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Old 05-05-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
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Svt focus low compression cyl#1

2004 svt focus owned since 52,000 miles i just hit 91,000 car is in a1 shape but i need advice on how to handle this situation, this car being an svt and being some what hard to get parts (engine etc) for i need advice and a source on where to get parts if i decide to keep my svtf.

For starters the past month i have been chasing a mis-fire on cylinder one,It wasn't very apparent until the past week and has gotten progressively worse, its worse on a cold start very choppy exhaust note etc when warm the car seems to run more efficient but the issue is still there. an occasional pop every 15-20 seconds in the exhaust note vs a machine gun.

I have replaced the following before i did a compression test to rule out the obvious:
plugs motor craft sp487 20k ago and two days ago put in sp524 (this replaced the 487) per Steve at tousley ford
wires
coil pack
coil pigtail
intake mani couplers
misc vacuum hose
pcv valve

my testing method was unplug the coil and hold wot crank till the gauge read no higher 3-5 seconds
my compression results on a cold motor are the following
5 min of idle 15min of idle
cylinder 1 20psi cold 50 psi 70 psi
cylinder 2 120 psi
cylinder 3 125 psi
cylinder 4 120 psi

all other cylinders stayed consistent as i warmed the motor they went up 2-5 psi

All plugs seemed to be oil free on the first compression test (white/tan colored) when i pulled cylinder one for my second test after five min of idle it was moist, but had no fuel smell and was not oil, i wiped it off checked compression and it was 30 psi higher, ran the car an additional 10-15 min pulled cylinder one again clean plug and 70 psi car runs much smoother at this point.

I have noticed if i hold the engine in higher rpm under the hood and watch the coolant tank i get transfer from the top two coolant hoses with bubbles in them could i have a bad head gasket or the beginning of a head gasket starting to let go.

i have it eliminated to rings, but it not smoking kinda makes me want to rule that out
bad valves seats or a head gasket but once again im at a loss with this car.

Any help would be appreciated, Pm me for a phone number if you have experience in rebuilding or are a svtf guru with these motors and know where to source parts etc.


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Old 05-05-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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did you ever try a "wet" compression test?
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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With bubles in your coolant tank it sounds like it may be the head gasket. But I wouldn't think that would cause a steady miss. Remove the valve cover and pressurize the #1 cyl. with air and see if any air is coming from a valve or bubbles in the coolant tank.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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Could easily be a burned valve.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:06 AM   #5
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I had bubbles before. it was a leak in the head gasket, y head bolts were stretched and I bought new gasket and arp head studs and now I got great compression and no air bubbles
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:01 PM   #6
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Get a cyc leak down tester,cheap and easy
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
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if you do that make sure its at tdc and have someone with an 18mm socket on the crankshaft pulley so that when you force air into the motor the valve wont open up and let air escape prematurely
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:20 AM   #8
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If thats your compression there is no need in more testing you have a problem with Cyl 1

Pull the head and see what you find make sure you check the piston good before replacing the head

How many miles on this engine ?

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:40 PM   #9
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There is 90k on the car, i did a wet test and the results were about the same the head is coming off tomorrow (per mechanic) who is a family friend and an ase ford master tech, hes pretty sure its a burnt valve and has seen one due this before and with my work schedule im unable to due the repair, seven 10 hour shifts does not leave me much time to do the work myself i would much rather but dont have a chioce
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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a burnt valve causing low compression?
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