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02 ford zx2 shaking, idle rpm and lead tape

i have an 02 ford zx2 with 122k and it vibrates really bad at idle, but only when i am in drive. it also gets worse when i cut on the AC. this is really common apparently and i knew it when i bought it, but it was only 1,500 bucks. I have noticed that that if i keep one foot on the gas and one on the break and raise the rpm to about 1k it smooths out.

I was on another forum and a guy mentioned he did this:

since the idle screw is glued in position, I got some lead (that’s right, Pb) tape from the golf shop cut some small strips to built up the choke plate arm (about six strips thick) where it meets the idle screw to increase the idle. Getting it up to about 1400 rpm in Park will give you 1000 rpm in gear when at a stop. The engine stays smooth.

Is this relatively safe to try until i can get it into a proper mechanic? I’m kind of scared to try it because it just seems “too easy”.

I think that you should just live with the vibration until you can get it to a mechanic. Messing with the mechanics of the throttle is a bad idea for the throttle body. Artificially raising your idle will waste gas and increase stresses on your drivetrain parts whenever you shift into gear.

I own 5 Escorts and I can tell you vibration while in gear on an automatic is probably just something you’re going to have to live with. I often slide the gear selector to “N” when I’m having to idle long periods of time to stop the vibration.