Help!! 98 gt running poorly - Mustang Evolution

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Old 07-02-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
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Help!! 98 gt running poorly

Hey all, I'm new to the mustang world from bmws. I just bought a 98 gt and it has been skipping out at about 1.7-2k Rpms and sometimes fluctuates at idle. It has no cats on it, and I have some mil elims on the way to stop the catalyst errors, but does anyone have any ideas? The car has some aftermarket performance accessories on it that were on it when I bought it.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmrtopher
Hey all, I'm new to the mustang world from bmws. I just bought a 98 gt and it has been skipping out at about 1.7-2k Rpms and sometimes fluctuates at idle. It has no cats on it, and I have some mil elims on the way to stop the catalyst errors, but does anyone have any ideas? The car has some aftermarket performance accessories on it that were on it when I bought it.
I'd do a thorough check of all ignition systems first. The usual, spark plugs, wires, coils, then check vacuum systems for worn hoses. Keep an eye on your tach see what it's doing. Can you list any spec upgrades? Would help. Hope intake header ain't leaking but could be. I have a 97 vert.

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LAS97GT

I'd do a thorough check of all ignition systems first. The usual, spark plugs, wires, coils, then check vacuum systems for worn hoses. Keep an eye on your tach see what it's doing. Can you list any spec upgrades? Would help. Hope intake header ain't leaking but could be. I have a 97 vert.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Thanks Las! It has an edelbrock throttle body spacer, k&n air filter, and free flowing exhaust. It sounds as though it has some sort of cam in it, but I am not sure. I bought it from my fiance's aunt who bought it that way. She doesn't remember ever doing a tune up on it, and I was planning on doing one this week. I haven't had time to do much with it (bought it Wednesday)
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:50 PM   #5
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I have a 03 gt mine was doing the same I bought a new iac unit but there was still hesitation so my boyfriend stuck a piece of cardboard between the iac and throttle body and cut the holes out of course but it's been running great. His cobra was doing the same and he put the piece of cardboard between his and it worked. Got new spark plugs and cold air intake from American muscle which helps too.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chrissystangGT
I have a 03 gt mine was doing the same I bought a new iac unit but there was still hesitation so my boyfriend stuck a piece of cardboard between the iac and throttle body and cut the holes out of course but it's been running great. His cobra was doing the same and he put the piece of cardboard between his and it worked. Got new spark plugs and cold air intake from American muscle which helps too.
Sounds like your BF made MAF opening smaller to fool the Ecu. Larger mafs require reprogramming. Tuners may have the options but it's only activated by custom tuning, this seems true for most SN95s at least.

---------- Post added at 08:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:07 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmrtopher
Thanks Las! It has an edelbrock throttle body spacer, k&n air filter, and free flowing exhaust. It sounds as though it has some sort of cam in it, but I am not sure. I bought it from my fiance's aunt who bought it that way. She doesn't remember ever doing a tune up on it, and I was planning on doing one this week. I haven't had time to do much with it (bought it Wednesday)
Get a cheap caliper, so while your doing Tune ups measure inner diameters of your TB and MAF. Also check your timing. I check mine via my tuner. Check alternator output. You may need to visit a shop and have them test the amps output. This is done by putting a load on the alt. insist on watching if possible. If the tech doesnt get in the driver seat and increase RPMs to about 2Ks and hold it, he might be fudging it. Low amps destroy batteries. Even if batt shows good, consistency will hurt performance. Can't make power, or supply critical feed back sensors without electrics; period! Pull spark plugs and re-gap to closest setting. You know the rest.

PS. View MAF sensors to ensure the are not damaged. View MAF air temp sensor to ensure its in position most efficient to sense air temp, little bulb like thingie must be viewable to air flow direction. Come back so I. An learn from you.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher
Hey all, I'm new to the mustang world from bmws. I just bought a 98 gt and it has been skipping out at about 1.7-2k Rpms and sometimes fluctuates at idle. It has no cats on it, and I have some mil elims on the way to stop the catalyst errors, but does anyone have any ideas? The car has some aftermarket performance accessories on it that were on it when I bought it.
First off does it do this above 2000 rpms or just up to it?.. If it does it above then I would check for vacuum leaks and do a basic tune up!.. If it doesn't do it above 2000 then it sounds like it would be electrical!.. Also if it's throwing a code, then put a code scanner on it and see what pops up!.. But please keep us posted on what's going on with it!..
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: Help!! 98 gt running poorly

