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Angrod

Howto: Fix Vacuum Leak At The Intake Manifold Runner Control (Vulcan)

29 posts in this topic

So this problem seems to plague a lot of 2004 - 2007 Vulcan engines. There are a lot of places where a vac leak can occur but this one seems to stump people. The symptoms usually include hard starting when cold, surging/erratic idle and hesitation on acceleration. My car was exhibiting the first two and was probably on its way to the third. After spraying starter fluid and checking all vacuum hoses I couldn't find any leaks. Then, while searching online, I found a topic on the other site that explained this problem and I decided why not put up a howto here?

Before starting it's always good to make sure you have the correct engine tongue.gif (only 2004 - 2007 engines have this part). The engine should look like this:
engine_full.jpg

You will need the following tools and supplies:
1/4" drive ratchet,
6mm (7/32") socket,
T30 torx bit,
flat head (standard) screwdriver,
a new gasket
(OEM part # 87072 S91 or the gasket from an oil filter will work [bosche 3312 filter or similar - i used one from a Motorcraft FL-400s]).
Recommended tools:
Socket extension(s) at least 3" long.
tools.jpg

The part in question is this thing here (red arrow):
valve_arrow.jpg
Apparently this part goes by a couple names - the Intake Manifold Runner Control (IMRC) and the Intake Manifold Tuning Valve (IMTV). I will be using the former as it seems to be more descriptive of its function.

To start, first remove the top piece of engine cowling on the passenger side by removing the clips - be careful! Use the screwdriver to help pry them off (yellow arrows in pic above - 1 clip is out of frame). Also be careful of the vacuum hose marked with the green arrow. Don't break it or the car will have a fit (I believe it controls the evaporative emissions system).

Next you must remove the three screws holding the lower cowling on (see yellow arrows in pic below). This is where a socket extension would come in handy as there is very little space between the cowl and the metal under the windshield.
cowl_screws.jpg

Now that the cowl is removed you have access to the screws holding the IMRC on, as well as the PCM and the cabin air filter (under the windshield behind the strut tower).
cowl_removed.jpg

Disconnect the wire harness to the IMRC. It has a small push clip on the firewall side. Push it in and pull the harness off. You should be able to do this with your thumb and index finger.
The screws for the IMRC are diagonally opposite each other and require a T30 torx bit. The lower one might be a tad difficult to reach.
valve_screws.jpg

Remove the screws and pull the IMRC out. Mine fell out (see pic) with very little effort. Not good for a vacuum seal!
valve_out.jpg

Now, use the screwdriver to (carefully) remove the old gasket. Once out of the groove it should slip right off.
valve_gasket_3.jpg

Now you need to remove the gasket from the donor oil filter (or if you have the OEM replacement just grab that and skip to the part about installing the new gasket.)
oil_filter_gasket.jpg

The new gasket should be the same size around as the old one. If it's thicker around (like mine was) you will need to cut it so that you can get the IMRC back in the manifold.
gaskets.jpg
gasket_cut.jpg

Next, slide the new gasket on the part and seat it in the groove. If it doesn't sit flat it might need trimmed or you might need a slimmer gasket ph34r.gif.
valve_new_gasket.jpg

It might be a good idea to lube the new gasket before reinstalling the part with some sort of grease or lubricant (not wd40!!) I used heavy weight gear lube as it was all that was available. (see bottom of post for update)
Now you can reinstall the IMRC (be sure to align it). It might take some pressure (not excessive!) to get it on but that's good! It means you have an air-tight seal.
valve_reinstalled.jpg
Now all you have to do is reconnect the wire harness and reinstall the cowling.

And that's it! The car might drive funny the first time after this fix but that is because the fuel trims are now incorrect. The computer will adjust them over the next few times you drive the car. You can also force it to relearn the trims by resetting the computer. Simply disconnect the battery negative terminal for a few minutes to clear the PCM memory.

