Ford Focus 2002 SOHC SPI 2.0L motor: replacement - Focus Fanatics
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:13 PM   #1
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Ford Focus 2002 SOHC SPI 2.0L motor: replacement

After 140,000 miles, I had a valve seat fail (disintegrate) in one of my cylinders and so I'm debating replacing the motor.

I heard this is a common problem with this motor, and so I'm hesitant to get a motor from a junk yard, or to purchase a rebuilt motor. I'm even a bit hesitant to even purchase a new motor from Ford.

How often does valve seat failure occur? Is there a typical engine mileage band where this is more likely to occur? For example, above 100,000 miles?

If I go to Ford and purchase a new motor, are these engines any better built than the engines that came with the 2002 Focus?

Finally, what is a good price for a new engine? How much should I expect to pay for a rebuilt or junk-yard engine?

This has been a fantastic car, and so I'm hoping I can find a good replacement that will last at least another 50,000 to 100,000 miles without any new engine related failures.


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Old 12-23-2007, 01:17 PM   #2
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If you are going to replace, see about getting a Zetec instead or a Duratec engine. Zetec would probably be easier.
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Old 12-23-2007, 05:08 PM   #3
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How different is installing a Zetec engine versus the standard 2.0L SPI SOHC motor?

Does the Zetec motor use the same hookups (hoses, electrical connectors, etc.) as the standard 2.0L SPI SOHC engine? In addition to the motor, what else will I have to replace or modify?

I am inclined to go with the same exact motor to keep things simple. Is the Zetec an interference engine?
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:26 PM   #4
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Well, a Zetec would be just as easy to find in a junkyard. The problem with changing over Ford motors, is that you need both the motor and transmission. As far as I know the bolt patterns are completely different between all the engines- so the transmissions are also different. The insides of the transmissions are the same, but not the bellhousing. SVT motors and tranny's will swap up with Zetecs, but the SVT was built off the Zetec block.

For either conversion- and both would be as difficult IMO- you'd need a complete junked car. You must have both the engine, transmission, the wiring harness, and the computer. Not to mention that the extra parts you'd have left over after stripping the engine and transmission could be sold to help you recoup the cost of the car. It all depends on how well connected you are, and how long you can wait. Sometimes deals will pop up in the newspaper classifieds, but the best place to find a deal on a wrecked car is at police auctions or insurance auctions. I'd expect to pay about $500 at most- anything more than that and you'll be spending more money than a used motor and transmission is worth. Keep in mind that you'll also need money for a tow, and have a place to store such a thing. Then, once you get it, you can rent everything else you need as far as a cherry picker and engine stand go.

Beware of vehicles that have damage on the front end. If there is light front end damage, do not get one with damage on the passenger side because that's where the wiring harness and computer are in the car.

If you decide to do it that way, let me know, I can give you some advice on how to go about doing it if you tell me what kind of equipment you have at your disposal- jacks, jackstands, tow truck with boom lift, friend with a car lift- etc.
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:27 PM   #5
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OH yeah, we have this too-

Engine and Transmission Swap Forum
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:28 PM   #6
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I'd just go for another spi motor.

grab a '02 or later one with low mileage and you should be fine.
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:26 PM   #7
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What is a good price for a new 2.0L SOHO SPI engine?

Is there any recommended places to purchase one from?
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:24 AM   #8
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You'll have to call around. Prices are different in different locations. Here in Memphis we have a junkyard that specializes in late model Fords. They sell 4 cyl motors for $400. That's the average price at most places here.

What I'd be asking about is how many miles were on the car, can you hear it run, and what else comes with the engine. A lot of junkyards will give you late model engines with the ECU and wiring harness. This prevents any problems that could arise. Not all do it, and if you get enough of a discount without it, I wouldn't worry about it. It is nice though. Removing the wiring harness isn't something that I'd necessarily take the time to do unless the harness in the car was damaged or repaired previously.

Also, ask about warranty. Most good yards will give you a 30 day warranty, which simply gives you enough time to install the motor and get it running. I'd also have money on hand for an oil change. I generally replace the rear seal in junkyard motor installs if the mileage on the motor is high enough or if the seal on the yard motor is leaking. It's about the only thing on an SPI that wouldn't be accessible with the engine in the car. Depending on the mileage and your pocket book there are a few other considerations like the timing belt which is MUCH easier to replace with the engine out of the car. I wouldn't worry about that unless the engine you're installing has more than 80k miles and the belt appears to be original or damaged.

Also, check everything that you can check in your own engine compartment when you remove your old engine- like vacuum hoses- to be sure that you're not going to install a good motor in a car that won't run right because of parts outside the motor.

To get it running, don't worry about replacing spark plugs- just remove the ones from your engine and the yard engine, clean with a knife or wire brush, and install the best looking 4. Check gap of course. You'll also want to keep all the expensive parts you can keep from your motor- like the fuel injectors.
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:32 AM   #9
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Other general advice- you'll have to remove the accessories in order to get the engine out of the car. When you remove a bracket- like the alternator bracket for example- put the bolts back in the engine in their proper place as soon as you remove the bracket. It seems like it would be a pain to be partially re-assembling the engine as you remove parts- but it will save you from heartache during the install when you can't remember which bolt went where. Use a digital camera to help your memory if you have one handy- especially with the wiring harness and vacuum hose routing. It's really not as complicated as you might think, but regardless of how intelligent you think you are- pretend you're completely stupid and can't remember anything and arrange your work around that idea. It will save you tons of pain and suffering- and like writing a list you end up not having to look at, it's something you won't appreciate until you don't do it.
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Old 12-25-2007, 03:42 PM   #10
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When you remove a bracket- like the alternator bracket for example- put the bolts back in the engine in their proper place as soon as you remove the bracket.
Good advice.

One time I tore 2 Detroit Diesels apart, One with a cracked block but a good crank and pistons/liners, the other was shot but had a good block. The idea was to make one good engine. With all this stuff laying around, do you think I could find enough hardware to put ONE of them back together? Hell no...
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