1998 Ford Explorer Intermittant startups

Tiny
LINCOLNH
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
Engine Performance problem
1998 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive 92000 miles

I've had this Eddie Bauer Edition for over seven years and have never had any problems, however, about six months ago when I turned it off for about 30 min. It would crank but wouldn't start, then after about 20 min it started. This has been happening more frequently over this period of time, I checked all the fuses, especially the fuel pump fuse, and banged on the fuel pump relay to no avail.
When it just happened to not start near an auto repair shop I had them pull it in, explaining how it only started when it wanted to. The next day they had it ready saying it was a fuel pump relay ($54)
4 days later, same thing. No start, even when cold, then it starts after a few min. I installed another new fuel pump relay also, didn't help
A friend who had a ford ranger p/u said he had the same problem and replaced the DIS module, I replaced the DIS and it started right up.2 days later, same thing happened.
sometimes you could hear the fuel pump running after turning off the motor and sometimes you hear it when you turn on the key and leave it on a few min before cranking, but not always. Now I don't hear it at all because it's not starting at all.
My question is, does a fuel pump react this way by going bad gradually? A Sheriff's Dept mechanic who worked on our Crown Vics for years says no.
What else would cause it to act in this manner and then finally quit alltogether?
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Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 AT 11:23 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I need you to check something when this happens. In the relay block there is an EEC relay (electronic engine control). If it is going bad, it will shut down both the fuel pump and the ignition. Have you ever checked for spark when this happens?

Let me know. Also, I believe there are other relays with the exact same part number that you could switch when this happens so you don't have to run out and get a new one until you are sure.

Joe
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 1:28 AM
Tiny
LINCOLNH
  • MEMBER
There is an eec diode, not a relay (per the manual) in the relay block, it's a very small black fuse looking plug in.
As far as checking for spark, no, but a shot of ether in the intake will start it just for a few seconds but it won't continue to run, (it's now shut down and does not start intermittantly as before)
I am not planning to do any major mechanical work on it myself but want to get an idea of what to expect when I have it towed for repair.
I read another answer in the forum from SERVICE WRITER dated 09/19/09 6:59 AM to WESTAX who had the same problem, he diagnosed bad fuel pump, fuel pump pressure regulator or pump check valve. Could one of these be my problrm?
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Yes a bad fuel pump could cause this. Here is a how to for checking pressure. You will need a gauge, but most parts stores will lend or rent them.

http://www.2carpros.com/how_to/how_to_check_fuel_pressure.htm

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 3:37 PM

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