All this sounds eerily familiar. I am currently dealing with a 1999 Plymouth Breeze 312, xxx miles. Ran great until water pump started squealing. Replaced it and timing belt and tensioner pulley assembly. I had replaced the Cam Shaft Position Sensor about 8 months earlier and discovered it works like a Thrust Bolt holding the Cam in position. Since it was extremely worn the Cam had migrated to the Left of the motor causing serious fray on the Timing Belt on the opposite side. Didn't know this at the time.
I'm a Ford guy and this was my first Dodge. It was given to me and several of the parts it needed to repair it. Was a great back and forth to work car as it has it's share of Hail damage and it was in Michigan for years and never washed, serious body rot going on but still looks okay. It's been sitting for a year due to this very problem and I was working 7 x 12 and simply didn't have the time to dedicate to it now I do and I'm resurrecting it for my youngest's first car.
Having pulsating idle issues once it warms up, delayed acceleration unless you mash it to the floor still it pauses for a half second or so before responding. It hangs in lower gear at high speeds when you let off the throttle, actually dragging you down like a manual tranny before it up-shifts. Same with downshifting when you hit the gas it literally feels like your about to stall but than it downshifts but you've lost some of the momentum so you get that going to stall feeling.
I've been all over this thing, thought it might have skipped time on me, tore it all apart again, reset timing, new plugs and wires, radical improvement but it came back again. Throwing a code for "Adaptive Fuel Strategy Too Rich". I have checked all sensors, O2, MAP, IAC, TPC, ECT Dodge doesn't use a MAF (Data from the MAF indicates it's trying to adjust for the Rich condition but dials it back to far and adjusts for that only to end up in this back and fort so no check for it, Fuel Pressure, Fuel Injectors, plus Niod Light for Pulse and they are reading with in specs according to Haynes. I pull the battery for a day or two while I'm working on it which resets the code and it runs great for a day or two than it goes back the way it was before and give it another day or two and the check engine light comes on and that same code is back.
Everything points to vacuum issues but I can't find the leak. The Smoke Test idea sounds great so headed out to do some of what I learned here.
BTW Thank you for being so diligent in follow up, you're right nobody ever does tell you what they finally did that solved the problem.
I started with the EVAP system a few years back when I first got it as it had all sorts of problems that all pointed to vacuum or EVAP only to learn there must have been a Tech Bulletin out from a recall on the EVAP system because half of it is missing back under at the gas tank area and all the one's at the Junk yard, personally inspected at least a dozen or more, have the same parts missing and work done to cap off parts of it. I think I remember reading something about this retro fit due to refueling problems, can't remember specifics.
Given I used to be one of the few guys at Ford's St. Louis Assembly Plant that did all the EEC, PCM, & BCE control system repairs on the Aerostar and Explorer vehicles I have a lot of experience with PCM related internal issues and my gut just keeps telling me it's something in the PCM code. Especially when you look up this "Adaptive Fuel Strategy" It's a learned behavior that is than written into the volatile memory of the PCM and used during times when there is insufficient data from the sensors to make fuel air ratio adjustments, like at start up.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 AT 2:44 PM