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What engine? Is this a 2wd or 4wd?
97 should be obdii and monitor misfires and set a code for them. Isn't the check engine light coming on or staying on or flashing and if so, have you retrieved the codes yet to figure out which cylinder or cylinders are misfiring?
I am reading "The Misfire Detection Monitor will be enabled only when certain base engine conditions are first satisfied. Input from the ECT, MC-VAF or MAF, CKP sensors, and Misfire Detection sensor on distributor ignition applications is required to enable the monitor."
So, fix the coolant temp sensor fault first then run the engine again until the misfiring occurs, then check the codes again. The ECT must be working in order for the misfire detection monitor to work.
Do you remember the actual code?
check for voltage to the sensor with the key on run.