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Old May 25th, 2010, 1:16 am   #1
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Question Idle & Cruise problem

I've got a problem that has been consistant with both of my motors.. I rebuilt a motor and use most new parts, but obviously reused some.. I'll start by explaining my problem..

1996 Ford Probe SE 2.0L Standard
Mods list are large.. just check my signature
New Spark Plugs, Wires, Distributor Cap & Rotor.. New Timing Belt, Idler & Tensioner Pulleys.. New Vacuum Lines on everything.. The fuel filter was changed about a year ago, but even then it didn't change the problem.

Starting with the idle, my idle is crazy.. While it's cold it idles like 1200rpm and I can feel the idle sort of pick up and drop constantly, and watching the gauge it'd flucuate about 100rpms.. As it warms up, the rpms drop to ~600 and continues to flucuate about 100rpms, obviously dropping down to 500 which causes my alternator guage to drop to Low and idle really hard like it's "camming", but it doesn't stall unless i'm driving and come to a stop and take it out of gear and let it idle.. If I put a load on the motor, like turn on the AC, the idle gets extremely horrible and flucuates about 250rpms.. Idle going from 300rpms-800rpms, and makes my entire car just vibrate horriblly, but still no stalling unless like mentioned above. Now this little "surge" or whatever it can be called with the flucating, continues even while I'm driving down the road. I can feel it while i'm driving. Like when I'm cruising at 60mph, I can see my speedometer needle shake a bit and rpms shake a bit and can actually feel the car like it's loosing and gaining speed even while holding the throttle steady. When I'm driving the car.. It's kinda hard to explain but let's say I'm giving it 30% throttle, it feels like it's hanging up til I give it 60% throttle and it reaches 3500rpms which at that point it catches and pulls hard.
Also, I noticed a couple days ago after I got gas I was pulling out of the gas station which is going uphill and pulling out onto the highway, I had it in 1st and dropping the clutch and floored it so I could get out onto the highway ahead of an oncoming car and it felt like it was just rolling uphill for a few seconds before it all of a sudden kicked in and started pulling really hard like it was supposed to in the beginning.. Could have been a major accident if the my car wouldn't have went..

Now what I reused on my motor that was used first motor is the Throttle Body w/ TP Sensor & Idle Air Control Valve/Sensor.. Knock Sensor.. MAF Sensor (which was replaced about a year ago).. EGR Valve (Replaced right after the MAF about a year ago).. IAT Sensor.. and O2 Sensors.
I've got multiples of several sensors and parts (I've got a parts car), and I have swapped out several.. including Distributor, ECU, Throttle Body, Fuel Injectors, Fuel Pressure Regulator, Crankshaft Position Sensor..
Even thoug the EGR is fairly new, I replaced it because of CEL P1407 which is a code that I continue to get. I've got the freeze fram if it could help.. (P1407 = No Flow Detected at EGR Valve). I had another minor code but I deleted it and it hasn't came back yet.. If it does I'll be sure to add it.

I'm going to make sure my TPS is set right, and I'm going to buy a stethscope and try finding (perhaps) a vacuum leak around the Intake Manifold.. I'm also goin to try swapping my IAC with my old one and see if it makes a difference.

Like I mentioned above, this problem has been on both motors which leaves me to believe that the problem is external to the motor. This is a problem I've been fighting for over a year.. It hasn't stopped the car from running but I'm seriously getting annoyed with it.
I'm beginning to wonder if it could be an O2 Sensor, Fuel Pump, or maybe my ignition coil has a miss to it..
I really hope you guys can give me some ideas and oppinions to help me figure out this problem that has fooled me for months
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1996 Probe SE
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In addition to lots & lots of modifications

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
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Simply a lot of mods..

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Last edited by Fenix22; May 25th, 2010 at 1:36 am.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 6:26 pm   #2
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Ok so while I was driving today I had my code reader hooked up and the second code popped up again.. So now I've got:
P1407 - EGR No Flow Detected
P0443 - EVAP Cntrl System Purge Valve C Fault

Any ideas? I'm gonna research the second code when I can later
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1996 Probe SE
Completely rebuilt motor with FSZE Cams & Pistons.
In addition to lots & lots of modifications

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
-- Undergoing total reconstruction, inside-out --
- Build Thread & Pics Here -
Simply a lot of mods..

1991 Dodge Stealth ES
Engine rebuilt & running like a champ. 56k miles
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:29 pm   #3
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If you replaced the EGR and are getting that code still, maybe there is a block further up the system or the wiring is shitty, I dont know. As for the vacuum pressure just use a gauge, its much easier than listening all over

I am pretty sure the second one refers to a bad purge solenoid, its located to the left of the intake manni (see my diagrams). Actually there may be some issue to idle from that, and unfortunately they dont sell the part anywhere that I can find
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:40 pm   #4
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Check your throttle cable too!
Might explain why your car feels like its hanging up.

just a thought
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Old May 31st, 2010, 3:22 am   #5
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Mate,
I'm having the exact same trouble as you. 94 PGT. I've got the EGR code as well.

