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Old 08-02-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
drlenger
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SOHC Victim's Sympathy Group Therapy!

My 2003 SE SOHC motor blew.....yep that's right, sucked the valve seat in #4, running great one second, toast the next. So after much research and price checking I decided to buy a junk yard motor and upgrade the head. My options were limited, Jasper motor $2,500, $2,000 for a local shop to install. This is my 16 year old daughters car, that I only paid $3,500 for.....so $4,500 was out of the question. So Dad get's to do an engine swap. I have another Focus, a 2000 SE with the DOHC Zetec, that one is my soon to be 16 son's car.

So yesterday my junkyard motor arrived from Lecavalier in Canada off Ebay, 56K on the odometer, looks a little rough, but probably stored outside, price was right $590. Most importantly it has the intake on it so I don't have to worry about fragments from the valve seat explosion from the old motor.

Ordered a reman/updated head from JCL on ebay, $299. I also ordered a full head gasket kit off Ebay for $30. Will probably order a timing belt/water pump kit also.....I am thinking it makes sense to replace it while the motor is on a stand and easily worked on.

As a side note, my local Ford Dealer wanted $1,600 to fix the AC on this car, it was the old pull the whole dash to replace the condensor. But while doing the tear down I found the High side hose from the compressor to the evap unit has a large road debris dent and puncture, much easier than pulling the whole dash.....let's hope that fixes it.

I will keep this thread rolling so other SOHC victims can see the progress, I will try to get some pictures also.


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Old 08-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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here are some pictures

The Junk Yard Motor in it's crate


The Blown Motor being removed
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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Good luck! I look forward to watching the progress.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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How many miles did u have on the original motor that blew? I ask this cuz i have the same year and same engine as that and I have 150172 on it.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:23 AM   #5
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How many miles did u have on the original motor that blew? I ask this cuz i have the same year and same engine as that and I have 150172 on it.
I'm also curious about how many miles he had on the original motor Because, I also own an SOHC with 135k+ and for some reason I'm beganning to worry.

Nonetheless, looking forward to the 'swapping' progress.
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:15 AM   #6
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I'm at 160k no problems with my SPI.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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We had 135,000 and it was running beautifully, no problems at all. I was actually wondering why so many people preferred the DOHC Zetec over this engine. My other Focus is a 2000 with the Zetec and 105,000....although it runs good I can't get it to idle smoothly. The 2003 with the SOHC sometimes you would have to check to see if it was running it was so smooth. No warning at all, just dropped the seat and it was done. Although, my understanding is that it has to do with running temp, and it was 107 in the shade at the time and I was running the AC...go figure.

In retrospect, had I know about the head issue I would have changed it out immediately. Which is a much easier process than what I have now.....so if I were you.....I would get that head changed out now.....it is a ticking time bomb!....not a question of "IF" but a question of "WHEN"
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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I have just spun 221'000 kms on my spi.. still running okay...
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #9
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I have just spun 221'000 kms on my spi.. still running okay...
Wow!! What's the secreat for safely reaching those kms
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:34 PM   #10
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Wow!! What's the secreat for safely reaching those kms
221,000 km = 137,323 mi. Doesn't matter how many miles are on it. Some go at 80,000 some make it to 150,000.

Better question is: Did ranger_mclaren change out the head? Cause that is the only way to not drop a vale seat.
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