SOHC Starting Idling Rough Questions | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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SOHC Starting Idling Rough Questions

Fred Garvin

Well-Known Member
September 18, 2001
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Explorer Sport

My 98 SOHC Sport has been starting fine, but when cold, the RPMs have been racing up and down until I drive it for a block or two. It tries to level the rpms at idle, but the rpms go down (sometimes quitting) and then races back up to 2000--2500 rpms. After a short drive though, all's well. It doesn't seem able to find a steady cold idle--instead it goes up and down until warmed up, then it idles fine

On one or two occassions, the check engine light came on.

Any ideas before I let the Ford dudes check it out?

Search for the 00M12 service bullitin. If you have under 70,000 miles this will be covered.

What the 00M12 service bullitin is for the upper/lower intake gaskets as well as a cam tensioner. Read up on it before going to the dealership. I had the same problem and ended up paying for it without knowing about the service bullitin and Ford wouldn't reinburse me for the service.

Thanks for the suggestion. I've read about the 00M12 but I didn't think it would relate to a rough start.

I've scheduled an appt with the Ford dude tomorrow, and it's good to have some info in hand. I enjoy working on my Explorer (nearly a full time job in itself), but if it's covered, then I'll let the pros do the work.

Thanks again for the seacrh suggestion!

I had the same problem on my 98 SOHC. Bought the 00M12 kit from Ford for $48 and spent 6 hrs. doing the job. Runs like a champ now. There's an excellent write-up on this site step by step on how to do it.