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Old 09-09-2012, 01:52 AM   #1
V8Cruiser
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New to Forum, and have a few questions

Hi,

This is my first post and I am after some ideas (Help, confirmation?????) on a couple issues my focus is giving me.
First some details,
04 1.8L Manual Zetec Focus
165,000km (Approx 100,000 miles)

The first problem is a steering/Suspension issue. When driving, there is a "lock" in the steering when turning left. The steering will turn slightly then "lock" in place, when you apply more turning force on the wheel you feel it give way and you can then turn easily as normal. The place where this "locks" is always the same however sometimes the "lock" is very hard and requires some force other times it is barely noticeable. I am thinking along the line of the ball joints however a small part of the mind is thinking rack.

Second problem is when driving at slow speed (<60k/hr) and under low engine load there is a notice jerk or hesitation from the engine. Almost like a split microsecond engine cut out. However when the engine is under load ie accelerating, or driving over 80km/hr there is no jerk or hesitation at all. I have checked the vacuum lines, engine earths, cabling, cable plugs, spark plugs and gaps and all filters.

Third problem is when the fuel tank is less than 1/4 fuel level, the engine will suddenly loose all power, it will idle and rev freely when no load is on the engine but when load is applied there is no power at all. Turn the engine off then back on again and the problem goes away for a random amount of time.
I am thinking fuel blockage, or crap in the bottom of the tank, however if it was crap in the tank I would expect the filter to be stuffed and simply shutting down the engine shouldn't make any difference........Unless there is something floating around the tank, so next question is are the fuel pickups floating in the focus, and how hard is it to open the tank so a quick inspection can be done.


Thanks in advance for any help that can be given with the above. I've had the focus for about 9 months now as a daily driver (fuel for my 6.5L Chevy power Landcruiser was starting to hurt too much to keep driving it to work everyday) and I enjoy driving the old girl, and once I can sort out these issues driving will be even better.


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Old 09-09-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
sailor
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For the last question, over here we had some early Focus's with fuel pump issues, mostly caused by "crud" clogging the filter screen - this would usually show up on a low tank & particularly when turning (slosh).

Replacement pump assemblies were done under extended warranty, but that's run out for the Early models by now ('99 to '03 i THINK...)

Tank needs dropping to inspect on ours, though some have cut their own access hole under the rear seat to avoid that.....

The Steering issue is worrisome, plz try checking it with the front of the car on jackstands to see what the issue is.... your rack guess may be the real cause & it would need replacement.... NOT a problem I've seen B4 on this site....

If your cars have an EGR system, that can sometimes cause a hesitation like you describe. (sometimes even when everything is working as designed, from my experience with a different vehicle...)

Luck!
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
V8Cruiser
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Thanks for the reply

As part of double checking everything I pulled the plugs and rechecked the gaps and found that one plug had a crack in the porcelain insulation. Replaced all the plugs (didn't want to take the gamble of a bad batch, and for $20 its cheap insurance) and while at it replaced the leads with 8mm NGK silicon leads which were in the discount bin at the Auto store. This has seemed to stop the engine hesitation/jerking when not under load. Why I didn't get any break down while under load has me stuffed, but for now I'll take the win.

I also got up under the front end today and checked everything I could with the steering but I couldn't see anything obvious. And to tell the truth I could't say whats normal and whats not with steering side of things.
I have found a website in the states that will send me both L/R control arms with universals attached and tie rods for less than $100, so I have just ordered these and will install them when they get here (7-10 days they reckon) and I'll let you know how that goes. I'm hoping it isn't a steering rack as that will end up costing me about $600.

As for the tank, I also need to drop it to check anything inside it.
Has anyone got any info on cutting the floor pan to create a access panel i.e. dimensions on where to cut etc. The idea of dropping the tank seems like a lot of work with heat shields, exhaust and all the associated fuel lines needing to be removed and the idea of a simple access hole does have merit.

Cheers
Dan
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
sailor
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On the access hole, try searching around forums on this site - a while ago a post with pictures of where the person cut was on here.

Don't know that it got "stickied" though...

There is a LOT of past good info in that area as a permanent reference....

Luck!
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