Ford Ranger wont accelerate until I turn it off and back on

I have a Ford Ranger with a 1997 Ford Explorer 302 engine in it. Manual Transmission.

Intermittently I am having an issue where the vehicle will stop accelerating while driving down the road. It will continue running and idle without issues except for when you press on the accelerator. When you try to accelerate it will sputter a little bit and run poorly until you let off the pedal again. If I then coast to the side of the road and stop, turn off the engine, and restart the Ranger. Everything works for a while again until it will randomly happen either a few minutes or hours or days later.

I could use any sort of ideas troubleshooting this problem. My mechanical ability is ok but not great.

Ok, engine swap in a Ranger. That opens the door to a huge number of possibilities. At least triple the normal list.

Is the engine still fuel injected? Is it running off the Explorer’s ecu and wirng harness? Is the Ranger a 97 also?

Answer these and I’ll continue depending on what you post.

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Ranger is a 98. Engine is fuel injected. It is using the Explorers ECU and wiring harness.

Also, for additional info. It was running for about a year after the engine swap without the problem.

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Dying fuel pump?
It is a 98. 23 yr old fuel pump.
OP= ah, I changed it last week.

OK, Good info. Is there any way you can access the ODB2 port to read if there are any error codes from the ECU? If there are codes, post them here. P1234 is the format. That would help a lot.

I’d agree with @Cavell … Check the fuel pressure and the pressure regulator, at a minimum. While the engine is idling, pull the vacuum hose of the fuel pressure regulator… This device;

If it squirts fuel, the regulator needs to be replaced. If not, hook a pressure tester (might be able to rent one for free from the auto parts store) to the engine and see what the pump is putting out. Drive it somewhere you can floor it to see if the pump can keep up. If the pump is the original V6 pump, replace it with a V8 pump from the Explorer. Might take a bit of cobbling to get it in. You might find the strainer is clogged.