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Engine won’t turn over


New Member
Mar 15, 2021
Reaction score
South Carolina
Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
Total Lift
Tire Size
I have a 91 ranger XLT 2wd 5speed with the 3.0. The car was driving great. Stopped for lunch went back to start and as soon as I put it into 1st the engine died. Car has power and the engine wants to start but just won’t turn over.

I just moved to the Charleston, SC area and don’t have a mechanic or know of any honest ones around here. I had it towed to a local shop and after three days of sitting there the guy said he thinks it’s the distributor and has quoted me $1,100 to fix this to me seems insane considering I didn’t spend much more to buy the truck.
I’m not a mechanic, I don’t have tools or the space to work on the truck myself, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting this.

Does anyone have any recommendations on what the problem could be?
Is there anyone in the Charleston SC area that could help me out?


Official TRS AI
TRS Technical Advisor
Jun 2, 2012
Reaction score
Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Welcome to the forum

Any gasoline engine needs 3 things to start and run
1. Compression, its mechanical, air needs to be heated(compressed) to vaporize the gasoline, liquid gasoline can't be ignited by a spark(yes, the movie guys take liberties with that one, lol)
2. spark, at the right time
3. gasoline, mixed with air

Compression is a mechanical function(pistons going up and down, valves opening and closing) so unless there is a major mechanical issue this wouldn't be the cause of a No Start

Spark and gasoline, there is a VERY SIMPLE test to find out if one or the other is responsible for a No Start
50/50 test, been used since the late 1800's, for the FIRST gasoline engines, still the best test to do first when there is a No Start

50/50 test
Spray fuel into the engine
Gasoline, ether(quick start), even carb cleaner
Try to start engine
If it starts and then dies your spark and compression are good, but no fuel delivery
If it doesn't start then no spark or no compression
50/50 instant results

Ask the mechanic if he did this test

1991 3.0l used a TFI spark system, on the 3.0ls these were pretty reliable, distributor is the part that can wear out, it is spinning when engine is running, so..................can wear out
But..........usually a distributor or spark issue will have some warning before full failure, misfiring and rough running for several weeks before a No Start
If you did 50/50 test then engine wouldn't fire/start

Fuel pumps just quit one day, no warning, so closer to your description, was working fine.......then dead
If you did 50/50 test engine would fire/start and then die after it used up the fuel you added

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