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  #1  
Old 08-07-2017, 04:11 PM
jjbear jjbear is offline
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Default Truck won't start after ECU swap

New to the Forum. Just purchased a used 2001 Ranger 4x4 w/ 4.0. My first Ranger. Guy said it died at an intersection while driving. He had it towed to a shop and they said the ECU was bad.

I bought the truck and bought a new ECU and 2 keys from a Professional Rebuild place in NY. I put the ECU in and followed their instructions to activate the keys.

After I finished, I proceeded to start the truck. It turned over and fired up and ran rough for about 10 or 15 seconds and then died. I tried to restart it and it won't fire over again. It cranks, but just won't start up. I tried to put an OBD code scanner on it to see if there was any engine codes and there are NONE.

I don't know a lot about vehicles, but I was hoping someone could help me figure out what to do now. Where would you start to try to figure out what is wrong? Is there something I need to do after putting in a new ECU? I bought it from FS1INC.com
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:39 PM
JAMMANICA JAMMANICA is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Welcome to FRF.

You have to check to see if you are getting fuel pressure and spark before you can do anything else. Sounds like fuel to me, I don't know if zero fuel pressure throws a code or not but a crank sensor will so I'm betting fuel. Might have been fuel all along the ECU doesn't just go bad or at least I have never seen a confirmed bad one. A lot diagnosed as bad but never a real bad one. I'm sure it does happen but it is rare.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:03 PM
jjbear jjbear is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Okay. Might have another issue. After trying to start it several times, the battery seems to have died. I hooked up the cables to another car to try to jump it and that didn't seem to help. I took off the battery and cleaned all the post area with a battery post wire brush cleaner. It acts like its not getting enough juice. I cleaned all the post and still no luck. It got dark so tomorrow I was going to check the connections on the starter to see if they are getting good contact. Is there something else that I should look for regarding a good connection? The dome light and dash lights seem nice and bright and the radio comes on and plays. Just maybe not enough juice going through the system to start it????

Oh, even after I pulled the battery off, I checked it with a volt meter and I was getting 12.6 Volts. I assume that should be enough. The battery has 685 CCA and looks fairly new, but can't seem to find an installation date on it. I think it also said it has 80 reserve hours.
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Last edited by jjbear; 08-07-2017 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:58 PM
jjbear jjbear is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMMANICA View Post
Welcome to FRF.

You have to check to see if you are getting fuel pressure and spark before you can do anything else. Sounds like fuel to me, I don't know if zero fuel pressure throws a code or not but a crank sensor will so I'm betting fuel. Might have been fuel all along the ECU doesn't just go bad or at least I have never seen a confirmed bad one. A lot diagnosed as bad but never a real bad one. I'm sure it does happen but it is rare.
Thank you. I was working on checking for spark and was then going to check fuel, when I got what seems to be the battery going dead, but it still says it has over 12Volts. Not certain what would cause that besides a bad connection. I'm trickle charging the battery over night and will proceed again tomorrow.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:16 PM
JAMMANICA JAMMANICA is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Just because a battery says 12V doesn't mean it will start a car. You need help for this one, after the battery is charged stand outside with a volt meter on it and have someone else crank it over.

The electrical issue could be either battery, connections including grounds or starter from your description.

Let us know how it goes, got any pictures?
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98 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 dead
99 EXPO donor motor for dead one and parts for the others.
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2017, 07:47 PM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

A battery can present with 12.6V which would imply it's fully charged, yet the same battery can fail a load test, meaning it can't supply enough amperage to start an engine.
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  #7  
Old 08-08-2017, 01:17 AM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Well you purchased a non running 2001 Ford Ranger 4X4 with a 4.0 engine. ( congratulations I think )

Your off to a good start !!! except by trusting the previous owner and purchasing and installing a computer plus keys without first confirming the diagnosis.

My first question is did you confirm the no start condition after you brought the truck home?

Did you find out what was keeping the truck from starting?

Was it missing spark,Fuel pressure, injector reference pulse? or all the above?

Since you had the truck running for 20 seconds or less this is a good thing in a way.

At least now you know the engine is capable of running.

How did the engine sound for the short time it ran?

Did the oil pressure gauge indicate you had good oil pressure ?

I agree with Jammanica Computers do not fail to often, however we are dealing with many unknowns here.

