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engine rpm surge. help needed.
1995 sidekick 16v 4x4 auto 135k

Hi all. first post here. from USA.

not sure where to start here... only had the kick for a month.
ran like crap when i got it.. i just did the following...pcv valve ngk spark plugs gapped at .28. ngk wireset. Sandard brand cap and rotor. at this time i adjusted valve lash per fsm. (exhausts tight.. intakes loose) after everything was done after close examination i discovered two things.. 1. the accelerator pedal cable was adjusted too tight causing the plate to not snap shut...2. the kickdown cable was adjusted to tight causing the throttle plate to only open to 60%.... so after readjusting both cables (over and over because they slightly effect each other) i now have a throttle blade that snaps shut... with no negitive pedal play. and a kickdown that engages at 76% throttle and is maxed out when throttle blade is ~96% open. i did a compression test (cold/dry) and got 184-186 across the board with minimal cranking. (aka could have kept cranking to get higher results)

ok my issue... i now have an idle hunt/surge that was not there before (throttle cable out of whack hide this?) i can duplicate the issue eaisly. it does not surge at idle.. only under very very light throttle at 1900rpm. hold it at 1900 and it will dip to 1500 then back to 1900 untill you either go higher than 1900.. or let off to base idle speed (i have it set to 800) it will do this while driving too.. but only going down hill at 30ish mph and very very light throttle. this results in a pulsation while crusing. luckly i have 31" mud tires so the engine is always under load... with stock tires... i feel this would be annoying as it would be happening more offen (less load)

kick runs very very well now! minus this new probem no hesitations even when flogged from a stop with 31 boggers.. no problems doing 85mph on the highway.

things ive checked.. vacuume hoses all good.. pressed egr bladder while running and engine tries to stall. engine lamp is off but comes on with key/off when run.. engine gets up to temp. holds coolant pressure.

things im courious about but have not looked into. my new pcv valve i could blow and suck through. the one i replaced would blow through fine but not suck at all. made me question the quality of the new pcv valve. also. i did not adjust cam timing or ign timing as i have good compression. runs great. this is a new problem.... TPS... have not played with it.. but its a suspect due to the throttle cables being so so out of adjustment. (cables now ok)... i dont think im missing anything.. il attach a few pics of our patient. clamp on pcv valve was fixed prior to starting (its off in pic)... cant add pics.. too big
forgot to add... this may be key.. 2 other issus that could be related. both have been there since day 1. any electrical load... and even A/C does not affects engine idle. (it loweres actually) also putting into gear result in a 300rpm drop. 2nd clue is... i have ths weird loud clicking coming from the intake area under light load only. anything over 30% throlttle it goes away. is not there at idle. its not a valve or anything internal engine... sounds like a relay clicking...but loud. if i gas it up to 3-4k trans in park or N i can get it to do it aslong as im constantly increasing throttle (aka load)
GAP 0.028" (That 2nd zero matters-grin) im sure is just a typo.
both cables are set slack, and not time must any cable there (up to 3 with cruise option) allowed to keep the TV from fully closing, and does.fully.
the tricky cable is Kickdown. it has special setup seeing in the 3sp or 4 speed manual.
is car 2door or 4, is transmission 3 of 4 speed. be nice to know full car spec. like that.
yes cables will will wreck the ISC idle controller , after all the ISC has limited range and is calibrated. to 50 % duty cycle.
hunting idle hot. Is it hot 180f or more?
hunting is caused by 2 things,
idle RPM is 800 RPM 180f water temp, 150f will cause all idle controls to fail. x2.
lets start at the beginning and not ago to surge yet.
1: key on, CEL on , does the CEL glow, it must or the ECU is dead,or lamp burned out or some, killed it on purpose using black tap, lamp pulled or cut wires. the CEL must work
its is your only way to see if the ECU is happy, (lacking the proper scan tools)
2: start engine, hot CEL goes out. does it?
3: insert the Diagnosis jumper clip in the DLC connector next to batter (rubber cap on the conn)
the CEL flashes, 12s, all the time even driving and the 19oo surge happens. (you did the above i see but do it while driving hot !!!)

