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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 06-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #1
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it gets a bad wrap

The poor, poor SPI gets a bad wrap for its well known issue (valve seat failure).

i wanted to get a few things straight though, SPI stands for "split port induction" NOT "split port injection"! big difference. "The 2.0 L was introduced in the 1997 Escort (North American) sedan and wagon as SPI2000 (Split Port Induction). It now used split port induction (A type of VVT system)"- wikipedia, it has nothing to do with fuel injection.

I know that the SPI is a finicky little engine and if you don't take care of it or follow the service interval, you will pay.

"Despite its considerable shortcomings in terms of Noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) and its intolerance of poor or neglected servicing, the CVH was regarded as being a very easy engine to tune, with many of its key components being considerably over-engineered." -wikipedia

"The CVH was notorious for turning its lubricating oil to sludge prematurely if the service schedule was skipped. This tended to cause top end oil starvation & the tortured mechanical noises these engines were known for. Timing belts frequently failed about 60,00090,000 mi" -wikipedia

"Throughout its 20-year production life, the CVH had a reputation for being almost painfully coarse and noisy at high RPM (CVH, said some pundits, was an acronym for considerable vibration and harshness, other epithets include Clattery Vapid & Harsh ). Jeremy Clarkson famously said of the CVH-powered Escort that "it was powered by engines so rough, even Moulinex wouldn't use them". -wikipedia

like any other engine, if you take care of it, it should take care of you.


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Old 06-14-2014, 10:30 PM   #2
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Also has a rep for the best fuel economy, whether in the Escort or the Focus version.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Also has a rep for the best fuel economy, whether in the Escort or the Focus version.
that's true. I also forgot that it out-flows the ztec. not sure about the duratec though
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:18 AM   #4
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like any other engine, if you take care of it, it should take care of you.[/QUOTE]

''These engines usually drop a valve seat with no warning, even if the engine has been well maintained. '' -wikipedia
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppop View Post
like any other engine, if you take care of it, it should take care of you.
''These engines usually drop a valve seat with no warning, even if the engine has been well maintained. '' -wikipedia[/QUOTE]


unlike the other quotes from Wikipedia, there is no proof of that statement. just hear say. I work with a guy who had 3 spi focus's and none of them dropped a seat. I know 4 different people with spi escorts (2 of which with over 200k miles without the head ever being off) and none of them ever dropped a seat. there are plenty of people on the forum who have never dropped a seat, and there are plenty of people on the other focus forum who have never dropped a seat.

I'm starting to notice that the people who bash the spi not only have no idea how it works or the fact that it dates back to the 80s, not to mention the fact that the spi out flows the zetec despite having half the number of valves. but most of the spi bashers have the zetec engine (*cough* Mazda) or the troublesome rod bearing prone (yet I must say powerful) duratec... which is also a Mazda design.

I'm not saying these engines are bad. just that they are just as flawed as the spi, or any engine for that matter
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:47 AM   #6
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I could not disagree more. The engine does NOT outflow a zetec, that's pretty funny. Look at the HP ratings 130 vs. 110 and the zetec has half the cam spec in it, that's how much better the head flows. Ford certainly turned their back on SPI when they went looking for a hi-perf four for the Focus as a performance model didn't they? Zetecs routinely last 100K longer than SPIs and no known engine fail reason other than drivers who cannot understand electrical or broken stat housings to repeat overheat them until they burn up. The upper half of the engine does not wear virtually at all since no valve spring needed to hit top rpm, you won't get that with SPI at all. The canted valvetrain angles alone wear parts out much faster.

Sure, some SPI last for a good while but you can't count on that, look at all the car sites to see how many have dropped valveseats to fail engines, the engine design was known for doing it in the Escort 1.9s in the '90s as well. Maybe you should look at the failure thread here onsite. You certainly won't find one for zetecs anywhere.

Having a rep for best fuel economy is not tied to better flow at all, the best economy engines are usually low-perf ones like inline sixes, that make hardly any power at all. More powerful engines generally do a bit worse there.

