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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all-

I just got done installing the Focus Sport 4-1 racing header after 2 days of one headache after another trying to get it all on right (rusty bolts, installing it without taking out the cat support bracket so the bottom of teh header/engine meeting wouldn't seal, cheap bolts from Focus Sport, argh!) and my car isn't running right.

The first thing I noticed, is that if I stomp the gas from (seemingly) anywhere under 20mph or so, it acts as if it can't suck in air or something, it chugs and lurches forward and barely moves, it's pretty freaky and makes racing at the track kinda hard; If I let up a bit and still keep it at WOT it seems alright, but still..what the hell? I actually think this was happening before the header install, but not nearly as severe of an effect.

The other big issue that has me worried, is the car seems to randomly 'chug' lightly while I'm driving. RPMs and speed don't seem to fluctuate at all when it happens, but it's a hard enough of a chug that I am pulled forward a bit in my seat, almost as if the car seems to lost momentum for just a split second. This will happen in waves, and at all speeds (though most noticably when cruising at highway speeds). It doesn't happen a lot, maybe 3 waves of 10 chugs each in a good 20 mile drive. When it happens, if I get on the accelerator at all it has no problem accelerating. This definitely did NOT happen before the header install. This has me concerned that the car will simply quit working sometime soon, and it's my only way to work, so any ideas are very appreciated. There don't seem to be any exhaust leaks, EGR and sensors are all in place to my knowledge.

The only other issue is a very loud rattling from the mid/rear of the car, but I'm pretty certain this is just one of the brackets for the rear portion of the exhaust that were loosened from all the beating around the whole system got while installing the header.

Sorry, I know that's a lot to read--thanks for any help!
 

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FF's Night Security
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You know you just described the problem I'm having right now I just got home from work the whole way there and back would radomly chug here and there I could'nt make it do it ether. I'm thinking its ether my alternator going out again cause thats what it did before but I had a system in the car so when it chugged it would shut off the car lights and everthing now it just seems to do the chug thing. I don't think it would be the header causing your problem did you reset the ecu by unplugging the battery? Try that then drive it around and see if it still does that. Other than that I don't know what it could be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks sleepy. Anyone else have an idea?
 

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How many miles are on your engine? Are you sure your DPFE sensor is still good? And you're sure that the MAF sensor is plugged up? You could try cleaning the MAF, or you could try unplugging the battery for a few minutes. Also, make sure your spark plugs are stil good. Are you throwing a CEL? Sounds like a misfire from the way you describing the "chug".

Also, you probably tampered with the alignment of the exahust in relation to the flexpipe, so that's probably where the rattle is coming from.
 

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FF's Night Security
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Other than that it could be the egr or dpfe (I spelled that completly wrong) Or the IAC. But lets not rule out fuel pump ether. I also have the bog on take off it just works through it but I hate it makes it feel real slow. I can't believe no one else has had a opinion on this yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The car is just about to pass the 50k mile mark.

I don't know how to check the MAF / DPFE / etc., can you link / fill me in?

Plugs should still be good, but might change them just for good measure. If it is misfiring, is that going to hurt the engine if I keep driving it?

I put 89 octane instead of 87 in just for the hell of it, and I don't think it really chugged at all on my most recent 20 mile drive to work tonight, although that could be a complete conicidence.

And yes I am throwing a CEL, which was expected as it's a race header.
 

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The MAF sensor is the plug with the wires coming from it on the intake pipe. It's located near the middle of the pipe. As far as the DPFE sensor, let me see if I can rummage up that thread. There was a good one a while back with pics and everything.

Head over to Autozone and let them read the code so you know what it's telling you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Will do man, thanks.

Last night when I came to a stop at a red light, the car shuddered a bit and almost seemed like it was going to die--when I accelerated, it bogged hard a couple of times before finally taking off...it was almost like it couldn't take in air or something.

This got me all thinking...before the header install, every now and then at a stop / idle, my car would seem to idle a tad rough, almost like what I just mentioned, except not nearly as bad, and never had a problem accelerating. This made me realize the 'stomp the gas from a start' problem that I mentioned in the original post was again something that had existed before, but seems to be occuring with much more severity since the header install. This makes me wonder if the random chugging while driving was also there before, but was happening so lightly that I didn't notice / thought it was the wind, etc.

So would it make sense to anyone that all 3 of these problems existed before, but are a lot worse post-header?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bump...any other ideas? I'm getting desperate :(
 

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Does your new header have provisions for the egr? If so did you hook it up? Have you tried the egr sensor bypass trick? My dpfe sensor went bad and casued surging and acceleration problems that got worse over time.

Also a dead/dieing fuel pump will cause issues. Have you also replaced your fuel filter lately?

Make sure you havent missed any wires or anything from you install.

When all that is done, reset the computer and try it again.
 

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Check this out too and see if it may be the cause of your problem:

Engine Stumble
 

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FoFo Lover.
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I have the exact same problem with my 02 Focus (stuttering, and about to idle out), I don't have a header on yet just an AEM short Ram some new plugs (Bosch 1+3) and a Focus Sport Wiring Harness.....car has 53,000 any conicidence?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What's the EGR bypass trick? We did hook the EGR up to the new header (it had the provision) although it was an utter bitch of a time getting it to fit.

Sounds like I need to change the fuel filter and have the DPFE checked...if I took it to the local Ford dealership, would they check / do both, or would they basically refuse to touch it because of the illegal header / CEL ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Seems to be sounding like a DPFE/EGR problem -- I wanted a chip anyway, and with it disabling the EGR system, I heard it can do wonders for problems like this. Here's to hoping!

Also, new development...argh! Today I came to a stop and it idled very rough for a second and then died completely, showing me the battery light. Started back up no problem. This tip any more ideas off to anyone?

Thanks again.
 
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