Engine 2.3L Red Hot Exhaust Manifold?

KingSaturn

Member
Oct 10, 2019
4
1
13
Washington
So For a couple of weeks now, my car has been stuck in limp mode. It has a very slow acceleration and the last time I drove it anywhere it stalled out. It really can't make it up my hill at anything more than 10-20 MPH. Every weekend I've been frantically fixing possible causes, because she's really my only ride without causing my family a bunch of trouble. First theory I had was that the TPS finally gave out, the last time I had pulled codes the sensor threw one at me. While I had the Throttle Body out I decided I would also clean that out with some throttle body cleaner since the inside of it was disgusting and black. In addition I changed the throttle bodies gaskets just so it wouldn't have any issues in the long run. Wen't for a test drive. Didn't fix the problem. Still stuck in limp mode.

When that didn't work, I crossed it off my list and started doing more research. I bought a code reader to make pulling them easy, and it gave me a code 998 (limp mode), and a 224 (Erratic Ignition Diagnostic Monitor "IDM" input to processor). I know this has to do with the coils but we did some more research and some people were claiming that they changed their spark plugs and it fixed very similar issues. So this last weekend I tried that. I changed the spark plugs and the ignition wires. Went for a test drive. Didn't fix the problem. Still stuck in limp mode, but this time I had a surprise when I got home. The exhaust manifold was glowing red hot like an oven!

Exhaust 2.jpeg
Exhaust.jpeg

At this point we are thinking one of three things have gone bad. Either
A. The timing is bad from when we took the crankshaft bolt off weeks ago to investigate for my oil leak.

B. The O2 sensor is bad.
C. The Cat Converter is bad.

I'm honestly at a loss. Should I have just trusted the codes and replaced the coils and wiring for it? Would it have gone this way anyway because of the timing? Am I even looking at the right possibilities? Any help would be appreciated. I just want to get her back on the road again. Thank you!
 
  • Sponsors(?)


General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
17,166
5,487
193
polk county florida
The red hot exhaust manifold says lean, could be plugged cats.
does it have a lot of miles? Late timing can cause that too.
i would check the timing belt then pull the exhaust pipe off the manifold and see if it runs better
i will admit to not knowing much about the 4 cylinder engines.
 

junkyardwarrior

5 Year Member
Jan 10, 2011
309
72
48
if the timing belt was never removed, and it ran ok prior to removing the lower pulley, there is little likelihood that the belt has an issue. 998 is "usually" throwed when the EEC goes into FMEF (failure mode effects management). FMEF can be triggered by a failed EEC (computer)-but there is no reliable way to test it, so you need to use the process of elimination to eliminate wiring and sensor issues. Also, a failed EEC can be caused by a lot of things, electrical short, electrical surge (lightning can cause it), sometimes hooking up jumper cables backwards, or it can just fry on it's own (circuit board problem). Another way to "test" the EEC is to replace with a known good one.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: General karthief

Rcdgl

Active Member
Feb 19, 2018
122
36
38
68
I would start with the current codes.

x2 on the potential for a blocked exhaust, try pulling the exhaust to see it that helps. Does the exhaust sound normal?
 
  • Like
Reactions: General karthief

KingSaturn

Member
Oct 10, 2019
4
1
13
Washington
The exhaust has always sounded pretty ratty, I figured it had a leak somewhere but maybe the Cat was starting to go the whole time. Also, I recently replaced the coils, and it seems to have gotten rid of my engine light, but she still has super low power. So something else is definitely off. I dropped her off at a trusted shop yesterday, so hopefully they can find the problem and tell me what's up. I just don't have anymore time to troubleshoot myself. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that when the manifold went oven on me it melted something on the heater core, cause now I have a new coolant leak from somewhere between the firewall and the dashboard. The problems are just jumping out at me this month!
 

junkyardwarrior

5 Year Member
Jan 10, 2011
309
72
48
Well remember that these cars are 25+ years old now. They ARE going to have problems. Sometimes multiples and frequently-as you've found out.
 

KingSaturn

Member
Oct 10, 2019
4
1
13
Washington
Yeah I expected it to have problems, there have just been a whole lot of other things going down the drain this month. Anyway, I called the dealership on Friday and they said that the crankshaft bolt is "bored out" and that they want to find a new one before we go any further so that it doesn't cause more damage. So I think I found the right bolt on Ebay, same part number and it looks in good enough shape so I got it. I really wish there were more parts for my engine floating around, but the 2.3 seems so illusive (Just another reason to swap the engine at some point ).
 

91TwighlightGT

15 Year Member
Sep 8, 2002
1,031
282
124
37
Missouri
Visit site
The 2.3 is actually pretty common, they were in rangers for many years. Also be advised that the 2.5 L in the Ranger is essentially your 2.3 L with a stroker crank.
 

KingSaturn

Member
Oct 10, 2019
4
1
13
Washington
So, an update. I took the car to the shop cause I really couldn't figure it out. Turns out, the crankshaft bolts washer had gone missing during the cars 20+ years of life. So, when we put the bolt back on, it quickly dug a second notch into its hub - throwing the timing off about 20 degrees. Apparently that's all it was. She's been back on the road now for about a week and I've had none of the same problems. She's running great now aside from the blown heater core and the computer that's going a bit ca-putz now. at least I'm keeping busy! Thanks for your guys' suggestions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: General karthief

junkyardwarrior

5 Year Member
Jan 10, 2011
309
72
48
I've been saying for years that the 2.3 is about gone. People keep saying otherwise, but have you actually tried finding one? They're not everywhere like they used to be. They all went to the scrap metal yards to be sent off to china, melted down, and then re-cast into whatever they want them to be, then sent back to the USA.

