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Brian
Brian, Auto Service Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1227
Experience:  5 years Ford Technical Hotline/Service Engineer. 2005 Ford Master Cert. Automotive Technology degree
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My Ford 94 Ranger has an intermittent check engine light. The

Resolved Question:

My Ford 94 Ranger has an intermittent check engine light. The code it shows is 223, "Loss of dual plug inhibit (DPI) control". My Haines manual said to check both coils with an ohmeter, <5 oms between the coil center input and the side terminals, 14-16 Kohms between the two sides of the plug wire outputs on each coil. The truck passed all those tests but the check engine light came back on. What should I do, start replacing the coils? And how does this thing work and why does the damn thing have two coils and two plugs per cylinder? Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Brian replied 5 years ago.

Keep in mind that if the problem is intermittent, the tests may pass if the problem is not present. Try to do the testing when the problem is occurring if possible.

The factory pinpoint test mentions using a breakout box. You can do the same test without a breakout box. The BOB just lets you connect to each wire non-intrusively. Without the BOB, you have to locate each wire and probe directly into the wire. The pinpoint tests refer to overlays and test harnesses, just read over the test first and get an idea what the test is checking, and then you can do the test without using the BOB and associated equipment.

The dual plugs supposedly help ensure complete combustion for increased efficiency and reduced emissions.

Distributorless Ignition System

In the Distributorless Ignition System (DIS), all engine timing and spark distribution is handled electronically with no moving parts. This system has fewer parts that require replacement and provides a more accurately timed spark. During basic operation, the EEC-IV determines the ignition timing required by the engine and a DIS module determines which ignition coil to fire.
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Components

The distributorless ignition system (DIS) for the 2.3L twin spark plug engine consists of the following components:

l Crankshaft timing sensor

l DIS module

l Two ignition coil packs

l Spark angle portion of EEC-IV


Crankshaft Timing Sensor

The crankshaft timing sensor is a dual hall effect magnetic switch, which is actuated by the dual vane cup on the crankshaft pulley hub assembly. This sensor generates two separate signals, PIP (profile ignition pick-up) and CID (cylinder identification). The PIP signal provides base timing and rpm information, while the CID signal is used to synchronize the ignition coils. Initial timing (base timing) is set at 10 degrees BTDC and is not adjustable.


Ignition Coil Packs

Two ignition coil packs are used for the 2.3L dual plug engine. The two ignition coil packs are triggered by the DIS module and are timed by the EEC-IV. Each coil pack contains two separate ignition coils for a total of four ignition coils. Each ignition coil fires two spark plugs simultaneously, one spark plug on the compression stroke and one on the exhaust stroke. The spark plug fired on the exhaust stroke uses very little of the ignition coils, stored energy, and the majority of the ignition coils, energy is used by the spark plug on the compression stroke. Since these two spark plugs are connected in series, the firing voltage of one spark plug will be negative with respect to ground, while the other will be positive with respect to ground. Refer to the «Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis Manual» for additional information on spark plug polarity.


DIS Module

The main function of the DIS module is to switch between ignition coils and trigger the coils to spark. The DIS ignition module receives the PIP and CID signals from the crankshaft timing sensor, and the SPOUT (spark out) signal from the EEC-IV module. During normal operation, PIP is passed on to the EEC-IV module and provides base timing and rpm information. The CID signal provides the DIS ignition module with the information required to switch between the coils for cylinders 1 and 4 and the coils for cylinders 2 and 3. The SPOUT signal (from the EEC-IV) contains the optimum spark timing and dwell time information. The dwell time is controlled or varied by varying the duty cycle (duration) of the SPOUT signal. This feature is called CCD (computer controlled dwell). Therefore, with the proper inputs of PIP, CID and SPOUT the DIS ignition module turns the ignition coils on and off in the proper sequence for spark control.


Failure Mode Effects Management

During some DIS faults, the Failure Mode Effects Management (FMEM) portion of the DIS ignition module will maintain vehicle operation. If the DIS ignition module does not receive the SPOUT input, it will automatically turn the ignition coils on and off using the PIP signal. However, this will result in fixed spark timing (ten degrees BTDC) and a fixed dwell time (no CCD). If the DIS ignition module does not receive the CID input, random coil synchronization will be attempted by the module. Therefore, several start attempts may be required to start the engine.


Dual Plug Inhibit

Dual Plug Inhibit (DPI) is a function of the EEC-IV that is used when the vehicle is being started. During engine cranking, the EEC-IV will only fire the spark plugs on the right hand side of the engine. When the engine has started, the EEC-IV will send a signal to the DIS module to start normal dual plug operation.


Ignition Diagnostic Monitor

The Ignition Diagnostic Monitor (IDM) is a function of the DIS module. The DIS module sends information on system failures to the EEC-IV which stores the information for diagnostic self test. The IDM signal also is used to drive the vehicle instrument tachometer, and test tachometer for system diagnosis.