point to, you dont 800 rpm idle speed, the ECU does that, and is its job. 100% it an ilde servo there, with ISC< if say you turn on the blower (not ac) and head lamps at once
the extra power that the alternator puts out to do that, cause more load on the engine (no free energy exists) the RPM drops but in 1second the ECU opens the ISC and holds RPM at 800
that is how it works, even going in to DRIVE the huge load of the TC (torque convert) will in fact slow the engine drastically so the ECU again, opens the ISC and 800 is heald.
That is how idle controls work and no human does that ever, or bad happens.

the surge is caused by many things,
1: a lean engine, will always surge. and lots of causes, (dirty maf, or o2 sensor reads wrong rich , causing lean burn) its not clogged injectors or car would never go 85mph.
2: it very low TV settings, (im not sure what 1900 would be there TV wise) but of somone failed to calibrate the TPS< the TPS ilde can see be engaged just slightly off idle stops.
The TPS idle switch set wrong to be late to open (open means kill idle controls) causes those controls to fight the driver right foot.
the effect is maddening once felt by any driver. easy fix, calibrate the TPS per the manual. ohm meter or volts, and feeler gauges.
the PCV is just check valve. if the engine back fires you do not want the flames to hit the fumes in the crank case.
and the pressure in the crank case blows and sucks so the check valve (called PCV) also prevents the crank case from sucking air and fuel from the induction, solving both problems with 1 check valve. its working as designed as they say.

spark timing is not ECU controlled on this car, (advance is but not static timed by ECU)
The ECU takes your human set , static time and adds to it (Algebra:, totalsparktime= static+ ECU advance
that means we use the timing freeze jumper (to kill dead the ECU advance) and set the static timing with the distributor base screw loose (a tad) to the front timing scale per the white sticker under hood says what static time is , 8deg. BTDC is common, some are 5, Calif car can differ from FED car.

pictures resize them to 1025x768, so they fit and not fill up your max allottment. some cameras run 9000 pixel sizes , my Canon does. and are hopeless anywhere, big as 2 barn doors they are.

TPS cal; see page there for 16v only.
static timing per my spark timing see that? in the search box. at fixkick.com type spark timing.
the TV must be 99.99% closed, parked, engine on or off. if not some bad guy wrecked the idle stop screw, messing with it, and takes hard work to do that and to cure it. TB removed best way.
i have page on curing the bad guy actions. on TV> im the only one to reverse engine this suzuki secret, just using feeler gauges, .005"
TPS MUST NOT BE TOUCHEd until you are sure nobody messed with the stops. TV stops. the screw that says dont touch me.

AC lowering RPM tells me the IDLE controls are dead. for sure, AC on is 900-1000 RPm hard coded in the ECU,forget exact , its in the book. but RPM rises with AC by direct ECU intervention and ISC actions. same with Drive, ISC is dead. for sure. why only remains, most are just dirty ISC.

use as $5 stethoscope to find clicks
or just gas line 2 foot long to ear find click sources easy, is it the ISC>> be easy to hear it like that, doing that.

is MAF cleaned yet, from 6 inches afar, with maf cleaner (any plastics safe cleaner) ???
clean the ISC, is a day one fix. most are gunked up
the EGR gas + PCV gas cloud makes this huge nasty gas cloud in the plenum
and gets into all ISC and jams them its major service point.

and is TV 99.99% closed, foot off throttle, parked, running or idling .
in fact its so closed , on a bench water poured there will not pass the TV edges. in the bore. a fact.
and must BE SO. or idle controls will be hard or impossible to attain.

you have done lots of good work here, seems to me some minor fixes yes;
clean ISC (setting the duty cycle to 50% on this car is very hard, to do . using the TB bleed screw, (I use a scope but there are other ways (hard)
bleed here.

set timing, spark (check it) always assume the last guy owned car did all things wrong, thinking like its a carb car, or new car, (both wrong thinking and actions)
TPS calibration (idle switch is the device set)

Clean MAF (this will help low RPM air fuel mix. the MAF hardly works right at 800 RPM (it does but if coked up, not. clean it at a distance not hard nozzles blasted, to the very fragile elements inside)
even hot idle maf voltage is easy to check.
1.7–2.0vdc (800 rpm hot) search maf on my pages. suz, spec.

my fixkick pages on TPS suck (BUT I NEVER Got to finish it), i should never have mixed up 8v/16v , so here.

16v tps CAL.
1: the TV must close fully in, not this must be corrected first, (badguy set the stop screw, and most not, gunk below plate blocking it, cables wrong)

2: the TPS is loosed (a bit at the tiny screws)

3: feeler gage sizes .026" (stacking them is ok to add up to this, ) at the stop screw to throttle arm. point as seen here.


the point to reach is very very hard to reach as seen here. so I take off the cable bracket, its easy , to do really.

