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Old 07-31-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
cliffe5
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166k maintenance

OK, I know the title is a little vague here but it was the best I could come up with.

Here is my situation; long time reader but this may be my first post... I have a 2004 Focus SPI. I bought her with 114k and she has been pretty good to me until this year when the clutch went in Jan and alternator last week...

Now when I am going around long turning I notice a definite whooping noise which I believe to be an indicator my wheel bearings are reaching their end... In addition I need to replace my timing belt, serpentine belt, and any needed pulleys.

The reason for this post is that this is my first Ford and I am starting to believe all the stories of Fords breaking after 150k. If I am going to be replacing the wheel hubs (with bearings), timing belt, and serpentine belt I would like to go ahead and replace any other parts which will most likely be nearing their end (I'd rather do it now instead of something breaking in Dec in the snow...). Can I get some recommendations as to what other pieces / parts I should look into replacing on a vehicle with my mileage?

I'm a grad student on a budget and will be completing all the work myself in a parking lot. I would say my mechanical skills are moderate (oil change, radiator swaps, broken timing belt replacements, water pumps, alternators, ect...) so I should be able to complete most maintenance suggested

Thanks for any input, and let me know if any of the mentioned maintenance needs a good how-to. I would be more than happy to take some pics and post a tutorial in the next few weeks


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Old 07-31-2013, 05:57 PM   #2
crazy_urn
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Looks like you have a pretty good list to start with.

When you are doing your serpentine belt, check your tensioner.

You should have your battery checked as well, especially if you had to replace the alternator.

Another suggestion, research the valve seat drop issue and decide whether you want to prevent it with a new head. Some do, dome dont.

As for Ford's breaking at 150k... I don't know about that. There are many focuses on here with more than 200k. And the escorts with the old SPI are practically bulletproof. With the exception of valve seat issue, the SPI is a very strong motor, and there is no reason why it should not last well past 200k.

But parts will wear out, especial suspension parts, belts, etc.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
cliffe5
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Thanks crazy,

I'll definitely check the serpentine tensioner, but what am I looking/checking for? I mean how do you tell if it is worn out or not?

As for the battery, even though I replaced it 2 years ago, I had it checked when my alternator was going (the battery light was on...) and it was still good ;)

And its definitely good to hear about this being a strong car! It certainly brings some extra assurances when replacing parts begins. BTW I have only recently began to read on the dropped valve issue. I don't think I have come across changing the head out but will certainly begin that research now.

Thanks again, anyone else have some suggestions?

Should I go ahead and replace the water pump with the timing belt?
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