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Old 05-30-2011, 09:34 PM   #1
deanm11
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2003 SPI Head Remove & Replace

2003 Focus SPI. Doing a favor for a friend. They had the car at the supermarket and barely started when the went out, running horribly. Had it towed to my house, pulled the plugs in anticipation of doing compression test but didn't need to go that far- #4 spark plug electrode was folded over like a pretzel.

Wonder if I could get a couple of tips. I'm close to ready to lift the head off. Leaving intake manifold on as many here have suggested. Have exhaust dropped down but still have exhaust manifold on- seems like could get it out with that on too but probably making it too tight for myself. I have still haven't disconnected the fuel rail but it also seems like you can almost pull the injectors and rail out and swing out of the way too. One major question is on accessories like alternator, ac compressor and tensioner. The online instructions I've seen indicate disconnecting or moving all of them. I didn't remove any of them and I got the upper and center timing covers off and timing belt of the upper sprocket. It seems like the accessories and brackets are not bolted into the head. Yes/no ?

Assuming I don't find a holed piston, it seems I'll need the following:

-Reman head (~ $200 auction site.. any rec. on seller?)
-Timing belt, tensioner, water pump
-Head gasket, vc, gasket, timing cover gaskets?

Anything else?

Thanks, Dean


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Old 05-30-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
a_2000_se
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Can't answer about the accessory bracket as the earlier 2000 Focus uses a smaller bracket and the p.s. pump mounts directly on the head.

But....... you may want to pull #4 piston (especially if you plan on keeping the car) because if your car was running at all when the seat dropped it most likely pinched the top ring between the lands on the piston.

The rings must 'float' around the piston. If they get pinched, eventually they will wear and you'll lose compression in a short time.

Don't forget to clean all pieces of the broken valve seat from: EGR tube, Intake Manifold, Exhaust Manifold, Split Port ........
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Replaced #4 Piston, Rings, Rod+Bearings, AERA Re-Manufactured Cylinder Head and a light Hone. Then CLEANED the hell out of everything.
60k+ miles.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:11 AM   #3
deanm11
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Answered my own question about replacing the piston- push it out the top.

Dean

Last edited by deanm11; 05-31-2011 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Figured out how the piston should come out
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:28 AM   #4
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On the exhaust manifold...

Any opinion on whether I'll get all of the intake/head/exh. manifold out as an assembly? Or will I need to separate the exh. manifold? Thanks
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Ended up disconnecting the exh. manifold and the intake manifold.. Left the intake manifold bolted to the block. Much easier in my opinion compared to leaving the intake on.. then you don't have to get every last hose and electrical connector.

#4 piston was chewed up pretty good as expected. A few small bits made it into the other cylinders but nothing major. Looks like cylinder walls are pretty clean.

I'm finding pistons/rings really only available in a set. What about changing the whole set of pistons/rings? It is a 130k mile car after all. The pan will be down so how much more work could it be.. Other questions:

- are the rod bolts torque to yield like the head bolts and thus can't be re-used?

- Any other must change parts in this job? I'll do water pump, timing belt and tensioner.

- Can/must I use an impact tool to pull the crank pulley/bolt? Or block the flywheel or cylinder to keep the motor from moving physically?

Thanks, Dean
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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That's nearly the best news you could have - 'cylinder walls look good'.

#4 piston is the easiest to change because the 'windage tray' only covers the first three pistons and won't have to come off for #4 alone. How much work you want to do depends on your schedule, budget and expected length of ownership.

I don't think the rod bolts are TTY. I've reused them with no problem.

If it's the original starter on the car, it would be easiest to change it now before it fails, after you remove the intake manifold for cleaning it out.

A strap wrench worked well to hold the damper/crank pulley when removing its bolt.

You can reassemble the head with manifolds and reinstall it on the car fairly easily. You just have to watch the oil fill tube when lowering everything down on the block.
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Replaced #4 Piston, Rings, Rod+Bearings, AERA Re-Manufactured Cylinder Head and a light Hone. Then CLEANED the hell out of everything.
60k+ miles.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:44 PM   #7
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Bravo for taking the effort to fix it. I hate to see a motor that still has compression go to the grave.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #8
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Mr. A2000, very helpful, thank you very much. Unless I find it much cheaper for a single piston/rings, I'll buy the set and then call an audible when I get the pan down.

I had thought of duct taping the block off and using tons of compressed air to clean out the intake manifold. If you think I need to really get it out of there, should be safe to use water and then compressed air? Is it all just cast passages I'll be blowing through with water?

I'm trying to pick the best ebay/reman head supplier- open to suggestions.

Thanks again.

Dean
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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I boiled out my intake - you'll have a lot of the valve seat trapped in oily gunk in the manifold. You need to clean everything mentioned earlier or be prepared to replace the head, maybe more, again. Remove anything electrical before cleaning.

I used this company for my head: http://www.headsonly.com/

Ideally you want the head reworked to AERA specs. Good luck.
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Replaced #4 Piston, Rings, Rod+Bearings, AERA Re-Manufactured Cylinder Head and a light Hone. Then CLEANED the hell out of everything.
60k+ miles.

Last edited by a_2000_se; 06-05-2011 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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Rocker Arm Tightening

Got the head from CHI/headsonly all the other parts except pistons/rings.

Question on rocker arms- can they all just be tightened down (approx. spec?) without rotating the cam? They were loose as delivered.
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