4: meter on switch. pins. 16 pins are as follows. the 2 bottom pins are the correct idle switch pins.

this is 96 up year but only the .026" was changed to .031" test feeler size.


turn the TPS BY HAND, so the ohms readings, lands AT THE transition point.
closed, THIS switch (made of carbon not gold) goes from 0 to 500 ohms. (SIMPLy said low ohms is closed and infinity is open)
then you see (turned) it go to like 1000 ohms and then infinity, the start of Infinity is the correct point to set the TPS and lock down the screws.
(feeler in place the whole time)
only TPS pin 1 and 2 USED, NO OTHERS. here.

the meter if fixed range meter set ohms scale to 2k ohms 2000, it will go overrange at infinity, ("O.R" or "O.L" or 'INF" or ".1" my HP meter, or 1111)
each meter made sadly ,shows what they(maker) wants for OR, over-range or infinity.
to learn that ,just dial up ohms and see the meter reading, leads not touching any thing (ends) now you know your O.R reading.
now short the leads and see .001 or .01 or some low value for a short. it will never be 0.0000 ohms due to lead resistance. (but some meter have an auto zero feature, so. 0.000 can happen)
that is it. on TPS.

if the TV closes fully, it is ready to do the TPS CAL:.
cheers ! and happy holidays...!!!
wow! a hell of a response there! I will have to take that in one sentence at a time. Most is way over my head. The smallest i can shrink the photos is 3000x3000.. stupid 16 megapixl phone camera. a pic is worth a 1000 words! some info i left out. it is a 2 door with 3 speed trans. also we just had a winter storm blow in last night.. was 72F yesterday. now is 28F! so i have not messed with the tps yet but looking at it.. the slots where the screws go into. these slots are so that the tps can be turned and adjusted by hand. mypoint. mine is currently turned all the way to one side. full gap on one side of the screw... no gap on other.. leads me to believe someone messed with it. also the do not touch stop screw... looks like a small set screw with a locking nut on it? should there be a cover? mine does not have a cover. but throttle blade movment is very smooth inside bore. no rubbing
it appears to close 99.9999% no gaps. no "over closing" im heading out for a drive right now with cel pin inserted. will also check termostat housing tem with IR gun when i return/hot
sorry but had to do it all at once to do other things.
windows, click the start button and type paint. up pops Paint.exe (old PCpaint is now just paint)
click that, then open any photo.
and click home tab, click resize click pixel , put horz. 1024, then bullet maintain, Ok and save, (w10 example)
ok 2door 3sp. sure. the hyrdamatic, no transmission brains to go batty.
was 75 hot and humid here yesterday, golf hot wind,, love it.
the TPS turned like that means the BAD GUY touched your car, no matter its like super common that. they play with it like its CARB car, sad yes, but they do.

the stop screw plastic cap gets lost, on other years, they paint the treads white, and warning, leave me alone factory set.
what matters is the TV is 100% closed, this is one of the first things to do on any SIDEKICK. it closes 99.999% but not stick closed, I set all BADGUY bunged up to, 0.0005"
that is 1/2 of 1 thousands of and inch. on my feeler set its the only brass feeler, its so thin steel will crack so brass it is.,
but if the TV is closed its OK,, take careful looking to be sure, this allows the bleed screw to work, Seems your's is OK ,GOOOOOOOD.!
on a hot engine only the bleed and the ISC feed air, and nothing else, (foot off gas pedal running) 16v, 8v is another matter(halt)

good IDEA that IR gun, thermostats are bad actors, they love to fail, most go 5 years, about same as car battery.

i bet the ISC is gummed up. (but its only my guess, based on most do this age)
I bet the TPS was slammed by bad guy. sure is..

