2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

Cranks but won't start-not a fuel problem 99 ranger

Old 10-08-2018
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ashton
Posts: 2
Cranks but won't start-not a fuel problem 99 ranger

Hi, I'm new to the forum and looking for some answers. I have a 99 Ranger I bought a couple weeks ago for my son. It's got the 2.3L and a 5 speed. While drive, after going over train tracks, it shut off and would not start again. We checked for fuel first. We can hear the pump come on for a couple seconds and we also had pressure on the rail. We changed out one of the two coil packs because it had crazy readings. Then when it still wouldn't start, we put on new plugs and wires. Still nothing but cranking. The timing belt looked good and the 3 marks are lined up. Any ideas?
Old 10-09-2018
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,550
Welcome to the forum

1998 to 2001 Ranger used the 2.5l Lima engine, just a stroked 2.3l Lima so everything else is the same, and all .3l Lima info applies.

Do the 50/50 test on any engine that cranks but doesn't start

Spray gasoline or ether(Quick start) into the intake and try to start the engine
If it starts and dies then you have spark(at the right time) but no fuel from injectors
If it doesn't start then you have no spark...........or no compression
50/50.....instant results to point you in the right direction, and save you money

Starter motor circuit is self contained, no connection to Computer or engine systems, so working starter motor means battery has power but that's all it means

Does the CEL(check engine light) come on when you turn on the key?
That means computer is getting 12volts and is booting up as it should

About the only "sensor" on the engine that could disable both spark and fuel is the Crank Sensor, located on passenger side front of engine in a hole next to Crank shaft
It reads a "tone wheel"(looks like a gear) on the crank shaft, this tells the computer when #1 piston is at Top dead center so computer can time spark and fuel injectors
If computer doesn't get that "timing pulse" from the CKP(crank position) sensor it doesn't even "know" you are trying to start the engine.
So check the wiring on that sensor, maybe it got loose going over the tracks, computer would shut off spark and fuel if "timing pulse" was stopped

CKP sensors rarely fail, in fact most sensors or controls rarely fail, they are often replaced by DIYers and even Pro mechanics(lazy ones) looking for a quick fix
O2 sensors do wear out, they use a chemical reaction, like a battery does, so they have a limited life span, 100k-125k miles, and engine will start to run Richer than it should, MPG goes down, so worthwhile replacing it at that time, but can't cause No Start

Just a heads up on the 2.3l/2.5l Lima dual spark plug engines
BOTH spark plugs fire at the same time, no alternating
BOTH spark plugs fire on the compression stroke and the exhaust stroke, it has a Waste Spark system, just easier to setup timing this way, not done for "emissions"
1995 and up Lima engines will start and run with only 1 coil pack working, and this is a good way to test spark plugs and coil packs, disconnect one coil pack and see if engine has a misfire that isn't there with both coil packs working
The Dual spark plugs were added for more efficient fuel use, this was before 4 valve heads and "swirl" designs took over

And remember all gasoline engines are still the same as they were in 1901, only changes made are to the outside, don't let the sensors and controls throw you off
Spark, at the right time
Fuel, in the correct mix with air
Compression, above 100psi
These are still the big 3 for diagnosing gasoline engine problems
Which is why the 50/50 test still works, and has since 1901, lol, actually earlier

Last edited by RonD; 10-09-2018 at 09:29 AM.
Old 10-09-2018
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ashton
Posts: 2
#3 cylinder has no compression. Just heard back from the shop after taking it in to get checked. Thought I would update. I guess we are now shopping for an engine replacement. Any suggestions on where to find a decent and reasonably priced replacement are appreciated!
Old 10-09-2018
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,550
I would pull off the Valve cover, could just be a rocker issue, not hard to fix, if #3 intake valve rocker came off then no compression

Engine would still start with no compression on 3 it would just misfire, so not the No Start issue
And it wouldn't explain why it stalled after going over a bump

2.3l/2.5l SOHC Lima engines were very robust, made from 1974 to 2001, 27 year run, only reason they stopped making them was the technology was old, and low power to weight ratio.

Only Ford Rangers and Mazda B-2500's used the 2.5l Lima engines from 1998 to 2001(mid-year), so not alot out there
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
General Ford Ranger Discussion
10-29-2017 06:29 PM
General Technical & Electrical
10-05-2016 08:53 PM
General Technical & Electrical
02-05-2014 04:20 PM
General Technical & Electrical
06-18-2013 08:39 PM
4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech
02-29-2012 06:02 PM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Cranks but won't start-not a fuel problem 99 ranger

Contact Us - Sitemap - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.