1994 Ford Ranger XLT starting problem

My husband and I have a 1994 Ford Ranger XLT. My brother-in-law’s company was the original owner and it received regular maintenance and care from the day it was purchased. A few days before we were to buy the truck (mileage - 88,000) for $2500, my brother-in-law hit black ice, went over on the left side of the truck and skid. He cut the engine off as soon as he could but it was ruined. We bought the truck anyway and replaced the destroyed engine with a new Jasper engine.

A few months ago we started having problems with the truck starting. I should say that I began having the problems as I’m the one who ususally drives it to work. (My husband has the longer commute and takes the vehicle with the best gas mileage). The problem never happens on first starting the truck in the morning or after the truck has been sitting for an hour or more. It is most likely to occur when I have made several stops with only a few minutes between stopping and restarting the truck. Unfortunately I do that a lot because I’m a school bookkeeper and make daily trips to make bank deposits, drop off mail at the post office, etc. On the third or fourth stop, the truck would not restart. Cranks fine, but it will not “catch”. Also, if it does start but cuts off, it definitely will not restart.

When I first began having the problem, it happened at gas stations right after I filled up the tank. It wouldn’t start and all the men - young and old - who rescued me told me I was flooding the engine. If I waited long enough, it would start. I was not doing anything to cause it to flood - wasn’t pressing on the gas pedal when I started it like I used to do in the early 70’s when I learned to drive. My only solution was to visit different gas stations every time I filled up so that I would not be embarrassed in front of the same people each time.

When we finally took it to the repair shop to see if they could find anything (of course the truck wouldn’t produce the symptoms then), they found a broken catalytic converter which they said could have been the problem. They sent us to another shop to have it fixed cheaper than they could do it (honest guys!) and for a few weeks we had no problem at all. Then it began again.

We talked today to our shop. They mentioned several possibilities but did not want to work on it unless it was presenting the problem because some of these repairs are very expensive. They mentioned 1)coolant temperature sensor, 2)crank sensor, 3)cam sensor, or 4)power train control module. They wondered if, in installing the new engine, somewhere there is a wire that once in a while touches ground. (I have no clue what that means!) My brother-in-law also wondered about a vacuum thingie because of the problem of getting too much fuel.

Does anyone have an idea of what this problem might be? I have embarrassed myself at most of the gas stations in Zebulon , North Carolina, and most of the male population in the town have already come to my rescue.

Thanks for any advice.