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Old 11-26-2008, 09:38 AM   #1
Kedyn's Crow
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Default Check engine light on engine running rough

Today when I was driving my truck the speedometer stopped working then when I was revving 3000 rpms in 2nd I shifted to 3rd and the truck stumbled but then went ok. A bit later I was revving 3000 rpms in 2nd and shifted into 3rd and the truck stumbled and wouldn't hardly run. I shifted back into 2nd and it ran long enough to get me home, less than a mile. When I pushed in the clutch the truck stalled. It restarted but ran rough and when I gave it gas the tack would go to about 200 rpms and it ran really rough like it was flooding out. If I let up on the throttle it would idle alright.

I pulled codes and got the following codes that were in the memory:
28 - Loss of primary tach (IDM), right side
29 - Insufficient input from the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS)
88 - Dual plug input control failure.

With code 28 does the right side mean when you are sitting in the truck or looking at it? I'm not sure if they mean passenger or driver's side.

Does code 88 point to a bad ignition control module or towards a bad coil pack?

I had an issue earlier where the CEL came on and the tach dropped by half which I thought was a loose wire but someone advised me that that is common on DIS 2.3's. I'm wondering if there are any other opinions.

Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:41 AM   #2
Sevensecondsuv
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First off, "right side" refers to the passenger side.

Both the coil packs and the DIS module can cause codes 28 and 88. Although the symptom of a faulty DIS module is generally the same symptom as not having an ignition system at all, meaning no firing whatsoever.

As I said before, you need to have both coils tested at autozone or advance auto parts, etc. Also take the DIS module and have it tested at the same time. If they come up bad, replace them. If they come up good, let us know and we will continue to help from there.

The way you fix things is step by step trouble shooting each component of a system until you find the faulty component. Anything else is just shooting in the dark.

You can try throwing parts at it, but you'll likely just end up spending a lot of money on parts that aren't broken. This is the slowest and most expensive method of fixing things.

The first thing to look at is the ignition coils. If they come up good, have the DIS module tested. If both the DIS module and coils are good, check all wiring and grounds. If the wiring and grounds are good and the ignition system still isn't working right, start looking at the ECM. I say this from my own personal experience with the 2.3 8-plug DIS system. Also, while fixing it, I'd recommend new plugs and wires if they haven't been changed in a while.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:01 AM   #3
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Thanks, I am going to try to find a spot that can test the coils. We don't have an advance auto parts or autozone here and UAP/Napa doesn't test them. I'll have to find the nearest garage that can test them out for me. Thanks again for giving me the directions on what all to test.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:20 AM   #4
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Also make sure the coils and DIS module are tightened down good. I've had loose mounting bolts give me headaches before....
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:41 PM   #5
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I just noticed this morning that the driver's side coil is not bolted down it is laying agains the inner fender blow the dipstick tube. If this is shorting out could it be the cause of the problem?
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:45 PM   #6
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even if that's not causing the problem, it obviously shouldn't be unbolted like that...
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:28 PM   #7
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I just got time to look at it this morning and when I tried to start it it wouldn't run. I moved the coil pack a couple of inches onto the fender and the truck started up and ran fine. I am going to mount it properly this weekend.

What is the easiest way to mount the left hand side coil on the bracket? Do I need to remove the altenator and power steering pump?
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:43 AM   #8
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I think I removed the alternator when I mounted mine down there. I don't have power steering so I can't help you with that. Really I would look into getting the junkyard coil mounts from a newer (93-94) 4 banger ranger that puts both coils at the top front passenger side of the engine, where your passenger side coil is now. Mounting the driver's side coil down low where Ford put it on the early rangers is a bad spot for it (although it's about the same spot as the oil distributors on the eariler 2.3s). It's hard to get to and is constantly getting mucked up with crap being flung out of the wheel well by the tire. My original driver's side coil basically just rusted out and quit working because of where it was mounted.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #9
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I was able to do some checking on things this weekend. I changed the plug wires and mounted the left side coil pack in it's correct location. It idles fine but when I rev it up it sputters and will stall out if I don't let off the gas. I found that if I unplug the left side coil pack the truck will run fine. I have triple checked that the wires are not crossed.
I checked the wires for power that plug into the left side coil pack and the only wire that has power is the red/green wire in the middle. Neither of the outer 2 wires have power, they are tan but I can't remember the strip colors. Shouldn't these 2 wires have power as well when I test with a test light? Can the truck be run on the right side coil only or will this hurt something?
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:13 AM   #10
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According to my '93 to '96 Haynes manual the middle is the power wire and the other two are grounds. Do you have a Volt/Ohm meter?
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