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Old 04-19-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
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Focus ZX3 2.3L 2003 Engine knock (rod?)

75K miles on car

I think this is rod knock, but not completely positive.

A month or so ago it started to make a noise like the exhaust manifold was loose and rattlely in the 2-4k rpm range, but it wasn't loose.

Yesterday it develeoped a ticking noise, that got progessively worse as I drove home (60 mile drive). The noise would go away at lower RPMs, but its now loud as hell at all rpms.

It now sounds like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmBjcMH44N4

Any suggestions?

I'll be dropping the oil pan first I think..


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Old 04-19-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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The audio is crap on my computer, but that doesn't sound like a con rod bouncing around on a crank journal.

Sounds more "clicky" than "thumpy", I am guessing something in the valvetrain.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:22 PM   #3
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yeah sounds like more a valvetrain tick to me too. Check your oil level? (sounds simple but gotta start somewhere)
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:27 AM   #4
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Sounds like rod knock or piston slap or something along those lines. Sounds very bad ether way.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies..

My current theory is that maybe the first noise a month ago was crank/rod bearings spinning, and that the metal from that is blocking oil channels causing collapsed lifters..

I will get it up on wheel ramps and pull the pan tomorrow morning, prob take a few pics and post em.

The oil was low (1.5 qts or so) and was due for a change (synthetic 5-20).
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:15 PM   #6
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I've seen low oil cause that condition. No change after you added the oil??
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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You don't have hydraulic lifters, so there are none to collapse. You have what's called direct acting mechanical buckets which are basically a solid metal bucket that fits over the end of the valve spring. The cam lobes ride directly on those.

Before you tear the engine apart you should use a stethoscope or similar item to correctly diagnose where the sound is coming from. I had a sound that was similar to valve noise, but when I listened to the valve cover- I heard nothing. Of course, I heard some injector noises, but I really heard loud noises from the intake manifold. As far as I've diagnosed up to this point, my noise is related to the tumble flaps in the intake manifold. I have not had a chance to pull the intake manifold to verify this yet. I feel very sure it is not a valve train noise though or the sound would've been very loud in the valve cover.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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Dropped the Pan on Saturday. Here's some pic/video.

Rod knock for sure. Crank Journal is scored and at least .050" undersize. Rod bearings hammered flat.

I'm not completely sure how to proceed.

At present I'm thinking, buy a Chilton manual and replace the Crank/bearings and the one Rod, (and clutch since it'll be apart). I'm not sure if doing this with the engine in the car will be easier or if I should pull it.

Any thoughts??




Pics/Video

Bearings, bleh



Crank Journal ouchie..



Clickity click:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYCAVCfZJTg

Hammied bearings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwC01-hwAGk

Metal flake in the pan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1DMKvz9yUg
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:29 AM   #9
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I have just put new rod bearings in cars that were oil starved. Your mains are the last to go in the series of deaths due to low oil. Whatever is furthest from the oil goes first, so cams, rods, then mains. I had a friend who totally lost all the oil in his engine, so as a favor I replaced the rod bearings- engine still in truck- and left it at that. The cam bearings were shot too, but he drove it for a year back and forth to work like that. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to keep working and taking care of life. Have you looked into what it costs in parts to replace a clutch in this car? You have a dual mass flywheel, and this is a replaceable part that must be replaced when doing a clutch. There are aftermarket steel single mass and aluminum flywheels, but those are priced similar to the DMF- close to $400. Exedy makes a kit with steel flywheel for around $550 from CFM, and other suppliers. I budgeted $1100 just for the clutch for my vehicle- way more than I might need, but after doing some research I felt it was necessary. And yes, although I have a D20, and an 05- we have the same clutch.

If your cam bearings went, you'll need a new cylinder head because there are no replaceable cam bearings in this vehicle. I don't even know of an aftermarket alternative, or if a head shop can mill the journal surfaces and put brass sleeves in there.

As long as you marked everything before you disassembled, then all you need is torque specs and # of steps and you're good to go.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:16 PM   #10
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Thx for the advice whynot.

After carefully measuring the bad journal again, I'm not sure what I did wrong the first time, it is almost exactly .010 undersize. Which is the same as .25mm undersize.

So I carefully sanded the undersize journal with some strips of 80 grit then 200 grit sandpaper, sanding an equal number of strokes at 4 positions by turning the crank 90 degrees.

I ordered 1 .25mm undersize bearing and 3 normal ones.

I'm going to try changing out the bearings putting a fresh filter on, putting some old mismatched 10-40 oil with a lil Kreen or kerosene, running it for a few min to flush it, then dumping that oil and filter and putting in fresh 5-30 (I'm thinking the heavier then stock 5-20 oil will cause it rev slower and oil more) synthetic and filter.

Good Journal:



Bad Journal after sanding .010 undersized:



Strips of sandpaper used:

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