Ford Ranger Ignition Timing Specs

by Roman Didenco
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spark image by Zbigniew Nowak from

Correct ignition timing specifications are crucial for engine performance. Timing affects many variables, including fuel economy and engine longevity. The Ford Ranger is one of the most popular lightweight trucks produced by Ford Motor Company, and its engineers have determined precise timing specifications so that you can benefit from your Ranger as much as possible.

Measuring Ignition Timing

Use a timing light to check your timing while the engine is running. An inductive trigger signal will be picked up from one of the spark plug cables, causing the light to turn on and freeze while the spark plug fires. This helps to determine the crankshaft position. Use this information for making timing adjustments because the rate at which the crankshaft is spinning and is processed by the distributor controls the ignition (i.e., controls when the spark should occur).

Timing Specifications

Ideally, the time at which the mixture should be fully burnt on a Ford Ranger is approximately six degrees at top dead center (ATDC) at 800 rpm for 1985 to 1988 models with carbureted 2.0L engines and 10 degrees for 1985 to 1990 models with 2.3L engines with fuel injection.

After 1990 the Ranger went to a distributorless system that uses the Engine Control Unit (ECU) to control the timing. Since the computer adjusts the timing, you don't need to worry about the timing adjustment.


When the engine is operating at high altitude, reset the timing to 14 degrees.

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