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biederboat 01-18-2013 09:29 PM

Restart issue after timing belt replacement - help appreciated!!!
Just replaced the timing belt on my 2000 ZTEC. The timing belt "spun" in the driveway on a start attempt and sat for a couple months before I finally got it on today. I wanted to make sure it was "okay" so I just installed the valve cover and front motor mount hardware and started it (no accessory belt to drive water pump, alternator, etc.). It started after a few seconds, sounded "reasonably okay" (ran rough for a few seconds). I didn't want to run it for very long but did a couple of short restarts but, after that, it doesn't seem to want to start.

Any thoughts on why it won't start? I understand there's no alternator providing a battery charge and no water circulating but I was only running it for about 10-15 seconds at the most. I haven't cranked it but a few times for a few seconds. Oh yeah, before I started it I did crank over a couple times to verify the camshaft/crankshaft timing (pin and bar fit perfect).


amc49 01-18-2013 11:17 PM

It should start and run fine like that. Pull upper belt cover and verify belt not moving don't mention whether battery ran down from sitting, low would make for start issues, starter steals needed ignition power.

biederboat 01-18-2013 11:35 PM


Originally Posted by amc49 (Post 4546694)
It should start and run fine like that. Pull upper belt cover and verify belt not moving don't mention whether battery ran down from sitting, low would make for start issues, starter steals needed ignition power.

Yeah, it was drained so that could definitely be an issue. I'll try again in the morning. It may have only started while I still had the charger "on".


biederboat 01-19-2013 02:15 PM

Still no go. It's cranking over strong but just isn't coming to life. I re-verfied the belt timing, it looks good and checked for spark while cranking which is there. Stuck a little ether start down the throttle body and it fired just briefly. Other than that, nothing. Oh, I also reset the fuel pump switch. I'm wondering if the fuel pump is stuck after sitting about 2-3 months? Any suggestions?


biederboat 01-19-2013 03:02 PM

Okay, so there doesn't appear to be any way to hook up a fuel pressure gauge on a Focus? I can't find any test port on the rail (2000 Ztec).

But I did remove the fuel fitting from the rail, turned ignition on: nothing. Cranked over and it started for a bit, I suspect it was able to suck fuel in that was otherwise held back by having had the line sucked dry.

I checked the fuel pressure switch again. Is there any reason that it wouldn't pump fuel just because the alternator is disconnnected? I still just have it running with the timing belt, not the accessory belt.


mikebontoft 01-19-2013 03:18 PM

Well, you know the timing is set right. Put the rest of it back together. you need to bleed the cooling system anyway.

Can you physically hear the pump operating?

That's correct though, there is no pressure test fitting. The little "regulator" you see on the end of the rail is simply a pressure sensor so the computer can adjust the pump's output.

Also, are you sure someone didn't siphon out the gas?

biederboat 01-19-2013 04:07 PM

Well, I'm in the process of completing the assembly. Doesn't look like anything related to the timing belt. Gas gauge does show 1/4 tank.

Should there be fuel flow straight out of the fitting with the engine cranking or even just the ignition on? I would sure think so.

The only other thing I can think of at the moment is I'm wondering if somehow there is water in the line and it froze. It is a cold snap at the moment, car is in a garage. I'm trying to finish assy so it can sit outside in the sun.

Oh yeah, I never hear anything "running" (e.g. fuel pump), near as I can tell anyways, when I turn the ignition on.

Any other thoughts?


amc49 01-19-2013 06:19 PM

You MUST be able to hear pump running when turning key on to start, a couple seconds or so. Get someone to do it while you bend down and listen around tank, you'll hear it.

biederboat 01-19-2013 06:26 PM

Well, now that I think about it, I likely just "ignored" it, probably thought it was something else all these years! [facepalm] In any case, I all I hear is that ringing in my ears that won't stop. Pretty sure fuel pump isn't running. I did check the fuse.

Is there any "normal" condition that could cause the fuel pump to quit after sitting for a couple months?


whynotthinkwhynot 01-19-2013 06:31 PM

The fuel pump is not working?

Before you replace the fuel pump: check the fuel cutoff switch located in the passenger side kick panel in the car. Make sure the button is not popped up. Sometimes during some repairs the cutoff switch can be tripped.

Next, check the fuel pump fuse. I think it is #15 under the hood, but check your owner's manual to be certain.

Finally, there is the fuel pump controller. These have been known to go out, but I would replace a fuel pump before I replaced a controller. The controller is located under the rear seat on the passenger side of the vehicle. You can check power going to it, and power going to the pump (key on) with an electronic voltage tester.

BTW, if the fuel sensor is not connected under the hood, I do not think the fuel pump will not turn on. You should re-assemble the car before diagnosing this issue.

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