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Rough Idle After Valve Cover Gasket Job

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Old 12-16-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
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Rough Idle After Valve Cover Gasket Job

So I went all out and replaced my valve covers, valve cover gaskets, intake plenum gaskets, cam plugs, spark plugs, plug wires, and a few other things. I also changed the oil, cleaned the throttle body/intake manifolds, and cleaned the MAF/air filter. When I put it all back together and started it, the truck ran great. As it began to idle down from the cold start, it started to sound like it was missing. Once it got to normal idle it really sounded like it was missing. It sounded like a Harley or like it had a cam in it. If I rev it up, it sounds normal. I checked for any vacuum lines not connected but they all seemed to be in place. No CEL as well. I also removed the negative from the battery and the EFI relay for 30 mins to reset the system. Not sure what the problem can be. I leaning towards something with the throttle body. Maybe the IAC valve? I did not remove and clean this. Just wondering why it would act up now? Thanks for any help!
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Recheck all of your plug wires.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:45 AM   #3
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Definitely check your IAC
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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Why did you do the 'gasket job' in the first place? Was there an initial problem?

You could have one or more vacuum lines connected to the wrong ports. Did you mark them before you disconnected stuff?
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:20 AM   #7
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how come new valve covers? were the stock ones toast?


definitely have something hooked up wrong, throwing any codes or check engine light yet?
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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Check all your connections to all sensors. Make sure, as mentioned, that you did not connect a vacuum line to the wrong port. Double check your brake booster vacuum line. If you have access to a data reader look at your fuel trim numbers after the engine has warmed up. If the fuel trim is a positive number, the engine is running lean, and you have some sort of vacuum leak. It happens to the best of us, but it is very possible that when you did the intake manifold gaskets, that something was not tightened down properly, or a gasket shifted during installation. Usually a small bottle of propane, and a propane torch tip can be used to find vacuum leaks. Simply turn the propane torch on WITHOUT lighting it, on a low setting, and move the tip around the intake manifold. When you get close to the leak the engine will start to run smoother and may increase slightly in RPMs due to the vacuum leak drawing in the propane into the engine.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tan4x4 View Post
Why did you do the 'gasket job' in the first place? Was there an initial problem?

You could have one or more vacuum lines connected to the wrong ports. Did you mark them before you disconnected stuff?
I did the job because the gaskets were leaking oil badly. And I took pics of everything under the hood before the tear down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bldegle2 View Post
how come new valve covers? were the stock ones toast?


definitely have something hooked up wrong, throwing any codes or check engine light yet?
I got new valve covers because I cracked one side by over tightening the bolt. I will be checking all connections today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaToy1997 View Post
Check all your connections to all sensors. Make sure, as mentioned, that you did not connect a vacuum line to the wrong port. Double check your brake booster vacuum line. If you have access to a data reader look at your fuel trim numbers after the engine has warmed up. If the fuel trim is a positive number, the engine is running lean, and you have some sort of vacuum leak. It happens to the best of us, but it is very possible that when you did the intake manifold gaskets, that something was not tightened down properly, or a gasket shifted during installation. Usually a small bottle of propane, and a propane torch tip can be used to find vacuum leaks. Simply turn the propane torch on WITHOUT lighting it, on a low setting, and move the tip around the intake manifold. When you get close to the leak the engine will start to run smoother and may increase slightly in RPMs due to the vacuum leak drawing in the propane into the engine.
I do not have access to a data reader at the moment. However I will check all connections again. Thanks for the detailed response!

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Originally Posted by tacomataco2 View Post
Probably left something unplugged.. Check everything. Though harleys do sound sweet...
They do sound sweet

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Originally Posted by BostonBilly View Post
Also check for vac leak
Will do.

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Originally Posted by JLee50 View Post
Recheck all of your plug wires.
Will do.

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Originally Posted by wolfgang123 View Post
Definitely check your IAC
Will do this also. Would love to fix it without taking the TB off again...
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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So I checked all connections and then started it up. It did the same thing. Decided to take it for a spin (did not do this last night). After about a 10 min drive around the block and on a small road where I got up to 45 mph, it seems to be idling fine. However it does seems to be a tad bit high (850-900) w/ no AC. Usually it idles at about 700-750. I'll see what happens from here... Thinking back on it, I may have damaged the TPS while LOADING my TB with intake cleaner. But who knows. I think too much. It seems ok now so I'll let it be and see how it goes..
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
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Spoke too soon. Took it for a drive again and the weird idle came back for a little bit and it threw a CEL. My SG showed P0130, P0133, and P0171. After looking up these codes I'm pretty sure its the front O2 sensor (bank 1, sensor 1). Any other suggestions?
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:10 PM   #12
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Bump. About to buy the O2 sensor but would like to get any suggestions before. The codes make me think it has to be that O2 sensor. Just weird that it would malfunction after all the work I did which had nothing to do with that O2 sensor..
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:08 PM   #13
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Replaced the upstream O2 sensor and cleared the codes. All codes cleared except the P0171 code. After some searching, this codes seems to be a pain to fix. I'm guessing (since I had the whole intake apart to install the valve covers) it's a vacuum leak that I have not found yet. Any other suggestions? I plan on replacing the majority of my vacuum lines. Hopefully this helps.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:17 AM   #14
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looking forward to seeing what the issue was

