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2000 Ford Taurus 135k miles, Duratec, 24vdohc after sitting overnight, on start engine idles then kicks down to about 8 - 900 rpm after a few seconds it kicks down further to about 600 and runs rough for about 15 seconds, almost stalling, before catching itself and returning to 900. I have tried just about everything. Had it in the shop. $450 & a fuel pump later. Same problem. I have replaced the IAC valve & the MAF sensor. Same problem. Had it the shop for wires and plugs, tune-up. They claim no problem. Next morning. Same. Been searching for vacuum leak but so far, nada. Any suggestions?? Seems to be a cold idle problem but I am left scratching head. Time to shoot it??
 

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The idle step down sounds correct, so the new IAC is probably OK. This is almost an automated answer because it's so common, but around 10 years old most Duratecs start suffering from vacuum leaks at various hoses around the intake and the upper & lower intake gaskets themselves. Usually worst when cold, as you describe.
 
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