i re typed my "story" or so it has become...
well i have been trying to snuff out the issue ive been having with my ranger for the last month or two. when the temp outside was <= 30 degrees it would start hard, often after 3-5 attempts, run "OK" (meaning it was lacking power, especially in the lower gears at lower RPM's and mostly at takeoff. however if i drove it a mile or two and shut it off and restarted it (i work a mile away) it would have no power, backfire and often wouldnt even build RPM in neutral with full throttle. i connected it to a code reader and i got faulty coolant temp sensor and intake air temperature sensor, which made it seem to run better for a day or two, but the problem reappeared.
next i wanted to test the fuel pressure but, the tester i had wouldnt fit because the EGR was in the way, so i took the upper intake and EGR off and replaced spark plugs, wires, upper intake gasket, cleaned throttle body thoroughly, replaced several vacuum hoses that were dry rotted, and my fuel pressure regulator, all stuff that should be done i guess. went back together, ran better but not great, same problem returned, but not right away.
then i noticed that my fuel filler tube neck had rusted off and dirt was getting into my fuel tank that way. i had changed fuel filter previously, and this time i dropped the tank and put a new fuel filler neck, new fuel pump and filter, made sure i cleaned the tank out good... started it up, ran ok, hints of hesitation but it started instantly which wasnt normal. drove ok for a couple days, took it 20 miles to the vet yesterday-45 minutes later and it wouldnt fire even once. waited another 30 for ride to get there, and i could get it to fire, but not run.
today i went and it started with several attempts (fuel pump sounds strong) idled for several seconds and died, couple times i could keep it running for a bit with the accelerator, but it died eventually each time, not enough power to move truck. tomorrow going to check fuel pressure again and use ohm meter on TPS.
ive looked at 15-20 posts on several forums, all describing similar symptoms, and few fixing the issue... i have considered crankshaft position sensor or maybe a coil pack (it was 30 degrees warmer than it has been yesterday). if the TPS and fuel pressure are good tomorrow i guess im going to do a cylinder leak test and go from there. any input would be greatly appreciated! thanks!