If this were my truck that I purchased not running I would want to be gathering information before I spent the first dime on it.

First and foremost Rangers are subject to modifications by weekend warriors.

The very first thing I would do is disconnect the battery, if the battery has removable cell covers I would remove them and inspect the fluid level of the battery.

If you can inspect the level it should be high enough to cover each cell, this will give you a opportunity to test each cell with a Battery Hydrometer.

They can be picked up for cheap, below is just a example.

https://www.amazon.com/E-Z-Red-SP101...ery+hydrometer

If each cell is good you should put it on a battery charger because the battery at rest should read 12.7 volts or slightly higher.

If the battery terminal ends have been replaced you need to remove each terminal end
and inspect the cable and terminal end for corrosion ( correct corrosion as needed )

While the battery is charging this will give you an opportunity to look the truck over for any modifications that could have been done to the wiring.

Look for any non stock aftermarket parts or wiring, take the time to remove the driver side lower dash cover.

Under this dash cover you may find a poorly installed aftermarket alarm system.

Normally they get tie strapped near the steering column.

Hopefully you will only find a nice clean virgin, uncut wiring harness.

But if you see a rats nest of aftermarket wiring under that dash cover please post pictures of what you find.

Make sure to look at both fuse panels, confirm with the owners manual
that each fuse is the correct rating and good ( not blown ) and check each spot that should have a fuse has one.

Make sure that you do not have any foreign aftermarket wires plugged into or spliced into either fuse box.

With the battery disconnected I like to remove each fuse and inspect each fuse and receptacle for corrosion or signs that the circuit has been overheated by running a higher than designed for fuse in each spot.

You would be looking for melted plastic and or a loose fitting fuse.

If you do this make sure while your pulling the fuses you do not sabotage yourself by putting fuses back in the wrong spot.

The Ranger can have many spots that are unused. ( those spots need to remain empty )

If you see any fuses that are not the correct amperage make sure to replace them with the proper fuse. while your doing this fill the spare slots with a good assortment of fuses.

----------

Once you have charged the battery, inspected the harness and truck for aftermarket accessories and inspected the fuses and battery cable terminal ends this is a good time to check all the fluids.

The oil should be full same goes with a the cooling system.

If either has to be topped off make a note to yourself to go back and find out why either was low on fluid.

At this point I would gear up to check fuel pressure, injector reference pulse, and spark.

You should check all the above and find out what is missing keeping the truck from running.

Make sure to check everything do not just assume if you have missing spark that the rest is good.

Once you know for sure what is missing we can try and help from there.

My main concern is that you may or may not have had a bad computer yet if it was bad what caused it to go bad or appear bad?

Was there something external ( like a shorted or open circuit ) that made it appear to have a bad computer or worse destroy the computer.

Many items like injectors, coils etc can have their resistance change over time causing the drivers for those circuits to get overheated
causing damage to the computer.

I mention all of this so you take the time to get to know your truck and all of its components so your repair will
have longevity.

When I had my Automotive repair shops years ago, I owned a Sun MCS 4000 I purchased the optional Simutech attachment

Which is just a fancy breakout box that connected between the computer and computers wiring harness.

The PC and software could in less than 2 minutes scan the entire computer wiring harness and computer

looking for opens shorts etc.

It would provide a print out of any circuit that was found to be out of range and provide a list down to the connector and location
of possible problems it found.

Simutech like a break out box would do this with the battery disconnected so you did not risk burning up a new computer while diagnosing it.

By the time you ran all the available test with Simutech you would know for sure with 100 percent accuracy as to what was wrong with the vehicle.

I ran Simutech on many vehicles that other shops even dealers had diagnosed with a bad computer Simutech would find a open or intermittent
wiring issue causing the problem it would even provide a list of each circuit that was effected and likely connectors and locations to check.

The sad part is many of the dealers that sent me their vehicles to diagnose owned Simutech yet never used it or never took the time to learn it.

Simutech is a older technology that was sold by Snap on years ago. It was very expensive I think I paid over $25,000 for the basic package plus extra for each
year make and model vehicle I wanted to service beyond the starter package.

My point is, there is technology out there and has been available since the mid 1990s to have your truck scanned quickly and efficiently for any problems that could effect the computer and or wiring to the computer.

