2000 Ford Windstar needs to start

I have a '00 Windstar that has had some curious issues. It started about 4-5 months ago. I was about to leave work. I got in the van, put the key in the ignition, turned it over, dropped it in drive, it went about 2 ft. and conked out. I tried a few more times before I gave up. A mechanic friend of mine came to look at it. He checked the alternator, air filter, battery, and throttle. Nothing seemed wrong. Matter-of-fact, after he started it, it got up and ran fine. Fast forward 4-6 weeks and the same thing happened again. He suggested I check the fuel filter. So I changed the fuel filter and that didn’t work. Time, finances, and weather didn’t open an opportunity to to work on it last year ('09), so here I am in the new year and I need to get my van running. The battery has died since it has sat so long, however before it did I could still get the thing to turn over and make the same actions as before. My mechanic friend thinks it might be the fuel pump (which is located in the gas tank). I’m praying it’s an easier, less expensive fix (aren’t we all?). Help!

Your fuel pump health can be verified by a simple fuel gage connected to the schrader valve on the fuel rail. THat’s a good place to start. But you also need to see if you’re getting spark. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here.

Where is the Schrader Valve/Fuel rail located? I’m still learning this stuff. Thanks.

It will look something like this. It is the size of a tire valve stem, and when you hook a fuel pressure gage up to it you should get in the neighborhood of 50 psi.