I have a 96
Ranger with a 2.3 single over head cam engine. The little engine is in great shape. Compression check is from 168 to 173 psi. I am running 3.73 rear gears with 5 speed manual trans and stock 14" tires. The little engine starts right up and reves u with little or no effort and runs fine around town in 1st thru 4th gear. Out on the highway it has very little power at cruise. It also has a really faint miss on the highway. You really have to be in tune with the engine to even know it is missing. Fuel pressure is 30 psi at idle and when throttle is opened and then closed rapidly it jumps to 40 psi and rocks back to about 38 psi. I have changed the fuel filter. Pulled the plugs and checked them and also checked the resistance on all the plug wires and they seem fine. I replaced the timing belt when I had the engine out of the truck and engine has all new gaskets including head gasket.
Today i decided to check the timing marks thru the inspection holes in the belt cover and it looks like the cam gear is about 1 tooth off.
My question is will the engine start and run as well as it does with the timing belt off 1 tooth and will this cause low top end power?
Also just as a note there are no DTC codes in the computer. Engine vacum is around 18 Hg at idle and engine is up to operating temperature. I have done a thorough check for vacum leaks and have found none. This includes blocking off any un-necessary hoses and spraying all areas with carb cleaner with engine running.
I'm not all that familiar w/the 2.3. But, back in the olden days, there was a company that sold a cam pulley. I think that it would advance the cam in order to increase the bottom end. So, I'm pretty sure that it would run that way. Several dif motors have more than one timing mark in order to advance or retard the cam.
A 2.0 was a non-interference motor, and I'm pretty sure that a 2.3 is also....be glad that you don't have a Honda...they will lock up w/the cam set one tooth off.
One of the things that I think of is a clogged cat-converter. Is it glowing? Does the exhaust manifold glow?