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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2000 Taurus with a 3.0 L DOHC Duratec engine, 124,000 miles. It has a rough idle and stalls until the engine reaches operating temperature. This problem developed in one day: the engine ran fine cold yesterday morning, and eight hours later when cold it had a rough idle and stalled.

I figured the only thing that would cause a "works one minute and doesn't the next" would be a disconnected or rotted vacuum line, but those are fine. I sprayed the cold running engine with carburetor cleaner and the idle seemed to smooth out when the carb cleaner hit the area circled in the photo below. Could something have loosened to the point where it was fine in the morning, and then eight hours later it is causing a problem? Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Possible upper intake gaskets that reseals with the expansion of the plastic intake manifold. I had a similar issue with my Vulcan engine. Is there any vacuum lines running in back of the area.
 

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I mentioned this possibility of a vacuum leak around the intake gaskets just recently on another thread. Your symptoms mimic how the engine would behave when cold vs warm. As the engine warms the old, hardened gaskets expand enough to fill the void and engine will run fine until the next cold start. Experienced this on two of my own vehicles. Gasket set is cheap and upper intake is not that difficult to remove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the ideas on this.

I will have to check my receipts, but I think the intake gasket was replaced three years ago. If the gaskets are three years old, should I try tightening the intake fasteners first?

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You could try to tighten up the bolts but be careful not to overtorque and break the bolts off. Remember the torque for these bolts are inch-lbs not foot-lbs. There should be a little resistance while tightening. The gaskets are a O-ring style rubber and should last a long time but they do compress and lose resilience over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK - thanks for the advice about torquing the bolts. I will give that a shot, and if no luck, replace the gasket.
 

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OK - thanks for the advice about torquing the bolts. I will give that a shot, and if no luck, replace the gasket.
Be careful, they are small bolts, into brass inserts in plastic. Do over tighten. Some posters here have broken the bolts.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In post #4 above, I mentioned that I thought the intake manifold gaskets had been replaced 3 1/2 years ago when the car was serviced. and I was just going to try tightening the intake bolts. I found my receipt. It was the plenum gaskets that were replaced, so the intake gasket may original. Based on that information I don't think I am going to get away with resolving this by snugging up a few bolts.
 

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I have 2000 24v taurus many years ago. It has the same problem. Rough idle gone when car was hot. It turned the problem of lower intake gasket.

I first changed upper intake gasket as many suggested that time. But the problem remained the same, then someone suggested the lower intake gasket. The problem gone after changing.

I remember the other popular cause of the rough idling was the hose connected to pvc valve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I first changed upper intake gasket as many suggested that time. But the problem remained the same, then someone suggested the lower intake gasket. The problem gone after changing.
Thanks - that's probably what's going on with my car. I regret not thinking ahead and having the lower gaskets replaced when the plenum was pulled.
 

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Had the same problem on a 2000 sable and it turned out to be the lower intake manifold gaskets as well. Not a huge deal to replace, I think it's a common problem on these engines.
 
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