97 Escort problems

1997 Ford Escort, has 130,000 km on it. Equipped with manual transmission. Please help me diagnose what is wrong with it.
Here are the symptoms:
1."Service engine soon" light camp up last night.
2. Intermittently, idel speed is unstable; it fluctuates quickly between 500-100 rpm. It feels like stalling. This happened 1 week before the service enging light showed up. 3. When (2) happens, the exhaust fume has pungent smell. 4. When (2) happens, engine pullback is stronger when lifting the gas before chaning the gear. Clearly feel it in 2nd and 3rd gears. 5. High pitch noise from the dashboard (like whistle), noticeable when turn off the engine. This noise has been going on for 6 months with no other symptoms.
Thank you.
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Sounds like something I'm chasing. Aside from the high pitch noise... I too have had the SES light pop up on several occassions. First off you need to get your code scanned. Over here, Autozone will do this for free.
First time the SES light fired (P0303 engine misfire - cyl #3)... fuel injector #3 had to be replaced. This was *after* I had already replaced the plugs, wires and coil pack. My guess is that none of the electrical parts needed to be replaced.
Second time my '97 Escort started running like crap (no SES light this time) I could clearly hear a vacuum leak under the hood. I had to replace the 90 degree rubber elbow that feeds into the line for the PCV valve. Car ran like a champ (very smooth) after that.
Now, again I'm chasing down a SES light. This one is troubling since after diagnosing the P0301 code I was convinced it was another bad/clogged injector. My car also has nearly 130k on it. I replaced injector #1 as well as the plugs. I also tested the coil pack and just recently replaced the wires. Now... I'm getting 2 (!) codes firing, P0301 and P0303. I ended up dropping off the car to a trusted mechanic as I'm done trying the shotgun approach.
I hope you have better luck than me.
Greg
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disconnect and plug vacuum line(s) leading into cabin.
Mean plug the nipple on the vac log, of course.
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Thanks for your help. I am not a mechanic, so would you please give more detail? Which line leading to cabin? Does that have someting to do with the idling and engine performance? Or just the noise from the dashboard?
PS. I changed air filter and PCV valve today. I seems better, but the problem doesn't completely go away.
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Both, maybe
And changing PCV was a good idea, they seldom fall apart but that HAS happened to me, esp the plastic bodied ones.
There is a nipple on your intake that has tubing connected, which may go to firewall where it branches to various other tubing. Your power brake booster also has a vac line connected on or near that.
To eliminate that whole system, disconnect that main vac feed from the manifold and plug that manifold port. If problem goes away, then reconnect and test each branch individually.
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