No fuel to the engine

Asked by Nov 19, 2016 at 11:04 PM about the 1988 Ford Ranger XLT Extended Cab 4WD SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1988 ford ranger it ran great with no problems until we saw it had
a leaky tank and holes in the tube coming from the fuel pump.  So I
replaced the tank and fuel pump, got it running but it was running very
poorly and hardly was able to move.  I figured it was the timing so I went to
turn the distributor and lost all spark.  Since I've replaced the ignition
module and that returned the spark but now it runs a little bit and stalls and
then won't start up at all until you let it sit for a while and yet again no
enough power to move.  my dad and I figured it was the fuel filter so we
replaced it but no difference was made, we pulled plugs and they were as
dry as could be it was clear there was no gas with them, we also sprayed
starter fluid in the air intake and it ran just fine as long as the starter fluid
was there.  Any information on what I should do to fix, or troubleshoot this
would be great thanks.  2.9L btw

12 Answers


Sounds like a fuel delivery problem for sure. Could you have kinked a fuel line or perhaps the replacement pump is faulty? An actual fuel pressure reading will help here. It almost sounds as though the pump is leaking fuel inside the tank or just not able to deliver the volume needed. Also, does this truck have the metal fuel filter AND the plastic cartridge type? A lot of Fords did back then.

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Best Answer

Where would this be located? I know it has a fuel reservoir with a filter in the bottom which would look like the one in the picture I have linked if this is what you mean. and the fuel filter I replaced was the metal one

And how would a kinked line or leaking fuel pump make sense of it running for a little and then stalls out and won't turn on for awhile 30+ min after


That's the one I'm referring to. It's on the left frame rail. If equipped. It's a black plastic housing. Screw off the bottom to access the filter. You may have to loosen the mounting bolts for a little wiggle room when you put it back together.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Alright thanks for the advice I will get a new filter and check for kinks if that doesn't work I'll get back to you this is really helping a lot and I really appreciate it

Ok so two days later I took out the reservoir checked the filter and it was all good to go I put fuel in the bottom and blew through it and the gas went through no problem, but just for the hell of it with all the lines off I went to turn the truck over to see if fuel would come out of the line, all I had gotten was a dribble I have no idea if that means there is a problem with the line or pump or if it's because all the lines were disconnected


If you put your ear to the fuel tank and have someone cycle the key, you can hear a running fuel pump. You should also check the Inertia switch - it may have been tripped somehow. I'm starting to thing that you got a bad fuel pump or maybe debris in the tank

I'm thinking that too but I'm going through everything I can before I spend another $100 on a fuel pump

I'll check the switch, see if I can hear the fuel pump I'm pretty sure I hear it running normally tho, and then pull it out and hope I can fight the inevitable

Well checked the inertia switch and found this

And according to the owners manual, it should be right there so hopefully if it's bypassed it's bypassed right

Well this was much more complicated after all that I found the Relays in the engine bay cleaned them and now it works which is weird because the in-line pump worked to begin with, but now I need to figure out the timing and try to get it to stay running because there's spark and fuel and it's definitely getting air so the timing should be all that's left

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