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Old 07-08-2013, 05:03 PM   #11
amc49
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I am the source of my information, all of it was done by me. I get the strongest tensioner I can find spring wise. If I can pull it off the stop easily at the auto counter it is too weak, the better ones can barely be budged off the stop at all. If you move it a half inch it's junk. Not very scientific but it works for me.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:09 PM   #12
Folis Jones
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Thanks, what auto supply store do you go to? What brand tensioner do you prefer?
I find I can move the square "thingee" fairly easy, which to me sure sounds weak.
What kind of car is your Zetec engine in? Is it modified and a racing car or just for street?
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:48 PM   #13
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Pretty funny. They ALL have stops in them, even the Ford ones. Wrong belt and probably crap cheap low tension tensioner. The Ford tensioner wears out faster than almost any other made. Luck with that.

You MUST have the belt sized to fit in the range casted on better quality tensioners. That ensures off the stop. The belt catalogs can be totally full of crap as far as right belt length. Some tensioners sold out there do not have strong enough springs in them, they will allow stop hitting even with correct length belt.
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I am the source of my information, all of it was done by me. I get the strongest tensioner I can find spring wise. If I can pull it off the stop easily at the auto counter it is too weak, the better ones can barely be budged off the stop at all. If you move it a half inch it's junk. Not very scientific but it works for me.
Now thats funny! No knowledge of spring rates but says "I get the strongest tensioner I can find spring wise."

Whatever dude. Certainly the Ford tensioner has stops also. But they are not external like the crappy AZ brand I tried to get away with due to money constraints. And as far as correct belt length, I cant remember the exact measurement off hand but I took both belts into NAPA and they measured within 1/2" of each other, thats when I went with new OEM Ford tensioner and all has been well since.

Good luck Folis Jones, hope you get it squared away.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:58 PM   #14
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Been doing engines and racing cars for many years. One of the things I noticed, whether it is racing cars, motorcycles, or airplanes there are people who can tell you exactly what to do. When you pin them down they say things like "well, I actually never did it but my cousin once knew someone who did". I like to talk to the guy with dirty fingernails who actually knows what he is talking about and has personally done what he is advising me to do.

I find there are few people who actually know the Zetec. No disrespect intended towards anyone, I have young people I race with whose sources of knowledge are the autocross forums or from reading books. Until you pin them down they speak as if they were experts. Those with money simply wave their check books and a mechanic actually does the work.

In my fifty years or so of driving road racing cars I have learned to spot these folks a mile away. I listen to everyone and then sift out the BS which narrows the real information significantly.

On my noise problem I am beginning to suspect a loose valve seat. We have a new Massive Speed System "Ultimate Head" being shipped to us. Once we bolt it on we will know if the problem is in the current head. I'll post the results.

Cheers,
Folis
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:01 PM   #15
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I too have built much hi-perf stuff, mostly for drag racing. Enough intelligence to realize a stop is a stop regardless of where they place it. I've rebuilt the last two tensioners now running on my cars, they have lasted longer than any I have bought so far. As far as spring rate? When you figure out where to get a fixture to measure that type spring you let me know. I suppose that one could fit up a socket to a beam type torque wrench and find out how much force it takes to move arm so much distance. I gave a viable way to compare them as long as person is not a moron. Last tensioner I bought was the newer revamped Gates one with the better full coverage front cover on it, it seems to be working well on third car. The earlier Gates sucked. Anything I've seen with a round crosssection wire has not done that well, although that could change. One of the rebuilds I've done twice now in several years, it had a FLAT coil spring in it that wadded up within the first month new on car. Took it apart and it had teflon inserts between coils to quiet it. They wadded up to lock tensioner up. Pulled teflon, added lots of dry graphite to lube parts and taped up the OD as much as possible to retain lube while still providing for motion. It has worked now forever, pulled it once, relubed it and simply threw it back on car to use some more. Got that one from AZ pretty sure, long time ago though. The Ford tensioners are unrebuildable, they are junk in sometimes one year, when the insert dies the main shaft tilts so far it cannot be used, or more than any aftermarket one I've seen.

Folis, if you can hear a valve seat bouncing around in there amazing you haven't spit the engine out yet. You generally don't get a lot of loose seat time before blowup city. Have you simply pulled serp belt to see if noise goes away or does it only do it while engine heavily loaded? At this time I just play with dead stock cars.

You should be getting with Tom onsite here, he's played plenty with hi output zetecs.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #16
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Just went cruising on rockauto.com............

It seems Gates is making for others, the Goodyear and AC/Delco seem to be the late Gates part.

The one I rebuilt was thinking a Dayco, the design is correct for it, they make same one for Hayden and 4 Seasons too. A robust center and even a pilot hole for when you drill the hole for bolt you'll need after rebuild.

Dorman crazy as usual, or a part not common with anything else. Doesn't matter-every Dorman part I've used was garbage, I'd assume the same with their tensioners. I know they manufacture for OEM, but that has nothing to do with what they sell over the counter. Two distinct levels of quality there.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #17
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OK gang, we discovered the source of our "ticking" lifter type sound on our racing car.
After much anguish and effort we tore the engine down, it was a broken wrist pin, yep, broken right in half. It's been a couple of weeks since this issue was tossed around so I thought I would report what we found..........
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:55 PM   #18
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OK gang, we discovered the source of our "ticking" lifter type sound on our racing car.
After much anguish and effort we tore the engine down, it was a broken wrist pin, yep, broken right in half. It's been a couple of weeks since this issue was tossed around so I thought I would report what we found..........

Thats crazy! So was it a lubrication failure or fatigue? Glad you got it figured out.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:10 PM   #19
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No, nothing indicated a lubrication issue, it just failed. Broken in half and from it's appearance had been broken for a while. The broken ends had rubbed together almost polishing them. They are racing forged pistons so the pin should not have failed. It was a SuperTech piston.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #20
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Pretty odd to break a pin like that. That could be from detonation if pin end clearance is kept close. Assuming floating pin with circlips or snap rings holding it in. I'd be looking at piston/rod bore clearance too, if excessive it could knock enough to break. Pins get case hardening, maybe they gave a bit too much of it to make brittle............wasn't something like super lightweight thinwall pin was it, sometimes they can be TOO light.
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