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I have a 96 Ranger, 2.3L, Auto, Reg Cab, 117,000 mi. I just recently bought the truck a month or 2 ago. It has been down on power since I got it. A mechanic thought that the catalytic converter came apart inside and clogged up the exhaust. I have the cat replaced and the muffler. About that same time, the bearing in the air conditioning compressor tried to lock up. I had the ac replaced but when you get in the gas very hard the ac starts coming out of the defroster vent instead of the front vents. The mechanic said my truck should have about 15 pounds of vacuum and mine only has 6. He said he hooked up a smoke machine to it but could not find a vacuum leak. I have to almost floor it on the highway to get up to 70 miles an hour. The gas mileage is terrible. :It gets 13.7 in town and 15.3 on the highway. I did not have the tailpipe check for an obststruction and it is welded on. Any suggestions on how to find the vacuum leak and or why it is down on power so much would be greatly appreciated. I'm not a mechanic but with a good instructions I can probably do a few things.
 

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could be a few things but maybe a bad throttle cable is one of the many things how high does it rev take off the intake hose by the throttle body and have someone push on the gas peddle if the throttle blade opens 90 degrees or flat the cable is fine if not let us know
 

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badinten makes a very good point, the cables do stretch. If that's the problem, use some zap straps on the cable between the foot pedal and the end of the cable to take up slack. Though the symptoms point to other problems as well. You can check for vacuum leaks with propane, use a propane tank [hand held plumbers type] with a valve and let some gas out while the engine is running. If it speeds up you've found a leak.
Did you pull codes?
Good luck,

Richard
 
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