1986 Ford Ranger 2.3 Liter - No start - no fuel pump whine when key turned


kaboom

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Hey all. First post - glad you-all are here. Attempting to go resulted in no start. I cannot hear the usual whine (from a general behind-and-below location) that happens for about three seconds when I turn the key to the accessory position. When I turn the key all the way to start, the engine just turns over but shows not even a hint of starting. I checked the inertia switch (well, I found it and depressed the white button - no change). My understanding is that the whine is both the lift pump in the fuel tank AND the high pressure pump on the frame rail under the driver,
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spinning. The fact that I hear absolutely nothing may point to the relay but, I am wanting a little confirmation I'm on the correct track. Pictured are the relays the inside of the passenger-side front fender. They don't have any markings on them and the grooves that the mounting tangs slipped into have broken off (perhaps part of the problem). Does anyone know if the fuel relay is the green one or the brown one pictured here? Am I deducing correctly? How should I go about testing to see if it's the relay?

Thanks for your time.
 


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alwaysFlOoReD

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Green is go = fuel relay.
Find the Schrader valve and depress it. Fuel should spray out quite high if the pump is pressurizing the system.
 

kaboom

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Many thanks so, if I get no spray, no pressure, it's pretty safe bet it's the relay?
 

rusty ol ranger

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Many thanks so, if I get no spray, no pressure, it's pretty safe bet it's the relay?
Or pump, or filter, or ECM even.
 

Uncle Gump

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Sure looks to be a bunch of corrosion in both of the relay connectors.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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I'm betting you have no pressure. So then you have to start tracking down why. The fuel pumps only run for about 2 seconds when the key is first turned on, making it hard to track electricity. You can jumper a couple pins at the OBD1 port to keep the fuel pumps turned on. Then start wiggling wires to start with to see if you have a bad connection or frayed wire.
I've had most, if not all, problems with fuel pressure be at the connections to the frame rail pump. Under the rubber boots the spade and clip terminals loosen up, making for an intermittent connection. If hitting the pump lightly with a hammer gets the pump going then the terminals are loose. I make it a matter of course to change them out from the beginning. There are 2 different sizes of spades on the fuel pump but you don't necessarily need to make the new female ends follow the same sizing. Just make sure the wires are marked so you can put them back in the same places.
 

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I've had an inertia switch go bad. You can bypass the inertia switch and see if you get the 2 second fuel pump sound. To bypass I just unplugged both wires and tie them together. Or you could hook up a volt meter to the power wire on ther inertia switch and see if you get voltage when you turn the key. If so then its the switch to pump curcuit, if not then its the relay or wiring between the switch and power relay somewhere.
 

RonD

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Yes, you need to change the base on both relays, green and brown, relays are probably fine, but look at their tabs

Green is fuel pump relay
Brown is EEC relay, it powers EEC/computer and fuel pump relay

Any auto parts store should sell these bases with wires attached so you can cut and splice them in
They are standard 12v automotive relays
Label them for future reference if they don't come in green and brown
 

kaboom

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It was the green fuel pump relay. Yes, I noted the need to change the bases - pretty bad. We're in for a snow so, job 1 was just to get running. I wrapped a pretty good seal of electrical tape around the ends of the questionable wires going into the base of the relay, exchanged the old relay for the new, held my breath and turned the key to the accessory position. I didn't hear any whine and my heart sank. Well, time to give it a try. In doing so, the truck started! In subsequent turnings of the key to the accessory position, I _did_ hear the whine of the pumps so, perhaps some priming needs to happen to make them more audible. I'm going to change out those bases the next nice day - if the truck persists that long. Thanks guys!
 

scotts90ranger

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Fuel pumps should make a humm, not a whine, a whine from a high pressure fuel pump is lack of suction/prime and with a dual pump system like an '86 would have that means the low pressure pump in the tank is not working or the sock on the inlet is plugged up. If you haven't heard already pulling the bed is much easier than pulling the tank, the bed is 6-8 bolts with a T50 head, 3 7mm bolts for the filler neck (or 6 if dual tank) and one connector for the tail lights by the drivers side bumper bracket.
 

kaboom

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Very good - great advice. I try to keep posts to essentials but, since you brought it up, I have hinged the bed on a frame that will one day be a dump body. The lift cylinder, etc is not in but it does allow me to pivot up the bed, to check out the in-tank pump connections. I think we are talking semantics - my hearing isn't all that great - I'm using "whine" for the sound I've heard for the twelve years I've owned the truck but, I appreciate learning the differences in sound as diagnostics.
 

scotts90ranger

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I deal with marine engines at work, they have two fuel pumps like the early Ranger EFI systems, when the high pressure pump isn't primed it will whine or squeal which happens with certain setups in certain situations... and another thing I've learned is everyone explains things differently... in the south an engine can "crank but won't crank" and it makes sense, but in the north that sentence doesn't make any sense until it is explained 4 times with questions answered :). I've also learned not to judge for the most part...

That said, still worth checking the schrader valve at the rail and if no pressure then the fuel pumps, if you do have pressure then I would definitely look at the TFI module on the distributor as it does most of the rest...
 


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