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Truck Dying and Stuttering

I drive a 1993 Ford Ranger 2.3L L4 XLT. While accelerating, the engine will sometime stutter for one second, then get back up and running immediately after. Then while the engine is at idling and we’re either stopped or moving slowly, the engine will just cut out. When it dies it takes about 20 minutes for it to be able to start up again. Any other time and the engine will only turn over, but won’t start. I tried restarting the engine recently after I died on me, and it started backfiring, and actually blew my muffler, although it was rusty already. I replaced the fuel pump, and yet I am having the same problems, but it does feel like it is able to start up again faster after dying. It still backfires if you try to restart it too quickly also. I have not checked the fuel line, throttle body, intake, or fuel injectors. Although, the fuel injectors look pretty rusted from the outside. The truck is giving out a 222 code (IDM open or high or right coil pack failure), but it has had this code for a while and worked fine before. For some reason, it also has two spark plugs for every cylinder, so eight in total. So I do not think it would be the code, because it still has some backup plugs.

It could still be your coil pack, backup plugs won’t help if you’re not getting enough electrical spark to keep those cylinders hump’n and pump’n. You got to hump it into submission, that’s what Patches would say!

What does the IDM open or high part mean?

Not exactly sure, but I would replace the coil pack first if that doesn’t work replace the more expensive part and that is the IDM (Ignition Module) if I remember right coil pack is like $30 at Oreilly’s and Ignition module is $70, if either one one of those doesn’t fix your problem I would be very surprised. Follow the code reading replace those parts. Ignition Module is what fixed my truck when it wasn’t able to start. Peace, let me know if that works. Both parts you can replace yourself, really easy.

The engine is designed to use ALL the spark plugs, they are not backup plugs. Ford redesigned the head and switch to fuel injection which resulted in significant power gains over the old single plug, carburetor Pinto engine.

I replaced 6/8 spark plugs (can’t get to the ones behind the manifold). Do you know which one would be the right coil pack? They’re not set up right/left they’re more front/back. Or if it refers to what side of the engine it leads to, is it from the point of view of the cab or out in front of the truck?

Coil packs look pretty new also

Problem solved, replaced ICM.

Good for you. I presume ICM == ignition control module. Not an uncommon failure item on many older vehicles according to reports here. The Rangers of that era seem to be pretty reliable in general. Thanks for the update.

Suggest to give your truck’s engine a complete pro-active check-up. Probably could use it, given its age.

  • new spark plugs, dist cap, ign rotor, hv wires, engine air filter
  • compression check
  • idle rpm check
  • ignition timing check
  • fuel pressure check
  • vacuum system check

Will do, thank you!

Did you put some dielectric grease in between the heat sink and the ICM, they can burn up on you if the heat is staying in that module?

I hope he didn’t, I hope he put some heat sink paste or thermal paste there.

Dielectric grease is to keep moisture out,

Thermal paste is a very high heat paste that is used between two objects to get better heat conduction.