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The ECU was the problem (not anything else!)
Dear Fixkick and Gorky:
Yesterday, I installed the new pump and started the car. No change!
I then installed the FPREG I had from the used TB I had bought. Still no change!
I then plugged in the new (refurbished/used) ECU. SUCCESS AT LAST (not to fast however
this long post , started as long email and other forums.
the car runs badly and idle is why out of control, in fact blocking the air horn by hand plugging , 100%, the car still ran. oops, so the statement (not anything else is bogus, sorry , but is is)
I advised correcting the gross air leaks.
then the ECU was found to be attacked by and electric drill bit, ive seen this many times under the corner capacitor, due to acid damage wrecking the VIA's at that location, but it seems in fact they drilled thru a critical 3rd layer path. (i did warn you about this possibility)
my failing here is not explaining air leaks well, and is a very hard topic, and at no time did i think the customer could not understand, only my poor way to explain it. ( but nature does abhor a vacuum)
replacing ECU caused a profound change, I'm glad it did.
Dear Fixkick:
The fat lady sang last night!

I removed the ECU from its tightly tucked position, and every thing worked perfectly! Ironically, whatever wire I touched did not trigger what I experienced earlier.

In any case, I am not going to insist the ECU be in its original position. After 68 days of struggling to fix this damn issue, I have decided to make a bracket, and mount it on the firewall.

Thanks for your unconditional support , help and expertise in past 68 days. I have learned a lot about this damn car! I am probably going to look for a 96+ Sidekick (if I could find one with the body condition as the one I own).

The Moral of story! II kept insisting that there was something fishy that the car would act up after getting warm. . . . the ECU!!!

Well, now the car has about 8 parts that did not need to be changed! BTW, I have ordered the OBD1 cable through Rhino; if I ever get a chance, I will put the old ECU back and see if Rhino's OBD1 can detect any thing that we could not. I hope I do not have to fool around with this car much longer, since my Triumph TR3 need attention (that it well-deserves!).

Thanks again!

The Prof
It's great that your car is running fine now. Just be careful, loose connections are very dangerous, it can leave you stranded at any parking lot when you least expect it. With fixkick's help I tested every pin on mine. What I'd do in your place is to take readings now when it is running fine and write them down, then do the readings with the ECU on it's original place (which is when you seem to have the issue) and find what's different on the readings. Very frustrating to do but with patience, safety pins, alligator connectors ($3 in Harbor Freight) and your voltmeter you can knock this out in a few hours. I had my ECU hanging around also while I was troubleshooting for problems on my car, when I tried to put it back in its original place it was not easy, connectors are forced to make a sharp 180 degree turn facing up (not sure if yours is the same way) plus in cold weather those wires do not form too easily. PO owner on mine tried making a Fast and Furious compact out of my car (probably why I liked it?, guilty!-don't judge me) but it brought a whole bunch of issues on my car. As time went by fixkick and I worked on putting everything back to stock and symptoms starting disappearing one by one. Don't feel bad, I also purchased 3 or 4 parts that I didn't really need for my car to run, but I look at it from the point of view that since Suzuki is going away from the US, having a few extra parts laying around are actually a good investment (if you're planning on keeping the car) I went to the store and got me those briefcase style organizers, threw all my extra parts in it and labeled it "Geo Tracker", I have one for my Civic too. Hey, at least it made me feel a little better, lol.
1996 Geo Tracker, CAMI, 16 valve, 5sp, 4x4, soft top, 2 door, no a/c
hind -sight seems 20/20?
Well, now the car has about 8 parts that did not need to be changed!
sorry , really , that i helped you.
also, i never question your ability to understand !, only my ability to articulate it (btw, the vacuum leaks were REAL!)
lessened learned, never help profs.
and always change out the ECU first.

PS. I never said the pump was bad, i said, if the pressure varies, there is a problem. only THAT. !
The 8v has Barometric fuel pressure controls, that is , only altitude changes fuel pressure, totally unlike any 16v, MPI , Air density car.
TBI is unique. totally.

more answers, and comments.
A/T questions.
the A/T clutch has a stall speed. (3 speed answer, 4 is more complex)
and if the engine don't idle correctly it transgress in to that clutch stall threshold deeply. causing you to have to hold the brake aggressively at extreme idle. (effect 1)
The A/T sifting is controlled by (driver demand >throttle, Vacuum(load, hills) and , veh speed (gov) and the shift lever)
The engine with a huge vacuum air leak, as your's had, causes the Vacuum to DROP, this tells the A/T that load is heavy (falsely !) and causes unwanted down shifting and or, late or delayed up-shifting.
The ECU also decides when to activate the TCC , lockup. that too can fail if the ECU was drilled through willy nilly.

but for most of us, a new ecu is $500 from Cardone (a top re- builder in USA) or a used one for less and a big time praying, as we wait for mail.
but i must admit the moment i saw drilled holes, in my ECU main board. , a spare 2nd ECU would be ordered. (and ECU caps are changed at drop of hat on all)

All cars need parts, they don't need (as it may seem?), here is a popular list.
a tune up. (buy parts or waste fuel, i'ts everyone's choice)
parts that seem intermittent, some intermittent are very hard., buy a scope and see it mess up, or buy a new part. life's a beach ! as is reality.
I dont wish intermittent on ANYONE. (some are horrid to find, case in point flaky CKP/s)
EGR parts, shops must change it on suspect, for 2 reasons, illegal to run car with out (or testing with out) and labor to clean is more that part value. (way over) The EPA does not allow any mech, to ignore discovered, bad, smog related parts (huge fines!) Read up ?
but hard failures are easy. we find them and correct them as found, if you think that vacuum leaks are good, then try running like that..
Ok, that covers , cars and costs. and odd symptoms.
Be happy this old car is simple, try a 2013 car.... and the silly "your tires are low BS" detectors...

Most cars, the ECU can go quite nuts if you have a SET of failures, that is why we condemn the ECU last. (Garbage in , nets garbage out)

last last.
the ECU case is body ground and the ECU has filters that use body ground to protect all the inputs from damage.
no body ground , less protection.! (it has 2 types of protection, 1 will be dead)

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