Fried Ford Ranger?

My 1986 Ford Ranger died on the way home. I was driving down a busy 4 lane street at about 35 to 40 miles an hour when the engine just died. It would not restart. It has been having problems after a cold start. It would drive about 100 yards then almost stall out. I would depress the gas more and it would go only a little faster, I though this was strange but was beggining to think that maybe the fuel filter was needing to be replaced. My neighbor thinks it may be the starter coil. My dad wants me to remove the distributor and dry it out. What are the possibilities. What am I missing here?

If this vehicle has a “feedback” carburetor on it…How many miles are on this truck? What engine?

Without knowing which engine you have (I’ll assume the 2.3 or 2.9 gas engine?), your problem might be the ignition module.

You should have the TFI-IV module and these were famous for breaking down.
If your distributor has a small gray module mounted on the side (about 1 and 1/2" by 3") with a wire plug on the end, then you have the TFI-IV.

The symptoms can vary but generally resemble running out of gas; sputtering, flat quitting etc., and hot weather makes it even worse.

If that’s the original module, then you’ve got your money’s worth out of it.
They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to change.
If you replace this module, you must be absolutely CERTAIN that you use the special grease that comes with the new module. Failure to do so will kill the new module in the future.

Hope that helps.
(If you want to know about the the TFI4 do a net search for “TFI Settlement”. That will explain it.

I am sorry I did not include more info about the truck. It is 2.9 V-6 Fuel Injection with 88,000 miles.

I have replaced the started coil, the ignition module, the fuel pump. I have also checked the fuse points on the lines in the truck and every other electrical lines having to do with ignition in the engine compartment. It still has failed to start. I will finish replacing the fuel filter tomorrow.

When we sprayed some starting fluid into the air intake it did try to turn over. That is why I replaced the external fuel pump. I have elimated the timing chain as the cause of the problem. I am not optimistic about the fuel filter being the cause.

Since the ignition module has been replaced that rules that annoying little thing out.

You’ve already made a mistake here. You replaced the external pump but did not replace the filter?
The filter is a MUST when the pump is changed.
The filter can also kill a fuel pump if it is clogged.

Pull the filter off, drain the gas out, and allow it to sit for at least half an hour.
Now, try to blow through it. If you cannot blow through it easily then it needs replacement.
I would also be concerned about that in-tank pump. If the external one was bad then the internal one is also bad more than likely.

To rule out some electrical problems, look at the diagnostic connector where codes are pulled under the hood. Note if that connector has a tan wire w/light green stripe. If it does, run a jumper wire from that terminal to ground. You should hear the pumps running even with the key off, and the vehicle SHOULD start if the in-tank pump is good.

Well we did finally kinda resolve this issue, It seems the thing started running again after we beat on the small filter leading into the engine. The truck more recently broke a rear drive shaft also requiring a new u joint, carrier bearing, rear drive shaft and plat that bolts to the rear differential and holds the other end of the u joint.

The truck is running very good for now.

Did I forget to mention that one day the vents started pouring smoke, I think from the heater core into the cab, I pulled over, actualy returned home. When I restarted the truck the smoke stopped.

That’s why they call it a FORD, Fix Or Repair Daily…

Just to add a little knowledge, that is if you can handle anymore. The early Rangers only had a frame mounted electric pump. There was not one in the tank. When Ford started putting them in the tank they did away with the frame mount. There are some full size pick-ups and vans that have a in tank low pressure prime pump but not the Ranger.