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Vacuum leaks work like this. A small hose breaks, you don't notice a engine problem, but the gas mileage goes down a bit. As the leak progresses, mileage goes down more. A large leak you notice the engine runs rough at idle. Combine this with clogged air, fuel filters and clogged catalytic converters and it will start killing the engine at stops and eventually go down the road. But to answer your question, No the line going to the diff, wont affect the engine performance. Because the PCM will compensate for the small leak. More fuel.
Some makers used Vacuum releases for their emergency brakes which had a Vacuum switch connected to the shift assembly. This would account for a stumble if Vacuum vented out through this switch.
More common for shifting stumble to occur from Park to Drive, engaging a load on the engine, not to stumble to a freewheeling Park position. Sounds like idle speed control is sluggish to stabilize the motor.
You also have idle speed control problem with A/C, kind of shows that A/C was what kept the engine running because when you turned the A/C off, the car died.
I am going to give you some Websites for wiring diagrams. Alldatadiy.com amd Autozone.com with free wiring info upon registering your vehicle.
It seems that the base Idle speed control is not working and the A/C idle speed control is.
Also check for Vacuum leaks on the intake manifold by spraying water from a pumpbottle on the seams of the gaskets.
Check ignition Relay or ignition switch for random cutouts. The fusebox layout is on the Autozone site.
If it's cooling properly while in motion, then it's most likely the fans aren't kicking in. Check fuses for the fans and also the temp switch that controls the fans. Also, in a pinch situation, if out on the road and it starts overheating, roll down the windows, and turn the heater on full blast with the fan blowing...it''ll be uncomfortable, but your heater core can act as an emergency radiator... K
You should get the codes checked and start from there. My Kia Sportage was also backfiring and running rough, after checking the codes. It had misfires on two cylinders. I did a tune up and had to replace one of the ignition coils. Now it runs great!