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

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Old 11-13-2010
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Random Engine Problems...

So, I have had my truck for some time. It has had more issues than you can shake a stick at, which I have been solving one by one, but there is one that has been particularly frustrating. I have searched the internet a number of times trying to figure out how to fix it, but to no avail. All suggestions are vague, and none promise to actually fix the problem.
The problem:
At random times, especially at half a tank and below, the engine either will not start or will begin firing, chug for a second, and quit. Once it has done this it usually takes 1 - 2 minuets before you have a chance to start it again.
It was suggested that I had a bad fuel pump, so I replaced it. Nothing changed. I asked a local mechanic and he said "Bring it in when it is doing it." I thought to myself: "are you even listening to me?".
I tried cleaning and oiling the idle throttle control doodad on the intake/throttle body, but that has done nothing.
I continued to have troubles, and one night after it wouldn't start after the third attempt I got out of my truck and I swear it smelt like it was flooded, I didn't know why if the fuel pump was the problem. So i thought i would just bite the bullet and bring it to ford.
$50 later they told me my fuel pump was bad and it would be $800 to replace. I told him i replaced it already and he said "We replace the whole tree, you just replaced the pump." I said: "So, you guarantee that this will fix my truck?" he said yeah. I knew I couldn't trust a ford rep any further than I could throw one, so i went and bought a fuel pump/sender/"tree" for $150 and picked up a pressure regulator while I was at it. Nothing.
Recently the check engine light has come on telling me one of the banks are running lean, I don't know if this has anything to do with this, but it is now on my list of things to fix, and last of all, I have recently noticed that there is a line in the front left section of the engine compartment that is cracked and generally looks tired. I think it may be a vapor line or something because it goes to a black box that connects to a 3rd place on the fuel tank.
I am more or less out of ideas, and flat broke. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This seems like a really great forum among ranger forums, so I thought I would ask here. (What I would really like to do is drop a V8 in the sucker, but... i'm broke...)
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Old 11-13-2010
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sounds like you may have a vacuum leak
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Old 11-13-2010
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Leak

With the line running to the tank? The thing that has confused the heck out of me is that it almost always happens at half a tank or below. Sometimes just after filling up, bust mostly below half, then its sporadic. I am no expert, so it may have a connection I don't see though. If it is a vacuum leak that is causing this, where do I start?
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Old 11-13-2010
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well that line that you saw that looked cracked is a good place to start
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Old 11-13-2010
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Cool, I'll give it a try. I am not sure if it requires a special type of hose, but i think I have some fuel line hose that should work.
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Old 11-13-2010
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that might also be the root of the check engine light for a lean bank
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Old 11-13-2010
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So i pulled the hose out. It looks wore than i thought. Just about fell apart in my hand. Strangely it went from a box to a sensor to another line to another sensor, and the other lines all looked fine. Ill drive it around for a few days and see if it helped.
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Old 11-13-2010
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id replace it right away...that will make your problem worse if you drive without that hose
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Old 11-13-2010
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I replaced the line with some rubber fuel hose. It fit really tight, so i doubt it is leaking, but it didn't fix the problem. I cleared the check engine light, and that came back on, as well as had the same starting problem about an hour ago.
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Old 11-14-2010
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No Go

Defiantly didn't fix it. Anybody have any other ideas? Is there a way to test if there is a vacuum leak? I did an "Ether Test" (Spray ether around the fuel rail and headers in general listening for the engine to rev to check for seal leaks) to see if that was my check engine problem, is there a simple test I can do for vacuum leak?
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Old 11-14-2010
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Try swapping out the fuel pump relay. Over time the contacts get pitted and will intermittently supply power to the fuel pump.
There may be another relay in the box (under the hood in the aux fuse/relay panel) that you can swap around.
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Old 11-14-2010
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I just swapped them. When i burn through most of my tank I should know if it worked. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 11-22-2010
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mine did the same thing. i pulled the whole intake and throttle body off, my mass air flow sensor net was super dirty. after doing a whole throttle body and intake cleanse it ran like new
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Old 12-07-2010
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So, the relay fixed the starting problem. Thanks for the suggestion. Now all i need to do is fix the running lean problem. I think i will try cleaning the throttle body for the lean condition. Thanks everyone!
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