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bk7794 10-12-2012 10:29 PM

Do the Zetec engines have headgasket problems?
Are headgasket problems common on these engines? Or anything else critical like the SPI? I know the thermostat housings go bad but thats not that critical.

I think I put this in the wrong forum

zetecDon 10-12-2012 11:34 PM


Originally Posted by bk7794 (Post 4402642)
Are headgasket problems common on these engines? Or anything else critical like the SPI? I know the thermostat housings go bad but thats not that critical.

I think I put this in the wrong forum

Yes, you did put it in the wrong section. But that's ok because I just moved it to the right section for you. Now about your question. I haven't heard of any problems with the head gaskets. Just the valve cover gaskets more than anything. I am sure someone with more experience on the SPI's will pop in and help you though.

iminhell 10-13-2012 01:36 AM

I'm reading it as he has a zetec, but is more aware of the problems with the SPI (since they are more publicized).

Neither engine, and this also includes the Focus Duratecs, have problems with head gaskets.

Anything you may find that says otherwise can be attributed to installation error (flatness, bolt TQ, surface cleanliness), user error (overheating), coolant degradation or type and other things.
In stock untouched form the gaskets are very good.

Lets say you buy a car with high miles, coolant has never been changed. If the head gasket fails we can blame the coolant. Over time it does become corrosive. Left long enough this will eat metals.

If proper maintenance has been done, there should be no issues at all.

amc49 10-13-2012 01:55 AM

Like he says, mostly user error. With the double fan-double speed control setup it is harder to toast one of these engines but there are those that still find a way. Must like walking I guess. The head gaskets are very reliable unless you just insist on constantly overheating it.

xxMichaelAnthony 10-13-2012 02:36 AM

I blew the one in my old motor. Coolant jacket to cylinder. Only burnt coolant during start up ran for another 60,000 then finally completely blew and was dumping coolant into the cylinder. Had a parts car so I did the whole motor instead of just doing the head gasket.

amc49 10-14-2012 04:58 AM

Probably needed to anyway, longterm burning of coolant produces steam that then erodes the cylinder walls in pitting. You should see the look people give when you tell them that, then you get to show them the damage caused by doing it. They think of it as a minor problem (I just keep adding coolant, right?) until faced with the need for engine replacement.

You think it's doing it at startup only, the leak accumulates then to make a crappy start, but the leak is often still going while running. Just small enough it doesn't really show yet.

xxMichaelAnthony 10-14-2012 05:19 AM

Pulled the head when I got it on a stand. Cylinder walls looked great. There was still visible cross hatching in each cylinder.The blow was into cylinder 3. Piston looked clean enough to eat off of. 60,000 miles worth of steam cleaning. lol. Motor had 232,000 miles on it by the way.

bk7794 10-14-2012 07:03 PM

That is great to know! I was thinking of buying a zx3 and want to know if any catastrophic problems like headgaskets or cylinders detonating themselves.

Also with 232k and the block still good means that it will be a good choice.

I fixed the title so its more clear, did this right before I went to bed so it was my error.

What about transmission? I also am aware of the cylinder lock, my family has a sedan lx with the SPI.

xxMichaelAnthony 10-15-2012 06:40 AM

The MTX75 (5 speed) is pretty bullet proof. Mine has 257,000 miles on it and still shifts/feels great. The higher horse power cars on here have had no problems that I know of except for breaking axles. Which you wont have to worry about. There are a few automatics on here that are seeing a good amount of power with no problems as well.

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