Popping fuses - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-26-2016
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Popping fuses

Hello I have a 1997 Ford Ranger 2.3 L four-cylinder and I'm having issues starting it. It's been ongoing for a couple of years so I put a push button in to bypass a problem I didn't know how to solve, I'm hoping someone could point me in a direction as I'm no mechanic or electrician. I turn the key over and fuse location 26 (4R44E/5R55E overdrive, backup lamps, DRL SYSTEM) pops and My truck won't turn over or attempt to start. I've replaced many things in the truck, battery, starter, solenoid, starter relay, alternator. My lock and tumbler (not sure if that's what it's called in a truck) has a little jiggle to it, could that be causing it to not turn over and blow the fuse? I'm guessing I have a lot more than 5 issues going on here. I'm also replacing the O2 sensor 1 bank 1 today because the code was throwing.
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Old 06-26-2016
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The key switch on Rangers is connected to a long rod that runs down the steering column, when you turn the key the rod slides the Ignition switch into it's various positions, ACC, OFF, RUN, and START.
Ignition switch is just above brake pedal on the side of the steering column, that's where all the wiring is.

Start circuit has a safety switch, on an automatic it is the NSS(neutral safety switch), it is located on the transmission, the shift linkage on drivers side.
When Gear selector is in Park the NSS should be closed and will pass on the 12volts from ignition switch to the starter relay which will engage starter motor.

If NSS is open then 12volts is not passed on

Ignition switch-----------NSS-----------starter relay-------starter motor

Column shifters on Ford trucks can get loose so while they go into Park they don't close the NSS all the way so you get a no start, try shifting to Neutral to see if that is the problem, NSS allows starting in Park and Neutral.
If it starts in neutral then you will need to tighten column shifter, google: loose ford column shifter
It is not a Ranger specific issue, it is a Ford issue and a common problem for all models with column shifter

NSS also operates Reverse lights, so if they are not working then could be NSS is bad, and since that fuse is blowing.......................

NSS is also now called the transmission range sensor or TRS

Example of one here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-4R44E-4...-/200889888668

Your 1997 Ranger 2.3l should have 4R44E transmission

Last edited by RonD; 06-26-2016 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 06-26-2016
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It's a manual transmission, is there a NNS in a standard? and the part resembles a neutral safety switch(?) on the clutch someone had told me about. I did notice a couple months ago my reverse lights were out, replaced fuse and blew about a week later. And as far as changing my key and tumbler out, is it a pretty easy change out, or do I have to have a locksmith do it?
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Old 06-26-2016
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You referenced "4R44E/5R55E overdrive" in your first post so I assumed automatic.

Manual is an M5OD-R1 and no NSS, but does have Reverse Light switch.

Yes it does have a Clutch switch on the push rod of the clutch pedal in the cab.

When clutch pedal is pushed down to the floor the clutch switch is closed and will pass the 12volts from the ignition switch to the starter relay and starter motor

Ignition switch-----------clutch switch-----------starter relay-------starter motor


For the blowing fuse:
What I would do is to unplug the reverse light wires on the transmission, drivers side, toward the top center, it is a Red base plug with 2 wires.
Then replace the fuse and drive it, if it blows again then DRL(daylights running lights) module circuit is the issue.

If it doesn't blow then Reverse Light circuit is the issue, could be bulb or corroded wiring in the sockets, most trailer light hook ups don't included a reverse light wire, but someone may have added it and it is now shorting out
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