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Old 02-08-2010, 08:20 AM   #1
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IMRC Valve "Stuck Open"

First of all, basic info:

2004 ZX3 Premium with the 2.3L Duratec PZEV motor and ATX tranny.

It started a couple weeks ago when I threw on an FSWerks CAI and FC 65mm TB. It at first threw a CEL, which I reset, thinking it was just the ECU learning the new intake setup. I still think I was correct there.

About a week later, another CEL popped up. Without checking what it was (stupid me), I reset that one and kept driving, writing it off to the intake once more.

Finally, after another week and a half, a third CEL. Took it into the service shop to check out, and the code read "Intake Manifold Runner Control Valve Stuck Open." I had the service guy reset the code, and I would be going back if it popped up again.

Well, it popped up again. Same code. This time I know when I threw it, too. I was pulling on the interstate with 3.5 people in the car (3 people + travel bags), trying to merge in between two semi's, and I heard the beep and saw the light blink on. The pull onto I-90 also felt like it wasn't pulling as hard as it normally would.

My question(s) is first: why is the IMRC Valve staying open? What controls its movement? What powers its movement (electrical/vaccuum/pressure)? I'd prefer not to pop for payment in the garage if this is something doable by myself.

Is this as simple as removing the IM and blowing some cleaner through it to (hopefully) free up some gunk keeping it locked up? Or is there a vaccuum/air line somewhere I can check for leaks or faulty connections that might not be getting the power where it needs to be to move the little bugger?

I would prefer to exhaust all home-options before taking it into the shop. I do trust the guys there and know they'll get it done at the right price, but I would still rather have my own hands in my motor as opposed to them.

Help is appreciated, and rep will be given for it, as well! Thanks in advance!


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Old 02-08-2010, 08:58 AM   #2
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Hmmm..... I havent been able to mess with one on a Duratec yet but the SVT one is electrical and opens up based on RPMs.

It sounds like yours is electrical or vaccuum.... I would take off the valve and give it a good cleaning and check what ever type of connections there are going to it.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03OrangeSVT View Post
It sounds like yours is electrical or vaccuum.... I would take off the valve and give it a good cleaning and check what ever type of connections there are going to it.
I *think* I remember reading somewhere that it was vaccuum, but I don't know that for sure, and I might have been reading about something else, which is why I asked here.

To clean out the innards of the intake manifold, how much work is involved? Is this a "take off the front end and pull the sucker out" project, or a "unbolt this and give it a little yank" type deal? I'm not mechanically illiterate, but I also don't have a whole lot of time on my hands or even a decent garage to work in, so if it's something overly complicated that couldn't be done in a few hours (six at most, I don't like being in my parents garage for any longer than that...), I'd just take it to my friends at World Class Motors and fork over the money.


EDIT - I also have a broken finger right now, so working too hard isn't as pleasurable as usual...
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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I cant even guess how long... like I've said I havent even had the chance to work on a Duratec yet.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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OK, I have no idea why it's throwing that specific code. You really should search for a better way to scan the code, or find out what the actual code is so we can check our records- for example POXXXX.

Duratec engines don't have IMRC, and there is only one plenum. What you do have, which is vacuum controlled, is a tumble flap. These are like little butterfly valves that restrict air flow at low rpm to increase velocity. It's not the same thing as having a two separate runners or plenums- one short and one long- which are controlled by a valve like the SVT. It's not even like my wife's van that has two intake ports, and the secondary port opens at high rpm via an electric motor controlled by the ECU.

Now you can remove the tumble flaps, and some of our vendors have what's called a "tumble flap delete" kit for that purpose. I'm not exactly sure how the T-flaps work, and my D20 doesn't have a system exactly like yours. You should be able to purchase a vacuum diagnosis tool, Miti-Vac, or rent one and use that on the vacuum port to force the T-flaps to work. I just don't know what value you should vacuum to, or if what you need is actually less vacuum (I'd assume so) to cause it to fall back where it should go.

I'd think the repair would require you to break the intake manifold into 2 parts, and I'm not sure if there are gaskets available to do that. If there are, and it is required, then the T-flap delete might be the best way to go.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:29 PM   #6
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I take that back, I can't find a T-flap delete from any of our sponsors, I know one was available at one time, but IDK who sells it now. I know Marcy had it, but I would advise against ordering anything from that guy- Google Marcy Motorsports, and you'll find out why.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:08 AM   #7
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Well, my normal service technician outdid himself on this one and just gave me an ECU recorder to pop onto the OBD-II. So right now, my car is recording all information about operation, and we're using that to diagnose the issue. He's doing this for free, 'cause he's a cool guy.

So I'll give you all an update on how this plays out in the end.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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Okay, a little more light shed onto the situation:

The code specifically was P2004. It happened on rapid acceleration at rpm's above 3500 (usually more in the 4k range). I threw the code usually while on an on-ramp on the way to work, merging from a 35mph zone to a 70mph zone. I know this, 'cause I had a data recorder stuck into my OBD-II port for a couple weeks, and it mapped out speed/rpm/other data/codes thrown and when along with times. From the times and speeds, I knew exactly where it was happening.

We're (we = myself and my usual in-town mechanic) are in the process of figuring out if it's the actuator or the solenoid that controls it (our #1 guess), or if there's a vacuum leak somewhere in the system (our #2 guess), and lastly, that there's just enough carbon build-up on the valve that it's not wanting to open (our least likely guess).

I'll keep everyone posted as to how this turns out, I should know more in two days (taking it in tomorrow night for the first real check on the situation).
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:15 AM   #9
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Ended up being a cracked and leaking vacuum line. Fixed and all happy again.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:53 AM   #10
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I need to correct something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Duratec engines don't have IMRC, and there is only one plenum. What you do have, which is vacuum controlled, is a tumble flap. These are like little butterfly valves that restrict air flow at low rpm to increase velocity. It's not the same thing as having a two separate runners or plenums- one short and one long- which are controlled by a valve like the SVT. It's not even like my wife's van that has two intake ports, and the secondary port opens at high rpm via an electric motor controlled by the ECU.
2.3l Duratecs DO have an IMRC. They have a dual runner mode and tumble flaps, both controlled by vacuum. The 2.0l only has tumble flaps.

Glad the OP found the problem.
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