Question about Intermittent Starting Issue

I have a 1995 Ford Ranger, manual shift. It always starts when cold, but sometimes – very sporadic – it will not start after I’ve gone somewhere. This has happened maybe 8 times over the past 18 months or so. Always, after sitting a while, it starts right up as though nothing happened. Several months ago I left it with a mechanic for an entire week, but he could never get it to act up. Of course.

In browsing through these discussions, I’ve seen the “starter/clutch interlock switch” mentioned. Here is my question, though. Would the starter still crank if that was the problem? or does that switch stop the starter from engaging?

When mine acts up, the starter cranks, the engine turns over … it just acts like it’s not getting fuel. Is that a starter/clutch interlock switch issue? Or something else?

Thank you for any insight anyone can offer.

No, the clutch interlock will prevent the starter from cranking.

That’s what I was expecting. So what else might cause the intermittent starting issue?

Because it acts as though it isn’t getting fuel, I initially suspected the fuel pump. But it has NEVER stalled when running … so would that be a fuel pump issue?

The problem might be with the ignition control module mounted to the distributor.

Fords of this era where notorious for these modules failing when the engine got hot causing a no start condition.

One way to check for this is, carry an extra spark plug in the vehicle. The next time the engine won’t start, remove one of the spark plug wires from a spark plug and plug the extra plug into the wire and lay the plug on the engine to ground it. Have someone try to start the engine and if no spark is seen at the tip of spark plug it could be the module.