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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, the car is an 03 Mercury Sable, 168k MI, Duratec 30 3.0L DOHC
The problem - rough idle, both in and out of gear, will rev. but stumbles badly, turning on the ac makes the problem worse, has no effect if lights/radio is on, can downshift to get to a high rpm at crusing speeds, but when trying to accelerate the engine stumbles hard, makes a "sputtery burrrrrrrrr" noise and throws a flashing check engine light, the check enging light does not persist (so I can't pull codes). It cruises ok, but does not want to "go," and also starts up without issue.

Maintence history - oil changes every 5-7k miles (I know its bad but I'm in college and poor), spark plugs and wires were done at 120k, upper intake gasket was done (since you have to remove it to see the back plugs, most sensors have been replaced already (MAF, TPS, O2 on both manifolds, and the vaccume lines were replaced at around the same time). And the air filter was just done less than 500mi ago.

I already expierenced the "P0171 and P0174 Solution" with the rotted/collapsed vacume lines/pcv valve, and fixed that after going thru all the sensors listed above (I should have read the forums first). But I didn't see anything related to this...

Any thoughts on what I should start to look at first?
 

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How does your coil pack look? Any hairline fractures or cracks on it?
 

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QUOTE (Bull Geek @ May 13 2009, 05:22 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=724896
How does your coil pack look? Any hairline fractures or cracks on it?[/b]
I don't know...the stumble started on the way home from work last night. But on my way to get lunch today it actually thru a check engine light, so tomorrow I will pull the codes and see whats thrown. I hope not to have to take the upper intake apart again, but I have that funny feeling I may have to... Ugh
 

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You don't have to remove the UIM to get to the coil pack...just have to be creative with your use of tools :) I would also suggest removing the cowling before removing the UIM in the future...gives you the extra room you need without the hassle of dealing with the UIM.
 

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Well, since I've never taken that apart before...is there a how to on taking the cowl apart (tomorrows day project)...
 

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Ok, had the codes pulled and this is what I got:
P0303 - Cyl 3 misfire
P0302 - Cyl 2 misfire
P0316 - Misfire 1st 1000 revolutions

So, it sounds like you were right. I'm going to pickup a coil pack and plugs and see just what they look like this weekend. If wanted I can post pictures.

I'm wondering if the seafoam I put in the tank fouled the plugs...I'll find out when I pull 'em.
 

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QUOTE (burnboy322 @ May 13 2009, 10:04 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=724951
Well, since I've never taken that apart before...is there a how to on taking the cowl apart (tomorrows day project)...[/b]
With the cowling in place, things are pretty tight back there:


Get a firm grasp on the passenger side cowling and pull away from the windshield. It's held in place with 4 metal tabs that snap into 4 metal brackets on the body of the car. Get your wipers to stop when they are 1/2 way through their sweep (so pointing up) and turn the car off, pull up on that side of the cowling. You'll see some either 6, 7 or 8 mm bolts that are deep in the cowling area. Take the bolts out and remove the lower cowling. Voila...extra clearance! Like in this picture:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, well first things first...you were right! The coil pack had fractures all over it, most of them were off the wire posts, several large cracks down the side and even one in the silicone in the bottem. The plugs weren't bad but since I pulled them already I decided to just swap them out. Lastly, and oddly enough, the plugs that were throwing miss-fire codes, their wires pulled apart as I tried to get to the plugs. The only bad thing was I didn't have the receipt for them (they were lifetime replacement autolite's) so I had to buy new ones.

Thank you for your imput, I probibally would not have check the coil pack for cracks so closely had you not said to. Those cracks were rather hard to see until you got the light on them just right.
 

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All that heat back there does a number on coil pack for the 01-03 Duratecs. Glad you got your issues squared away B)
 
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