This LX vehicle has 53,207 miles on it. It's garage-kept and aside from the
rough idle is in great shape throughout.
About 100 miles ago, the local Ford dealer replaced the old style intake
manifold on this car with the redesigned metal water channel version. The
original developed the classic cracked water channel right behind the
alternator. Back in '96, as soon as I got the recall notice on this part, I
took this vehicle to the dealer who sold it to me. That dealer informed me,
"oh no, this is not the problem part, no replacement is necessary."
Obviously, it WAS the problem part and a replacement WAS necessary! I
believe Ford even lost a class action suit regarding this very manifold, yet
the dealer informs me Ford will not reimburse me for the $1000 repair
because "the recall is only valid for 7 years". Well, I would have been
spared this nightmare had the dealer who sold the damn car to me replaced
the crummy plastic-channel manifold when I took it back to them!
I was just lucky enough to have the manifold crack and dump coolant right as
I was driving into my garage. Fortunately, this also meant I was able to
turn the engine off before the temp gauge got any higher than midrange --
prior to this incident, the indicator stayed at halfway between coldest and
midrange. Because of the very brief period of time the engine was allowed
to operate at above its usual temp and the fact that it never got past the
"normal" temp indication, I'm confident no engine damage occurred. The
dealer also made no mention of damage, if their opinion counts for anything
Ever since the $1000 dealer repair job, the car has been idling roughly
(stumbling sporadically) and hesitating upon acceleration. The lower the
RPM, the worse the stumbling. When sitting at stoplight in Drive, it nearly
dies. As you might surmise, operating the A/C compressor (a necessity in
south Texas right now) only drags the RPMs down and makes the prob that much
worse. No probs at city or highway speeds. No prob with acceleration or
power once it gets going (i.e., higher than around 900 RPM).
Here's what I've done so far:
1) verified manifold bolts are torqued within spec
2) cleaned injector connector contacts (prior experience on other cars
showed me this can be a recurring source of similar symptoms)
3) cleaned connector contacts for MAF, IAC, EVP, etc. etc. (yes, I had some
free time on my hands)
4) checked for vacuum leaks (hand vac pump)
5) checked EGR action with hand pump
6) checked fuel pressure regulator action with hand pump
7) verified MAF sensor is perfectly clean
8) systematically disconnected the various sensors to monitor effect (IAC
disconnect killed engine; ECT d/c caused fan to engage after about 3-4
seconds; MAF d/c had little to no effect, ditto for TPS, ACT and EVP.
I have no code scanner. I know, I KNOW, but I don't have one right now.
There has been no CEL/MIL indicator throughout this entire ordeal (except,
of course, when I momentarily disconnected the sensors; yes, I reset the EEC
to get rid of the CEL).
Air filter has 736 miles on it (clean as a whistle & lifting filter cover
made no difference in stumbling).
Oil and filter have 567 miles on them.
Fuel filter has 5,897 miles on it.
Tranny fluid (Mercon V) and filter have 6,268 miles on them.
I can't find a vac leak and I can't find anything else wrong with the thing.
I'm at a loss here.
I've no doubt the dealer will dodge and deny when confronted with the
prospect of correcting their recent $1000 error.. oops, I mean uhm "repair"
for free. What can I say? It wasn't doing this before they got their hands
on it and now it is. And no, it wasn't doing this the moment before I
turned the engine off that night of the manifold failure. They definitely
Unfortunately, this car is currently my only means of transportation and I'm
getting tired of hiring cabs to the dealer and back home. The dealer won't
provide a loaner car and they won't drive me home themselves, even though I
only live about 5 miles away! They were, in fact, SO uncooperative that
they flat out refused to stay after hours for even 5 minutes when I informed
them my cab had yet to pick me up, but that I _was_
going to be there _very_
soon. As it turned out, my cabbie rushed me out there just in the nick of
time to pick up the car. Prices keep going up and quality of service keeps
coming down. Is this supposed to make me want to buy another Ford? wow...
Anyway, any ideas on what components to look at next? If a relatively
inexpensive fix, I would gladly repair this myself to avoid future dealer
visits. I'm assuming another $589 (for a chunk of plastic and a bit of
aluminum?!?) in parts won't likely be required to correct this anomaly.
I'd also appreciate any useful ideas on how to: 1) get Ford to agree to
reimburse me for the repair and -- when you've stopped laughing -- 2) get
the dealer to correct their mistake at no charge to me. I hate the idea of
lawsuits, never been to court myself, but I suppose if worse comes to