subd
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:41 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=kigmob;7896102]Replaced the upstream O2 sensor and cleared the codes. All codes cleared except the P0171 code. After some searching, this codes seems to be a pain to fix. I'm guessing (since I had the whole intake apart to install the valve covers) it's a vacuum leak that I have not found yet. Any other suggestions? I plan on replacing the majority of my vacuum lines. Hopefully this helps.[/QUOT

I hope this helps, you would be totally surprised how often it is something simple causing a problem.
When you said it went away and then came back, a light went off in what's left of my brain, LOL.

It sounds to me like the "Oxygen Sensor" on the incoming air supply, right after your air filter is dirty. Listen and clean it this way using what I tell you.

Get a can of CRC electronics cleaner from just about any parts store.
Do NOT try to save a buck or so by using any other parts cleaner like break cleaner, laundry cleaner, anything else, I'm dead serious!

Now, unbolt the housing (to the oxygen sensor) right after where the air cleaner is. If unsure about where/what it is do a search on the Internet.

Once the housing is unbolted lift it out and shine a light down the tube, you will see a sensor. Looks like a bubble of plastic around a couple of wires about 1/2 the size of your little finger nail.
DO NOT STICK ANYTHING DOWN THERE AND TOUCH IT!!!

It will break and they aren't cheap!!

Now, use your can CRC (per label instructions) to spray the hell out of the sensor and and housing interior, I usually use about 1/3 of a can (can is about $5.00).

Turn it upside down and let it all drain out(BE CAREFUL, Highly Flammable) let it dry for about 30 minutes. Bolt everything back up. That's it.
Clear all codes!

The following is things that you should know:

Do this with a COLD engine (flammable stuff, CRC), don't forget this!
Do this twice a year or when you're having problems.
To totally clear codes, disconnect battery for 30 minutes.

Total time to do this (after the first) is about 10 to 15 minutes.

If it's not the answer at least it will cure a ton of other problems.

Let me know.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=Changeling;7903611]
Quote:
Originally Posted by kigmob View Post
Replaced the upstream O2 sensor and cleared the codes. All codes cleared except the P0171 code. After some searching, this codes seems to be a pain to fix. I'm guessing (since I had the whole intake apart to install the valve covers) it's a vacuum leak that I have not found yet. Any other suggestions? I plan on replacing the majority of my vacuum lines. Hopefully this helps.[/QUOT

I hope this helps, you would be totally surprised how often it is something simple causing a problem.
When you said it went away and then came back, a light went off in what's left of my brain, LOL.

It sounds to me like the "Oxygen Sensor" on the incoming air supply, right after your air filter is dirty. Listen and clean it this way using what I tell you.

Get a can of CRC electronics cleaner from just about any parts store.
Do NOT try to save a buck or so by using any other parts cleaner like break cleaner, laundry cleaner, anything else, I'm dead serious!

Now, unbolt the housing (to the oxygen sensor) right after where the air cleaner is. If unsure about where/what it is do a search on the Internet.

Once the housing is unbolted lift it out and shine a light down the tube, you will see a sensor. Looks like a bubble of plastic around a couple of wires about 1/2 the size of your little finger nail.
DO NOT STICK ANYTHING DOWN THERE AND TOUCH IT!!!

It will break and they aren't cheap!!

Now, use your can CRC (per label instructions) to spray the hell out of the sensor and and housing interior, I usually use about 1/3 of a can (can is about $5.00).

Turn it upside down and let it all drain out(BE CAREFUL, Highly Flammable) let it dry for about 30 minutes. Bolt everything back up. That's it.
The following is things that you should know:

Do this with a COLD engine (flammable stuff, CRC), don't forget this!
Do this twice a year or when you're having problems.

Total time to do this (after the first) is about 10 to 15 minutes.

If it's not the answer at least it will cure a ton of other problems.

Let me know.
Um, wut? What you are referring to, is NOT an oxygen sensor. The O2 sensors are on the exhaust system measuring exhaust gas mix. By the description you gave…it seems you are referring to the Air Intake Sensor or AIT. That would have nothing to do with the code the OP is dealing with. I could be wrong though…...
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:10 PM   #18
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #19
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Sounds like kigmob is talking about the maf sensor. Cleaning the maf sensor will probably be beneficial.

I'm leaning towards a possible vacuum leak after taking the intake all apart. Try getting a can of starting fluid and spray it around vacuum line connections. The engine will idle up a bit if the connection is leaking.

Good luck OP! Keep us posted. . .
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loggerhead View Post
Sounds like JimBob is talking about the maf sensor.
Fixed...
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