Question about 1998 Ford Ranger SuperCab

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No spark on 1998 2.5l Ford Ranger

A year ago the truck failed to start due to lack of spark. The problem solved itself; after a couple days of fruitless troubleshooting, it started. I thought the problem was condensation on the engine (it was cold out at the time).

About a week or two ago it started rough with misfire; I immediately opened the hood and found condensation. After spraying the coils and wires with some WD-40 the problem went away. A week later I replaced the plugs and the ignition wires. The truck worked after this repair.

Next, I redid some wiring, I had a problem of no power to my 12V outlets in the dashboard and no memory in a radio I had replaced (Clarion CD player). I had also installed a separate 12V light under the dashboard because the interior lamp became touchy. One day the interior lamp would work the next it wouldn't, and sometimes the door would think it is open as you were driving and turn the interior lamp on. (I pulled the bulb, and if I remember correctly pulled the fuse so the chime wouldn't come on while driving.)

The memory wire from the radio was diverted to a power wire from a ciarette lighter; the lamp recieved power from the 12V outlet on the RHS of the dash with a switch in line. The truck worked fine after all these repairs.

About four days later I went to start it and it turns over with no spark. I had the coils checked and they are okay. I checked every fuse in the truck and they are fine. I had cleaned the coils immacuately and made sure all metal contact points were clean, contacted well, and anti-siezed them.

Here are the problems I found that have me confused. I have to embarrass myself a little here; I found some wires from when I replaced the radio that had metal exposed (green with black tracer, green with black tracer (thinner) green with purple tracer, blue with red tracer and red with black tracer) (totally out of character for me so I'm wondering if they came undone somehow). I have the old plug from the old radio and the exposed wires definately went to the old radio. These wires (come from some type of box LHS of radio (GEM module?) (computer perhaps) and go to the old radio (they are now attached to nothing and the truck worked for years without them.)

I also took the molding off the steering column and discovered a broken piece of plastic/wire that operates the chime when the door is open and the key is in the ignition. When this wire is grounded with the key in ignition and the door open the chime sounds. The chime comes from the module that I was trying to explain above that involves the disconnected radio wires.

Here is what has me really confused - I found by mistake (in my exhaustion at 2AM) that when the red and black wire (that comes from my mistery module to the radio) hits a power wire from the cigarette lighter the truck turns over (if the clutch is in).

Several of the other wires gave sparks and now the red and black wire does not want to start the truck when given power, the fuses are all intact. I have spent about eight hours cleaning wires and contacts.

I also found that in the high power fuse box under the hood has power in it when the key is off and the door closed. I pulled the fuse and put a multimeter on the fuse connections and get readings from 12V to .34V in several fuses. Is there continuous power in this type of situation? This makes me think this is a source of the problem multiplied with my radio fiasco.

I'm stumped. Where do I start, where do I begin? Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.


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Try replacing the Air Flow Sensor, it's the switch looking thing, to the right of the air filter box; I think it runs about $6-$10s. Good luck.

For the doors alarms and dome lights, try: spraying the inside and around the inside of the center door latches with WD40 or silicone lube. Hoping it's that simple.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008

  • chavezemail Oct 13, 2008

    Spray inside the center door latch with WD40 or silicone lubricant. You might have to remove or partially remove the plastic shield cover the opening. It's the part the door latches too, spray all around inside there and that should allow the switch to release. the switch either dries out or gets dirty and sticks, the spay will loosen and clean it.


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