'98 Cherokee Engine "lope"

Hello all, I’ve got a 98 cherokee 5 speed 187k on it. 90% of the time it drives fine but there’s two things that it does which I presume are related. When just starting out in first or second, If I accidentally let off the gas a bit it will seem to throw the engine into a funk at which point I’ll disengage the clutch. It will lope(in neutral too) for a bit, seeming like it’s going to stall(but doesn’t) and needs a second to recover, which ain’t so hot when you’re merging onto a highway. I can usually avoid this by upping the RPMs and really being easy on the clutch. Secondly, it will start to lope when idling. Again it seems like it’s about to stall but then surges.

I’ve heard maybe it’s a vacuum leak or maybe something with the fuel pump. Just wanted to see what you guys thought. And if you have any suggestions on how to diagnose it. Thanks!

It sounds like the IAC (Idle air control) is sticky.

This is what it looks like.

Unplug it while it is searching for the correct idle. If it cleans up the idle and then searches again when you plug it back in, it is the IAC.

This can be removed and the carbon cleaned off the valve and the port that it is installed into.