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Old 05-25-2008, 09:30 PM   #1
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Where is the distributor

Hey folks I'm new to this forum so I hope I don't sound to lame. My problem is I just bought a 1989 ford Ranger XLT 4 Cylinder 2.3 with the duel ignition system. That's fine and well it starts every time, but the problem is I don't know where the distributor is. I know how stupid this may sound.
there are 8 spark plugs where the wires lead on one side is a square looking doohikey with 4 wires plugged into it, on the other side at the bottom behind the alternator is the other doohikey and also has 4 wires going into it.
Can someone please explain to me how this works. I recently purchased a Chilton book but it really didn't help me out.

Thanks in advance


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Old 05-25-2008, 10:09 PM   #2
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Your truck is equipped with a DIS or distributorless ignition system. The 'square looking doohikies are coilpacks. The ECM (the cars computor )tells the coilpcks when to fire. This system gets rid of some moving parts that are no longer really needed.


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Old 05-25-2008, 11:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for that Rehabber, so I take it the timing is also electronic and doesn't need to be messed with?
Also there is something in the radiator that looks like oil it sort of milky in appearance, my first thought was head gasket but the oil is still crystal clear from a recent oil change 3 weeks ago.(I was told by a guy that if it where the head gasket there would be water in the oil to).
I bought it from an old lady who's husband died 5 years ago and it was his. Is it possible that it's just from sitting for 5 years?

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Old 05-28-2008, 12:52 PM   #4
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Flush your cooling system - who knows how long it's been or how many types of coolant have been mixed in and gunking up the passages. Bleed the brakes too, and change all the other fluids.

A head gasket leak could go either way. Best way to tell is to have it pressure tested. You could have a small crack somewhere too (Ford somehow messed up the Mazda B2300 design, and I remember my sister-in-law had one that couldn't be fixed, but it's probably still running today).

Oh, and trash your Chilton's and get a Haynes or a factory service manual. Chilton's has good, crisp pictures, but that doesn't help when you don't know what to do with them. Check your local library for manuals or search online Ford forums. I get most of my best info from people who have actually done it the right way and the better way.
"Aw! Why does everything that only happens to stupid people happens to me?" - Homer J. Simpson

Last edited by DIYtestdummy; 05-28-2008 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #5
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Bleed the brakes too
Definately bleed and inspect your brake system, I learned that the hard way. Had an old pickup that sat for 4 years. When I moved I was driving it to my new house and lost my brakes. Had to make a very quick choice between cars ahead and a ditch; I took the ditch.........very scarry!
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