Alright, I hooked it up to my pc last night and found an o2 sensor code (running lean) and cleared it to make sure it's not just a phantom. I will run it again tonight to see if it threw another code. The bulb is blown on the dash so I cannot see the CEL. It only skips below 2k, and at idle it fluctuates between 750 and death. I will try and look for air leaks as soon as I can.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher
Alright, I hooked it up to my pc last night and found an o2 sensor code (running lean) and cleared it to make sure it's not just a phantom. I will run it again tonight to see if it threw another code. The bulb is blown on the dash so I cannot see the CEL. It only skips below 2k, and at idle it fluctuates between 750 and death. I will try and look for air leaks as soon as I can.
If you have no cats then that same code will pop back up on you!.. And did it pop up any other codes or just that one?.. Plus I still think a good tune up, plugs, wires, air filter, will be a good starting point for you!.. Though I doubt it will totally fix your problem, because it does seem like you've an air leak some where!..

Had a similar problem with my Monte-Carlo!..
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:13 PM   #10
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Re: Help!! 98 gt running poorly

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If you have no cats then that same code will pop back up on you!.. And did it pop up any other codes or just that one?.. Plus I still think a good tune up, plugs, wires, air filter, will be a good starting point for you!.. Though I doubt it will totally fix your problem, because it does seem like you've an air leak some where!..

Had a similar problem with my Monte-Carlo!..
I just purchased the MIL eliminators from American Muscle and installed them Wednesday, I was hoping that those plus clearing codes would stop the CEL from coming on and the driveability problem to go away. I just put a new K&N on it and am picking up wires+plugs tonight.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmrtopher

I just purchased the MIL eliminators from American Muscle and installed them Wednesday, I was hoping that those plus clearing codes would stop the CEL from coming on and the driveability problem to go away. I just put a new K&N on it and am picking up wires+plugs tonight.
Let me know how it works out for you!..
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher
Hey all, I'm new to the mustang world from bmws. I just bought a 98 gt and it has been skipping out at about 1.7-2k Rpms and sometimes fluctuates at idle. It has no cats on it, and I have some mil elims on the way to stop the catalyst errors, but does anyone have any ideas? The car has some aftermarket performance accessories on it that were on it when I bought it.
Just thought I would add to this. I noticed tonight that it only happens when it's hot outside. The operating temp doesn't matter, just ambient temp. I live in AL so it's really hot/humid during the day (when the problems happen) and at night when the temps drop, it seemingly runs fine.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher

Just thought I would add to this. I noticed tonight that it only happens when it's hot outside. The operating temp doesn't matter, just ambient temp. I live in AL so it's really hot/humid during the day (when the problems happen) and at night when the temps drop, it seemingly runs fine.
To clarify a little, when the car is running at a normal engine temp and a high ambient temp, I have the issue. But when the car is running at moral engine temps and a lower ambient temp, everything seems fine.

Today's high: 98
Today's low: 73
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher

To clarify a little, when the car is running at a normal engine temp and a high ambient temp, I have the issue. But when the car is running at moral engine temps and a lower ambient temp, everything seems fine.

Today's high: 98
Today's low: 73
I would still do the tune up and check for air leaks!.. It will help ya a bit!.. But I'm starting to think it's more of a sensor going bad!.. Especially if it's only happening at certain temps and not all the time!..

Start with the simplest of solutions and start from there!..
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:01 PM   #15
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Get a can of tb cleaner or starting fluid and spray it around the tb and plenum. If the car is sucking air then it will start running correctly. Now if it's only doing it at certain rpm's start suspecting a tps sensor going bad. They can have a little dead spot in them that won't cause the ecu to throw a code. But like everyone else do a tune up on it first and foremost.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 95v686gt
Get a can of tb cleaner or starting fluid and spray it around the tb and plenum. If the car is sucking air then it will start running correctly. Now if it's only doing it at certain rpm's start suspecting a tps sensor going bad. They can have a little dead spot in them that won't cause the ecu to throw a code. But like everyone else do a tune up on it first and foremost.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:26 AM   #17
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I would still do the tune up and check for air leaks!.. It will help ya a bit!.. But I'm starting to think it's more of a sensor going bad!.. Especially if it's only happening at certain temps and not all the time!..

