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Old 07-08-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
stevefromiowa
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Newbee with some questions...

First, just wanted to say hello. I just picked up a 2005 Focus ZX-4 SE with 95k and had a few questions that have arisen. A little background, I also own a 98 Escort SE and have been active in the FEOA Forum for numerous years. But with 228k miles and climbing, it was time for a backup for when the Escort has it's final hick-up.

Since getting the Focus and spending countless hours scouring this forum, I've decided upon several upgrades I will be undertaking. The Focus was somewhat neglected by the previous owner and I'm finding numerous little projects to undertake. Upon getting the car I first changed the plugs and did a compression test. All cylinders tested between 130-140 dry and 145-150 wet. I then ran seafoam in the oil for about 20 minutes idling and changed the oil and filter. I then changed out the fuel filter and ran seafoam through a tank of fresh gas.

A few things I've noticed in the short time I've had it are as follows:

1) The cables going into the throttle body seem awfully loose. I've shown the extent of this in the next couple pictures. I think this play in the wires may be the reason why there is so much pedal play in getting the car to accelerate but am not certain.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

2) When the vehicle is in park and the hood raised, I've pushed back on the bumper and the vehicle seems to rock backwards noticeably. I ran the same experiment on my Escort and, while it rocks in a similar fashion, I don't think it moves backwards as much as Focus. Additionally, when I rock it backwards, the engine block exhibits noticeable movement. Could this be the engine mounts being bad?

3) The rear end has a clunk when I go over bumps and I am pretty sure it is something wrong with the rear suspension. I am awaiting parts to replace this, but visually inspecting it shows that the lower control arm on the driver side seems to be pretty much parallel with the subframe, while the passenger side shows a noticeable angle between the control arm and subframe. This is shown in the next pictures. The car is parked in my driveway and it's pretty close to being level. I've also noticed some body roll while driving at highway speeds, something that will hopefully be fixed by the Steeda Sway Bar kit I am awaiting delivery on. Idiotic move by Ford, as even my 98 Escort came with a rear sway bar as standard equipment. It's going to be a daily driver and I was considering replacing bushings as well, but after the nightmare I experienced trying to put polyurethanes on my Escort, I am somewhat hesitant to ripping apart every suspension component.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

4) The exhaust makes a strange noise while the engine is running. It can most accurately be described like the blades of a helicopter... whup whup whup whup... I don't know if this is due to a restricting somewhere, a misfire, an exhaust leak or inefficient intake. I am currently working on getting the parts together to perform the Stealth CAI with a K&N filter and a 90 degree elbow. Stock intake/air filter is original but the indicator is still in the green. Also plan on giving the MAF a thorough cleaning in the near future. Would any one recommend replacing the PCV Valve, and, if so, what part do you go with? The Escort was notorious for an idiotic setup with the PCV Valve, but a Red Green fix could be performed for relatively cheap.

5) The car seems to accelerate quite slowly, even more noticeable when the engine is hot or the AC is running. I can understand some hesitation and bogginess, but this is getting almost to the point of being unsafe. If I push the gas pedal all the way down from a stop it seems to take at least 2-3 seconds for the engine to actually produce forward momentum. After it catches up I have to let off the gas pretty fast to accelerate at a moderate pace. It almost reminds me of turbo lag I used to have in my 90 Eclipse GSX 15 years ago when I put a bigger turbo on it. Not sure if it is intake, tranny, throttle body, intake manifold, exhaust, or engine related. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this before I (or my wife) gets T-boned trying to accelerate through an intersection.

6) I visually inspected the brakes and, short of pulling off the drums and checking out the shoes, they appear to be relatively new, with about 90% of the pads left. I don't think the car has ABS but I have noticed something occasionally when coming to stops. The brakes seem pretty firm but they occasionally do not provide the same stopping power every time. When I take my foot off and reapply pressure, the brakes still don't seem to have the stopping power they should. (I.E. my 98 Escort, with ABS and properly maintained and serviced brakes stops better) Due to the negligent previous owner, I am pretty sure they are due for complete bleed job as I am leaning towards the lack of braking could indicate air on the lines. Does anyone use/know of the correct speed bleeder for this car? The rear bleeder screws look a bit rusty so they may get a PB Blaster bath for a couple days.

I apologize for the lengthiness of this post but felt it was the best way to get all my questions answered. If anyone knows of any stickies or previous threads that detail these exact topics, please let me know, as I've been searching and searching for several days now. I look forward to learning all I can about my Focus and tackling every problem that it puts in my path. Thanks in advance for any insight or help anyone can provide.


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Old 07-08-2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevefromiowa View Post
First, just wanted to say hello. I just picked up a 2005 Focus ZX-4 SE with 95k and had a few questions that have arisen. A little background, I also own a 98 Escort SE and have been active in the FEOA Forum for numerous years. But with 228k miles and climbing, it was time for a backup for when the Escort has it's final hick-up.

