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Was driving my 1988 ford ranger 2.1L 4 cylinder when it started putt-putting along at slower speeds, even shaking when going slow, also making almost I want to say a scraping noise, like if something was blocking exhaust. What could cause this? RPM was normal while I drove home.

It starts fine and sits fine in idle, no problems or funny noises, only as I start to go from a dead stop does it putt-putt and the scraping sound is off and on, as if it has something to do with the putt-putting of the engine. Please advice.

  • From the little information you gave, this sounds like your cat may be plugged (either self destructed or physically plugged). I just don't know for sure, though. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 27 '15 at 10:34
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Sounds like you have a timing problem, clogged exhaust or bad fuel. The exhaust or the fuel are the easiest to check. As far as the timing, the engine may run fine when not under load (sitting in park/neutral), but when in gear the timing must advance. You may have a bad timing sensor and/or a worn timing belt. If the belt was broken, the engine won't even run.

Later model Rangers don't have timing belts. They just use a few sensors and some gapped wheels with computers to set the timing and fuel.

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