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you may need a new fuel injector. or a intake gasket. here is a tip ;with the engine running spray starting fluid or a carb cleaner around the intake at the #5 cylinder if there is any change in idle you need to replace the intake gasket if no change replace the fuel injector
I would check under the distributor rotor and have a real close look at the magnet, this is sandwiched between the plate with the 8 pointed tips ..check the magnet for cracks, this causes some issues such as no start and running rough to some times bucking..also wondering are the ignition wires a cheap set or are they a good set the reason I ask is due to the cheap sets tend to not deliver the spark so good and cause bucking...I know how frustrating It can be....good luck hope this helps.
Sounds like you could have a vacuum leak in the intake manifold due to a faulty gasket, spray the gasket down with parts cleaner, csee if the idle smoothes out if it does you have a bad manifold gasket.
There's alot that can cause this problem. Check battery cables and clean. Drive to autoparts place for free diagnostic. It could be a throttle position sensor, EGR valve, bad gas, bad coil, bad plug wires. Just to name a few. Hopefully the diagnostic test will pinpoint it.
I HAVE A 96 DODGE CARAVAN WITH A 3.8L ENGINE..I HAD SIMILAR PROBLEM AND IT WAS THE UPPER INTAKE PLENUM GASKET HAD PIECE MISSING OUT OF IT..MISSING ON #5 CYLINDER AS WELL..GASKET WAS ONLY ABOUT 10 BUCKS AND I REPLACED IT IN ABOUT 30 MINUTES..TOOK ALL BOLTS OUT OF MANIFOLD AND JUST LIFTED IT UP HIGH ENOUGH TO GET OLD GASKET OUT..MIND YOU..I'M AN EXPERIENCED CHRYSLER TECH AND DO A LOT OF ENGINE WORK..SQUIRT SOME BRAKE CLEANER AROUND UPPER INTAKE AND SEE IF ENGINE SMOOTHES OUT..LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENS
You want to check your charging system. Take a reading at the battery and see what you get. it should be 13.5-14 volts. Check the volts at the cables. with the battery hook up take a reading at the cables. if there is a big difference between the cables and the battery then you need to clean and tighten your cables. If the volts are less then I said before then you need to have your alternator checked.
I'm having the same problem with my 90 2.3L Ranger. I replaced the EGR Valve back in August and the truck ran fine (but the gas mileage was bad) until late December . I knew it needed an O2 Sensor back in August but didn't replace it until last Saturday along with the Idle Air Control Valve, Plugs and Wires. The truck ran fine for a couple minutes then started running like a VW bug! My code reader is now throwing out an EGR failure code, so I guess i'll take the 4 month EGR back and get a new one, and see what that does!