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The Ford dealer and Paul both missed the boat regarding the Explorer owner's question. Have the dealer check the crankshaft sensor, as it's probably faulty. After the engine shuts down the temperature temporarily rises, causing the faulty sensor to fail. Since the engine computer can't tell the crankshaft is turning, it doesn't send any fuel to the cylinders. Once the engine cools down, the sensor works again, and the engine will start. I had this happen on another (non-Ford) vehicle. My dealer diagnosed the problem right away. I'm not sure what happened here.
If there is a fuel handling concern, a simple test on these older units with a return line from the pressure regulator, which this unit has is to cycle the key from off to on several times. The fuel pump will run for 10-20 seconds on each cycle and will flush the hot fuel from the line. If the unit now starts, this might be the concern and a fix for high vapor pressure fuel. donotbugme you might be right on, a simple inductive pickup pen placed on the ignition wire will indicate the absence of spark while cranking. The fuel system has a schrader valve on the fuel rail and this could be checked for the presence of fuel when the event occurs.
If the source of the Explorer non-starting problem is a failing crankshaft sensor, it will only fail when the engine is really hot. Otherwise the fuel will be delivered and the spark will occur and the dealer won't know what to do next.
I see that Paul didn't like our comments here, either. Too bad, I think I'm right on the money regarding the crankshaft sensor. It would be interesting to see feedback from the Explorer owner.
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