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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had the herky-jerkies like many here, I ended up replacing my o2 sensor, plugs, wires, and rocker cover gaskets, and the car had been running flawlessly since then. Well, The wife takes it to visit her parents (about a 45 minute drive) And the whole time she reports she had been running the AC and after about 30 minutes the engine starts displaying the same symptoms as before, under load it seemingly won't accelerate if pushed hard over about 2500 RPMs.

I told her to turn off the AC, and see if it gets any better, it hasn't and even without the AC on and all other accessories off it's still chokeing when under load.

So my question now is.. with the plugs, wires, gaskets and o2 all being eliminated, what the hell else could this be that running the AC would cause it to happen?!?!

As I mentioned to FalconRS in my other thread, when the AC compressor kicks on I get a noticeable 'dip' in the power (not RPMs they don't flinch at all) but you can tell there is extra load being placed on the engine. (I never had this problem in my Legacy Wagon, you could NEVER physically feel the AC compressor kick on) The AC runs cold with no other problems in that regard. Could the compressor pully being going bad, not turning correctly or starting to sieze or something?!?!

I'd have hard time pinning this on the MAP going bad as the car has been running fine as late as last night, untill the AC got run for half an hour today. I ran a little bit last night with it on, and it was sorta doing it then, but not the -cant accelerate at all- the wife is reporting now.

I'm baffled and out of ideas.. I don't get what the AC has to do with this issue but it must be related system wise someplace. Im about ready to just take it to a stealership and ask them, if no one can offer any better ideas.

-sigh-
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just talked to the wife, she made it to her destination OK, and said that it had slightly started to run better by time she got there. Ie, it was still choking, but far less than it had been.

Could this be some funky combination of Bad coil pack / alternator or battery that when we place too much load on the electrical system for too long that the battery / alternator aren't able to keep up with the load placed on them!?!?!?!

It's so frustrating that it run -PERFECT- for so long, then POOF starts running like crap again seemingly out of the blue. I'm confident in my plug job, and wires.. I'd figure if they were the culprits this time, it would've been obvious far sooner than this. I've taken it on way longer trips than she just did, and pulling a pop-up camper too boot and never had this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No check engine light to speak of..

The problem is consistent in how it reproduces, but it's to intermittent to be something like the fuel filter IMHO. Id think if it were a bad filter it would have been happening this entire time regardless of the wires / plugs etc.

I'm leaning towards Coil pack, Battery and possibly the alternator at this point.
The battery looks pretty old..the alternator has quite a bit of road dirt and corrosion
on it the coil ends looked fine during the plug change, but who knows.. might change it just to be sure.
 
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