1988 Ford Ranger won't start when hot | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1988 Ford Ranger won't start when hot


New Member
September 4, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
greensboro nc
Year, Model & Trim Level
1988 ford ranger
i have a ford ranger that runs great, but sometimes after running awhile when you cut it off it want start back up. If you wait about 5-10 minutes it starts right up and runs great again.

I already had the coil replaced and put a new fuel tank on it because it had been sitting for about 4 years. It only has 63,000 miles on it. I also put C/foam (fuel stabilizer) in the gas tank, but it didn't help.

Someone told me to try a new fuel filter.

Making the assumption that the engine cranks when you turn the key, I would be looking at the ignition system. If you have a TFI module on the side of the distributor, it may be on its way out. I have had the pickup in the distributor open up when it got warm, and the car wouldn't start unless you waited 5-30 minutes.
Next time it won't start, pull a plug wire and stuff in a spare spark plug. Let the plug read on the exhaust or somewhere the outer part will be grounded, and crank the engine. You should see the plug spark. If not, you have an ignition problem. You could also have a fuel problem, so you could check the fuel pressure when it doesn't start also.

Agree with reply above

I just did the won't start when hot with my Ranger.
It is easiest to determine if you have spark and or fuel first when the motor is hot and will not run.
Mine had plenty of fuel pressure. I found the fuel rail valve and it was loaded with pressure.
I pulled a plug wire. Nothing was happening, no spark jumping or crackling.
The fluid temp sensor was shorting out whenever the engine stopped because it sets there with no circulation from the water pump, and no air is passing the motor. For that reason, it never stopped the ignition while running. The water surrounding the engine only gets that hot for the brief time when the motor has just stopped,and the truck is not moving.

I recently had a similar problem with a B II. turned out the coil was breaking down when hot. Mine wasn't really running bad when hot; just wouldn't spark after cutting it off & trying to re-crank it.

borrowed a coil from another & the problem went away. worth a try if you have a known "good" coil handy.


J...hate to spend $$ :D