Thanks for the picture, behlinla. My setup was a bit different, but it was enough for me to finally find the thing. And I'm nimble handed enough that I only had to remove the intake boot.
I started feeling around the PCV
hose for a collapse but felt nothing wrong. Luckily I kept running my fingers over it until I caught a loose bit of tape hanging from one end of it. Tape? So I yanked the hose off and lo and behold, the entire thing was wrapped in tape. So I began to unwrap it; well over 5 feet of black electrical tape, greasy and burnt. Once I had it all off, I had my problem staring right at me - a collapsed hose. It had also broken apart on one end.
This is why I hate owning used cars! Who does this ****? To have taped it off that heavily required removing it entirely in the first place. Replace the thing! More over, what is taping over a collapse going to do exactly? Also, the mechanic I had do my tuneup after purchasing the car told me he'd deal with the PCV/hose if they needed replacing. BAH!!!
So I left my car in pieces and walked a half mile over to Autozone and got a new PCV
for $2.99. They didn't have the hose however. So I left and walked down to the O'Reily a few blocks away, and they didn't have it either. Very weird that the hose itself is so hard to buy. But they tossed me a scrap piece of hose which I was able to rig when I got back home. Though I've already ordered the Motorcraft part from Amazon.
Just silly though. Makes me wonder what else was quarter-assed on repair. *sigh* Given the history of the car, I'm gonna assume the fact that the PCV
I removed was a Motorcraft unit means that it was the original.
Haven't had enough time to drive the car around to see if there's much of a difference. Though, unless it was placebo effect, I seem to have a bit more power from the pedal.