on your disributorless 24 valve 3.0 you also have a cam sensor and crank sensor...they'd send a code.
When was the last Timing belt job? This isn't too likely but could belt be off by a tooth from bad belt or tensioner? (24 valve is an "interference engine" so you don't want a belt off the mark).
The timing belt was done 4 weeks ago or about 1600 miles ago, when the oil pump was replaced due to a severe leak. It is a mitsubishi belt. I opted to replace it when the oil pooled in the cover under the crank pulley and contaminated the belt, which only had about 10,000 miles on it, which was done by Old Colt when he did a full front and top of engine service on her about a year or so ago. He did every pulley, seal, water pump, timing belt and tensioner, plugs, wires... you name it, he did it.
So I got the new used ecu in today, and it did not fix the problem. The truck acts like it wants to start now, but it sputters and pops and will not start. I tried pedal to the floor, light pedal, no pedal, all with no joy. It does make a bit of difference when a small amount of pedal is applied.
I am really distressed at this point. I am in a strange city with no transport. I have called a tow truck with a flatbed to take it to the local Meineke. The Meineke in my old town did the oil pump, so they should be able to share whatever records they have with the shop down here.
The ecus you linked me to are for a different truck, but thank you anyway. I appreciate the effort very much.