Note: This fix is only temporary and will most likely wear out. The best thing to do would be to replace the bad gasket with another OEM one. But if you are cheap like me (and the Ford dealer is closed) this will work fine.

 

Update: So I had the IMRC out today. It wouldn't pull straight out so I had to twist it a little to break the seal between the gasket and intake manifold. Almost 4 years and I still have an airtight seal! Not bad for a quick hack fix. I lubed the gasket with wheel bearing grease before reinstalling. Here's hoping it makes it several more years!

Edited by Angrod
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Good write-up. Clever fix with the oil filter gasket.

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Some people who have used the 'oil filter gasket' as a replacement, eventually had to go back and install the correct OEM gasket. Something to keep in mind if the symptoms reoccur. Also, 'the device' is called the IMRC (intake manifold runner control) :thumbs:

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On 04+ Vulcans, Ford's service literature sometimes calls it the Intake Manifold Tuning Valve (IMTV).

Nice job figuring out the fix, Angrod!

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On 04+ Vulcans, Ford's service literature calls that the Intake Manifold Tuning Valve (IMTV).

Nice job figuring out the fix, Angrod!

I believe the 04 service manual that I own refers to it as the IMRC. I remember looking for the name of it one day for somebody on TCCA a year or two ago...I never have seen it called the IMTV...but now I and others know it has a couple names...I wonder if the literature got changed for the 2005 manual?? My parents have the car and book now...so looking isn't as quick and easy as it used to be :lol:

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So it goes by a couple names eh? I'll just settle for IMRC and be done. It seems to be the most descriptive of the function. I've changed the writeup to reflect this info as well as added a note at the bottom.

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Glad you got it fixed! Great writeup! I am sure this will help others with that vac leak.

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awesome post!

do you have any recommendations on where to spray starter fluid to diagnose other potential leaks? pictures would definitely help! thx.

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Spray around the upper and lower intakes as well as around the PCV.

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Symptoms get worse when it's cold outside. My car threw a P0174 code, idled erratically and would knock off when letting foot off the gas when coming to a stop. Had code for almost a year before symptoms became apparent.

This post led me directly to the problem -- many thanks, Angrod.-- didn't have time to remove the cowl etc. and didn't have runner control seal (gasket) or cabin filter on hand (might as well change it if you are going to open this area up). So reached around with the T30 bit and hand locked both screws down. Worked! Perfect idle etc. Probably will still change the seal out when I get to it, may be dry rotting causing the cover to loosen -- who knows? Oh yeah, after being directed to this area by this post, wife started car, heard air sucking hiss from component and pushed in on the cover, knew this was the culprit when engine perked up.

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i wonder if this is causing my po300 i've been chasing ,i dont think i ever looked at this as being the problem , what do you think guys?

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i wonder if this is causing my po300 i've been chasing ,i dont think i ever looked at this as being the problem , what do you think guys?

Try spraying some starter fluid in the area with the engine running and see if the idle changes. You could also try spraying fluid around the intake manifold gaskets and around vacuum hoses, especially the pcv hose.

Of course the problem might not be from a vac leak.

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i tested this yeaterday ,the gasket is leaking ,intake mani gasket is not leaking nor are any other vaccum lines ,i odered the oem gasket from ford

i hope this fixes it (fingers crossed) if not i'll have to start looking at injectors or fuel pump

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Good write-up. I have to do this tomorrow on my '04. About a month ago this started happening and it has random codes. Sometimes it is catalyst below efficency, today it's too lean on bank 1 nothing else. Also, as of 3 days ago, it's bogging down and acts like overdrive is out.

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I think this is the cause of the knocking noise and cold start up I have on my car.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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Im getting tired of throwing money into this car without knowing the issue.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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thanks for this write up.

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Great post! Thank you very much.

