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Old 01-19-2016
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cantonment, FL
Posts: 3
98 Ford Ranger 2.5L Won't Idle

Hello, my 98 Ford Ranger when I start it, if it even starts, will idle rough and then stall out and if I can get it running and drive it while I'm driving it will stall out randomly without warning. When it starts to die at idle I'll try and give it some gas and if it doesn't take it then it will make a popping noise. I have cleaned the Mass Airflow Sensor and the Idle Air Control Valve and have had no success. What could it be that is wrong? Should I just try and replace the parts?
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Old 01-20-2016
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 86
Have you had the fuel pump checked?
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Old 01-20-2016
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Yes, first stop would be to check fuel pressure.

Turn key on, you should hear fuel pump run for 2 seconds, it only runs for 2 seconds as a safety feature.
On the engine is a Fuel Rail, fuel injectors are connected to this, and on the fuel rail will be a Schrader Valve, looks like(and works like) a tire's air valve, may even have a cap screwed on like a tires air valve.

Pressure gauge would of course be best but just pressing center pin can tell you if you have a little or alot of pressure.

1998 was when Ford switched over to a Returnless fuel system, so your system should have 50-65psi of pressure inside, and it should hold that pressure for months.
A tire has 30psi, so when you press that center pin fuel should squirt out 30ft, be careful.
If fuel just dribbles out or squirts then dies quickly(low pressure) then turn key off and on again and wait 10 minutes
Then test if there is pressure, there probably won't be.
Fuel pump will need to be replaced most likely.

Also try this, turn key on, count to 3 and turn key off, repeat this 3 times then try to start engine.
Each time key is cycled on and off fuel pump runs for 2 seconds, and each time 10-15psi is added to system, so 3 or 4 times should get pressure up to 40+ psi which should be enough to start engine quickly.
Once engine is started fuel pump should run all the time.

But fuel pressure may not be the issue, because pressure should stay high once engine starts.

A cold engine needs more fuel to run, that is what Choke Plates were for on a carb engine, less air more fuel.
Choke plate can't work on Fuel Injection, no Jets, so the computer must run a cold engine in Choke mode until it warms up.
You didn't mention that engine runs better when it warms up, if it does then problem could be ECT sensor, but ONLY if it runs perfectly fine after it warms up.

You say it "stalls out" while driving, so if you are driving at 40mph engine will suddenly start to stall?
Or does it just happen at idle?
Cold or warm

Does the Check Engine Light(CEL) work?
It should come on when key is on and then go out after engine starts.

If it doesn't then try to get truck to an auto parts store that will read computer codes for free, if there are codes then WRITE THEM DOWN and DO NOT buy any thing from what the code say, codes rarely report a bad part, that is not what they are for.
Codes usually mean sensors are working fine because they are "reporting" a problem.
Then it is up to the better computer, your brain, to find out what that problem is.
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Old 01-21-2016
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cantonment, FL
Posts: 3
First off, I'm sorry it has taken me a bit to reply but I've worked back to back for the past few days. However, I have a feeling it isn't the fuel pump because we recently replaced that and the fuel filter, but I will check just to be safe. And it has seemed to run better when warm but still not perfect and I have, a couple times had it started and it stalled out at 50mph no studder just engine stopped and it was warmed up. The check engine light does not come up when I turn the key to on either.
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Old 01-21-2016
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CEL bulb is burned out..................hopefully, otherwise computer could have a problem.

I would stop by an auto parts place and get the codes, there are "active" codes, and codes in memory, you want to get both.

It does not read like a fuel pump issue, could be, but on what you have posted it doesn't.

Very few things can shutdown an engine while driving.

Obviously fuel pump shutting off would, newer 3rd party fuel pumps tend to fail fairly quickly if they are going to fail at all, so don't just assume that isn't the problem.
Motorcraft(stock) fuel pumps cost alot but rarely fail in 15 years, they only have a 30 day warranty, because if they last 30 days they are good for a long time.
1 year warranty fuel pumps often need to be replaced once or twice before you get a good one.

Electrical fault in ignition switch(under steering column), that could cut power to engine, but gauges should also die, you didn't mention that.

EEC relay powers the EEC(computer), coils, fuel pump relay, and fuel injectors.
If that relay should open while driving engine would just die.
EEC relay is in engine fuse box.
There should be 3 relays that can be interchanged in that fuse box, EEC Relay, Fuel Pump relay, WOT relay, WOT relay can also be named AC Clutch relay.
Swap WOT relay and EEC relay
WOT relay is only used at Wide Open Throttle(WOT) it shuts off AC for extra power

Crank position sensor, this is the only sensor that can shut down the engine, but these rarely fail and if one does fail it just dies, won't allow you to restart.
An intermittent CKP sensor would be very rare, not impossible just very unlikely
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