Weird fuel pump problem - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-10-2012
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Weird fuel pump problem

I have a 1989 Ford Ranger. The fuel pump sometimes does not come on right away when I turn the key. I just try it another time or two and listen to the sound, and it comes on eventually and starts fine. I just never know. Most of the time there's no problem. But every now and then, this happens. Sometimes I have to turn the key back and forth several times before it comes on.

But the strange thing is: once I get it started, it runs just fine. Doesn't quit on me. It doesn't hesitate when driving faster or pulling a hill. That makes me think it's some other problem besides a failing pump.

In adition to this, once every great great while, the pump will come on and run for a long time, like 2 or 3 minutes if I don't shut it off first. And the engine won't start. Then I try again, the pump runs for just a couple of seconds like normal, and it starts fine. And it runs and drive just fine after that. That's happened maybe 3 times in the last couple of months.

Thing is, I don't want to go to the trouble and expense of replacing the pump only to find it's another problem.

I have replaced the fuel pump electrical relay, but that didn't make any difference. I replaced fuel filter,and didn't have the trouble for a while. But it returned. That was probably just happenstance.

I wondered if it might be the ignition key lock cylinder, as I think it could use a new one. But I don't see how that could explain the times the pump would run a long time but the engine still not start.

Anyone have any clues?
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Old 09-10-2012
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Does the truck start when the pump doesn't prime?
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Old 09-10-2012
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Originally Posted by leadfoot View Post
Does the truck start when the pump doesn't prime?
Sometimes. Once in a great while if I'm in a hurry, I'll start it and it runs a few seconds and dies. I think b/c the fuel pump never came on at all. When that happens, I can turn the key until I hear the pump come on for the 3 second or so interval. Then it will start and run and drive just fine till I shut the engine off.

I still haven't figured it out, but I'm thinking it's probably an electronic problem. Maybe a bad ECC relay? Bad ECC?
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Old 09-13-2012
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Is the fuel pump relay being held securely in the power distribtion box? I am in the middle of finding the right size female connector to replace the current ones that hold the fuel pump relay tabs. I was having similar problems and found that relay was not secure nor making good contact with the female connectors. On that note...does anyone know the nomenclature of such female connectors and where to buy them? I thought they were the Ford standard block connectors(.187), but they are bigger than what is in my '94 2.3l. Oh, I also replacedthe ignition cylinder...made no difference. Still thinking it's a connectivity issue at the relay connecion. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-13-2012
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Originally Posted by Barry Tolson View Post
Is the fuel pump relay being held securely in the power distribtion box? .
Excellent point. The replacement fuel pump relay from Auto-Zone did not have the slots that would allow the realy to lock into position in the power box. So the relay just sits there. That could be an issue.

If you find a source for those female plugs, please post. I might end up needing that also.

Bought a new EEC relay today so I'll see if that solves it.
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Old 09-14-2012
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As a temporary fix, I took a pair of pliers and twisted the relay tabs a bit. That tightened them up and the problems happens way less often. Still need a permanent fix with new connectors.
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Old 09-25-2012
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For the benefit of anyone else who might be interested: I believe I've solved the problem. The trouble appeared to be the EEC relay. It's in the power distribution box along with the fuel pump relay. I replaced the relay to the EEC, and for the last couple of weeks the fuel pump has come on and primed every time - and the engine started - with no problems.

From some other forums I researched, it appears that the original 4-prong relay can be replaced by the 5-prong relay that is sold in many auto parts retail stores.

Seemed strange the other trouble I sometimes had ( as described in original post) of the fuel pump sometimes coming on when the key is turned but staying on for a long time - and then the engine still would not start. That hasn't happened again either. Nearest I figger it, I would guess that the old EEC relay would make contact just momentarily but go off. In that brief moment it probably activated the fuel pump relay, but then with the EEC off there was nothing to tell the fuel pump relay to turn off.
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Old 09-26-2012
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I have a similar problem but my relays are not in any "box".
They mount under the power box (the one with giant blade fuses).
Mine is also an '89. 2.9, auto w/overdrive, towing package.
I will check out the EEC relay on mine also.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by procadman View Post
I have a similar problem but my relays are not in any "box".
They mount under the power box (the one with giant blade fuses).
Actually, mine is the same way now that I think of it. I was remembering the sight of the power distribution box but somehow forgot the relays are not actually contained inside that box.

Hope new relay solves it for you too.
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Old 03-09-2016
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no start question

2000 ranger 4.0lt wouldn't start, faster crank than usual. Pulled relay #9 and vehicle started and stayed running is this normal? Reinstalled relay and started fine on the 10 attempts. Possible sticking relay only or underlying problem??
Any feed back would be appreciated.
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