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Old 11-14-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
Kupipin
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"Avoid like the Plague"(2002) -Carcomplaints.com

I have recently bought a 2002 ZX5 with only 67k on it. I've read countless 4-5 star reviews of the Focus both 2002 and otherwise. But the day I got it the guy who inspected my vehicle warned that this engine has a habbit of exploding at 80k and there's nothing I can do about it. I found This Arcticle later that day.

Now I feel like an idiot. Most people are actually getting 100k out of it but I feel like I'm driving a time bomb now. Is there anything I can do to prevent a disaster like the one described by 90% of the people on that site?

The problem I'm referring to is the engine griding itself apart when one of the pistons looses pressure, drops, and ruins the cylinder.

What should I do?
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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Happened to my uncles 02 ZX4. But it was around 300k when it happened. We never heard anything about this issue until after. I don't think he done anything in particular. Just regular maintenance. He bought another focus after.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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The hatchback you have came with a zetec which is one of the most reliable engine platforms that I know in the car. I havent heard of any problems with the 02 zetec. I believe your mechanic is referring to the 2.0 spi engine which is know to drop valve seats thus destroying pistons and catastrophic failure.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:03 PM   #4
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First off, what exactly does "when one of the pistons looses pressure, drops, and ruins the cylinder" mean? Looses pressure = loses compression (I guess). Drops? How would a piston drop? I suppose the connecting rod could break, but that typically happens on the compression or exhaust stroke, sending the piston into the head. I guess it COULD fall back down into the pan after the connecting rod moves out of the way, but the piston 'dropping' wouldn't be the source of all the damage.

You may have to consider the source when reading reviews like that. Self-destructing engines are actually very rare, and can most often be attributed to abuse or neglect. Neglect includes having never changed a timing belt, which is a great way to do big $$ worth of damage to an engine when it breaks....if the engine is 'interference type'. Running engine oil past its useful life, or running the engine low on oil are other common causes of premature death. Overheating is another one. All of these can be prevented 99% of the time with good maintenance practices.

I have read horror stories about the MK1 Focus, but it related to stacks of recalls the car incurred during its growing pains period. I'm not at all familiar with stories of the engine committing suicide at 80K for no reason. Just about any modern engine can be good for 300K if it's well maintained and not abused.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbdallas View Post
First off, what exactly does "when one of the pistons looses pressure, drops, and ruins the cylinder" mean? Looses pressure = loses compression (I guess). Drops? How would a piston drop? I suppose the connecting rod could break, but that typically happens on the compression or exhaust stroke, sending the piston into the head. I guess it COULD fall back down into the pan after the connecting rod moves out of the way, but the piston 'dropping' wouldn't be the source of all the damage.

You may have to consider the source when reading reviews like that. Self-destructing engines are actually very rare, and can most often be attributed to abuse or neglect. Neglect includes having never changed a timing belt, which is a great way to do big $$ worth of damage to an engine when it breaks....if the engine is 'interference type'. Running engine oil past its useful life, or running the engine low on oil are other common causes of premature death. Overheating is another one. All of these can be prevented 99% of the time with good maintenance practices.

I have read horror stories about the MK1 Focus, but it related to stacks of recalls the car incurred during its growing pains period. I'm not at all familiar with stories of the engine committing suicide at 80K for no reason. Just about any modern engine can be good for 300K if it's well maintained and not abused.
Like i said the SPI is notorious for dropping valve seats. His hatch shouldn't have an SPI. Some in Canada came with them but I don't know the quantity. In the United States all hatch had a zetec in 02.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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You dont have that motor in your car. Dont worry about it. You have a ZETEC. Plenty of them on here with over 200,000 miles, mine included. Go back and tell the inspector he is an idiot and then dont go back to him for anything.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:15 PM   #7
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the spi is the only bad engine... it IS NOT IN YOUR ZX5 Don't worry about it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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To make yourself feel a little better, look under the hood.

This is the ticking time bomb that most wrote about:
2.0L SOHC SPlit Port Injection (SPI)


This is the motor you have:
2.0L DOHC Zetec
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon84 View Post
To make yourself feel a little better, look under the hood.

This is the ticking time bomb that most wrote about:
2.0L SOHC SPlit Port Injection (SPI)

OH thank god, my SPI doesn't look nearly as clean as that, so I should be safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbdallas View Post
I have read horror stories about the MK1 Focus, but it related to stacks of recalls the car incurred during its growing pains period. I'm not at all familiar with stories of the engine committing suicide at 80K for no reason. Just about any modern engine can be good for 300K if it's well maintained and not abused.
How can you have 437 posts on this site, and never have heard of the SPI dropped valve issue?


To the OP, trust me you are not the only person around this forum to feel the way you did. You're just one of the lucky ones to find out you actually have the zetec engine. I didn't know about the SPI when I bought mine, but I have own several SOHC engine cars before, and loved that they were such strong engines, Opps. But hell, almost 3 years later she has 222270 kms and no real big issues so far. The timing tensioner seized up and broke the belt at 120 km/hr, and somehow didn't destroy the engine, the ford mechanic told me it was in fact an interference engine, and based on the situation, I should have looking for a new engine. So maybe I got one of the good ones. (fingers crossed)
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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8th digit of the VIN:

3=zetec

P=SPI
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