ALL engines have flaws but some are much worse than others, the SPI goes in that second group for sure. And even more so because Ford through all those years never acknowledge a problem that could be pretty easily fixed.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
I could not disagree more. The engine does NOT outflow a zetec, that's pretty funny. Look at the HP ratings 130 vs. 110 and the zetec has half the cam spec in it, that's how much better the head flows. Ford certainly turned their back on SPI when they went looking for a hi-perf four for the Focus as a performance model didn't they? Zetecs routinely last 100K longer than SPIs and no known engine fail reason other than drivers who cannot understand electrical or broken stat housings to repeat overheat them until they burn up. The upper half of the engine does not wear virtually at all since no valve spring needed to hit top rpm, you won't get that with SPI at all. The canted valvetrain angles alone wear parts out much faster.

Sure, some SPI last for a good while but you can't count on that, look at all the car sites to see how many have dropped valveseats to fail engines, the engine design was known for doing it in the Escort 1.9s in the '90s as well. Maybe you should look at the failure thread here onsite. You certainly won't find one for zetecs anywhere.

Having a rep for best fuel economy is not tied to better flow at all, the best economy engines are usually low-perf ones like inline sixes, that make hardly any power at all. More powerful engines generally do a bit worse there.

ALL engines have flaws but some are much worse than others, the SPI goes in that second group for sure. And even more so because Ford through all those years never acknowledge a problem that could be pretty easily fixed.
well your right about Wikipedia leading me astray... most of what I was thinking is hear say anyway. but as far as reliability goes I disagree with you. the internet seems to always bring a bunch of people who like to complain together. and out of everyone I have known personally, no one has had a problem. my grandmother had two,both over 130k, one was in an accident and the other the ATX went. guy I work with had 3 with no engine issues, a guy from my old church had one with 130k and they just sold it still running fine. and another guy from my old church who just gave his to his daughter and he has over 200k original miles on it without any major issues (lifters were replaced once). that's my study. seems as if it's a fine motor.

I also find your tone a bit rude. I hope I'm wrong as I already get the feeling this forum is full of stuck up people. I really hope I'm wrong
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:56 PM   #8
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I have bought about 25 of these single cam cars all but one dropped a valve seat.The one that did not spun a rod bearing.Run them hot and you can have a problem.These cars need a audible warning when their hot.They have dropped seats as early as 70K and as late as 230K.Change the head and your good to go.I have 4 on the road now.good little cars.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
I could not disagree more. The engine does NOT outflow a zetec, that's pretty funny. Look at the HP ratings 130 vs. 110 and the zetec has half the cam spec in it, that's how much better the head flows. Ford certainly turned their back on SPI when they went looking for a hi-perf four for the Focus as a performance model didn't they? Zetecs routinely last 100K longer than SPIs and no known engine fail reason other than drivers who cannot understand electrical or broken stat housings to repeat overheat them until they burn up. The upper half of the engine does not wear virtually at all since no valve spring needed to hit top rpm, you won't get that with SPI at all. The canted valvetrain angles alone wear parts out much faster.

Sure, some SPI last for a good while but you can't count on that, look at all the car sites to see how many have dropped valveseats to fail engines, the engine design was known for doing it in the Escort 1.9s in the '90s as well. Maybe you should look at the failure thread here onsite. You certainly won't find one for zetecs anywhere.

Having a rep for best fuel economy is not tied to better flow at all, the best economy engines are usually low-perf ones like inline sixes, that make hardly any power at all. More powerful engines generally do a bit worse there.

ALL engines have flaws but some are much worse than others, the SPI goes in that second group for sure. And even more so because Ford through all those years never acknowledge a problem that could be pretty easily fixed.
The SPI has one fatal flaw. And there have been numerous debates on here about how common that flaw is. Some say it is inevitable and simply a matter of time, I disagree. But there is really no way to know for sure. All "data" we could bring to the discussion would be personal observation.

But whether every SPI will drop a valve seat or not, it is a fatal flaw that has been ignored by ford for decades.

Yet, outside of this one fatal flaw, the SPI is a very strong and reliable motor. Some people assume it is complete garbage because of the valve seat, but with a remaned head, a well maintained SPI will last forever.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:52 PM   #10
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I'm not sure what the point of this thread is exactly.. Are you just tired of people bagging on the SPI? Or are you somehow trying to justify the weakest and statistically most unreliable engine in the focus platform?

I'm not trying to sound like a hater, but from a car-enthusiast's point of view, the SPI is about as interesting as a Prius.
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