When I bought mine, the engine was ok other than the head, but I found a turbo engine from a Merkur and swapped it in. That engine was trashed and I had to find another block to build while I was still driving (and pouring oil into) the "old" one. Took almost 7 months of constant ad placements and looking (digging) around to find one, and it mattered none what year it was to me (large journal or small) because I'd make either one of them work. Then one flew out of nowhere, guy stopped by work with a trailer looking for a buddy bearing cap and I seen some motors on the trailer. He was headed to the scrap yard with 'em, so I went out to look-and he had several 2.3's on it, and one of them was a Turbocoupe engine (long block), which I snatched up. Great shape too. It wasnt' free though, but cheap enough to build.
 
  • Like
Reactions: General karthief

Noobz347

Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor
Admin Dude
Jan 4, 1985
28,680
10,649
224
Box behind Walmart
www.stangnet.com
That's largely because nobody wants them. They're sitting in garages, holding doors open, giving worms and critters a place to live amongst the weeds and brush, all across America and Australia.

Every couple years someone comes along and builds one, blows it up, and moves along. lol
 

trebor3170

mine usually gets hard with the car on
May 31, 2019
83
32
28
62
Salisbury, MD
The 2.3L Ford is, or was, one of the most popular engines used in class "S", 2.5 Liter stock, inboard racing hydroplanes. A little bit of useless trivia for you, but explains where, at least, some of them are.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
2020 PP2 5.0 Catalyst converter‘s Turning red hot! 1994 - 1995 Specific Tech 17
John Dirks Jr Alternator batt post red hot 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 49
foxbodymike87 red hot positive battery cable Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 11
Mentat Red Hot Cats? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 8
8 no start and exhause red hot and burning stuff help more parts more $$$ not an option Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 41
D red hot headers (glowing) Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 47
Adam95GT Went to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers... 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 2
J Red hot headers 1994 - 1995 Specific Tech 8
S No power steering at low RPM and dies at red lights. Are they related? SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 0
Noobz347 For Sale I'm Selling a Vette on a Mustang Website... I do what I want :D Other Classifieds 4
M New member- Where to buy a red convertible top? The Welcome Wagon 1
F SOLD For Sale: 84 red GT convertible 27k miles Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 1
My92cashtrap Paint and Body EP Ford bright red...where to buy? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 2
F What's it Worth? Red on red 1984, GT vert, 5.0, 26k miles What is it Worth?!?!? 0
J m-2320-af red 10th anniversary calipers What is it Worth?!?!? 2
TexasFireman Progress Thread TxFireman’s Electric Red Coupe refresh 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 68
A RED/GREEN Vacuum line broke, Need replacement link 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 3
M WTB/Trade WTB 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra Black, Teal, or Red on Black Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 3
L 95 Convertible Red Interior The Welcome Wagon 0
B Just picked up a "Garage Find" Red 93 Cobra Gray Leather 47k original miles. Built and owned by Johnny Lightning The Welcome Wagon 19
B Paint and Body How many coats of Laser Red E9? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 6
Aaron Paint and Body 1987 GT Red/Orange Stripe Tape 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 8
C ISO RED STEERING WHEEL - 1995 GTS Interior Exterior Parts 0
Schnelly stripes or no stripes 2008 GT / Red 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
K For Sale Translucent Red 1966 Ford Mustang GT350 For Sale! Classic Mustangs For Sale 0
Mark Kiester Original 1965 Upholstery Options - Red/Black? 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 6
K Does Orange Dexcool Turn Red/Pinkish? S550 Mustang 2015+ (S550) Mustang -General/Talk 0
Blueharry 04 racing stripes problem... 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 1
codemonkey Who in Washington/Oregon owned my car before me? (Red Fire 05 GTP with a ton of mods) Regional Forums and Event Information 0
CarMichael Angelo RANT!!! How rare is it that we have 2 “How rare is my red interior” threads at the same time? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 28
D Isle of Wight Red Fire Roush The Welcome Wagon 1
9 The last wire is red/black. Only option is to connect to plain red. 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 1
Mstng93SSP For Sale 5-Lug Conversion? 2003 Cobra front calipers -AND- brackets powder coated red Wheels Tires Brakes 0
E Red button on panel door 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 1
Hellion2013 For Sale 2013 Hellion Twin turbo Mustang GT S197 Mustangs For Sale (2005-14) 0
horse sence Shelby's little Red has been found 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 2
G Unoffical Poppy Red/Calypso Coral Mustang Club thread 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 3
O For Sale Set of 4 Pearl White Pony wheels for '92 Special Edition LX (Vibrant Red Version) - $800 Wheels Tires Brakes 0
O General 04 Crimson Red Mustang Floor Mats Special Production 3
K For Sale By Original Owner--1986 GT Convertible Jalapeno Red/White Leather Murfreesboro, TN Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 0
9 HELP PLEASE 1994 rio red cobra 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 11
Tubbster66 SOLD MSD Cap and Wires - Red Engine and Power Adder 1
Reddevil91 Woah!! Cup Holders! Have You All Seen This 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 228
ledlover2 SOLD 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible- Red! Classic Mustangs For Sale 4
reddragonracing For Sale 94-95 Front & Rear Red Bumper Covers Interior Exterior Parts 2
D Expired 2016 Performance Pack Gt - Race Red S550 Mustangs for Sale (2015+) 0
A Paint and Body Front Bumper Repair 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
J S197 Red Leather Seats...your Take? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 10
J Attitude Adjustment.....in Racing Red 2015+ (S550) Mustang -General/Talk 11
J Expired 2013 Mustang Gt Track Pack S197 Mustangs For Sale (2005-14) 1
Similar threads