hard starts can be caused my the engine coolant temperature sensor on this particular engine management. I have seen it before, I wasted too much of my life with this engine. This may not be the case on later model engine management systems, but this seems to be common among 2.9Ls. But like I stated, he needs to pull codes and pay attention to ECT
and ignition related codes. Rich on #6 is commonly blown FPR due to where the vacuum line connects up to the upper intake, though.