1997 3.0L Ranger electrical problem - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-03-2007
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Location: San Diego, CA
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1997 3.0L Ranger electrical problem

Hello, I am hoping that someone may have some suggestions for a problem that I am having. Sometimes I am having a problem with my Ranger stalling. It happens mostly when the weather is cold and rainy. The truck will start fine, but when there is an electrical load such as lights, AC, or brakes the truck will stall. I replaced the TPS sensor and cleaned the IAC valve hoping this would do it, but the problem presists. I took my truck to the dealer and they could not find a problem. A friend said he had similiar problems with his Ranger and it was one of the fuses in his power distribution box. I checked these fuses and they all appear fine. I will replace the 50A ignition fuse hoping that it may be a cracked fused that I cannot detect. After driving for about 20 minutes the problem presists until I turn all power off and start it up again. Symtoms that I will be having problems is that the turn signals will flash slower at idle and will increase with idle. Also the hazard lightswill iluminate faintly with or without the head lights being on. Like I said before it happens infrequently, about once every month. Beening that I live in San Diego where it's warm most of the time I believe this is why it happens so unfrequently. But winters coming and I have a feeling this may happen more often. Thanks for any input.
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Old 12-03-2007
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elizabeth City, NC
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Welcome, Joe.

This may sound a little crazy, but I want you to take an old Windex bottle and spray water on all of your plug wires and the coil while the engine is idling, then revving.

Do this at night, so you can look for arcing/sparking.

In short, I think you may need new plug wires (throw in some new Autolite double platinum plugs while you are at it).

The fact that your lights get dim or slow at idle points to weak alternator output - a direct result of low idle speed from....drum roll.....bad plug wires.

If you have a multimeter, check the battery voltage: engine off=12v, engine idling/revving=~14.3v. It's also a good idea to clean your battery terminals (corrosion) and the grounds.

Good luck and be sure to let us know what fixes it!
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Old 12-03-2007
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Hey Earl, just changed the 50A fuse and cleaned my MAF sensor and my truck appears to be working fine again. The plug wires (autolites) were just changed about 12,000 miles ago at 60,000 miles. You must be a mind reader because while I was at the auto part store I also purchased autolite double platinums. Was looking for Motorcraft but they didn't have those and since many of the forum users here suggest both I bought the Autolites. I will find out for sure if my truck is working fine again in the morning when it's cold. Wish me luck and thanks again.
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