January 15, 2012 edit by LugNut: This thread has become popular, thanks! It was not intended as a how-to, but I bet you'll find it helpful if you are thinking of rebuilding your SPI. Much later in the thread, with the rebuild now done, I've added parts and tools lists as well as lots of pictures. But _do_ read through the entire thread from the start because you'll learn from my challenges, other member's helpful hints, and pick up many details that are not in the later lists or pictures. Enjoy the biting humor too, and be safe!
Newbie to the FF, but an old hand at repairing cars. Just acquired a 2001 P-code SE sedan from some nice folk. The engine suddenly developed a knock in their driveway at a startup, and the nonmechanical sellers said they hadn't driven it since. I've started the engine briefly twice now, and yes it knocks!
This forum was very useful in identifying the likely cause -- a dropped valve seat. Starting tomorrow or the day after, I will pull the head and see what's up. I'm prepared to pull the whole engine and go through it, if necessary. I see the rebuilt heads with new and improved seats on eBay.
Degreased the engine bay and underhood, as well as the outside of the body and wheels, this afternoon to get things rolling. Will be searching the site for y'alls wisdom, but please feel free to list applicable links here!