Now hold on. The engine failed to start, you're guessing because of two parts that failed at the same time, then somehow they fixed themselves by removing a battery cable? Did you even try starting the engine before removing the cable?
No-start conditions are not "reset" by disconnecting the battery cable. If that's all it took, every car owner would know how to do that.
If you want to look at something that really COULD magically fix itself simply from cooling down for an hour, that's the crankshaft position sensor. You're right that your engine doesn't use a part with that name, but it does use a part with that function. It lives inside the distributor where breaker points were many years ago. On your engine it's called the "pickup coil" or "pickup assembly". It's not uncommon for the tiny wires to break due to constant expanding and contracting from temperature changes. That occurs more commonly when a hot engine is stopped. While driving, cool air flows through the engine compartment and keeps the distributor cool. When you stop somewhere, "hot soak" allows engine heat to migrate up into the distributor where the pickup coil expands just enough to break a connection. It will cool down and work again after about an hour. This is by far the most common way these sensors fail. They'll be intermittent for days or weeks before they finally fail completely.
The clue to this is the pickup coil's signal is used by the Engine Computer to time spark and injector pulses. If there's no signal, the computer assumes the engine isn't rotating, (cranking), so why would it fire injectors or the ignition coil?
The first thing to do is read and record the diagnostic fault code(s). This page will tell you how to do that yourself:
It takes just the right set of conditions to set a code related to a crankshaft position sensor, and often they will not set unless the computer sees the loss of signal while the engine is coasting to a stop. Regardless, disconnecting the battery erased any codes so that valuable information was lost. Whether there was a code or not before, and regardless if there is no code now, don't take that to mean the sensor is okay.
Monday, February 22nd, 2016 AT 9:33 AM