96 escort runs rough after thermostat change

Hi! We changed the thermostat in our 96 escort wagon. Car idles fine, but as soon as it is put in gear it runs rough and dies. We checked all air hoses, ok. We had removed the neg. bat. cable as instructed when changing thermostat and reattached. Could that be problem? what do you suggest for troubleshooting? Thanks!

Even if the neg. battery cable wasn’t connected wrench tight, it wouldn’t cause the engine to run rough. More than likely you would have given a dash warning light/message for the charging system.

Check for a loose or disconnected vacuum hose.

Was it necessary to remove any plug wires to access the t-stat?

Thank you so much for responding! My husband had done a visual recheck of hoses and all looked good. Today, thx. to you, he checked again. . .he’d forgotten to tighten up one of the vaccuum hoses and when he pulled on it to check, off it popped. Runs good! Thank you so much!!

What temperature thermostat did you install? These EFI cars are really sensitive to the thermostat temp, and anything other than the OEM temp will cause these problems. I assume the OEM is a 195 deg F or 210 deg F. If you put a 160 deg F in there, then the computer will think the engine is always cold, even when warmed up.

Glad to be of some help.
Have a safe one.