100% slammed , can be be on either end of tps, (open at idle or opens too late)
both bad deals.
if open switch at idle , idle controls are dead for sure. (ecu will not do idle now) as we think your does, (ac and drive regulation is dead)
or switch is closed to long, (means moving TV it opens wayyyyyy to late) the idle controls cause a fight with your right foot. (felt as gross tip-in throttle hesitation, ugly effects)

I am sorry doing the TPS cal is hard, just the bracket off makes this way more easy.
the feeler gage open the throttle at .026" rotation.
what that does is , the idle switch stay closed for .026" of rotation if not this ECU goes batty.

on the newer cars suzuki or J18/j20s
we set the voltage to 0.5v and its done. ( omg simple)
on the most newer, the TPS is auto calibrated, when you turn the key ON, the ecu goes, gee, zero throttle is 1v, so calibrates in pure software that point. auto cal.
this causes new mechanics to go nuts on legacy cars, wondering what the heck is TPS manual calibration and why so hard to do.... and skip it.
on even newer with TBW, throttle by wire, there are up to 4 TPS to fail , and if one does. 1/2 engine power is lost, limphome and strict idle limits.set.
and 3 more TPS to fail,wow. and an electric motor.
hope that is fun to know, if not. (4 generations of idle controls) and 5 for carbs.
the only thing here, that can suprise you
is when you make the ISC start working, will that UN HIDE another problem.

see this many times,the BAD guy did the nasty TPS slamming on purpose to hide another idle problem. sad no?
seen it.
it goes like this (bad)
idle wrong, too high , too low?
so slams the TPS.
and then sets idle with the bleed, to 800.
see that vast times. to hide the primary failure.

in effect turned it in to a silly carb setup. (human idle setting methods) ECU idle off LINE.

what can HE the badguy hide? sure easy. (i call him the nincompoop, in my TV page) LOL
1: TV gap slammed. (the 99% is not there, and sucking air like mad.
2: isc bad or stuck open, sucking air (from MAF) like mad.
3: vacuum leaks from H3LL no lie vacuum leaks are vast places not just hoses.
4: IAC bad the thermal idle valve is (cold idle until 150F) is bad and leaks air, sucks air and racing fast idle.
5: more sure, even hiding injector leaks, the list is long.... sorry.
seems i will have to fire up my desktop pc for images. ive been posting from my cell phone. (site not cell friendly) so i drove it about 10 miles. cel flashes 12 the entire drive. get home. IR pointed on top of thermostat housing reads 182F.. i atempted the check the TPS. oh boy.. first off... used a .025feeler.. could not find a 26... hope the .001 doesnt matter much. TIP remove feeler BEFORE opening throttle. took me 30 mins to find it! lol (it fell) ok readings with feeler inserted at idle (and yes i have 7-8mm of cable play) i got a .051.. with feeler removed. it was a .042 or 62 dont remember.. doesnt matter because moving the throttle off idle (and plying jinga with my feeler gauge) the DMM goes to OL. it only reads with throttle closed. anything but closed... even full open is OL. ????? i think i did it correctly? bottom 2 pins. this is telling me the tps is fubar? if so... i have no codes and it seems to run fine besides the 1500-1900 surge. i would think it would not run at all? also to add..when i cold started it before my drive.. idle was at 1500...when i returned. it was at 800... thats odd. also have a bad trans leak at back of pan.. replaced gasket 2 times.. tq'd properly. pan not bent. still leaking. this is another day. what a messy pain. 2x still leaking. convinced it may not be pan... as this second time i coated both sides of the rubber gasket in japanese Rtv. yes i did... this is my one and only "nincompoop" move so far. still leaking... arrrgghhhh... oh forgot to add... its a federal vehicle. has a brand new 4 wire Denso 02 sensor. new exhaust. long tube header with full custom exhaust. cat. resonator. muffler. (cat is not needed but i wanted one for exhaust stinch on trails/sitting in traffic)    
ok om my desktop now, had to dust er off a bit. will give pics another shot. and have an update (please read above post as this is a re-post) so i disconnected the tps, started the engine and it ran like absolute crap., bogging, hesitating, sputtering., cel came on with code 22 (im guessing its a no voltage from tps code of sorts), plugged it back in, cel went away on its own. engine starts and runs fine as it did before i unplugged it... here is the strange thing... i now can not get the surge loop to happen. im driving it to work tomorrow and il see what happens., believe it or not im a Honda mechanic by trade.. lol this zuki makes me feel stupid ALOT. + the oldest cars we work on are 2003-2004 which are Dinosaurs to us. and we rarely see them. mostly working of 2012+ vehicles. ok resized the photos.. il try to upload. the pics.. you can see my temporary block off tape/plug on the air pipe right before the maf, PO had one of thoes cheap ass tiny cone filters clamped there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i mean come on!!!! dirsct air leak infront of the maf!! also i just put these seats in, they are out of a 2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4 (Viper seats) , a few shots of engine .                    
cell friendly sites, are expensive, imagine supporting 100s of vastly different (communications devices today, think $$$$$)
I do only 1., and is free, costs me zero costs you zero and that is all you get for Free (grin)
a good feeler gauge has a screw nut on the side, and they come out, and you can add up any size you want, imagine how we do this on motorcycles, engines, impossibe to fit that large object in to tiny access hole. bingo better feeler gauges sets are sold, but 1 thou, is ok, no big deal, at all lacking that, I think but never tried, but hell my hand shakes at least .001" at 70yo
unplugging sensors is a bad idea, (with exceptions) limphome mode hit you, and burns up a CAT fast, so dont do that, unless desperate,
I suspected you as a tech all along, but not honda.. ever work 95 hondas, all this is SOP , same stuff OBD1 junk on all cars even 95 toyotas same bull, end to end only parts move,.
you never see old cars because the repair bill is same as car value, $500
and no shop wants to eat labor, using the laws (mechanics lien) no need to use that on a $500 car, that dont run right how is shop going to sell that car? lien'd now, and make profits.
impossible so many shops do not ever touch a car, or do so , with very very careful tactics.. (endless answer here)
OBD1 sucks , it sucks swap gas, I understand it can deal with it ok but it is a big pain, not only that the limphome mode is HORRID until 1996 when the EPA corrected this blunder.
in truth a 95 kick is 10x more valuable than any 95 toyota, just drive it (kick) on ice or deep snow, light 4wd is SUPER GOOD.
the folks up in canada love them and some pay $3000 to find one rust free, no kidding,, but that is there.
OMG (oh my golly) that car shines like new, its a beauty, and my fav color, !!!
let me warn you now the FPR may be bad, most are now, 1995 . lots of posts on them failing now, the diaphragm was never made to last this long.
OMG 2, chrome headers on kick, wow. got a cat there? if not the EGR is now dead, for ever. no issues if not smog tested, there is no p421 codes in 1995 either.
ok i see you have CAT. no stench matters, parked in traffic for sURE.

