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SPI Performance (2000-2004) The place to chat about any 2.0L Split Port Injection engine performance, tuning and exhaust related upgrades.

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:53 AM   #11
crxls
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A good "tune up" helps. If you can get your injectors cleaned or replaced for factory flow, that helps. fuel filter. stay away from Bosch spark plugs and use autolite or motorcraft, gapped properly. Take a look at how the gasket matches up to the intake and the intake/exhaust ports on the head and see if a slight porting is necessary. Don't do too much, just clean it up otherwise you will lose some of that turbulence that helps aid in proper air/fuel mixing for optimum mileage.

If you're buying a used cam, observe for wear. If the lobes are worn down, it just won't run as well.

what is your goal? grab a bare block and new internals? and then an eBay head.
Yeah, plan to replace all the regular maintenance items.

Goal is to grab a complete short block. Throw in new rings, bearings and seals along with ebay head. I'm pretty sure my cam is Still useable. Only useable part from the whe engine really.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:59 AM   #12
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It's stronger than Honda's weird setup. And I believe you. What she needs is a set of tires are are too wide for their own good. I had about an inch of sidewall that squished out around the face of the wheel. Not optimum for mileage of course. lol.

Now I'm not sure how you feel about this part, but at least with a slightly larger 2.25" over the stock 1.75" exhaust, I saw a bump in mileage. It topped about 40mpg on the highway and on average 34 in the city.

(Funny story, my parents didn't believe me because their car was newer so it should get better mileage. they had a 2012 Mazda 3. It is what it is, and those aren't quite as efficient)


edit: OK good. that should be cheaper. If you can't find a block with four good pistons, take it and use everything else as long as the rest is good. Mine failed (and the most common failure) to where only the piston and rod was destroyed. clean it all out, do a slight hone on that cylinder and replace those parts. Mine came in running before I tore it down.

Obviously, don't forget to clean out the intake manifold.

Also note that mine was a manual.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:05 AM   #13
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It's stronger than Honda's weird setup. And I believe you. What she needs is a set of tires are are too wide for their own good. I had about an inch of sidewall that squished out around the face of the wheel. Not optimum for mileage of course. lol.

Now I'm not sure how you feel about this part, but at least with a slightly larger 2.25" over the stock 1.75" exhaust, I saw a bump in mileage. It topped about 40mpg on the highway and on average 34 in the city.

(Funny story, my parents didn't believe me because their car was newer so it should get better mileage. they had a 2012 Mazda 3. It is what it is, and those aren't quite as efficient)
No, what she needs is steel wheels and driving lessons but she dont listen to me. F it, not worth fighting with her about it.

I'm not putting a noisy aftermarket exhaust on it but I like those numbers. Can I get that setup in a factory quiet exhaust? You really think we can get those numbers from an automatic sedan?
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:12 AM   #14
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it doesn't have to be noisy just because it's bigger. check out, say, a Walker quietflow in a larger diameter. not sure how quiet it will all be, but on this engine specifically, there was quite a difference in mpg and acceleration. Something I didn't expect. Note that it has a muffler and a resonator. You should be able to install a resonator in the center of the exhaust (middle of the vehicle) and a muffler in the stock location or further back.

it would be close. Maybe 2-3mpg less? it depends on her driving style as well. Steelies are a great idea. she can head over to Kmart and buy an $11 set of wheel covers and replace as necessary. Or not.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:21 AM   #15
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it doesn't have to be noisy just because it's bigger. check out, say, a Walker quietflow in a larger diameter. not sure how quiet it will all be, but on this engine specifically, there was quite a difference in mpg and acceleration. Something I didn't expect. Note that it has a muffler and a resonator. You should be able to install a resonator in the center of the exhaust (middle of the vehicle) and a muffler in the stock location or further back.

it would be close. Maybe 2-3mpg less? it depends on her driving style as well. Steelies are a great idea. she can head over to Kmart and buy an $11 set of wheel covers and replace as necessary. Or not.
Her driving style is to accelerate as quickly as possible from a stop, follow as close as possible so you have to keep hitting brakes and gas and to stay into the gas pedal as long as possible till its time to stand on the brakes. She is 24. I have 9 years on her and no fear of dying but she can scare the F@k out of me when I ride with her. Im seriously hoping that this focus is only half as fast as her accord. Or slower yet is even better.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:10 PM   #16
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no fear of dying but she can scare the F@k out of me when I ride with her. Im seriously hoping that this focus is only half as fast as her accord. Or slower yet is even better.
That is why I never ride with my wife.... It drives her crazy that I always drive, but we always get there safe. lol.

good luck on the build. you chose the right engine for slow and fuel efficient. (the fuel economy is why I still own my little turd after 10 years....)