Pretty much the only things i haven't tried are,
1) replacing/Cleaning/deleting EGR,
2) replacing/cleaning IAC.
3) bypassing ignition coil.

I've just recieved a replacement IAC valve and i'm going to try that. Otherwise i'm suspecting a faulty condenser to see if that's causing a weak spark.
I've just posted my issue, if i get it sorted i'll post my solution there.

Cheers,
Evan
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Old June 1st, 2010, 3:18 am   #6
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Even with as much work as I've put into the car, I simply can't figure out what the problem is. I don't have any vacuum leaks that I can tell.. My vacuum guage reads with a steady up & down between 15-12psi so thats not right, not sure why though..
I've tried completely adjusting the idle on the car.. Burping the coolant to get possible bubbles out of the IAC Valve.. Adjusting TPS.. Adjusting Throttle screw.. Air bypass screw..


I think I'm going to take my car to a mechanic shop around here that I've taken it to before unless I get any more really good ideas to check.. I'm gonna exhaust what I can before hand though..
Although the car was stock last time they saw it, every time they hit the problem on the head. Hopefully they'll be able to pinpoint this issue for me.
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Follow all of my car photos here
1996 Probe SE
Completely rebuilt motor with FSZE Cams & Pistons.
In addition to lots & lots of modifications

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
-- Undergoing total reconstruction, inside-out --
- Build Thread & Pics Here -
Simply a lot of mods..

1991 Dodge Stealth ES
Engine rebuilt & running like a champ. 56k miles

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Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:55 pm   #7
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A faulty coolant temp sensor can cause the engine idle to be rough and almost stall out, also that can hurt fuel milage because the sensor may be giving the wrong information to the ecu regarding engine temp which plays a big part in the calculation of afr's

Your saying that the problem is there when the car is cold too, it wont be the O2 sensor because the ecu doesnt use that signal until the engine is warmed up out of open loop.

sounds like a problem with your Idle Air Control and possibly coolant temp sensor

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Old June 4th, 2010, 12:24 am   #8
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That bad vacuum reading means that there may be a very small leak somewhere I would guess.

http://www.secondchancegarage.com/public/186.cfm

Go down to the bottom, according to this it could be bad timing effecting your vacuum and therefore the EGR? possible.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 4:27 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaggardBlaze View Post
That bad vacuum reading means that there may be a very small leak somewhere I would guess.

http://www.secondchancegarage.com/public/186.cfm

Go down to the bottom, according to this it could be bad timing effecting your vacuum and therefore the EGR? possible.
This is an excellent source of information. This makes me believe my problem is like Source 11, or maybe Source 15 (rich/lean idle fuel mixture..).. I'm leaning towards Source 11 though.. I wonder If I got adjustable cam gears if I could get the timing more accurate. The head is shaved .010" (.25mm), and makes me wonder if the cams aren't quite matching up with the crank, but I've asked a few buddies and they've all said that small of an amount wouldn't make a big enough difference to be noticed. I'm still iffy about it, but it's kinda hard to think that'd solve the problem cause my old motor did the same thing..

Tonight I hooked a timing light up on it and was going to attempt doing this (http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701026318 ), but come to find my irratic idle prevents me from timing it right with the distributor, or else my timing is totally crazy cause the mark was skipping all over the place under the light. However when reving the engine to 1000rpm the (it runs smooth mostly), the mark looked to be advanced about 16 and moving the distributor did nothing to it. I assume the crank sensor takes total control over the spark and the distributor is only used ofr cranking spark on the OBDII cars.
With the timing light, I noticed when I put it on my ignition coil wire, when I reved the car up the light flashed on all sparks, but as it was decelerating it seemed like it missed two or three times. Is this normal during deceleration?

My temperature guage works inside, and its actually a little on the cool side most of the time (I got 180F thermostat, but I think that's stock). Like the needle is between the O & R in NORMAL.

I guess the O2s are out of the question.. I forgot those little boogers don't function until normal operating temperature

I also feel like the my IAC is going nuts and needs replaced because the idle is going up and down irradicately which is a prime symptom of a bad IAC..

Might I also mention, I drove to domino's yesterday to get some pizza, and on the way there I drove with the AC on for bout 15 minutes there (I rarely drive with the AC on), and when I'm coming off the highway it's a downward hill then a bit uphill to park.. After I got my pizzas, I hoped back in my car and it wouldn't crank :s. I mean it was just turning over and over and over.. so I let the Ebrake down and got back on level ground cranking it the whole time and it finally caught up and fired up. It seems my car has a problem with uphill slopes. Right after it crank it almost didn't make it up the hill to get back on the highway..

