Focus Fanatics

Focus Fanatics (
-   General Technical Chat (
-   -   2001 Ford Focus SE (SOHC) (

billjohnson 03-30-2012 04:13 PM

2001 Ford Focus SE (SOHC)
Another SPI hanging in there!! Car has 105,000 miles. Recently had a compression test done on the engine, and supposedly all cylinders right at 120 psi. Now I'm considering replacing the timing belt, water pump, etc.

I know this engine has had massive problems with the valve seats, and wondering if i should put more $$$ into this car, or cut her loose while she still going?? If I do change timing belt and water there anything else that would make sense to do at that time??

Things I've done over last year:
1) failed front springs...replaced.
2) failed ignition lock cylinder..replaced.
3) failed alternator....replaced.
4) failed O2 sensors...replaced.
5) failed DPFE sensor...replaced.
6) failed fuel pump...replaced via recall.
7) new green stuff pads and slotted rotors
8) new headlight assembly
9) new plugs, wires, and coil
10) new fuel filter
11) new tires

fakitol 03-30-2012 04:43 PM

If you do timing belt + head change it will cost you $1000+. I would sell it.

p58ff 03-30-2012 09:53 PM

My 2002 SPI LX is still going with mileage close to 160K. I've replaced a lot of stuff too and I figure I'll run it until it croaks. I've done the shocks, headlights, sway-bar links, alternator, timing belt, water pump, and other odds-and-ends. Just replaced the windshield too after it got busted. Bought a new Pioneer stereo too since the OEM unit is possessed. My car is practically new with all the new parts and it sounds like yours is heading that way.

I wonder just how wide spread the valve-seat issue is? Surely not every SPI is dropping valve seats.

I can do a lot of repair for what a new or newer vehicle is going to run me cost-wise. If it is dependable for your use, maybe a commuter, keep it. Don't feel confident...probably time to let it go.


sailor 03-30-2012 11:31 PM

Yup - It's a "keeper"

The work done recently adds up all at once, but it's all "normal" maintenance for the age of the car.

Most of the failures we hear about are on Higher mileage cars, and we ONLY hear about the ones that break! (as a rule) NOT the ones that keep chugging along....

There are still Escorts out there running the same engine.... Haven't seen 'em ALL by the roadside... (grin)

If it DOES go, it can often be repaired fairly inexpensively, IF you can pull the head yourself & take it in for reconditioning.... And from what you've fixed already it sounds like you could do it!

The GOOD thing, is that the SPI is the most economical Focus, you pay for that with a bit less performance, but a LOT of folks are happy with them...


my_beautious_ZX3 03-31-2012 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by billjohnson (Post 4084699)
supposedly all cylinders right at 120 psi...I know this engine has had massive problems with the valve seats, and wondering if i should put more $$$ into this car, or cut her loose while she still going

That's always difficult math to do. If you replace your 2001 Focus with another older car, it's gonna need routine & unscheduled maintenance sooner or later anyway (like timing belt, struts, tires, etc). So, it boils down to sinking $$ into the proverbial "devil you know versus the one you don't".

I have a Zetec so I don't know what the nominal psi for an SPI is, but the consistent readings you got might mean that you dodged the valve seat bullet.


Originally Posted by sailor (Post 4085271)
There are still Escorts out there running the same engine.... Haven't seen 'em ALL by the roadside.

mmmm, not really a fair comparison. I drove an Escort for a decade, and I probably paid less for repairs in 10 years than in any one year of my Focus. On tires alone, I've probably spent 3x more on the Focus. BTW, when I finally junked the Escort (mechanically sound but dissolved by midwest roadsalt), it was still getting 41 mpg highway and burning zero oil. My mechanic laughed and said, "That's because it's a Mazda engine."

sailor 03-31-2012 04:14 PM

The SPI is the champ for Focus MPG, and the tire issue CAN be addressed with a good alignment...

"Backyard alignment" to Geezer's specs. in the wheels/Tires/brakes section does it...


billjohnson 04-01-2012 04:10 PM

Thanks for all the replies. So guess I will keep her and see what happens! [driving] Anything else I should do that's not on my list??

sailor 04-01-2012 05:17 PM

Shucks, fix what's broken - keep up with maintenance - keep an eye on everything else & just drive and enjoy it!

The only things not on the list are Brake condition, ball joint/tie rod end boot condition, and CV boot condition....

Just things you ALWAYS keep an eye on B4 they become an issue 'cause you didn't notice they were failing....

billjohnson 01-04-2013 05:04 PM


Originally Posted by billjohnson (Post 4084699)
Another SPI hanging in there!! Car has 105,000 miles.

UPDATE: Well, valve seat three dropped at 108,000. [mecry] Funny that I had stopped at my local Ford to order a motor mount, and the seat dropped right in the Stealership parking lot! Hoping to have a buddy pull a Lug Nut and bring her back from the dead...

tmittelstaedt 01-06-2013 11:13 AM

Buy a wrecked donor Focus with a Zetec engine, and replace your SOHC with the Zetec. I have a Focus LX that a prior owner did this to. The swap is easy to do, the Zetec bolts right on to the MTX transmission and you just need to take the engine computer and wiring and such from the donor car.

Don't just replace the head on the SOHC. When the valve seats drop metal particles are blown into both the intake and exhaust. All of those have to be cleaned out or the engine will fail again when those particles are sucked into the repaired engine.

There are aftermarket valve seats with a different metal formulation that won't fail, for the SOHC.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:24 AM.