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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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4.0L Ranger - Hard Start

I'm not sure what's up with my Ranger, but for the last couple of weeks whenever the truck sits for an extended period (ie. overnight) it is a real hard start. It cranks over fine, but doesn't want to fire off. Instead of the usual 3-5 second crank time it's upwards of 20-30 seconds on several attempts. Consecutive starts (shorter off periods) are not an issue.

Left it at the dealer Thursday night for diagnosis, they replaced the battery under warranty, cleaned the throttle body/MAF and replaced the plugs. When I went to pick it up last night after work I really thought that I was going to have to leave it there because it didn't want to start.

I seem to recall one of my prior Rangers had a similar issue, and at the time they suspected that the check valve in the fuel pump was letting the line pressure bleed off over time but in the end I don't believe they determined that to be the issue.

I'm going to try a different gas station for awhile and see if that solves anything. I also dumped a bottle of STP fuel treatment into the tank just in case there is water in the fuel. Beyond that I suppose I can try to borrow a fuel pressure gauge somewhere and measure the rail during startup.

Anyone else ever experienced something similar? Any ideas on a possible cause? I will be giving the dealer another chance, hopefully they can figure it out.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 07:39 AM
 
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Crankshaft Position Sensor? Though it may sound off the wall and I have very little experience with Rangers, see if you can read the output while doing a cold start.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Update: after running with a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail for a couple of days I discovered that after an hour residual pressure drops to about 20 PSI and after three hours pressure bleeds off to zero.

If I key on without cranking the pump raises the pressure in the rail to 40 PSI, and 65 when cranking and running. Fuel flow does not seem to be a problem.

I've talked to the dealer, they believe that it is either a leaking injector or an issue with the fuel pump. My question now is this: if the pump will get the pressure to 65 PSI while cranking, can it really be an issue with the pump? I would think that since the pressure is where it should be the hard start condition is caused by something else that isn't working properly?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 11:45 PM
 
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It's the pump. There is a check valve built into the pump itself and it is defective. Pressure and volume are not an issue for you but retaining pressure is.

If you have a bad injector you'll be washing down a cylinder causing a misfire after cold soak, growing oil in the crankcase, and doing a very efficient job of killing your cats. You don't describe any of those things.

As long as your engine oil isn't way overfull then slap a fuel pump in it and call it a day.

FWIW they're somewhat common to go bad on these things. Not quite as common as water pumps and bank 2 catalysts, but common nonetheless. I did this exact repair to my old B4000 when it was ~120 000 km. If you have the means then pulling the box is infinitely easier than dropping the tank : )

Edit: Conversely, just 'key on' for a few seconds before you crank. The pump will prime the system and the darn thing wont have to crank so long until such a time as it's repaired.

2003 GMC Sierra 3500 -- dually, 4x4, hasn't blown up yet and that's what i look for in a truck

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Update: dropped the truck off at the dealer on Thursday night, they put it in the bay overnight with a fuel gauge on it. It didn't bleed pressure down to zero for them, but a scope of the cylinders showed possible fuel pooling on one of the intake valves. They already had it torn down to the fuel rail so the cost of injectors was virtually redundant, the labour is the majority of the bill. With my oil change just under $1000 out the door. I do oil changes every 4-5 weeks on average so I never check the oil level - I can't say if it's grown or not.

Tried the 'key on' cycle, brought pressure to the rail no problem but still have an extended crank time as it bleeds out the air. It was exhibiting what they thought might be hydraulic lock on occasion - starter would engage, turn a couple of revolutions and then almost come to a dead stop before spinning again. I initially thought it might be the starter again but based on the other findings I'm satisfied that we found the correct problem.

Should be all redundant, while they were diagnosing the truck in the service bay I was in the sales office working out a deal on a new F150. The loaner they gave me had heated seats and SYNC which told me it was time to let the Ranger go. My boss wants it for one of his kids, now it's just a question of will he give me the right $ for it..... A guy's gotta get something nice for his 40th birthday, right?

Regardless of whether I trade or sell her, one thing's for sure: I will miss her. Best truck I have ever owned for reliability, repair cost and just plain driving fun. Even with 325,000K when you jump on the loud pedal there is no question it's the 4L under the hood. If only I could have found an aftermarket stereo that played nice with my iPod...

Updates to follow.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 01:07 PM
 
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Very, very surprised to hear that. Certainly not impossible for it to be an injector, but it's definitely not the most likely source of your symptoms. Good luck with it.

2003 GMC Sierra 3500 -- dually, 4x4, hasn't blown up yet and that's what i look for in a truck

Ford Doctor -- They come in broken and leave fixed. Ford of Canada Master Tech
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