Since getting the Focus and spending countless hours scouring this forum, I've decided upon several upgrades I will be undertaking. The Focus was somewhat neglected by the previous owner and I'm finding numerous little projects to undertake. Upon getting the car I first changed the plugs and did a compression test. All cylinders tested between 130-140 dry and 145-150 wet. I then ran seafoam in the oil for about 20 minutes idling and changed the oil and filter. I then changed out the fuel filter and ran seafoam through a tank of fresh gas.

A few things I've noticed in the short time I've had it are as follows:

1) The cables going into the throttle body seem awfully loose. I've shown the extent of this in the next couple pictures. I think this play in the wires may be the reason why there is so much pedal play in getting the car to accelerate but am not certain.
There will be a tad bit of slop on the outside cable, being the cruise control
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

2) When the vehicle is in park and the hood raised, I've pushed back on the bumper and the vehicle seems to rock backwards noticeably. I ran the same experiment on my Escort and, while it rocks in a similar fashion, I don't think it moves backwards as much as Focus. Additionally, when I rock it backwards, the engine block exhibits noticeable movement. Could this be the engine mounts being bad?
You could use a lower dogbone= roll restictor mount. A great upgrade would be a poly one like a vf engineering one or you could just replace the rubber bushings in the oem one w/ poly ones.
3) The rear end has a clunk when I go over bumps and I am pretty sure it is something wrong with the rear suspension. I am awaiting parts to replace this, but visually inspecting it shows that the lower control arm on the driver side seems to be pretty much parallel with the subframe, while the passenger side shows a noticeable angle between the control arm and subframe. This is shown in the next pictures. The car is parked in my driveway and it's pretty close to being level. I've also noticed some body roll while driving at highway speeds, something that will hopefully be fixed by the Steeda Sway Bar kit I am awaiting delivery on. Idiotic move by Ford, as even my 98 Escort came with a rear sway bar as standard equipment. It's going to be a daily driver and I was considering replacing bushings as well, but after the nightmare I experienced trying to put polyurethanes on my Escort, I am somewhat hesitant to ripping apart every suspension component.
Some miles on it, I'd replace your struts/shocks & see what that does. The steeda bar will help for cornering, thats for sure.
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

4) The exhaust makes a strange noise while the engine is running. It can most accurately be described like the blades of a helicopter... whup whup whup whup... I don't know if this is due to a restricting somewhere, a misfire, an exhaust leak or inefficient intake. I am currently working on getting the parts together to perform the Stealth CAI with a K&N filter and a 90 degree elbow. Stock intake/air filter is original but the indicator is still in the green. Also plan on giving the MAF a thorough cleaning in the near future. Would any one recommend replacing the PCV Valve, and, if so, what part do you go with? The Escort was notorious for an idiotic setup with the PCV Valve, but a Red Green fix could be performed for relatively cheap.
A great up great for your intake is Steeda's sri. The pcv is behind the intake manifold. Do you have a vacum leak? If you replace your pcv, make sure to replace the hose.
5) The car seems to accelerate quite slowly, even more noticeable when the engine is hot or the AC is running. I can understand some hesitation and bogginess, but this is getting almost to the point of being unsafe. If I push the gas pedal all the way down from a stop it seems to take at least 2-3 seconds for the engine to actually produce forward momentum. After it catches up I have to let off the gas pretty fast to accelerate at a moderate pace. It almost reminds me of turbo lag I used to have in my 90 Eclipse GSX 15 years ago when I put a bigger turbo on it. Not sure if it is intake, tranny, throttle body, intake manifold, exhaust, or engine related. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this before I (or my wife) gets T-boned trying to accelerate through an intersection.
Have you sprayed some tb cleaner down the throat of the tb? Plug's, fuel filter?
6) I visually inspected the brakes and, short of pulling off the drums and checking out the shoes, they appear to be relatively new, with about 90% of the pads left. I don't think the car has ABS but I have noticed something occasionally when coming to stops. The brakes seem pretty firm but they occasionally do not provide the same stopping power every time. When I take my foot off and reapply pressure, the brakes still don't seem to have the stopping power they should. (I.E. my 98 Escort, with ABS and properly maintained and serviced brakes stops better) Due to the negligent previous owner, I am pretty sure they are due for complete bleed job as I am leaning towards the lack of braking could indicate air on the lines. Does anyone use/know of the correct speed bleeder for this car? The rear bleeder screws look a bit rusty so they may get a PB Blaster bath for a couple days.
IDK what size bleeders you have. Yeah, I'd bleed the brakes too. It also could be the pad/shoe compound too.
I apologize for the lengthiness of this post but felt it was the best way to get all my questions answered. If anyone knows of any stickies or previous threads that detail these exact topics, please let me know, as I've been searching and searching for several days now. I look forward to learning all I can about my Focus and tackling every problem that it puts in my path. Thanks in advance for any insight or help anyone can provide.
No problem, we're all here to help & learn.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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welcome to the forum, I am relitively new here to but there is alot of knowlege to pluck through if you look long enough.
answers to questions in my oppinion/experience other will be more knowledgeable i am sure.

