There's a lot about "engine won't stay running" here but I couldn't find anything with these conditions.
Background, I have a 2008 Edge with the 3.5L engine that just turned over to 40,000 miles. Everything has been well maintained. I have a Ford VCM with IDS and I can't find anything related to the problem using it. I had the car towed and the tow truck driver disconnected the battery because he thought the problem was with resetting the fuel inertia switch. It isn't.
Yesterday I was driving in town and the problem first showed up as the throttle not getting any response. My first thought was fuel filter or fuel pump. The car stalled and I rolled over to the side of the road. The car restarted but run sluggishly. I drove about another mile and the car stalled again. It restarted again but ran even worse for about another 100 yards and stalled again for good. I had the car towed home. Today I removed the "air inlet assembly" as Ford calls it--the air box between the filter box and the throttle body. The car started and runs fairly well while cold. I didn't try taking it out of the driveway. Put the assembly back on and the car won't run. It starts and runs for a fraction of a second and then stalls. I can smell fuel so it doesn't seem to be a fuel delivery problem. This is where I left it for today.
Without any codes or obvious problems I don't want to spin my wheels looking for the problem unless that's my only option. I'm hoping someone has had a similar experience and can offer some help or knows the car and engine well enough to have insights I don't. I work on cars and know a fair amount but not this one. The car was part of an inheritance and not typically something I work on. If I bought a 3.5 it would have been an Eco Boost. That's me. Not the car or engine.
Thanks for reading.