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Here is how to test fuel pump....also check for clogged fuel filter
If you thumped on your fuel gauge and it went back up after pointing on 0 it sounds like a bad fuel gauge problem. But, that would not make it die unless you have a short in the electric system causing it to go faulty. How does it idle in park? Any hesitation on acceleration?
These trucks are notorious for bad fuel sending units. I have replaced 100's of them. They are located on the fuel pump which is inside the gas tank. Sometimes if you rock the truck back and forth real hard and then try it, the gauge may go up but it will soon fail shortly after.
Try having the fuel pressure regulator checked, it's round in shape at the end of the fuel rail, and has a small vaccum line connected to it.
Also check that vaccum line to see what shape it's in, the littlest pin hole will cause a problem.
Check the fuel pressure, bad fuel pump or sock on the fuel pump and fuel filter check spark plugs and check distributor cap, a fuel pump is $273.00 or a bad injector $110.99 or BWD Fuel Vapor Pressure Sensor for $35.99 any of these parts could cause the problem, so without doing a fuel pressure test it is a guess, if the vapor switch is bad it could cause a long crank time if the fuel pump is bad it has a check valve in the fuel pump, if the check valve goes bad the pump can't maintain fuel pressure so on start up the fuel has to pump from the tank all the way up to the fuel rail, if the injectors is bad it could leak after engine shut down and cause you to lose fuel rail pressure. Also the fuel vapor sensor could be stuck open and could cause the problem, all need to be tested, you can rent the fuel pressure tester from AutoZone or advance auto or Shucks they return your money when you bring the tool back as long as you buy the parts to repair it from them. That would be the first thing I would check fuel pump pressure and if you replace the pump then change the fuel sock as well. That model was not meant to burn ethanol and can kill the fuel sock the fuel pump and filter.