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Old 09-17-2013, 02:01 AM   #1
framirez
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Swapped Head , Broke Knock Sensor

Hey everyone, I recently purchased an 01 escort with an SPI for dirt cheap.
At the time I was not aware of the issue with dropped valve seats.

This last weekend I decided to go ahead and replace the cylinder head as a preventative measure to the dropped valve seat issue. The rest of the car is in excellent shape except for the ticking time bomb under the hood. New head came from cylinder heads international headsonly.com.

Anyway, I competed the swap early sunday morning. However In the process I ripped the connectors out of the knock sensor. I could not find a replacement in town so I put the car back together and fired it up. It starts right up and idles great. I pull it to about half throttle and when I let off it stumbles for a bit and almost dies before idling back up.


My question, is this a symptom of the knock sensor being disconnected?
I've heard some cars will "hunt" for the correct timing advance or default to a failsafe setting without a knock sensor connected.

Or is it possible that I skipped a couple teeth on the timing belt, as the process to find TDC on this engine isnt very precise.


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Old 09-17-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
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the "process" of finding TDC is pretty easy, is pretty easy a few ways to tell if your at TDC, you can stick your thumb in the spark plug hole , filling it up and feel for compresssion as some one turns the crank, or you can leave the spark plug in and you will feel the difference between a compression stroke and the exhaust stroke.

as for hunting for the correct advance that sound more likely these newer cars depend pretty heavily on thier sensors for information. fuel economy and emissions(said with a sneer) has become such a priority to manufacturers its presents way more problems than they have solved.

i would drive it the way it is to a junk yard and just get a replacment sensor for 5$ also i would just check you timing job becuase the SPI engine is so easy to do. probaby 5-10 min worth of work.

also props on taking care of that head problem before it became a problem wish i had done that after all the trouble ive gone thru doing an engine swap, and not so much the swap but not having transportation to get the stuff to do it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
framirez
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Thanks for the reply, when I found TDC I had the head off. I lined up the piston visually as well as by using the procedure lined out in the chilton manual with the VR sensor being on the 9th tooth from the missing tooth.
I lined up the cam to its timing mark but it was about 1mm off and it seemed to no one to get any closer.
I may be over thinking things. I will put the new sensor in saturday afternoon and drive the car.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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Well in that case it would be even easier to have achieved tdc becuause as long as the piston was at it highest point and you lined up the marks on the camshaft and confirmed the #1 pistons valves where closed b4 you put the head back on then you where good to go. I used a hammer to tap my rachet and got the marks dead on lined up, but yeah they do tendto go a mm one way or the other when using you hand and steady pressure, so just tap it gently with your palm or a hammer and youll get it in to perfect position
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:33 AM   #5
framirez
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Well I put the knock sensor back on, buttoned the car back up.
I put about 30 miles on it on the freeway before it sputtered and died wouldn't start back up.
Towed it back to the garage, I have fuel, spark and compression.
It throws a P0401 which indicates an issue with the EGR valve, I'm wondering if its stuck open. Probably because I didn't reconnect the vaccum lines and EGR pipes back together correctly. Anyway , I tried reconnecting it several ways and the car still wont start. Any ideas?
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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Lpts of ideas but they may or may not work first try to reconmect everything and reser your ecu by disconnecting batt. Then if that does not help look at focushacks.com in the misc. Section about egr bypass.

Oh and dont drive so far thistime.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:08 PM   #7
framirez
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Well I've got bad news, upon looking at it in the light, the timing belt has apparently jumped a few teeth. Thats why the car died and wont start. I reused the timing belt that only had 4K on it, but upon looking at the invoice for the service, it appears they did not change the tensioner.

It seemed to have rotated when I took the belt off and behaved rather screwy when removing and reinstalling the belt. My theory is that we had the belt way over tensioned since I had to wrestle the belt on and off with my hands. It took two of us to get the thing back on even with the tensioner backed off as far as it would go. The guides I saw online did not warn that the belt would require some serious muscle to take it on and off.

I admit I wasnt thinking straight at the time, just wanted to get it done.

Silly me for only having built a couple engines with chain driven timing.
I'm hoping that the issue is the tensioner and that the cam hasn't siezed, I assembled the head and was sure to use lots of lube in the process and rotated the cam a few times to make sure it was good.

Whats your take on the belt slipping?
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:42 AM   #8
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No engine I've ever run across requires you to 'muscle the timing belt on' when tension is dropped off...................it should go on easily. If you force it on and shear belt filaments internally you will replace it over and over again.

Yeah, that means you're probably doing something wrong.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
framirez
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I probably did do something wrong. After looking at all the other diagrams, I cant figure out why the belt was on there so tight. To be honest I think that its possibly that the belt on there was a smaller size than the original. It had been changed 4k miles before I bought the car by a shop in town, which is why I didn't purchase a timing belt kit when I did the swap.

Would too tight of a belt lead to slipping teeth?

I'll find out soon enough as I am out of town this week and found a reputable shop that will swap the belt and tensioner for a reasonable price.
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