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Edward, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3141
Experience:  ASE certified. Auto Transmission rebuilder for Ford Motor Co. from 91 to 2000
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Ranger: I ran my 1987 Ford ranger out of gas and then wouldnt

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I ran my 1987 Ford ranger out of gas and then wouldn't start. After filling it with 5 gallons of fuel and letting it set for a few hours, it started right up and I drove it home. After that it would sporadically start and then eventually die, until it finally just wouldn't start at all. I assumed that I had killed an elderly fuel pump so I replaced the in-tank pump and the fuel filter as well. It still won't start. After bleeding the fuel line I can't get any more fuel to spray out of the Schrader valve. What advice do you have for me?
Hello and thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do all I can to help.

Let me first ask, have you checked for power at the fuel pump when cranking yet? I believe it's a power supply issue to the fuel pump if you replaced the pump and still can't get any fuel pressure.
Also, is this a 2.3? 2.9 v6? or a carburated 2.0 4 cyl? thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have not checked the power at the fuel pump. I'll got get a voltmeter tomorrow and check it out.


It's a fuel injected 2.3 I believe.

Alright, Just above the carpet on the passenger side jamie, you'll see the inertia switch, spring loaded fuel pump cut off switch with a red button on the top,

Also, when you cut the key ON, make sure you get a check engine light lit up in the dash, if your not getting a check engine light I suspect the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) relay not powering up the engines computer.

Check for power in and out of that inertia switch WHILE CRANKING the truck. Also, just unplug it temporarily, and jump the connector with a paper clip. If the switch is bad, it won't supply power to the pump.

The fuel pump relay is on the passenger fender well in this area.


Here is the electrical diagram. Make sure you have power on the RED and YELLOW wires on the fuel pump relay, with key ON, when cranking, you should get power on 3 wires at the fuel pump relay with your test light clip on neg. battery terminal.

Here is the electrical diagram of the circuit.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, sorry to be getting back to you so late in the day. I only had a little bit of time today between class and jobs, but I did get a multimeter and took the inertia switch off.


Testing the inertia switch connector while cranking it was definitely getting power. What's a good reading to get on this?


I tried jumping the connector with a paper clip and got nothing different when I cranked the truck. Also, I don't have a check engine light when I turn the key, only the seatbelt light, emmissions light(which goes off) and the E-brake light.


Also, I'd like to go ahead and rate your service as excellent and get you paid, but if I do so now, can I continue this conversation?

Yes we can continue this conversation after rating Jamie,

If you Do have voltage to the inertia swtich when cranking, then the PCM relay is good, because it powers up the Fuel Pump Relay. It could be the Check engine Light is burned out, or , the PCM itself is defective.

Another way to check the PCM relay is, With KEY ON , you should have power at the fuel injector RED wire, constantly with KEY ON. If you do NOT have power at the RED wire at the injectors with KEY ON, Then I suspect an open circuit from the PCM relay to the injector harness.

Get a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail, if you have power at the inertia swtich, then you should have 35-40 psi fuel pressure at the rail, I would double check that. No fuel pressure to the injectors, no start of course.

If you have fuel pressure, Then I would check for spark when cranking at a plug wire, if you have spark, then you need a noid light or 12 volt test light, and check for injector pulse. Unplug the injector harness, and wire a 12 volt test light, or a noid light inbetween the 2 pins in the fuel injector connector. If the light blinks when cranking, you have injector pulse, If it doesn't blink when cranking, and you have spark, Then I would replace the PCM.
Edward and 2 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Ok, I've finally had time to mess with the truck, and I'm very confused. I've got power going to both wires coming from the inertia switch while cranking, i've got power coming from the relay while the key is on, but I've got no fuel pressure at all when cranking. Could there be an open circuit in there somewhere? If so, where should I start looking?

Most likely the fuel pump itself is bad, or the fuel filter is stopped up completely up, which I doubt. (provided you do have a few gallons of gas in the tank at least).
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Alright, I've checked the fuel line coming from the tank. Previous to changing out the fuel pump and filter, I had drained the line the reservoir between the tank and high pressure fuel pump. I discovered that that the reservoir and the fuel filter were both filled with fuel. This would indicate that fuel is getting from the tank to the high pressure pump and then to the filter.


The truck is still not starting and when I press the pin in the Schroeder valve while cranking, there's no gas spraying out.


If there isn't any gas spraying out of that valve, then it doesn't have enough fuel pressure. It's suppose to have around 40 psi of fuel pressure with key ON engine OFF. one way to check it, (and a dangerous way without a gauge) , is to push in the valve and get somebody to crank it, the pump is only energized when cranking and when the engine is running. If it has no fuel coming out of the schrader valve, and you have power in and out of the inertia switch, then check power to the fuel pump WHEN CRANKING. If you've got power to the pump when cranking. You'll have to replace the pump. as it's getting powered up, but not pumping.