1994 3.0 V6 no start issues - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-03-2016
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1994 3.0 V6 no start issues

I have a 1994 ford ranger 3.0 V6 2wd, manual trans, extended cab that has been giving me fits!! This no start issue has been intermittent for almost 1.5 years. It cranks just fine. good battery, good starter motor.
It all started happening almost two winters ago when we had bitter cold weather. It would start ok, but then when I would drive it down my street and get to the first stop sign, which was on a slight incline, it would stall and refuse to start. I got in the habit at the time of taking off the hose to the air cleaner and spraying starter fluid directly into the intake body. That usually was enough to get it going again. So for a time it seemed it was a cold engine problem. Then summer rolled around, and the "no start" issue became a HOT engine problem. It started cold fine, but after making a few stops, it would not start hot and usually if I let it cool down for about a half hour or so, it started.
So as not to make this thread too long, I will stop with the symptoms and let you know about all the parts I have thrown at it and have not fixed the problem yet.
A new fuel pump, mass air flow sensor, air filter, Idle air control valve, ignition control module, computer, fuel pump relay switch, temperature switch.
I have done some investigation into the possibility of something giving a false reading back to the computer and so therefore thought about a crankshaft position sensor or a camshaft position sensor. I understand the crankshaft sensor on my truck is actually in the distributor instead of down by the harmonic balancer.
The mechanics can't seem to do anything about it because it shows no lights in the dash and no codes. They say tow it in when it acts up, but sometimes it will start when they get it in, and they tell me they can only fix it when it won't start for them.
Help anyone??
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Old 08-03-2016
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Welcome to the forum.

1994 was the last year for distributor in the 3.0l Vulcan engine.
So the last year for the TFI Module on the side of the distributor.

TFI module runs the spark, and they were well known for becoming temperature sensitive as they got older.
You mentioned replacing ignition control module(ICM), which you don't have on a '94 3.0l.
TFI module could technically be called an ICM but isn't.
An ICM did need/use a crankshaft position sensor because there was no distributor, and an ICM controlled a coil pack, multiple coils.

TFI system just used the 1 coil and no need for cam or crank sensors because of the distributor.

So you replaced the TFI module?

The TFI module does send the computer a timing pulse, PIP, so computer can time the fuel injectors.
But you should get a CEL(check engine light) if this pulse stopped or was erratic.

I would try to get the OBD1 codes from the computer yourself, not hard to do just count the flashing CEL to get the code numbers.

Video here on how to do that: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X07hu0kAuzE


1994 will be 3 digit code numbers, found here: OBD-I Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) Applications - Ford 3-Digit Codes

If there are no codes, not even the 111 for "all good" or they can not be retrieved then you could have a computer problem which is why it has been hard to diagnose.

Computers rarely fail so I would put my money on a wiring issue.
Start engine and start moving wires around, see if you can cause a stall

The fact that it restarted using Ether, could mean weak spark or low fuel pressure
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Old 08-05-2016
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1994 ranfer no start issue

Hi Ron,
Thanks for your reply. I had a question about what you called the "TFI" and saying my truck did not have a "ignition control module". What I replaced at the time was a little electronic device, and the parts store had one in stock by that name. It sits up inside the engine compartment, bolted to the same frame that the radiator is attached. The drivers side. It sits inside its own heat sink.... a little aluminum housing. This "TFI" you talk about attached to the distributor...... where do I find it?
On the question of the jumper wire in the ECC test port, does this have to be done after bringing the engine up to operating temperature, then shutting it off? If so, I'm in trouble because it won't start. I just saw that on some other videos about how to use the Efuus OBD-1 reader.
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Old 08-05-2016
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Stock Ranger TFI module setup seen here: Ford EEC-IV/TFI-IV Electronic Engine Control Troubleshooting


Remote mounted ICM was used on other Ford Models, so some Ranger owners did modify their Ranger to use these heatsinks, which is what you are describing.

Read here: Ford Ranger Remote Mounted TFI Ignition Module

So you have a modified 1994 Ranger 3.0l ignition system, which is fine, but you will need to troubleshoot based on this modification, not Stock system.

The ICM from the "other" model was removed, and the TFI module used in it's place after modifying the heat sink so wires could be hooked up to TFI module.


No, you can get codes from EEC with engine cold or warm, and engine off/key on, you perform some tests with engine warm and running if needed.

Last edited by RonD; 08-05-2016 at 12:30 PM.
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