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96 Wagon AT loss of power

03-22-2010, 12:55 PM
I had recently gutted my CAT because it was blocked and then I needed to replace my K-Frame on same vehicle. When I tried to remove the CAT again and one of the bolts broke so I needed to remove the exhaust manifold.
After replacing the gasket and reinstalling everything the car seems to have lost power on a straightaway and uphill.
I tried to find any kinked vacuum lines and could not. I did recheck the routing guide on the hood and everything is correct. It almost seems like it wants to BACKFIRE!!

03-23-2010, 09:21 AM
I wonder if the muffler could be plugged up? I would unhook the exhaust from the cat back and take it for a spin and see if the problem goes away. If it doesn't then at least you can rule the exhaust system out. :2cents:

03-23-2010, 01:00 PM
I did disconnect the muffler and it was the same.The only thing i did not rule out so far was the exhaust in the middle(flex pipe resonator)
It doesn't blow freely when i'm behind it with my hand at the end and someone is giving it gas it actually seems to lose power out of the muffler when they gave it gas.
I guess what i have left to do is to disconnect the middle section and see what happens then. maybe that middle section is clogged somehow. I never had a car with that problem but thats not to say it couldn't happen.
I also have a very strong exhaust odor comming into the cab:uhoh:

03-24-2010, 11:36 AM
Try pulling it all off and see. If you have access to a vacuum gage I believe a clogged exhaust is indicated by a low vacuum reading which is caused by the back pressure.

03-27-2010, 04:00 PM
Nothing worked. I took the exhaust off and it still runs the same. I also cleaned out the MAFS and throttle body with same results..I noticed it has an enclosed pimple type Idle Air Control Valve that everyone I talked to said should not be serviced or cleaned with intake or MAF cleaner.

03-28-2010, 01:07 PM
Cleaning the Idle Air Control Valve is an okay idea - though it will only help with idle control. At any medium or larger throttle opening, the Idle Air Control Valve wouldnt have any affect - even if it wasnt working. The way I would clean it would be just by squirting some -throttle body- cleaner into its inlet, while moving the throttle valve butterfly open and shut a few times. It may extend the life of the IACV, I doubt it would hurt it.
If you have smell of exhaust in the car, it might be a damaged -flex section-. That should be just a straight through, but the inner liner could be messed up, might even have some pieces of a broken up cat.conv. matrix blocking it. Its a part of the cat. conv. assembly, but I got mine replaced separately at an independent muffler shop. They just sliced out the old flex section and mig welded a new one in. Cost was $50. I figure its only a matter of time before I have to get the flex section replaced on my other two Escorts - both 2nd gen. LXs.

03-29-2010, 06:47 AM
What is a "K frame" anyway? :confused:

03-30-2010, 04:40 PM
This may be related to the o2 sensor on the cat. The computer is getting screwed up readings now and is having trouble mixing the fuel.
You should replace your cat. I recently got one online for around $100.

03-30-2010, 04:41 PM
What is a "K frame" anyway? :confused:

The cross member under the engine.

06-14-2010, 02:56 PM
Sorry it has been so long for me to respond
K-frame is...under the car bolted to the undercarriage/control arm, steering rack and tranny support beem are
As for the CAT thats what it was.after i gutted the thing it caused incorrect o2 sensor reading causing wierd idling and driving. I got a new one and had to replace the O2 sensor

06-14-2010, 05:42 PM
Hooray! Point for me!

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