So many ideas and conflicts I can't figure out what to do!! I guess I'll try ordering a used functioning IAC on ebay (can't really dish about $400-500 here yet on a new one without knowing both of mine are dead)

--I apologize for the long posts, I just really like to get all my information in the open. lol
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Follow all of my car photos here
1996 Probe SE
Completely rebuilt motor with FSZE Cams & Pistons.
In addition to lots & lots of modifications

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
-- Undergoing total reconstruction, inside-out --
- Build Thread & Pics Here -
Simply a lot of mods..

1991 Dodge Stealth ES
Engine rebuilt & running like a champ. 56k miles

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Old June 5th, 2010, 1:22 am   #10
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the IAC is actually small enough that you could "borrow" one from a junk yard
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Old June 6th, 2010, 2:23 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaggardBlaze View Post
the IAC is actually small enough that you could "borrow" one from a junk yard
Either one of my IACs have the same effect.. They must both be shot or something is wrong else where. I put the TPS at 0.96v which is supposed to be the "ideal" position for most vehicles, and adjusted the Throttle Stop screw a little bit and now it won't idle at all.. heh. I've decided I've had enough headache from it and it's definately going to the shop monday morning.. Hopefully they'll nail the problem before friday and I'll be rolling smooth like it should be
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Follow all of my car photos here
1996 Probe SE
Completely rebuilt motor with FSZE Cams & Pistons.
In addition to lots & lots of modifications

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
-- Undergoing total reconstruction, inside-out --
- Build Thread & Pics Here -
Simply a lot of mods..

1991 Dodge Stealth ES
Engine rebuilt & running like a champ. 56k miles
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Old June 10th, 2010, 4:59 am   #12
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Ok, so the mechanic shop owner decided he didn't want to work on my car because of "too many modifications" so I'm stuck figuring out this one on my own.. so I reckon it's time I learn some serious diagnosing skills.
I'm gonna start with ordering some books.. Some for this car, and some for tuning in general. This because I want to know this stuff for when I get around to turbocharging my eclipse, and because if I understand fuel and ignition more, I'll be able to diagnose the problems I'm having here.
I'm gonna go buy a laptop sometime this week. Unfortunately one of my buddies manage to fry the graphics card on my laptop, so I need to get a new one. With this, I'm going to get an engine management program and cable. Something I can hook up with the car and get a full screen of what the ECU is doing anyway so I know what going on..
When I went and got the car from the shop, I had one of my buddies drive my other car back to my house while I drove the probe. He mentioned he heard the car backfire on the way back so I don't know what's up with that.. Maybe a misfire and the fuel getting pushed into the exhaust.. I swear there must be 5 problems going one at once lol

Probably sounds like I'm going over the top, but I'm fixing to be starting college for this kind of stuff so it wouldn't hurt for me to delve into it now. lol. I'll let you guys know if I have a breakthrough. Thanks for the help so far.
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Follow all of my car photos here
1996 Probe SE
Completely rebuilt motor with FSZE Cams & Pistons.
In addition to lots & lots of modifications

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
-- Undergoing total reconstruction, inside-out --
- Build Thread & Pics Here -
Simply a lot of mods..

1991 Dodge Stealth ES
Engine rebuilt & running like a champ. 56k miles

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Old June 11th, 2010, 3:09 am   #13
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hey this thread rocks,my car has never run better.after i jumped the wires
(ten-grd)my cooling fans came on.so i adjusted the TPS and thay turned off.it says not to adjust your idel while accessories are running,so i slowly adjust the TPS.used a feller guage on the back stop,set that.and set the idel at 650-675.removed the jumper and she runs great.i dont have a voltmeter i kinda shadetreed it ya know.but that little bit of info just went along way with me,and yeh the ole lady says you messin with THAT CAR AGAIN,so what runs great.thanks,...............john
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 3:17 am   #14
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Just installed a new Ignition Coil and installed a used IAC (that makes 3 IACs I have now) and the problem is still there. The sensors are getting less and less few. Before long they all might have been replaced. Haha

I guess now I'm going to start replacing stuff regarding the EGR and the EVAP.. Stupid emissions making our motors run like shit

P1407 - EGR No Flow Detected
P0443 - EVAP Cntrl System Purge Valve C Fault

Going to test the Knock Sensor before hand though.. I noticed while waiting in line idling at McDonalds with my scan tool hooked up that my ignition advance was ranging from " -2.0 to 8.0 " Anyone know major symptoms of a faulty Knock Sensor?
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Follow all of my car photos here
1996 Probe SE
Completely rebuilt motor with FSZE Cams & Pistons.
In addition to lots & lots of modifications

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
-- Undergoing total reconstruction, inside-out --
- Build Thread & Pics Here -
Simply a lot of mods..

1991 Dodge Stealth ES
Engine rebuilt & running like a champ. 56k miles

Last edited by Fenix22; June 23rd, 2010 at 3:23 am.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 1:14 am   #15
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I was just posting to say that i'd fixed my problem which was similar to yours by using an external ignition mod. I had a weak spark and all the symptoms you had.

So now i've got now idea how to help you out. Sorry dude.
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