1) the manufacturer sometimes allows for a small amount of slop on the throttle cable. in this case i think the cable has streched cause that is a bit much even for standard opperations
2)engine mount could attribute to the motor rock the car is going to move some. the dog bone (rear motor mount) on the back of the motor is probably a good place to look.
3)look to me like the lower control arm bushiing on the car (as opposed to the wheel side) has worn out, if it is even there. so sorry the bushings are probably gonna have to be replaced. if you do one just do them all on the rear suspension.
4) Exhaust. probably has a leak Where does the sound origonate from? block side muffler resenator somewhere between?
5)with the slack in the cable you may not be able to get the Butterfly open enough to really go WOT, then there are the other usual suspects plugs wires/coil packs. fuel filter clogged throttle body dirty. MAF may be dirty too. EGR may be giving you fits.
6) correct bleeders I don't know. but you are in good shape with your assumptions it probably has air in the lines.

Really you are onto all the right fixes already. really all we are doing is helping confirm what you have already thought. I think you got these problems licked when you get the time to do all the maintainance.

Happy trails my friend.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the fast advice guys. After the past couple days, my credit card loves me. For now I am going to do the stealth CAI with a K&N filter. I also ordered the poly inserts for the dogbone. For the brakes I ordered a motive power brake bleeder with the catch bottle. Still need to find a spring compressor but am leaning towards the OEM brand one, as the suspension kit I ordered came with the front struts pre-assembled. Am awaiting shipment of the Steeda rear sway bar kit and the Ford Racing SVT shock kit. Am probably going to go the full out poly route on all my control arms and chassis components. Does anybody have experience doing this job? My past experience with bushings on my Escort still gives me nightmares and I am not looking forward to it. In reading a comment on Amazon, one guy stated he had to weld the new sleeves into the control arms due to how loose they were. Hopefully I won't have to do that but who knows. Another option I may consider would be just ordering all new rear control arms from Rockauto... this way I save myself the headache of burning out and pressing in new bushings. The car will be primarily a daily driver going 100 miles each day on the interstate. Any thoughts on this?

On the subject of Poly, would you recommend getting the full blown Prothane bushing kit which runs about $180 for everything?

http://www.amazon.com/Prothane-6-202...eywords=6-2026

I've seen other kits which are only for the rear control arms and they are going for $130....

Once again thanks for the insight and bearing with me as I figure this car out. I am still unsure as to why the car is so sluggish at take off. It seems like it is winding up or something. Takes a few seconds with the pedal pushed all the way down to get moving, but once it is going the throttle response is fine. Hopefully this problems works itself out with all the things I will be doing to it in the next couple of weeks.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
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Today I installed the Stealth CAI with a K&N. Man do these cars have alot of plastic... wasn't expecting a 3 ft snorkel attached to the filter box... Anyways, progress is being made, slowly but surely... now to wait for my bushing to arrive (SVT suspension kit came today... shipping from Tousley Frod is fast when you only live a state away)...

i think the CAI partially improved my slow accel but think the poly dogbone bushings will be equally as effective. My computer was not too happy with the new intake setup at first, but after dying a couple times and some rough patches it seems to have figured out the new way to breath. At idle it seems to have a little roughness that comes and goes but don't have a clue where to begin with that.

The only negative of today was my cruise control quit working. I had popped out the trunk release button on the dash to see if it was loose, because the release hadn't worked since I got the car, and I found the connector was disconnected. So I plugged it in and voila... my trunk lock actuator clicked. I had also had the drivers door apart today as well working on the power window switch... don't know if I could have shorted something and blew a fuse or what...

Additionally, I noticed this wire dangling loosely in my engine compartment. Here are a couple pictures to show it. I am assuming it is a ground, but as for what, I am clueless. Can anybody identify it?

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

As always, thanks for any help you can provide.

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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Yes that wire is a ground
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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Make sure you don't have a broken coil spring in back to cause the lean.

Can't imagine why people put something in oil to clean it. It makes me cringe when I hear that. What is it you think you're cleaning up that is then flinging around in your motor to get in bearings and other close tolerance parts? If I have 'deposits' in motor I do everything I can to keep them exactly where they are, car is running and may not be after you knock that stuff loose. Propaganda fomented by Seafoam and others who rely on people not thinking before doing. AND, I used to get incentives from selling it. But not many, because I absolutely don't believe in the product idea or intention.

I'd be figuring out where the throttle cable slack came from. That amount not normal and you normally send a TPS off idle signal to PCM as soon as you come off idle. PCM starts ramping up all kinds of things there but if cable is slack then those things not happening as they should and easily may be your off idle performance issue.

Sorry about the Seafoam cracks but I've seen engines destroyed using that stuff in the oil, I could care less what Seafoam says. Seen enough stuff come loose to clog oil pump pickup. BAD idea.

Wanna clean something up? Change the oil...............

The difference in rocking between the Escort and Focus is the difference in spacing between the parking gear lock lugs, two different transmissions there.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:35 AM   #8
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Out of curiosity, what is that ground wire from? Mine broke loose at the black box, reading up on it apparently its for controlling static from the injectors? Something linked to the stereo I read. Is that true?
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:32 PM   #9
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It is an electrical noise supressor. For the most part you will notice it in the radio of the car. It keeps the high voltage noise of the coil packs from radiating onto the other electrical components.
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