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Surging power and bogging down


Elite Procrastinator
September 25, 2008
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City, State
connellsville pa
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 sport SOHC 4.0
I'm having a few issues. (SOHC). Yesterday all the issues occured several times. Rougher than normal idle, mildly surging power when accelerating from lights,chugging/bucking while under light load, and it will bog down and can hardly get out of its own way until I floor it and wait several seconds.

When it bogs down it feels like it almost shifts up when it shouldn't be. I will be accelerating and then the RPMs drop low and it its really bogged down and I have to bury the pedal and it takes atleast 5 seconds until it gives 2 quick jerks and I have power again. Almost like it did a double downshift. Not sure if it is indeed the transmission or just the engine running poor.

The chugging, same issue, not sure if the trans is slipping, or the engine is misfiring. Applying more gas smooths the chugging out. Usually happens when cruising along under 2k rpms with very little engine load. I thought it was just in OD, but it has occurred in other gears.

I have noticed it rained a lot yesterday, and last time the bogging down issue occurred was in the rain. But I can't be sure it hasn't happened when dry out...

The chugging issue under light load happens several times a week, rain or no rain. Same with a rough and often surgey idle(idle does seem to be worse in rain maybe)

I know thats long winded but, should I be thinking it is a transmission or engine tune up issue. I have plugs/wires and a fuel filter to put in, but I'm looking for what you guys think... Save up for a transmission failure?


April 27, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 sport
Use a squirt bottle and spray the plug wires during idle at night and you will see/hear the leaking spark.