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  #1  
Old 10-14-2010, 08:26 PM
Cleric40 Cleric40 is offline
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Default 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

Hello All,

My 2002 2.3l (77k miles) is having trouble starting warm or cold. It takes multiple cranks to get it to start, but once started the truck runs fine. This hard starting occurs in warm/cold weather conditions as well as engine temperature conditions. To start now, i often prime the fuel pump 2-3 times by turning the key to the on position, and it still takes a few cranks to get it started.

Additionally the CEL is on and the code is P0171.

Ive looked for vacuum leaks but have not found any. I have also inspected the MAF and it appears to be clean.

Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Cleric40; 10-14-2010 at 08:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2010, 12:15 PM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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Posts: 6,257
Default Re: 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleric40 View Post
Hello All,

My 2002 2.3l (77k miles) is having trouble starting warm or cold. It takes multiple cranks to get it to start, but once started the truck runs fine. This hard starting occurs in warm/cold weather conditions as well as engine temperature conditions. To start now, i often prime the fuel pump 2-3 times by turning the key to the on position, and it still takes a few cranks to get it started.

Additionally the CEL is on and the code is P0171.

Ive looked for vacuum leaks but have not found any. I have also inspected the MAF and it appears to be clean.

Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks in advance
I would suspect either a tunup issue or a fuel pressure issue....
__________________
2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2010, 03:07 PM
Cleric40 Cleric40 is offline
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Default Re: 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

So I had my friend who is a mechanic give me a quick fuel pressure check.

He was doing it quickly on his lunch break so his answers werent very clear.

He wasnt sure of the ford specs for the fuel pressure but he said the fuel pressure was slow to reach its maximum. He said normally when you prime the pump (key to on) the needle on the gauge quickly jumps to the designated pressure. Where as on my truck the needle on the gauge slowly increased till it reached its designated pressure.

He suggested it could either be the fuel pressure regulator, or fuel pump.

Any thoughts?

Dumb question, but where is the fuel pressure regulator located?

Which is easier to replace?
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2010, 03:53 PM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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Posts: 6,257
Default Re: 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleric40 View Post
So I had my friend who is a mechanic give me a quick fuel pressure check.

He was doing it quickly on his lunch break so his answers werent very clear.

He wasnt sure of the ford specs for the fuel pressure but he said the fuel pressure was slow to reach its maximum. He said normally when you prime the pump (key to on) the needle on the gauge quickly jumps to the designated pressure. Where as on my truck the needle on the gauge slowly increased till it reached its designated pressure.

He suggested it could either be the fuel pressure regulator, or fuel pump.

Any thoughts?

Dumb question, but where is the fuel pressure regulator located?

Which is easier to replace?
the first thing to do is change the fuel filter......the fpr and pump are in the tank.......most people agree taking the bed off is the easiest way to change the pump out
__________________
2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2010, 08:20 PM
Cleric40 Cleric40 is offline
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Default Re: 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

Update:

So I changed the fuel filter and nothing has changed. Still hard to start even when priming the fuel pump and system.

One thing to note that I thought was strange was the system didnt seem to be under pressure. I began working on the truck about an hour after last driving it, it wasnt left over night or given a chance to lose pressure.

I read that before you change your fuel filter you should depressurize the system by pressing the shrader valve on the fuel rail. When I did this, nothing sprayed out at all... not even a drop.

Could this be the problem, that the system is not holding pressure.

What are your thoughts.

Thanks again for everyone's help
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2010, 04:11 AM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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Posts: 6,257
Default Re: 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleric40 View Post
Update:

So I changed the fuel filter and nothing has changed. Still hard to start even when priming the fuel pump and system.

One thing to note that I thought was strange was the system didnt seem to be under pressure. I began working on the truck about an hour after last driving it, it wasnt left over night or given a chance to lose pressure.

I read that before you change your fuel filter you should depressurize the system by pressing the shrader valve on the fuel rail. When I did this, nothing sprayed out at all... not even a drop.

Could this be the problem, that the system is not holding pressure.

What are your thoughts.

Thanks again for everyone's help
that definitely could be your issue. You can "borrow" a fuel pressure gauge from a parts store. harbor freight sells a cheap one for $20(i bought one) actron sells one for about $40. I also would add a large bottle of Techron....it has been know to help an occasional check valve....
__________________
2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2010, 04:13 AM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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Default Re: 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

I reread the thread about your buddy doing a fuel pressure test but unless you give us actual numbers to work with we cant tell if it is the issue, however I would guess it is your fuel pump assembly......
__________________
2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2010, 09:34 PM
Cleric40 Cleric40 is offline
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Default Re: 2002 Hard Starting w/ P0171

Update:

I did do another fuel pressure test.

While running the pressure read approximately around 40psi, but I did notice that the gauge was leaking a little, and I wasnt able to get it any tighter due to the location. According to the the book the 40psi is within specs plus considering the small amount of leaking it seems that the fuel pump is working properly.


I still have the pressure gauge if i need to do further testing, however, I am not confident I can get the gauge tight enough on the shrader valve because of Ford's horrible placement. Hopefully the number I got from this test will provide enough info.

Assuming the fuel pump is operating as it should, what else could it be and what else can I check.

Last edited by Cleric40; 10-20-2010 at 09:37 PM.
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