Question about 1988 Mercury Tracer

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1988 Tracer, MT A/C. Just bought it from a FOAF. Hard starting, poor idle. Likes to idle at 1,500 RPM. See lots of references to the Idle Air Control Valve, but can't find a repair manual (Haynes and Chilton do not have one for this car). Where is the IACV? Parts stores list a round disk with ports on it, http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=45259 for about $18, but where is it located? Also, which ports do the advance/****** lines go to on the distributor? Top to top of throttle body abd bottom port to the bottom, or other way 'round? Thanks. Any idea where I can get a book for this?

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  • allenbh May 02, 2010

    The engine is a 1.6L B6, SOHC. Multi-port fuel injection. Distributor has 2 ports - advance and ******. I still need to check the timing.

    The idle won't stay put and it does not like to run at low speed after starting. In the good old days I'd pull out the choke knob...

    Looking for the correct vacuum connections to the distributor and the correct method to set the base idle.

    Bill



  • allenbh May 02, 2010

    Tracer is Mercury. Same as the Mazda 323,

  • allenbh May 02, 2010

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks. That's a good list to work down. I have sprayed a can or carb cleaner all around the air system to see if it sniffed into a vacuum leak. None found yet. I wondered if the top port of the distributor went to the top or bottom port. I'll look at it tomorrow. Quite reasonable that it has been switched.

    Also - what is the method to set the idle air? Isn't that the big screw next to the TPS?

    The Idle Air Control Valve must be under or inside the plenum - I cannot see it.

    Will also take fuel pressure and timing readings tomorrow. The vacuum reads about 20" at 1,500 - 2,000 RPM, which seems fine to me.

    I am watching an issue of the electrical / vacuum service manual on Ebay - might be money well spent.

    Yes - please forward me how to check the computer for faults. I like my Plymouth (OBD-1) - an injector failed the other day and I just fixed it. Flash the key 3X to get the faults - easy.



  • allenbh May 03, 2010

    Thanks to all who answered. Also thank you for the links. I have the owner's manual, but it is bretty basic. I did go to Rockauto and order the service manual for the small Fords - it does cover this car. Hopefully to the detail I need. I can update with the repair I found after it is done.

    Thanks again,
    Bill

  • allenbh May 03, 2010

    Thanks to all who answered. Also thank you for the links. I have the owner's manual, but it is bretty basic. I did go to Rockauto and order the service manual for the small Fords - it does cover this car. Hopefully to the detail I need. I can update with the repair I found after it is done.

    Thanks again,
    Bill

  • allenbh May 03, 2010

    Thanks to elshaddai159 and to justaskjoe -

    I have ordered the service manual and am going to make the LED tester and check for faults... Will update the question when I get numbers to report!

    Bill

  • allenbh May 03, 2010

    Thanks to elshaddai159 and to justaskjoe -

    I have ordered the service manual and am going to make the LED tester and check for faults... Will update the question when I get numbers to report!

    Bill

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Hi,

Is tracer the make or model of the vehicle?

Could I have the make of this vehicle? And the engine make, model code.

Posted on May 02, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • Jason Maurirere
    Jason Maurirere May 02, 2010

    Thnkas Bill,



    Ok the 2 vacum lines or ports are just a fine and corse vacum advance so one of the vacum lines will have a little round restrictor on it and one won't.

    The one with the restrictor goes to the bottome and the other to the top vacum port on the distibutor vacum advance unit.



    Now it could be a large number of problems so I will send you a list of things to check which I hope you will help you narrow the fault down.



    - Check fuel system

    Fuel pressure and filter

    - Air intake system and any vacum leaks

    - Check your throttle cable

    - Check injectors

    - Check your MAF sensor

    - Check Engine coolant sensor

    - Idle air control valve (IAC)

    - Closed throttle position on the throttle position switch



    Just work through these few for now, if you require any information don't hesistate to contact me.



    Thanks



    Jason

  • Jason Maurirere
    Jason Maurirere May 02, 2010

    Bill,



    Something else that you could do is access the ECM and check if any fault codes come up. You will need an LED tester.



    If you are able to do this I can give you the information you need to do the test, this will find out the exact fault straight away provided it has logged the fault.

  • Jason Maurirere
    Jason Maurirere May 03, 2010

    Hi Bill,



    Ok you need to make sure that you know which terminal of the LED tester is positive.



    Find the DLC ( Data Link Connector ) which you should find in the engine bay. Up along the firewall or near the battery it has 6 terminals (female) and should be mounted on its own.



    Once you have found this, if you are looking straight down on top of the connector you will see a tab it should be at the top of the connector.



    Connect the Positve of the LED tester to the 2nd terminal at the top and the Negative to the 1st terminal at the top.



    Make sure your ignition is off when you do this.



    Then switch the ignition on and the LED should light up for 3 seconds. Then it will flash a code if there are any. The long flash's are the first digits of the code and the short flash's are the second digits for the code.



    E.G. - 21 ( long,long,short )



    Write these down if there are any and I can pin point the problem for you.



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