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Old 11-15-2011
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occasional starting problem

I got my ranger at an auction, paid $1450, and despite a few problems, it has been one of the most dependable vehicles I've ever owned. The engine is the 4.0 litre .

There is one issue that I would like to understand... I've had the truck about two years now, and every now and then, it just won't start. It cranks and cranks but doesn't catch. On one occasion, I heard a Whizzzz-clunk under the hood, then it started. On every occasion, the truck has eventually started after a short wait. It has happened only 5 times in two years. I have asked around, some say it's the low pressure fuel pump (the pump behind the cab seems to work, I can hear it).

Today it happened again, only this time I ran the battery down until it stopped cranking. A good samaritan came along and jumped me, and it started right away. The truck then started every time for the rest of the day, and I am sure will do so until next month. Very strange.

Anyone who knows what's happening, I'd be very grateful.
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Old 11-15-2011
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When it happens can you try turning the key to off, then cycle it back to on and hear the fuel pump buzz? Did the fuel pump buzz at all last time it didn't start? (Obviously I know you may not pay attention to hear the buzz everytime you go to start it)
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Old 11-15-2011
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Yes, I can hear the fuel pump every time I turn the key, so that's not it
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Old 12-05-2011
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Mine has started doing the same thing. It seems like turning the ignition off and on a few times helped, so I replaced the ignition switch in case the contacts were getting bad after 135,000 miles, no change.
What is this talk of "low pressure fuel pump", isn't there but one pump? The one mounted in the tank.
I'm wondering whether or not to replace the pump (no pressure guage here), or try a relay. I just priced pumps, over $200.
Let's put our heads together in figure this out.
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Old 12-05-2011
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Same problem here once in a blue moon. I researched and found the solution. The fuse box under the hood has an small relay I call them "ice cube relays." Any who that relay is has something to do with the fuel injection. It gets stuck sometimes, simply knock on the fuse box a few times and I bet it starts right up. This will get you by for a while. But, the ice cube relay needs to be replaced.

It fixed mine.
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Old 12-05-2011
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Thanks, torkit. I priced those, only about $10, not worth having it ruin my day at that price, I will change it.
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Old 12-05-2011
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Anytime Mike, I hope it fixes your truck too. I know how frustrating it can be. You need to go somewhere and the dang truck cranks but will not fire. We are lucky it is a cheap simple little fix. Let me know if it fixes your truck too.
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Old 12-07-2011
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I had some errands to run today, and the truck was still hesitant to start, I thought I was going to be stranded a time or two.
I installed a new fuel filter, we will see how it does.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Thanks guys, the truck did it again the other day, then I came home and found this post. I want to try banging the "ice cube" next time, just to be sure that is the problem (it sure sounds like it, I had a hunch it was a relay that was going Whizzz clunk).

I'll keep y'all posted.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Same problems with mine too. I am still thinking my fuel pump is fading. Mine would not start today. I had zero fuel pressure. I could not hear my fuel pump start running. I have a brand new optima battery too. So I put my charger on the battery and switch the charger to "crank" just for grins. I heard the fuel pump turn on and the truck fired right up. Very strang. But we are all in the same ball park, because mine starts with a jump too. This made me think fuel pump.

I am trying to help, not steal your thread.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Torkit, until your latest post, I was convinced it was the "ice cube" relay. That's the best explanation so far, because it explained the click that I heard just before it started a few months ago. So now with your latest post, I guess the mystery remains unsolved.

The last time this happened to me (day before yesterday), I called a friend to come and jump start me, but even with the restored cranking power (from the jump) it didn't catch right away. So I tried the old "floor the throttle" just for laughs, and just as I released the starter, it nearly caught. Next try, started immediately.

A mechanic told me that, even though everything is fuel injected and computer controlled, the computers in modern cars are programmed to simulate the "flood start" technique we all used in the old days.

Another mechanic told me these trucks have 2 fuel pumps, high pressure at the tank, low pressure at the injectors, and that it's a good idea to replace both at once. Anyone know if this is true?
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Old 12-08-2011
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If you hear the buzz everytime, it could be the relay, or the inertia switch. I heard some peoples fuel filters get clogged. That could be an issue. What is you year, mileage, and engine size?

My fuel pump does not always come on. So I am going to replace my fuel pump and fuel filter this weekend. I will let you know what happens.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Mine is a 94 Ranger, 4 liter, 220k. Could be fuel pump I suppose. Let me know what happens.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2011
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yeah mine seems to have this issue to about everyother week depending how long it sits, i just bang on the fuse box under the hood she starts right up, but one time it didnt and i heard the fuel pump but still wouldnt go after beating the fuse box check the fuel pressure there was none till i pumped the gas :/ turned out to be fuel filter just givein my input
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Old 12-09-2011
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Thanks for the input Country Boy.
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Old 12-09-2011
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Mine was doing the same thing, it would crank but would not fire off, I could hear the fuel pump but it turned out it was at the end of its life and would not always supply enough pressure so I ended up replacing the pump.

Read alot of threads about it and glad I did because if this is your problem and if the pump is in the fuel tank like mine (it is an '02 XLT) then just take off the bed and do the fuel pump. It only takes two people to pull off the bed.
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Old 12-09-2011
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Alright that pretty much confirms what I was thinking. Thanks alot Meistreguy.
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