Bad ECU? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Bad ECU?


New Member
October 24, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
VA Beach
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
Hello. I have been a member here for sometime now, but don't post much. Here is my situation, I have a 97 4x4 4.0 SOHC. A few months ago it started acting up by not starting, it would crank but not start. A guy that lives down my street is a Ford Mechanic and took a look at it, he was checking various places and said that it might be the ECU. He wouldn't know for sure until he was able to put it on a scanner. Well after sitting in the driveway for some time, the battery finally died. I jumped started it to see if it would start, it started fine. No problems what so ever. Well, I drove it around for about two months without a problem. Then last weekend, I went to start it and it just would crank but not start, I pushed the gas a few times and it hesitated but started. It drove fine for the next few days after. I was leaving work the other day and now it won't start again. I have tried to disconnect the battery and let it sit for some time and see if it would start back up, like as it did previously a few months before. I have done a search on here and come up empty with posts. I have found a few ECUs running on Ebay for about $50. Has anyone else experienced this before? Any things that I could check or try out to isolate the problem? Thanks for you help.


Truck Season!!
Staff member
August 3, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
B2 "Slightly" Modified
there are many things to check.

First when it runs do you have a check engine light?
if so pull the code(s)

next check your battery cables, its quite possible the starter and truck are getting power but not the computer, etc.

Then the basics, check fuel pressure and check for spark, check voltage at the battery and at the battery when running if possible (charging system)

the computers that I have seen fail have been from first Gen trucks (91-94) and would typically run irratic and throw a bunch of false codes.
Yours to me sounds more like a fuel related issue, clogged cat, or loose wiring.

How many miles and what transmission?
when it runs does it run 100%?