I found part number 87072-S91 at the Ford site for the Intake Manifold Air Valve Assembly Seal

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  1. I have been chasing this same problem for over a month. two repair shops want to charge me $600 + to replace the upper manifold and then say, that is just a good place to start but that might not fix it. are you kidding me, $600 and its still the same? I'm getting about 9-10 codes. I'm going to replace the OEM gasket myself and see what happens. it a lot cheaper than $600... if anyone has anymore ideas or suggestions. I've had to drive in town only, the car runs but not very fast, sometimes it will get up to 50mph but mostly its more like 40mph and the take off is very slow.

if anyone has anymore ideas or suggestions, i'm all ears.... thankls

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Very informative post...ours is having all the symptoms,and now you've helped me narrow it down after having replaced the coil and plugs....the plugs needed changing anyway.

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Very informative post...ours is having all the symptoms,and now you've helped me narrow it down after having replaced the coil and plugs....the plugs needed changing anyway.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

Intake gaskets should not be too likely to leak. Hoses are noted for leaks, as well as PCV failure/leak.

Of course the Vulcan is noted for it's O-Ring which should be a simple change.

I have 2 DOHC ('01 and'03) and have had both hoses and PCV leaks. Very different engine of course.

-chart-

Edited by -chart-

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Hi! I know next to nothing about cars, but I actually sort of understood this (which is amazing) but my dad was wondering what you meant about the adding oil around the gasket near the end of your explanation. Could you explain exactly where, and how, to do that? Also, my dad told me that I need to find out how to remove the intake manifold on my 2005 Taurus (Vulcan engine) because the book (both Chilton and Haynes) don't show our engine. Do you have any suggestions on how to find that on the internet? Because I've been searching for a week and still can't find anything that helps (or at least anything that has pictures). Thank you!

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There's this crazy guy who spends most of his time whining about his car, but when he does something useful it tends to be good. :D

 

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/98-solutions-common-problems-how-articles/175233-write-up-03-07-vulcan-uim-lim-removal-replacement.html

 

Hopefully that helps!

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Hi! I know next to nothing about cars, but I actually sort of understood this (which is amazing) but my dad was wondering what you meant about the adding oil around the gasket near the end of your explanation. Could you explain exactly where, and how, to do that? Also, my dad told me that I need to find out how to remove the intake manifold on my 2005 Taurus (Vulcan engine) because the book (both Chilton and Haynes) don't show our engine. Do you have any suggestions on how to find that on the internet? Because I've been searching for a week and still can't find anything that helps (or at least anything that has pictures). Thank you!

 

The only thing the Hane's/Chilton's manuals are good for is the bolt tightening sequence and how much torque to use.

 

The link TWF posted above looks to be an excellent write-up for removal of the upper and lower manifolds. If you are planning on removing the lower manifold make sure you relieve the fuel pressure before starting any disassembly. Start the engine, then pop the inertia switch in the trunk. The engine should die. You will spill some gas if the fuel rails come off the injectors but it's not much.  I would strongly suggest having a magnet handy to handle the removal of the pushrods (remove the ones on the front bank. It's easier that way, trust me.) You can also drain a couple of gallons of coolant from the drain-**** on the bottom of the rad, rather than removing the coolant bottle, you just have to remove the splash guard from underneath. Be careful not to over-tighten the drain-**** or it will leak. Removing the manifolds isn't really that hard, just time consuming. It took me about 14 hours across two days to change my lower gaskets, but then again I had never done anything like that before. Now I could do it in 8 hours or less (I'm rather slow and anal.) And something else; have a box or container handy to hold all the bolts! I grouped mine by the part they came from then taped and labelled them so I wouldn't lose track. See following pic; box is on right.

 

LIM_gasket_teardown_day1.jpg

 

As for the oil on the IMRC gasket, it's basically the same idea as putting oil on a new oil filter gasket. Once the new gasket is on the IMRC spread some oil (preferably grease as it will last longer) around the gasket, then insert it into the manifold. It will provide a better seal and help everything slide back in easier.

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Awesome! Thank you so much!!!

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