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Old 03-23-2013, 09:03 PM   #1
robk46
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Help! Hissing noise under acceleration, won't hit 6kRPM

Hi all! My first post!!! I have a 2001 ZX3 with 175k miles on it. Been passed around the family since new, now I'm fixing all the problems my son and brother caused it. Anyway, I just got my focus back from my son, who had it temporarily while he rebuilt his other car. He said it was down on power, and was making a weird noise. Here's what it's doing.

The good:
No CEL
Idles perfect with or without the AC on.
No hesitation or stumbling, even in gear while flooring it
Coolant temp is perfect
Does not burn oil
Does not lose coolant
New PCV hose,plugs, wires,coil and timing belt (replaced before this problem)

The bad:
Engine makes a hissing noise under acceleration, sounds like an open intake with no air cleaner. Gets louder with RPMS. . . ssssssssssSSSSSSS

Doesn't want to climb past 5-6k, very much loses power. Just kinda hits a wall.

You can actually hear the noise at idle, almost sounds like a leaky air compressor. It's coming from the passenger side, possibly towards the rear of the engine. I was thinking the intake manifold, but I thought it would code if it got unfiltered air in there. . .

What do you guys suggest I start with?


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Old 03-24-2013, 07:15 AM   #2
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hissing sound

It sounds like you have a bad vacuum leak. Take a can of carburetor cleaner and spray it in the area you hear the hissing sound. If it is an intake leak, the engine will rev up when the carb cleaner is drawn in. This will help you locate the leak. P.S. Don't use ether for this test. It is too volatile and do damage to the engine or more.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:56 AM   #3
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Exhaust leak or bottleneck.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #4
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Did you use a hose clamp on the rear PCV hose where it goes into the intake?
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Moved to "General Technical Chat".
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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It could be a clogged exhaust system. The engine would idle fine, however it would not rev as easily. Is your exhaust very quiet otherwise? Have you checked your catalytic converter to see if it glows red hot after a short drive- like up the street and back? It should glow a very dull red after long use, but never bright red. When a cat is glowing bright red after a very short time running- the cat is bad. Other exhaust clog-ups like a clogged muffler can cause the cat to glow as well. Also, if you can easily stall the engine at idle by putting your foot (in a thick shoe) over the exhaust pipe- then you have a clogged exhaust.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:09 PM   #7
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Turbo Tom has suggested that you can remove the upstream O2 sensor and see if that alleviates the problem. Yes it will cause a code, and the engine will run in open loop- but it should still rev.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
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Also, if you can easily stall the engine at idle by putting your foot (in a thick shoe) over the exhaust pipe- then you have a clogged exhaust.
This was a little confusing for a second, I was imagining a guy placing his foot against some random portion of the exhaust under the car. Then it clicked. In my defense, it's technically all exhaust pipe.

OP, post back with results, this is interesting.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:28 AM   #9
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Yeah you have to put it over the hole where the exhaust comes out in the back. On a normal vehicle, it will be very difficult to hold the sole of your shoe up there and stall the engine. On an engine with a clogged exhaust, not so difficult. This will vary some depending on the weight of the person involved too.

You've never tried to do this to mess with one of your friends?
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:58 AM   #10
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Well, I worked on the little sucker all weekend. Once I have a problem to fix, I usually obsess about it. . . Found my "new" plugs were garbage. Turns out my son had a coil wire come off the connector half way to the middle of nowhere, so he just ran it on two cylinders until he got home. A new pigtail was put on, but the plugs weren't checked. I found one plus missing almost all the electrode, and the other three were shot.

New plugs were put in (NGK), and now she revs to redline. Really not sure if she's running at stock power or not, since I have no other focus available to compare it to.

I still have the hissing though, so I'm going to try the exhaust trick. I pulled the intake, and it was perfect, and replaced the PCV valve with a new one. I already have the new PCV hose from Ford.

Weird thing is, I pulled the accessory drive belt off, and started the car. I swear the hissing went away. . .I hand felt all the pulleys for play, but everything felt fine. I'll keep everyone posted if I figure it out. I'll do a compression check today too, but I don't think the problem is in the engine.
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