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Old 09-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
Phacade
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Could this be the last drive of my SVTF?

May have taken my final drive in my SVTF tonight. White smoke may mean a new Pope in the Catholic Church, but fairly its bad with cars. About a year ago my car overheated. I shut it down right away and got it to the shop where they diagnosed and replaced the water pump in December. License plate was out of date, so I park it for several more months and, by this time, it didn't want to start again. Replaced the coil and wires with MSD, plugs, and still wouldn't start. Buddy of mine and I discovered the crank position sensor cable was gnawed, so we fixed it. Car starting, but very difficultly. Tonight I managed to get it started again and took it for a short drive. Before I drove it, I filled the coolant, which was oddly low, and checked the oil, which was oddly high. Still, it was sooo nice to drive it again.

Wonderful! Like an old lost friend.

Unfortunately that friend seemed to die in my arms tonight. My wife noticed white smoke when I FIRST started it tonight. Assumed it was whatever crappy gas was in the tank burning off, so I drove. Three miles into my drive the temperature spiked and I shut it down immediately. It cooled down so I managed to start up again and get it home. Very low on power, white smoke still coming out of the tailpipe. Checked and my overflow tank is nearly empty but bubbly. Checked oil and its milky-brown.

I think the head-gasket it blown. Actually I suspect it WAS blown from last year, but since I've drove it so little; I never discovered. So now I'm trying to decided what to do. Fix...or sell? Its a decision I hate having to make, but I'm so frustrated at this point.


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Old 09-08-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
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If it's a blown head gasket a compression check will usually show low compression on two adjoining cylinders. Or you can have a shop perform a pressure test. It's pretty simple, a pump and gauge tool is placed on the radiator inlet, the system is pumped. If pressure is steady, no problem there. Most likely pressure will drop, indicating a leak.
A blown head gasket is typically not the end of the world for an engine. Fix it and flush out the crankcase real good. Drive it around a little to operating temp and change the oil & filter once again.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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Would there be any damage to bearings or other parts being that there was water in the crank case for so long?
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
dpetrlak
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Same Boat

Unless I find a good rebuilder, I too have driven my 03 SVT Focus for the most probably last time.

The irony is my son's 01 Focus died on Sunday. We know that was terminal.

But mine broke a timing belt after only 70k miles. No warning, just a sputter or 2 that was it.

As it turns out, an inspection with a camera didn't disclose anything obvious, but before I spend the green for a new belt and water pump, I sure wanted to know that I wasn't going to get 12 miles and wham. Broken valve or worse.

Now the compression check didn't offer anything to be positive about. 1 or more cylinders didn't hold anything.

So at the present, I'm wondering if it's probably a bent valve, and the cylinders/pistons might still be OK or what. If they are, then I might get away with pulling the head and doing a rebuild. (Sure would think about a cam upgrade.)

If not, I really am at a lost, since SVT motors are real hard to come by and if you find one, it either needs rebuilding or you're gambling again.

I am glad I have a Powerstroke and an 03 Cobra for back ups, but those don't commute as economically.

Does anyone know of an expert in the Houston Area that could be a great guide and resource?

Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clayton89 View Post
Would there be any damage to bearings or other parts being that there was water in the crank case for so long?
Most likely not...but, you never know. I drag race and there are a lot of engines with "milkshake" oil that make some pretty hard passes before the problem is noticed and there is nothing wrong with the bearings. I just melted one SVTF piston and cracked another around the skirt (see "leaned out in 6th gear @ WOT" here) and the bearings looked like new.
Personally, I'd change the head gasket and see what happens if your short on funds. If not short on funds and you want everything done right, call somebody like Turbo Tom here and order an engine built the way you want.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpetrlak View Post
Unless I find a good rebuilder, I too have driven my 03 SVT Focus for the most probably last time.

The irony is my son's 01 Focus died on Sunday. We know that was terminal.

But mine broke a timing belt after only 70k miles. No warning, just a sputter or 2 that was it.

As it turns out, an inspection with a camera didn't disclose anything obvious, but before I spend the green for a new belt and water pump, I sure wanted to know that I wasn't going to get 12 miles and wham. Broken valve or worse.

Now the compression check didn't offer anything to be positive about. 1 or more cylinders didn't hold anything.

So at the present, I'm wondering if it's probably a bent valve, and the cylinders/pistons might still be OK or what. If they are, then I might get away with pulling the head and doing a rebuild. (Sure would think about a cam upgrade.)

If not, I really am at a lost, since SVT motors are real hard to come by and if you find one, it either needs rebuilding or you're gambling again.

I am glad I have a Powerstroke and an 03 Cobra for back ups, but those don't commute as economically.

Does anyone know of an expert in the Houston Area that could be a great guide and resource?

Thanks.

I suppose between the two of our cars, we could make one that runs very well! LOL!
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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Moved to the SVT general area
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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dont despair. and dont sell it off. why not get a nice short block from cfm, with some flat top pistons for more compression, and swap all of teh svvt stuff on and into it. after all an svt is just a gussied up zetec with a nice head and some scary cams.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
dont despair. and dont sell it off. why not get a nice short block from cfm, with some flat top pistons for more compression, and swap all of teh svvt stuff on and into it. after all an svt is just a gussied up zetec with a nice head and some scary cams.
This^^^^^^^^^^^^^. Its a lot cheaper then car payments too.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:08 AM   #10
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REBUILD!!! It's really not that bad, and these cars are fun as hell to drive. Imagine resurrecting that friend, who died in your arms, back from the dead. How grateful would they be to you?! :)

If my SVT blows up someday, she's gettin a rebuild with some better parts in there. Parts made for boost..... PS I have a turbo I'm selling ;)
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