4.7l Hard Starting - Fuel Pump?

Howdy All -
Found this archived post that is pretty spot on for my problem - http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.autos.dodge.trucks/browse_thread/thread/2b6775faa48d35a0/6fac04e03b910e5a?q=4.7L+Hard+Starting&rnum=1#6fac04e03b910e5a
I moved from philly to Texas (drove) and my 01 4.7l Dakota hasn't started on the first crank since.
The above linked post is pretty much my exact problem, right down to the test - if I cycle the ignition (and thus the fuel pump) three-four times without cranking, starts like a champ on the first few seconds of the first crank. otherwise, I could turn it over forever on the first crank and it will never start. starts on the second almost always and sometimes the third.
Had it in the shop and the best they could tell me was that it might be the idle air control motor. Thats allot cheaper than the fuel pump that the other post suggested....
Anybody have any more recent experience with this? Before I drop 300 in parts and gawd knows how much in labor for a new fuel pump wanted to check in with y'all first... thanks in advance!
richardx
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If it's an IAC problem, then cracking the throttle plates open a bit while cranking (light pressure on the accelerator pedal) would alleviate the hard starting problem.
You should check the fuel pressure in the fuel rail after engine shutdown. There should be a test port on the fuel rail - middle of the passenger-side rail (should be a black plastic cap that you can unscrew). Ideally, you want to hook a gauge to this, and still read pressure 30 minutes or so after shutting down. When you turn the ignition switch to 'ON', you should immediately (within a second) see >45psi in the rail.
If you have low, or no, fuel pressure in the rail 30 minutes after shutdown, you have a leak somewhere. If the pressure drops immediately upon shutdown, the problem is in the fuel pump module (check valve). If it drops off very slowly, then it might be a small leak in the fuel pump module, or it could be a leaky injector (any black smoke upon startup now?). If the pressure doesn't immediately come up with the ignition on, then it's most likely a bad fuel pump.
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