Start with the simplest of solutions and start from there!..
Alright. Did my tune up today and drove To birmingham (50mi one way). On the way there, it ran great, but still fluctuated on idle. But on my way home tonight it started to cut out/lose power multiple times and wouldn't stop unless I either kicked out cruise and pressed the clutch to let it idle, or floor the accelerator. I pulled into a gas station to check if i had a lose plug wire and noticed that a vacuum line that runs out of the throttle body to some sort of sensor is dry rotted to the point that it kinks up while the engine is running. I dont know if that's the problem, if I'm losing a coilpac, or my tps is shot.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:06 AM   #18
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That vacuum line running to a sensor on the throttle body?
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher

Alright. Did my tune up today and drove To birmingham (50mi one way). On the way there, it ran great, but still fluctuated on idle. But on my way home tonight it started to cut out/lose power multiple times and wouldn't stop unless I either kicked out cruise and pressed the clutch to let it idle, or floor the accelerator. I pulled into a gas station to check if i had a lose plug wire and noticed that a vacuum line that runs out of the throttle body to some sort of sensor is dry rotted to the point that it kinks up while the engine is running. I dont know if that's the problem, if I'm losing a coilpac, or my tps is shot.
Any vacuum lines that are dry rotted, more than likely have a leak!.. I would start replacing them!..
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:43 PM   #20
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Any vacuum lines that are dry rotted, more than likely have a leak!.. I would start replacing them!..
Alright. I replaced the vacuum lines that were dry rotted this afternoon, and on my way home from O'Rielly's it bucked almost the whole way home and died at a red light. I checked the codes on it and it pulled up p0136, p0141, p1130, p1131, p1150, p1151. I know the first two involve the o2 sensors.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:28 PM   #21
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P1130 Lack of Upstream Heated Oxygen Sensor Switch -Adaptive Fuel Limit - Bank No. 1

P1131 Lack of Upstream Heated Oxygen Sensor Switch -sensor indicates running lean on bank 1.

P1150 and P1151 same for bank 2

Change the o2 sensors imo or see y they arent gettin heated up properly to cycle as they should

---------- Post added at 12:28 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:24 AM ----------

Ps p0136 and p0141 have to do with the o2 sensor on bank 1 the secod sensor downstream
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher

Alright. I replaced the vacuum lines that were dry rotted this afternoon, and on my way home from O'Rielly's it bucked almost the whole way home and died at a red light. I checked the codes on it and it pulled up p0136, p0141, p1130, p1131, p1150, p1151. I know the first two involve the o2 sensors.
Ok after doing some digging it seems that all these codes are from the O2 sensors!.. Though the later ones may be caused from varicose types of air leaks!.. Either from the exhaust or intake!.. I would suggest looking to see if you can find any!.. Any of these types of leaks can cause your sensors to read wrong and there for your car to run like crap!..

Now when your car died at the red light was that the first time it has done that?.. And was that after you replaced the dry rotted lines?..
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:23 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 1996mustang
P1130 Lack of Upstream Heated Oxygen Sensor Switch -Adaptive Fuel Limit - Bank No. 1

P1131 Lack of Upstream Heated Oxygen Sensor Switch -sensor indicates running lean on bank 1.

P1150 and P1151 same for bank 2

Change the o2 sensors imo or see y they arent gettin heated up properly to cycle as they should

---------- Post added at 12:28 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:24 AM ----------

Ps p0136 and p0141 have to do with the o2 sensor on bank 1 the secod sensor downstream
Do you think any of these could be because of missing cats?

Eturner - i replaced those lines before it died at the red light and it was not the first time.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:24 AM   #24
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The p0131 and 0140 codes are directly because of no cats!.. The others are partially so, but there is another underlying issue going on!.. It could be because the sensors may be going bad!.. But all the other codes can also be due to air leaks in the intake or exhaust!..

---------- Post added at 08:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:24 AM ----------

Ment p0136 and p0141!.. Lol
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:13 AM   #25
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Get the tb cleaner and spray around the gasket surfaces on tb and plenum. It will show you if you have any leaks.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:20 AM   #26
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One suggestion, get some throttle body cleaner and clean the idle air control valve. I had the same problem on a 98 I had. Would run like crap and die at idle. Worked for a while then had to replace it eventually.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 95v686gt
Get the tb cleaner and spray around the gasket surfaces on tb and plenum. It will show you if you have any leaks.


