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Thread: How to: Clean a Zetec IAC Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-20-2016 02:21 PM
sailor Working from underneath is often a can't win situation.

Craning your neck and reaching overhead can often be more difficult than laying on floor/creeper and reaching up - at least you can relax and lie flat for a rest in between attempts when it's lower.

Walking underneath is much easier to get to things repeatedly, but not great while working on them.

It's the getting up & down to crawl underneath that's the hard part of not having it lifted.
05-20-2016 01:27 PM
amc49 Actually, with a lift then your neck hurts like hell from looking straight up.
05-20-2016 12:09 AM
Originally Posted by BillRod View Post
I cleaned mine yesterday.
Took a while as expected from reading this thread but surprisingly there was no cussing involved!

Here's what I can add about it:

I used a ratcheting box wrench instead of a socket/ratchet which made it easier to control. I don't have metric ones but luckily 8mm is the same as 5/16 SAE.

Glad you had such an easy time with yours. Mine was a bugger. I used a ratcheting box end wrench as well. A regular socket won't fit in there. Still had trouble with it.

Part of my problem is that it's hard for me to lie flat on my back under the car, I get cramps in my back and over my ribs. Other issues I mentioned earlier in the thread. Wish I had access to a lift, that would make jobs like this much easier. It is a very simple repair, but getting at the part to get it off, was not easy for me.
05-15-2016 09:18 PM
amc49 If you're like me you train yourself to yank that cable, get out of the habit and somewhere you WILL get bit.

Taping wrench works fine but if IAC was sticking before, you need to relearn to let PCM locate the stem properly and common for me to change the TB butterfly setting so need it anyway. Any time the butterfly position is touched the IAC resettles in a different spot and range.
05-15-2016 09:12 PM
sailor All I can add is that the reset is often desired, to quicken relearn now that it's working differently.

Not necessary, but another good excuse to do it the safer way with the battery disconnected.
05-15-2016 08:53 AM
BillRod I cleaned mine yesterday.
Took a while as expected from reading this thread but surprisingly there was no cussing involved!

Here's what I can add about it:

I used a ratcheting box wrench instead of a socket/ratchet which made it easier to control. I don't have metric ones but luckily 8mm is the same as 5/16 SAE.

Instead of dealing with the reset that occurs from disconnecting the battery I wrapped my wrench in black electrical tape so I did not have to worry about the starter.

After unbolting it I Remove the air tube from the Air Filter to the intake, pulled it out the top then disconnected the plug.

As AMC49 suggested I cut the gasket bolt holes smaller than the bolts so that they would stay in place as I fished it back down to reinstall.

I threaded the bottom bolt all the way through the gasket and the top bolt 1/2 way through the gasket so that when I set it in place I could start the bottom bolt and run it in part way before starting the top one.

All in all it was a pretty simple repair and the car runs great now.

Thanks for all the inputs everyone and the Great pic's from my_beautious_zx3 and Oblivion.

05-04-2016 01:33 AM
jbear To the best of my knowledge, the only way to clean the IAC valve is to take it off and clean it. Throttle body should also be cleaned. I ran out of time before I could do that part, couldn't reach to clean it. I was out of daylight, needed to get the IAC V. back on because I needed to go places the next day, no way I'd have been in any condition to get under there again the very next day and try again.

But soon I'll have to to, and I've figured out I'll need some flexible tubing to spray through to get at the TB. Can't do it with the little red tube that comes with the can, it won't stay on being twisted around to try to get the cleaner into the TB. I hope that will be enough.

The car doesn't surge and drop now, and doesn't die at idle, but it does want to die on start-up when it's warmed up to operating temp. I'm pretty sure it's because the flaps in the TB are sticking from all the carbon.
05-03-2016 07:59 PM
sailor You posted in a thread on cleaning the IAC, seafoam in the fuel will have exactly ZERO effect on the IAC as that goes through the fuel injectors just before the intake valves (way downstream of where the IAC is located in the intake).

RPM can be seen exactly when using the test mode of the odometer. Hold the reset button in while starting, after start you can release it then press repeatedly to page through functions.
05-03-2016 07:36 PM
BillRod How many miles would be considered 'Higher Mileage Zetecs'?

Mine has 121K on it. I just bought it a couple of weeks ago and I am beginning to have no faith in anything the seller told me as I learn more about the car so I have no real history on it.

My Idle does tend to fluctuate up and down a little, I do not have a tach in my Dash so not sure what the range is.

How much of a positive impact will Seafoam have on this?
Would running a few can's through the next few fill ups help much?

Since I just bought the car so there are a few things ahead of it on the list of repairs.

Serviced the Trans last weekend so that seems to shift much better now.
Just posted on the Village Ford thread asking about Motor Mount Costs.
The Idle is getting closer to the top though so I will have to deal with it pretty soon.

04-28-2016 02:59 AM
jbear Monday, I tackled it again. And I did it! Holy cats, I had a lot of trouble getting the thing off. I must've spent a good 2 hours before I finally got the trick of that top bolt. I'm glad I had picked up one of those little mirrors on a telescoping stick, it helped a lot.

Finally got the IAC valve off, and spent the next couple of hours cleaning it. Had to soak it repeatedly in acetone. Soak, scrub, soak, scrub, until I finally got the carbon cleaned out. Awful lot of crud on there, not surprised it wasn't working.

Let it dry out, then like to never got it back on again. At long last I did, though, ad that was the problem. The car is running well now, not dying at idle.

I suspect I'll have to take it off again, though, because I wasn't able to clean the throttle body very well. Since then I've thought of away I might be able to do it, maybe with only taking the bottom bolt off and a slight loosening of the top one. I might be able to swing it out of the way to access the holes in the TB. I'm hoping so, anyway. If not, now that I've done it once, maybe I can manage it more easily if I have to do it again.

The gasket trick was a huge help, I don't think I could've gotten the part on again without doing that. I never did find my leather punch. Paper hole-punch made a hole that was just slightly too big to hold the bolts. But I found my circular tip wood carving tool, that worked well enough. I was able to cut a hole just right, held the bolts securely.

It was such a PITA, I'm tempted to never ever do that particular job again. Bite the bullet and pay somebody else. But I did it, and it worked. My car is happy again, and so am I.
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