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Old 08-26-2013, 09:30 AM   #1
Bozok
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Diagnostic Story

I recently purchased a 2000 ZX3 for cheap. I knew it needed some work and had already done spark plugs, wires, ignition coil, ignition coil pigtail, motor mounts, FR wheel bearing, front quick-struts, valve cover gasket, PCV valve, PCV hose (the one that collapses), air filter and fuel filter. The last issue to work out was the engine's severe lack of power. It had little power while accelerating and RPMs could hardly make it above 3500. It felt like the car just didn't have any guts.

I was thinking timing might be off or perhaps the catalytic converter was plugged. My friend was poking around in the engine compartment and noticed that when the throttle was blipped, the air intake hose collapsed! I thought that must be it... under vacuum, the hose collapsed and the engine was no longer getting any air, hence the lack of power. Turns out that was just a symptom of the problem. Upon further investigation, we pulled out the air snorkel and discovered a shop rag lodged half way up the snorkel! It was completely blocked, which meant the engine was starved for air. That explained the lack of power under acceleration and the RPM limit. Someone must have left a rag in front of the snorkel opening, and it got sucked in. After pulling out the rag (and checking to make sure it wasn't one of mine -- it wasn't), I test drove the car, and it felt like I gained 50 hp. Problem solved!

The only thing that I'm left wondering about is if there really is enough suction at the snorkel opening to suck in a shop rag. The only other explanation is that some mechanic maliciously shoved it in there. But that seems unlikely to me as well. Thoughts? Ever heard of similar stories to this one?


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Old 08-26-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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"""is that some mechanic maliciously shoved it in there."""

A big fat Cadillac was purchased...
Alls was well until the Cadillac went over a bump then 'clunka cluck' was heard
and 'clunka clunk' was heard at every bump , pothole and railroad track

Well that Cadi went into the dealership to fix that noise! After all it wasn't as if that was a car for the 'commoner' like a Ford or something

Well the mechanics thought it was the muffler system as that wasn't put on just right at the factory, so on goes a new muffler with pipes

'Clunka Cluck'

In the dealership again, this time the service manager was determined to find that 'clunka clunk'. So there got every mechanic there to shake the Cadi, 'Clunka Clunk',
They kept shaking the Cadi until they narrowed down to where that noise was coming from. No access, so they used a welding torch to cut some metal away...

They fished out a nut with a note attached "you rich bxstxrd, I hope you never find this"
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #3
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The snorkel generally will not suck up a shop towel. It has to be placed there just right, and by incompetence or intent. I used to have a dim view of the idea that malcontents would actively look to screw people by doing things like that, however time and age have shown that many times they are not due the slack we cut them. I knew people on GM production lines who in boredom would throw empty coke cans or fasteners inside doors when buttoning the door panels up.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
maketoast
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Was just thinking about this... out of curiosity, is there still a deflector in front of the intake snorkel? Should be in the plastic shroud that surrounds the hood latch... its just a little piece of triangular plastic that sticks up to prevent things from being sucked in or something. Still, I highly doubt it sucked up a shop towel by itself and lodged it perfectly in a ball to fill that hole.

Also, I dont think it was mentioned but there were screws holding the fabric on at the one end of the tube... pretty sure those aren't OEM. PO or mechanic negligence is always a possibility, especially if they installed those in the same location to hold the fabric on. Someone correct me if I'm wrong...
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
Bozok
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Yeah, that triangular plastic that sticks up in front of the snorkel opening is still there. In fact, it's a really common place for me to put stuff like ratchets and bolts when I'm working on the car. Might also be a common place for people to put shop rags when they're working on the car?

I saw a picture of a snorkel for the car once, and I remember noticing those screws that hold the fabric part of the snorkel to the plastic. So I believe that's OEM. In fact, check out the picture in this thread. A couple posts down they confirm that picture is for a regular Zetec engine (not the SVT). It has the screw, and it's a new part ordered from Ford.

http://forums.focaljet.com/zetec-tun...4625-what.html
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:00 AM   #6
maketoast
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Ahh, okay then. I stand corrected, just seemed weird to put screws in fabric, lol.


Sent from my SCH-I535 using FF Mobile
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