---------- Post added at 11:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:08 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95v686gt
Get the tb cleaner and spray around the gasket surfaces on tb and plenum. It will show you if you have any leaks.
Go for broke and do both!...
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:33 PM   #28
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+100000000. Agreed do both and clean your maf while you are in there
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #29
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Re: Help!! 98 gt running poorly

Alright, so I have checked for vacuum leaks and leaks around the tb. I cleaned the MAF and Temp sensor last night, then cleared codes and went out. Checked the codes this morning and will list them below. I am getting about 18mpgs driving mostly highway. I sent AmericanMuscle.com an email about the MIL eliminators not working and hopefully they can tell me something. I wander if the o2 sensors are bad and the MIL elims are throwing it off worse. Its just driving me crazy! I found some high flow universal cats on amazon.com for $50 a piece. I may just buy those and get my local muffler shop to weld them in.

p0141
p0136
p1130
p1131
p1150
p1151
p1152
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:55 PM   #30
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Ok i know every one is saying the cats are doing it( well lack there of) and u would agree except one small detail..... i run a 96 with no cats at all, a mac intake (4 to 4 1/2 intake pipe with a 6 inch filter) 75 mm tb and plenum. Only codes i got is that im runnin too lean ( though in reality im running rich i backfire ). So i wouldnt jump to no cats on first basis. But i agree it could do it and the o2 sensors going bad. I changed my o2s and also found when i sounded like a carbed car that my plugs were toast. Suggestion is clean tb and iac. Check the gasket thickness as well on the iac. If anything make your own iac gasket from a not so thin cardboard piece. Then also check the vacuum behind the olenum that goes to the evap purge valve. Check the vacuums comin from and to the charcoal canister located on the pass side fender inside fender and inside engine bay. And also check for grounds loose or covered in oil just in case. This is my suggestion. Oh and btw if anyone is thinking this, dont im not on any tune either. Still stock tune oh and ps. I also have 19lb high impedance injectors from a crown vic.

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Old 07-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #31
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I would bet its as easy as cleaning the iac valve. A sticking valve will throw all kind of codes.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #32
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I would check for vacuum leaks, after you have that taken care of,iw would start looking at fuel,I would start with the fuel filter and then check pressure , after that I would start looking at the oxygen sensors
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:30 PM   #33
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Re: Help!! 98 gt running poorly

One of my friends is a mechanic locally. He checked it out and thinks it could be one of the coilpacks. I found them on rockauto for 25 a piece so I bought them. Hopefully these might help a little bit. I am thinking my idle issue may get resolved tonight though. My idle/tension pulleys are squeaking badly. I will be replacing these tonight. I noticed that the idle speed drops significantly when the pulleys make louder squeals.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:54 PM   #34
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Ok, it's been a while. Just as a refresher, I've replaced all ignition components, checked vacuum leaks, and replaced the air filter. I do need to add this to the MO: it is now only messing up when the car is at normal operating temp. I have replaced the tps. Also, my friend I mentioned earlier replaced the maf/afm (I am unsure of the difference) and the car ran fine for a few days but is now back to its old tricks. It had many codes stored in the ecu, and just as a test, I removed the mil eliminators I bought from AM and it dropped down to just one: p1131 which is an o2 sensor and/or overly lean condition (even though the exhaust will just about knock you down with the fumes.) It is also notable that I have an offroad h-pipe.

The car skips when the engine stays at the same rpm for a while, I.e. cruising or idling. To remedy, I have to either floor/release the pedal or downshift.

Im desperate here guys! As soon as I get this fixed I need a clutch and shocks. I am taking suggestions from everyone and there may or may not be free beer in for whoever gives the winning suggestion!!!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Cmrtopher
Ok, it's been a while. Just as a refresher, I've replaced all ignition components, checked vacuum leaks, and replaced the air filter. I do need to add this to the MO: it is now only messing up when the car is at normal operating temp. I have replaced the tps. Also, my friend I mentioned earlier replaced the maf/afm (I am unsure of the difference) and the car ran fine for a few days but is now back to its old tricks. It had many codes stored in the ecu, and just as a test, I removed the mil eliminators I bought from AM and it dropped down to just one: p1131 which is an o2 sensor and/or overly lean condition (even though the exhaust will just about knock you down with the fumes.) It is also notable that I have an offroad h-pipe.

The car skips when the engine stays at the same rpm for a while, I.e. cruising or idling. To remedy, I have to either floor/release the pedal or downshift.

Im desperate here guys! As soon as I get this fixed I need a clutch and shocks. I am taking suggestions from everyone and there may or may not be free beer in for whoever gives the winning suggestion!!!
You can save your beer money!.. Just get it running good!.. Try Seafoaming the F**** out of it!.. Other than that I'm out of ideas!..
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