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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6169
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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Ford Ranger: I have a 1997 Ford Ranger, 3.0 V6, 175K miles.

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I have a 1997 Ford Ranger, 3.0 V6, 175K miles. It had been running fine until I went out yesterday. It started fine and I drove off but noticed the Check Engine light stayed on. A couple miles down the road I noticed it seemed to not respond properly to the gas pedal so I pulled over and it died. When I tried to restart it wouldn't turn over, and the ammeter drops like there is a bad starter. I'm at a loss trying to figure out what could be the issue, any ideas?

Hello and thanks for using JustAnswer.I will try my best to help you with your question.


Can you get your hands on a simple code reader to get any trouble codes from the PCM (Engine Computer)? Since the check engine light came on, there should be trouble codes in the PCM. Get them and post them on this page please. They will point us in the direction of the cause of your problem.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, that was my first thought too. I don't have a code checker but I'll check around to see if I can borrow one.

Great. Keep me informed. I'll be on line most of the day.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I borrowed a code reader and it said

O0340 Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit (1 or single sensor)


Some googling tells me this is something like an old distributor drive assembly with a rotor on top and a stator in the cap. Located in the back of the engine - hard to access.


Would this cause the symptom of not cranking? and the ammeter drop?


The cam sensor tells the PCM when to fire the injectors. If the sensor is bad or damaged, the injectors will not fire and the engine will not start.

It is tight to get to the sensor. It is in the same spot the distributor would be. The cam sensor mounts on top of the synchronizer with two bolts. I think they are 1/4" socket. They are small. But you will have to remove the sensor and inspect the hall effect on the synchronizer below.


There should be a half moon trigger wheel inside the synchronizer. If it is gone or bent up, the synchronizer will have to be replaced along with the cam sensor.

You will need a special tool to align the synchronizer properly because the sensor has to be timed properly to fire the injectors.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

"But you will have to remove the sensor and inspect the hall effect on the synchronizer below."

What is hall effect?

Below is a picture of the hall effect.

Basically a trigger wheel.


It is a half moon crescent that passes past the magnet in the sensor.

What happens is the magnet comes loose from the sensor and bounces around in the synchronizer and breaks the crescent.


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