I would be very interested in following a build thread as you progress.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #17
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I have redone 6 of these motors and taken apart at least 25 in the junk yard, I have it down to where I can completly tear down a engine in less than 45 mins (using a elec impact), stay with a stock build, keep it simple, there will be good blocks in the junk yard just find one that has not had the piston come off the rod, then take apart a couple more engines and take the pistons/rods out of them so you have a good shortblock, you can buy the heads redone off ebay with the cam and rockers already installed for $275, I do the valves only to save $50 and spend the 20 mins it takes to swap everything over.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:45 PM   #18
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Usually piston #i4 is the one that's messed up. Is there any reason I cant take piston #1, 2 or 3 out of another block and put it in cylinder 4 of the block I'm using?

I guess the last question for now is bearings. For the rod and crank bearings, is there just a standard size or will there be specific size on rod and crank that need to be matched for bearing size? I've built very technical Honda engines Where bearings needed measured and then I've built diesels Where you just throw in a standard size and torque to 300 million lbft and forget about it so I'm not sure what to expect here
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #19
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Hey, Thanks for linking the thread to me James.

So, I haven’t read all the way through this thread, but from what I’ve skimmed, I take it you’re looking to rebuild the motor on the cheap, maximize reliability, and keep it economical?

Let me start off by saying I’m probably not the guy to talk to if you wanna go for economical on a SPI. But I’ll try to help out as much as I can! :]

First rule of cars… (Which I learned the hard way….)
Start with “Reliable,” “Cheap,” and “Fast” (or in your case “Economical”)
Now pick two.
That’s what you’ll end up with.
You can’t go Fast on the Cheap and have it Reliable. Or you can have it Reliable & Fast but not Cheap Same goes with economical.
To save some $$, you need to spend some $$ somewhere along the line, that’s just the nature of working on cars.

I have to agree with mikebontoft, a larger exhaust pipe makes a hell’uva difference in fuel economy. I was getting right around 36mpg highway with just a CAI & MSD coil and after I hacked away the old exhaust and went with some bigger piping that I found at the junkyard I was looking at somewhere between 39-41mpgs.

Back in high school I did the “Auto-Zone” CAI (Cold Air Intake) where you take off your air box and put a big cone filter on the end of the MAF tube and support it somehow. Yeah it was cheap, and the best part is I saw about a 2 mpg improvement. But the downside to it is the car would idle funny on hot days and make a loud sucking sound with the a/c on. Can’t remember how much it was for the Spectre cone filter, but I can’t imagine it being more than $40.

After a while I wised up and shelled out for a true CAI and I don’t regret it one bit. Instead of 2 mpg, It bumped me up by about 3-4 MPG and the annoying A/c sucking noise disappeared. The only way you’d know the car had a CAI (back then that is :] ) is the engine sounded “throat-ier” and deeper up front. I probably paid around 120-150 for the CAI I’ve got now, but it’s a hard to find one (the Volant intake) and IIRC, a reasonable normal one should go for around $80-100?

If you’re gonna go through the trouble of rebuilding the motor and you know that you’re going to keep the car around long enough to justify the cost; I would definitely look into this rebuild kit. I used this same kit to rebuild a buddy's SPI (Focus 2.0 SPI swapped into an 93’ escort replacing the tired 1.9) and man did it give that thing a kick in the pants compared to the way it used to be when the SPI was in his mom’s Focus.
Link to rebuild kit:
http://www.importperformanceparts.net/imports/pek-fordfocus.html
The kit you want is the first kit listed (#1 for “P” VIN engine code)

The stock SPI compression is 9.35:1 IIRC, and the pistons we selected from the kit were 9.5-1.

The engine was bone stock besides the parts that came in the kit and a Auto-Zone CAI. The wiring harness and ECU were from the old focus as well so there wasn’t any tuning involved. After a couple months though, jimmy told me that he was able to get right around 38-40mpg
Granted, Jimmy’s escort is weighs about 2,300lbs & a Focus weighs about 2,700lbs but the thing to keep in mind is that jimmy is the size of a minivan lol. If I had to guess he probably weighs about 300lbs so that still puts it in about the same weight as a focus.

I saw in here something about a block choice for rebuilding the engine? You aren’t limited to the SPI block, as you can use the Zetec block. But that is a bit far to go just for a simple rebuild. If your really interested and want me to, I can go further in depth on it.

Hope all that info helps! Let me know if there’s anything else you want to know!

Edit: Almost forgot to mention, A Knife-Edged Crank goes a long way in making the engine more efficient by taking off additional weight and helps both Performance and Economy wise.
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Last edited by djwrg04; 04-17-2013 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Added info.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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Thank you. A lot of great info there. For now ill just do a stock rebuild and see if she even likes the car and wants to keep it. Chances are, she will likely want to go back to her accord. But if she decides to keep it, ill then look into adding the intake and exhaust for better mpg.
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