Below is the factory Pinpoint Test for code 223, non-California emissions Ranger, DPI open, IDM open, or SPOUT high (shorted to power).

PINPOINT TEST

E1 CHECK SPOUT AT ICM
l Key off.

l Connect EI diagnostic harness negative and positive lead to battery.

l Install EI diagnostic harness to breakout box and the ICM (Pins 1-6).

l Use 2.3L DP DIS overlay.

l Connect DVOM between (+) J36 (SPOUT I) and (-)J60 (B-) NOTE: Ignore the J, it refers to the breakout box, the numbers like 36 and 60 refer to the pin numbers at the PCM, see the diagram below for wire colors that correlate with the pin numbers, so you can probe into the proper wires and do the tests without the breakout box.

l Set DVOM to 40 volt AC range.

l Start engine.

l Is voltage greater than 2.0 volts AC?

Yes
GO to «E2». DPI failure.

No
GO to «E6». SPOUT high fault.


E2 DP FAULT--VERIFY DUAL PLUG OPERATION

l Using a Neon Spark Tester (D89P-6666-A) or Air Gap Spark Tester, check for spark at each left side plug wire with the engine running.

l Is spark present at one or more wires during dual plug operation (engine running)?

Yes
REPLACE ICM. ICM not indicating dual plug operation.

REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».

No
GO to «E3».


E3 DP FAULT--CHECK DPI CONTINUITY--PCM AND ICM DISCONNECTED
l Key off.

l Set DVOM to 200 ohm scale.

l Disconnect PCM.

l Install the second EEC breakout box to the EEC vehicle harness connector.

l Disconnect ICM from ICM 1-6 tee. Leave vehicle harness connected to module tee.

l Measure resistance between Test Pin 32 (DPI) of the second EEC breakout box and J54 (DPI I).

l Is resistance less than 5.0 ohms?

Yes
GO to «E4».

No
CHECK connectors, SERVICE or REPLACE harness. DPI is open between ICM and processor.

REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».


E4 CHECK FOR DPI SHORT HIGH--DPI FAULT--PCM AND ICM DISCONNECTED--KOEO

l Key on.

l Set DVOM to 40 volt DC range.

l Measure voltage between (+)J54 (DPI I) and (-)J60 (B-).

l Is the voltage less than 0.5 volt DC?

Yes
GO to «E5».

No
SERVICE harness. DPI short high.
REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».


E5 FORCE DUAL PLUG COMMAND AT ICM--DPI LOW FAULT--KOER
l Connect an incandescent 12 volt test lamp between J54 (DPI) and J60 (B-).

l Reconnect PCM.

l Reconnect ICM tee (1-6) to ICM.

CAUTION:
Do not Jumper J54 to VPWR+ or B+; the DPI circuit in the PCM may be damaged.

l Start engine.

l Is test lamp on?

Yes
REPLACE PCM. PCM DPI signal shorted high in PCM.

REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».

No
GO to «E8».


E6 CHECK PCM SIDE OF SPOUT--SPOUT HIGH FAULT-- ICM DISCONNECTED--KOEC

l Key off.

l Set DVOM to 40 volt AC range.

l Disconnect ICM (Pins 1-6) from ICM diagnostic harness tee. Do not disconnect vehicle wiring connector from the other end of the tee.

l Crank engine.

l Measure voltage between J36 (SPOUT) and J60 (B-).

l Is the voltage greater than 0.1 VAC?

Yes
REPLACE ICM. SPOUT is shorted high in the ICM.
REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».

No
GO to «E7».


E7 CHECK SPOUT FOR SHORT HIGH IN HARNESS--PCM AND ICM DISCONNECTED--KOEO

l Key off.

l Set DVOM to 40 volt DC range.

l Disconnect PCM.

l Key on.

l Measure voltage between J36 (SPOUT) and J60 (B-).

l Is voltage less than 0.5 volts DC?

Yes
REPLACE PCM. SPOUT is shorted high in the PCM.
REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».

No
SERVICE harness and connectors. SPOUT is shorted high between ICM and PCM.
REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».


E8 FORCE DUAL PLUG COMMAND AT DIS MODULE--DPI LOW FAULT--KOER

l Connect a jumper between J54 (DPI) and J60 (BAT-).

l Reconnect EEC processor.

l Reconnect DIS tee (1-6) to DIS module.

CAUTION:
Do not jumper J54 to VBAT+ or BAT+; the DPI circuit in the EEC-IV processor may be damaged.

l Start engine.

l Is there spark at any left plug wire?

Yes
REPLACE PCM. PCM not sending DPI signal.
REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».

No
REPLACE ICM. Module not responding to DPI signal.
REMOVE all test equipment.
RECONNECT all components.
CLEAR Continuous Memory.
RERUN «Quick Test».


graphic

Brian, Auto Service Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1227
Experience: 5 years Ford Technical Hotline/Service Engineer. 2005 Ford Master Cert. Automotive Technology degree
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