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dave_echidna
Newbie

Reged: 08/17/06
Posts: 1
Bad Idle and poor performance
#1302157 - 08/17/06 04:51 AM

I have an automatic, 2.0L, 1999 FORD CONTOUR LX.
Last year I floored it on the freeway, broke something, and had to have the cam and idler pulleys replaced along with the timing belt. Since that time I have had problems with the car's pick up and idle. It seems that the car has no torque anymore and is prone to stuttering.

When I took it into the Mercury dealership the car was knocking badly and the check engine light was on. After they diagnosed it they said the problem was with the pulleys and it was running rich. After they fixed it the knock was gone, but it was running rough. I took it back and I suspect the richened the mix and disconnected my check engine light. They said I probably had a bad environmental sensor and discouraged me from trying to find out why my car was running rich to begin with.

I now want to sell the car, but what was once a great running vehicle looses power when I accelerate fast and altogether doesn't have the power it once had. I lifted the hood to check the idle and found that it will idle fine for a couple of minutes, then it seems to miss, I hear some knocking, and then it goes back to idling fine. I have had the carb cleaned and now I don't know where to go. Please help! Where should I start? I live in NW Arkansas and all the dealers here seem to be sharks. If need be, I will film the cars idle and post it for people to see.

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sk8token
CEG'er

Reged: 03/19/02
Posts: 281
Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Bad Idle and poor performance new
#1302178 (Re: dave_echidna) 08/17/06 06:47 AM

I just found the problem for terrible performance in my 96 Zetec Contour... a plugged catalytic converter. You can read all about it here:

http://www.contour.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=trouble&Number=1302130&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=7&fpart=1

Tony2005 hit the bullseye suggesting that I pull the upper O2 sensor and drive it and see if performance improves... it improved BIGTIME! Now I just need to figure out if I'm going to gut the cat and leave a big hollow void and create an environmentally unfriendly car, or if I'm going to shell out nearly $300 for a new cat.

--------------------
96 Contour GL 2.0L MTX with Early SE 7 spoke wheels, SE sideskirts, Koni Sport Kit

70 Mustang Sportsroof with mild 351W and '01 Mustang GT wheels

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For Sale
Newbie

Reged: 08/10/06
Posts: 4
Loc: Lynnwood, WA
Re: Bad Idle and poor performance new
#1302181 (Re: sk8token) 08/17/06 07:11 AM

Gut the cat!!!!
I did it on my '98 V6 SE. Its so easy... Dropping the cat is a cinch. To gut it, just slam a metal pipe down there and hit it with a good sledge until you start pushing your way through it. Took me about 10 minutes to get it all emptied out. Free performance and you'll still pass emissions completely fine! Keep in mind on the V6s you still have 2 primary cats, one on each manifold. Those are the ones that are monitored by the 02 sensor anyway...

--------------------
'98 SE V6 Mtx Black - For Sale

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Bad Idle and poor performance new
#1302315 (Re: dave_echidna) 08/17/06 01:56 PM

Originally posted by dave_echidna:
... Since that time I have had problems with the car's pick up and idle. It seems that the car has no torque anymore and is prone to stuttering.

When I took it into the Mercury dealership the car was knocking badly and the check engine light was on. After they diagnosed it they said the problem was with the pulleys and it was running rich. After they fixed it the knock was gone, but it was running rough. I took it back and I suspect the richened the mix and disconnected my check engine light. They said I probably had a bad environmental sensor and discouraged me from trying to find out why my car was running rich to begin with.

I now want to sell the car, but what was once a great running vehicle looses power when I accelerate fast and altogether doesn't have the power it once had. I lifted the hood to check the idle and found that it will idle fine for a couple of minutes, then it seems to miss, I hear some knocking, and then it goes back to idling fine. ...



Welcome Dave-Echidna .
1) They did not adjust the timing correctly.
2) What environmental sensor? They should not disconnect the Check Engine light. You should check if the bulb is disconnected behind the instrument panel (dash) or Fuse 11 is missing from the Power Distribution Box next to the battery. Reconnect it, let the Check Engine light come on. Then take it to Autozone or Advance Auto and scan it (free). Then post the codes and more advice will be forthcoming.

Edit. Timing Belt how to

Read this

And this

And this too



Instrument Panel
http://www.contour.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=trouble&Number=1012899&fpart=1&PHPSESSID=


--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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