2001 Sport Trac fuel/ignition problem | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2001 Sport Trac fuel/ignition problem


New Member
November 2, 2010
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City, State
Barstow, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01 Sport Trac
Hey everyone, I'm Steve...I'll make my intro a bit later in the right spot.

I've been having a problem with my Sport Trac for quite some time now and didn't know exactly how to approach it. I'm hoping to lean on your expertise here in the forums to give me a little insight before I either try and fix it myself or take it in to have it repaired.

Periodically I've been having an intermittent problem starting the truck; it turns over just fine but won't start. If I keep at it long enough, it will finally start and runs just fine. Through my non-professional troubleshooting, I firmly believe it's a problem with the fuel system. I've been Googling the heck out of this problem but not sure where to begin on fixing it.

When the truck does start, I can hear the fuel pump kick on and it starts up instantly. When it doesn't start, I cannot hear the pump kick on at all and I'm left there for long periods of time with it turning over, but not starting.

I thought right away it must be the fuel pump, but when the truck is running, it has never once sputtered or cut off. This problem only occurs during ignition, and intermittently. I also thought maybe it's the inertia switch, fuel filter, pump relay, or fuel injection, but I'm not sure how to troubleshoot each one without just replacing them.

If this comes down to a fuel pump problem, I will most likely just take it in for service because that's a bigger job than I want to take on.

So, the truck always turns over, but sometimes doesn't start for minutes or up to 10+ minutes. Right now it's not starting at all (whatever the intermittent problem is may have completely failed at this point). When it does start, it never cuts out. So does that rule out the fuel pump and narrow it down to what turns the fuel pump on?

I would very much like to fix this problem myself and not pay excess money to a shop to if I don't have to. I appreciate any and all advice as to how I can troubleshoot and fix this problem. Has anything I said lead you to believe I should start somewhere first?

Thanks a million!

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I just got around to reading my "Welcome" email and it said specifically not to post technical questions in this forum...my apologies. I guess I'll find the appropriate forum to post this in. =)

Welcome to the site. You're good to post it here, everyone does.

If you turn the switch on and it doesn't make the whirring fuel pump sound then its either the relay or the inertia switch, which is right under the the heater box on the passenger floor. The inertia switch is known for giving intermittant problems. Next time it gives you a problem cranking just smack the switch real good and mash the red button a couple times and see if you get fuel pump noise. You can do this with the switch "ON" and see immediately if the problem is there. Let us know how that goes.


Thanks for the reply! I've been crawling around the truck a bit today trying to figure out what the problem is. I did smack around the inertia switch and the button popped while doing that. I pushed the button back down and still the truck doesn't start. I check for voltage at the inertia switch and I'm seeing 11.9V. Does this rule out the Fuel Pump Relay as a possible problem? I did switch the horn relay and the fuel pump relay to test that also...still no dice.

I went under the truck to find the connector that connects directly to the fuel pump, and I think I found the right one. It's right above the rear axle on the drivers side. I disconnected the connector but I'm unsure as to what pins to check for power to the pump. There are 8 pins if I'm not mistaken.

I guess I'm at the point where I need to find out if there is power going to the pump so I can determine whether it's a pump problem or not.

The real kicker here is that I just filled up my gas tank a few days ago before the truck decided not to start at all. So if I'm forced to drop the tank and replace the pump, I have a full tank of gas to deal with.... =/ I'm assuming that the tank has an anti-siphon mechanism so that probably won't be an option.

Do you know which pins to check for voltage to the pump? Or a possible diagram? I have the Haynes manual but it's not quite helpful in this matter.

PM me your email address and I'll send you stuff.

EDIT: You have mail: Connector pin-out, schematic and diagnostics sent.

Fuel pump.

Most likely. But being a Tech I'm sure you don't just throw parts at something without simple diagnosis.:thumbsup:

......and you're not the one who's going to have to change a pump in a full tank!:( :mad:

Okay, so I checked some voltages based on a diagram that ncranchero sent me (thank you!)



1 - 5V
2 - 5.02V
3 - 0
4 - 0
5 - Ground
6 - 6.67V to 11.98V
7 - Ground
8 - 11.98V

IIRC: Okay, when the key is initially turned on, I get 11.98V from pin 6 for about 1 1/2 seconds and then it goes to 6.67V constant. The reference voltage (pin 1) stays at a constant 5V and the Fuel pump/gauge sender (pin 8) is also a constant 11.98V.

So does this seem okay for voltage to the fuel pump? An initial 12V and then cuts back to 6.67V constant after a second or two? Needless to say, the pump still does not kick on after I reconnected the connector.

If all things point towards bad fuel pump, which appears it does, I will move in that direction.

The voltage drop-back is done to pressurize the system and IF it would crank it would go back to 12 +/- volts. I believe it time to replace the pump. It would be nice if the Sport Trac was like the F150 and you could just slide the bed back to replace the pump but no such luck.

If you remove the left rear wheel and the fender liner you "may" be able to disconnect the fuel filler neck hose and siphon the tank out. Never tried that but it's worth a look.



Thanks again for the info!

Okay, well moving forward with the fuel pump replacement... I'm still on the fence about replacing it myself or taking it to the shop (perhaps towing at this point). I'm just concerned with the overall cost of replacement from the shop... Anyone venture to guess, or know how much this might be?

Granted I do the replacement myself, is there any particular pump I need to get? I've looked around and have found them at various places, but I don't want to get the wrong one or get one that's cheap and likely to fail.

Sorry for the million questions...this should about wrap it up though. =)

I called the local Firestone Conversions shop here in town and they said it would be around $400 for the replacement. Not surprisingly, the dealer said it would be around $975.

IDK what it would cost here on the east coast but if it's like everything else in California it would be about 3 times the cost.

Is the $400 for a pump & sender or just the pump?

I've used Airtex pumps personally and in our fleet for many years without a problem.
E2333 2 tube pump only $75.00 +/-
E2471 1 tube pump only $75.00+/-
E2332S 2 tube pump w/sender $175.00 +/-
E2296S 1 tube pump w/sender $160.00+/-

Mine was the Fuel pump relay, even though it was throwing the internal switch it wasn't completing the circuit!

Any luck with this? Did the new fuel pump replace your problem? I have the same issue. Turns over, doesn't start. Relay, fuse and inertia switch all giving me good signal with an ohm meter and I do see power going to the intertia switch (6v then 10.9v on crank). When I bypass the inertia switch, I still don't hear the fuel pump firing up. It used to be intermittent when I would hear the fuel pump and the car would start after 5-6 attempts. Now I don't hear the pump. My gut tells me it's the fuel pump now. Curious if your problem was solved by replacing the pump Solson