dont feel stupid, OBD1 is stupid
the only thing worse is 1975 VW with German , early ANALOG EFI, wow, what trash that is, but would love to tune one for a challenge, yes, sick i am.

the maf, is the funny screen still in front of it?
it is no screen, at all, its a laminar air flow device, it takes the air flow and makes it go straight or the MAF lies.
nor letting the maf bounce gee what bad that is, for damage and for making it read wrong.
Id bet the cone filter actual reduces power, on dyno at wot. or on a track wot.
thanks for the photos, love em.

when the idle switch works
3 things begin.
1: ac ON rpm jump +200 to 1000
2: idle holds at 800 even with blower on , defrost on and head lights on (the test is all 3 and once with 3 arms , lol)
3: the drive from P>N>D rpm holds at 800.

when that works ISC is ok and the idle switch is closed and pin 2 at 0v.
see this yet my huge annotated schematic of 95 ecu.


see pin 2? it also corrects SUZUKI blundering lie there on the TPS, note the switch is open, silly no? showing off idle, but is ok. the switch shorts to ground, line.pin1.
if it is at 0v, then the switch is closed. im sure the ECU has pull up resistor on that pin a18, guess at 5k resistor to 5vdc. never measured it but that would work, inside.

one ok sensor to pull running is mr, O2 sensor.
this can find a bad 02 or a exhaust leak to it near by. (lacking 0bd1 scan tools) this can work, wonders, if engine goes rich.
my pages are 10 years old, I stopped restoring them and my huge motorcycle restore shop then. (my cell phone then was like 1" screen and dumb so.. )
I do not have the space now , here in texas. retired. in 2009 (have a home outside uSA too)
I have 08 wrangler now,

the 96 fsm book, is still free but the owner moved it and now all old URL addresses are dead. (zillions of hits world wide all urls dead. and no domain forwards turned on)
here it is btw ,move now 3 times, wow ,,,,

type tracker here (get 96 fsm pages 1 by 1 page( or sections) he scanned the FSM back in 2007> or just before, a very very hard thing to do... there are missing chapters yes. abs? i forget.

he ? deleted the tracker index page, so now is hard to reach but here it is the hard way..
type tracker. here.


lots of parts 96 are same but ECU and its wiring
and sure ABS no good.
lots other things there good.

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