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Hello Everyone, I am new to forums so please forgive me if I my thread is covering a topic previously discussed. I did take the advice of one of your members and used the search bar first before writing this thread.

I have a 2001 Focus SPI engine, bought the car from a dealer who said the car was traded in by an older couple upgrading to newer car.....you know the story I'm sure.

When I tried the car out in a test drive the car ran out well, a bit low on "zip" but accelerated satisfactorily, engine ran smooth and quite quiet for an SPI engine with 155K on it, no misses, no leaks.

When I got the car home I checked the PCV valve, was clogged so I changed it for a new one from the Ford dealer, checked oil (it looked clean but could use a change), changed spark plugs (worn to .065"), changed wires, air filter, topped up all the fluids. After 3 weeks of running I decided to get the oil changed since I didn't know when it was last done and with what oil.

Changed the oil and filter, used a Fram PH3600 filter, and 5W20 oil, had this all done at a reputable oil change facility. Upon starting the motor the engine immediately sounded like a diesel motor, making all kinds of "clattering" noises in the engine! The noises seemed to be coming from the head area (valve train area), so over the next 4 weeks I have been trying out different oil grades to see if a thicker oil would make the difference, without success.

I eventually took the valve cover off, checked the lifters and they have since been replaced with new, new rocker arms and fulcrums. Upon starting the motor (with new oil) the engine ran very quiet and smooth. This only lasted for about 3 days and then the knocking started again, not as bad but still audible, and only from focused areas of the valve train area now, not all over.

I will be having the oil pressure checked before i do anything else, but I was wondering if any members have had this problem and what was the outcome, and could they share some insight on how this could be fixed without pulling the entire engine?

The engine by the way does not make the knocking sound when first started either in the morning or if allowed to cool down for a while, only once the engine gets to operating temperature. I orgininally thought it might be the oil pump (hot oil thins out) but won't know that until the oil pressure test is done.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.[?|]
 

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DTC P0606
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Any SPI engine that makes any kind of knocking noise is a candidate for a compression test before anything else. SPI engines have a problem with valve seats (#4 in particular) coming adrift after high mileages. Since your problem appears intermittent, it's likely not it but worth a check. You should see consistent compression across all cylinders +/- 5% on a hot engine, throttle open.
 

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X2 - Checking the basic "soundness" of the engine would be a good step before putting effort & $ into guessing at a noise we can't hear well enough to help diagnose...

(NOT that we haven't seen valve train issues with these B4 on the Forum, just that you don't want to chase the wrong issue...)

Luck!
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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Believe it or not, but Fram oil filters have a history of making the engine tick. Not entirely sure why other than one of the valves leak inside and not enough pressure gets to the top end (something like that).

My first recommendation is putting a filter that is not junk on it and see what that does for you, especially since it only started right after your oil change and nothing else should be different. Wix, parts plus (wix design), motorcraft (really cheap and should be at walmart, but a quality filter) will do well. Pennzoil, Quaker and Bosch are still under the Fram design last time I checked.
 

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I eventually took the valve cover off, checked the lifters and they have since been replaced with new, new rocker arms and fulcrums. Upon starting the motor (with new oil) the engine ran very quiet and smooth. This only lasted for about 3 days and then the knocking started again, not as bad but still audible, and only from focused areas of the valve train area now, not all over.

[?|]
So it does look like the head has been rebuilt? Ive read many people talk about valves dropping on these engines.

When a valve drops does it only screw up the head? or can it also damage the piston? piston walls? possibly the rod or crank bearings?

The reason why ive read into this so much is because i see alot of used cars on craigslist with the SPI engine and i want a fixer upper but not something with major engine problems like valve issues.

I see alot of people with SPI issues say #4 also. I wonder why its always #4
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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So it does look like the head has been rebuilt? Ive read many people talk about valves dropping on these engines.

When a valve drops does it only screw up the head? or can it also damage the piston? piston walls? possibly the rod or crank bearings?

The reason why ive read into this so much is because i see alot of used cars on craigslist with the SPI engine and i want a fixer upper but not something with major engine problems like valve issues.

I see alot of people with SPI issues say #4 also. I wonder why its always #4
funny you mention it... I still have the link to mine on the clipboard. http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=256153
 

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funny you mention it... I still have the link to mine on the clipboard. http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=256153
So does anyone know why #4 always has the issues? is it coolant? or lack of oil? maybe exhaust issues?

maybe the intake manifold is causing it to run leaner on just that one cylinder?

Can you run an SCT tunner on these engines? ive forgot what all my SCT tuner monitors but maybe you can monitor the temps on each cylinder?
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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it shouldn't be able to monitor individual cylinder temps. there's no temp sensor for each one.

I think a theory someone had was that number four is closest to the EGR port which introduces exhaust gas to the intake.... which would make that portion a little hotter supposedly.
 

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Believe it or not, but Fram oil filters have a history of making the engine tick. Not entirely sure why other than one of the valves leak inside and not enough pressure gets to the top end (something like that).

My first recommendation is putting a filter that is not junk on it and see what that does for you, especially since it only started right after your oil change and nothing else should be different. Wix, parts plus (wix design), motorcraft (really cheap and should be at walmart, but a quality filter) will do well. Pennzoil, Quaker and Bosch are still under the Fram design last time I checked.
Bosch is actually purolator now, same mfr as Motorcrafts.
 

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I cant remember what filter i put on mine last time i think its the orange fram ones.

So motorcraft and bosch are the better ones at about the same price? I think autozone has A&M filter
 

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I have the exact same issue. Louder after initial cold startup.
I believe the issue with fram filters was leakdown and that would make the topend starved of oil at startup. The OP and I both have good psi at startup, the problem is once the engine is at oper temps.
 

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Actually multi weight oil gets thicker when hot. There are viscosity modifiers added to the oil to achieve this effect. At 0 centigrade the oil has a viscosity index of 5 and at 100 centigrade an index of 20.
 
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