This technology in the right hands could save you a lot of money and frustration.

The key is finding a qualified shop that has this technology for your truck with technicians that have been properly trained to use it effectively.

I mention this just in case you get yourself in over your head and need a secondary plan to get your truck repaired.
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Last edited by EaOutlaw1969; 08-08-2017 at 02:00 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-08-2017, 05:55 AM
jjbear jjbear is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Ya, I'm thinking this was prob not a good ideal to buy. LOL Luckily it was only $800. I should be able to get my money back out of it if I can't get it going. Anyways, the truck originally only had dash lights, head lights, radio, etc when we tried to start it up. It would NOT click, crank, or anything with the old EMU. Put the new one it and it did crank over and start up if only for a few seconds. I charged the battery over night and will be checking for fuel today. I did just try to turn it over after putting the battery back in and it cranked but would not fire up. I seemed to have smelled gas, so we will see if I can determine if I'm getting gas for sure or not. I did have spark to at least 1 plug yesterday that I checked before the battery was drained too much.
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2017, 01:42 PM
jjbear jjbear is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Well, I had someone come look at it and they said the timing is off. Now I have to find a new timing chain set. I found someone with a shop that will do it for me. He has done work for me in the past. I just have to get the truck to him. He allows me to buy my own parts if I want. I guess I should replace all of them while he is in their right? Anything else anyone would recommend while he's in there? Is there a certain parts manufacture that would be better then others? I called Ford and they said STARTING price for chains and tensioners is about $300.

I found cheaper sets for like $100 on ebay and Amazon. Prob best to stay away from them, huh?
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  #10  
Old 08-09-2017, 02:35 PM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Before you spend any more cash on the truck and get in too deep, check the rest of the truck out for anything that may need to be replaced.

It seems odd to me that you had the truck running now the timing chains are bad.

In my opinion you do not have enough information to replace parts yet.

Or you are leaving out much of what the mechanic told you.
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  #11  
Old 08-12-2017, 06:18 PM
jjbear jjbear is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Well, that was an expensive lesson learned. I had spark and fuel, but it wouldn't start. I had a mobile mechanic come look at it and he said it was the timing. I took it to a second mechanic and had him look at it today and he also said the timing is off.

Learned my lesson not to buy anything that isn't running and especially don't buy something with a Ford 4.0L in it. Also, never trust what anyone says. I think I better stick to Toyota's. Just sold my last one with 280k miles on it and the drive train was still running strong. It had a chain in it too. These chains are suppose to last the life of the car I thought. This Ranger has a short life.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:48 PM
Ordinary Biker Ordinary Biker is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbear View Post
Learned my lesson not to buy anything that isn't running and especially don't buy something with a Ford 4.0L in it. Also, never trust what anyone says. I think I better stick to Toyota's. Just sold my last one with 280k miles on it and the drive train was still running strong. It had a chain in it too. These chains are suppose to last the life of the car I thought. This Ranger has a short life.
The only thing that you said that makes sense is don't buy anything that isn't running. As for blaming Ford 4.0's because you made a bad choice in buying that one expecting an easy flip, well, ok, but sounds dumb.
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:59 AM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Truck won't start after ECU swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbear View Post
Well, that was an expensive lesson learned. I had spark and fuel, but it wouldn't start. I had a mobile mechanic come look at it and he said it was the timing. I took it to a second mechanic and had him look at it today and he also said the timing is off.

Learned my lesson not to buy anything that isn't running and especially don't buy something with a Ford 4.0L in it. Also, never trust what anyone says. I think I better stick to Toyota's. Just sold my last one with 280k miles on it and the drive train was still running strong. It had a chain in it too. These chains are suppose to last the life of the car I thought. This Ranger has a short life.

Great humor, is sooooo damn funny in sooooo damn many ways, I just spit out my coffee and now the screen on my laptop is soaked! You bought a non-running $800 piece of sh*t, sounds like you're not too strong in the self help auto repair area and on top of this you took the sellers word, you then had to pay whatever it took to diagnose make it run, then MOL dump the core of blame on everyone but yourself, lol. At this point, going JAP wound be even worse than taking the better alternative which is, take the bus or use the UBER app.
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Last edited by cowboybilly9mile; 08-13-2017 at 08:03 AM.
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