't think anything strange is going on there. Ran another ground from the battery to the dash ground under the column but haven't noticed any improvement.

Not sure where to look next. Replaced headlight switch with a good spare, multifunction and wiper switch. Ignition was not replaced, connector is clean and tight. Wiggle tested (coneector and key) with no issue as far as I can tell. Not sure if unplugging the connector from the ignition switch and jumping it out would help in isolating the igntion swtich as a possible cause? I have the wiring diagrams and have been trying to go through it wire by wire, but I could sure use some help from the electrical guys out there.

Sorry for the book, just trying to present you folks with as much info as possible
Any ideas are appreciated - Thanks
1986 Ranger Reg. Cab 2.9 Auto
Duff Stage I D35 & 7.5 Tru Trac 4.56
BFG A/T 31 x 10.50 Cragar 15 x 8 Soft 8
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