2003 Ford Ranger 4.0L SOHC Hard to Start - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech General discussion of 4.0L OHV and SOHC V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 03-18-2014
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2003 Ford Ranger 4.0L SOHC Hard to Start

My 2003 Ford Ranger FX4L2 4.0L SOHC has been troublesome to start since I got it last year. I found if I waited 2/3 seconds before I went from ignition on to cranking that it would usually go but noticed that it cranked longer than my previous truck(4.0L SOHC Explorer).

I did the usual tune-up consisting of fuel filter, plugs/wires(motorcraft) and the truck continued with the same symptoms. Long cranks but was always fine when running.

I decided to take it one step further and diagnose the problem as it's been an ongoing annoyance and seemed to get worse this week. With a fuel pressure gauge hooked up to the pass side fuel rail I did some tests.

Ignition ON(can hear fuel pump prime) = Almost 0 Psi

Ignition ON/OFF/ON/OFF/On(3 primes) = jumps up to 30 psi but straight back to almost 0 psi

With the vehicle idling = 65 Psi

I am thinking that my fuel pressure check valve is bad as after multiple cranks I can see the pressure jump up quickly but runs back down just as quick to 0 Psi.

Truck runs/drives fine as it always has so suspect that this is the only issue i'm having but wanted to confirm i'm on the right track and there isn't something else that could be causing these symptoms!

Second, any suggestions on a fuel pump? With the rather common problems Rangers seem to have in this dept i'm thinking of avoiding the Motorcraft and looking at Delphi / Carter / Spectra available on Rock Auto.

Thanks for the help RF!
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Old 03-18-2014
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If there is no gasoline leaking from the fuel lines then I would say yes, you will be looking at the fuel pump assembly.

It is an odd problem that it holds pressure when running???

Could be the lines in the tank or check valve, I would buy one to have on hand if problem can't be fixed once you inspect the assembly.

My '94 fuel pump is still working fine, 300,000
And there are alot of Rangers on the road compared to the fuel pump failures.
Yours is 11 years old, I doubt you would get that much from a non-OEM pump.
Have read of some 3rd party pumps that didn't last a year, they got a new pump under warranty but I would rather not have the hassle to R&R it again.
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Old 03-19-2014
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Those are the exact symptoms of a bad or contaminated check valve which is part of the fuel pump assembly. You will find if you cycle the ignition key on and off 2 or 3 times (leaving it on for a couple seconds), The engine will probably start right up.

I don't know of any fuel pump that is better. I replaced mine at around 90,000 miles with an OEM pump. It is still working great at 166,000 miles.
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Old 03-19-2014
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Appreciate your comments gentlemen -Just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed something!

I see it's easiest to remove the bed for the swap and that i'll need the fuel line disconnect kit to get the fuel pump lines off.

Time to order the parts and wait for a nice weekend!
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Old 03-19-2014
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Yes, 8 bolts, filler hoses and tail light wiring, then slide bed back or off.
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