1998 2.5l dies and won't restart


Tonytitan

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About a month ago my 1998 2.5l Ranger just died on the road. Running fine, it just stopped. Got it parked and it would not restart. Had it towed to the house where it sat most of the next day and then it I tried to start it and it fired and ran fine for about a block and it died again and would not restart. Let it sit for a moment and tried it and it fired and ran fine. Ran fine for about two weeks and died on the interstate. After it rolled to a stop i sat for a minute, cranked it and it fired. Died on me again Thanksgiving and would not restart, resulting in another tow. Putting in a new fuel pump relay did not fix it. This morning it cranked and fired. Died again on the interstate. After a couple of minutes it fired and I got it back to the house. And then I realized this: when I turned the key to the on position and the check engine light did not come on it would crank and crank and not fire. If, when I turned on the key, the check engine did lite it would fire and run fine. That's the only constant that I can find in all of this. Has anyone else faced this? I'm almost scared to drive the thing.
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rusty ol ranger

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Check for codes.

Does your "theft" light light up during any of this?

Im thinking either a bad crank sensor or possibly a bad PATS chip in your key.

If you have a spare (factory) key try that.
 

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If the CEL isn't proving out the computer isn't powering up. Since it seems that and the failure to start happen at the same time you probably have a power issue at the PCM.

I would start by replacing the PCM's power relay. It is easy and cheap.

Codes would be good, but on that truck there may not be any. A crank sensor can cause most of your symptoms, but wouldn't make the CEL not come on. A 98 Ranger 4-cyl won't have PATS.
 

Tonytitan

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If the CEL isn't proving out the computer isn't powering up. Since it seems that and the failure to start happen at the same time you probably have a power issue at the PCM.

I would start by replacing the PCM's power relay. It is easy and cheap.

Codes would be good, but on that truck there may not be any. A crank sensor can cause most of your symptoms, but wouldn't make the CEL not come on. A 98 Ranger 4-cyl won't have PATS.
Relay installed. Truck running. I will keep you informed.
 

Tonytitan

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Problem not solved. Died on the interstate. Same situation, It did fire and run after a crank or two. Where should I look next if the PCM power relay is not the fix?
 

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Check your grounds to the PCM (G101 is the one from the battery to the rad support. it can cause a lot of issues.)
 

Tonytitan

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The ground a G101 has been serviced. Thanks for the info. I'll keep you updated.
 

Tonytitan

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Here's where I am. The truck won't start. I get no check engine light with the key in the on position. I changed the pcm. The truck ran for about 3 days and died again. Been dead ever since. I found a pin-out on the pcm connector for a '98 Ranger 2.5l manual. The list shows 3 pins with power and 5 grounds. According to my test light, they are all present and working. There are occasions when the key is turned on the CEL will flash on and right back off again. Am I dealing with a bad sensor somewhere? If so, which one and how do I test?
 

Uncle Gump

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Have you tried to gently/slowly rock the ignition key while in RUN and see if you can turn the CEL on?
 


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