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'97 f-150 4x4 4.6L - Cranks, but Won't start


Old 01-07-2003, 01:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 10
'97 f-150 4x4 4.6L - Cranks, but Won't start

I have posted this in the Engine forum also, but I feel it may be beneficial in this area also.

I left my 1997 f-150 XLT 4x4 4.6L at my house when I left for 4 days. I live in Colorado Springs, so temps were fluctuating above and below freezing. My driveway has a fairly steep incline and I had about 1/8 tank of gas in it. When I returned home it would not start. I talked to people at work and they said to add some water vapor remover to the gas tank and add some more gas. This did not work. I am going to check the codes that are issued today, but wanted to know if anyone has any ideas.

My first guess is that the fuel filter might be clogged, but that will be easy enough to check. After I tried to start it again, I noticed that my "4x4" light would come ona nd off, and other lights on the console would do the same.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-08-2003, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Michigan
Posts: 219
Fuell pump inertia switch?
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Old 01-08-2003, 04:25 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 10
Tried That

I checked the Fuel pump switch...it was not "thrown". I hope it is not the computer...don't care to spend that much money right now. Thanks for comment Jimb
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Old 01-08-2003, 10:25 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Bradford, PA
Posts: 281
I think I read a thread once about a guy that had less that 1/4 tank of fuel and left his truck parked on a hill just to find out it wouldn't start when he returned. I think it started after some cranking & returning it to level ground. I'm not even sure where to tell you to start searching for this thread, but I know it was on here. There was some discussion about the fact that Ford was aware of this problem with the vehicles, but wasn't gonna fix them due to it not being a saftey issue.

Have you tried to start your truck on level ground? Or add a few gallons of gas (enough to make a difference...like 5)

Good luck
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Old 01-09-2003, 12:10 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 10
it is somewhat level

I rolled it down to the end of the driveway. It is still at a slight angle. I think I might try and reverese the direction so that the front is lower than the rear. Also, I did add 5 gallons of gas

Thanks you for the input. Any other ideas or pointers please let me know.

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Old 01-08-2004, 06:48 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 10
Almost year to the day that I posted. I reversed the direction of the incline of my truck and it started immediately. My neighbor has ford F-150 and I warned him of this behaviour. He played it off like it was just my truck. A week later he had the same problem. Is there some 'pocket' in the gas that tank that keeps fuel from the fuel line when the front of the truck is higher than the rear?

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Old 01-12-2004, 10:00 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 33
I recently had problems with my 97 4.6 not starting. It wouldn't start unless you gave it some gas. turned out to be an idler(sp) control motor. it is about $100 for motor and bolts on top of the intake right under the plastic cover. there are about four bolts total.

I would take it off and look in it and check to make sure that the plunger inside of it is not stuck closed. If you don't know if it is good or bad, i would run the part by your ford dealer or mechanic and ask them. If the idler motor is bad it will not let the trick start and run.

I also was told by my mechanic that you can reset the computer to original factory settings by completely disconnecting the battery and turning on the headlights. Even though the battery is disconnected the lights still draw amps off of the computer. leave it disconnected for 31/2 to 4 hours. he told me to do this because it was shifting ruff even after a flush. i did this last weekend and noticed a difference in the way the truck was shifting ( shifting much smoother)

i would look at both of the above mentioned items

just my input,
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