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Discussion Starter #1
Ya I was driving to work and it sounded like my car went into neutral. But I was in 5th gear and it was going only 50. It snapped out of it and when I got on the off ramp I diwnshifted and it died. Wouldn't start or nothing. The tow driver said it had to be the timing belt. I priced the rebuild lot but I've been reading around that certain focus cars if the timing belt goes either the head goes or the crank shafts are shot. I have a mechanic willing to put the kit on and regime it for three hundred which is a decent price. Is my motor shot? Any words will help
 

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Both the spi and the zetec are non interface engines. Which means your fine. The whole neutral thing doesn't sound like a timing belt though. Does it turn over really fast?
 

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Agreed

Complete & sudden loss of power could be a cam belt, can't be sure without taking a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It has 168,000. My experience with it was weird. I noticed a problem two weeks prior to it failing. I would be going 60 and it wouldn't budhe going faster until I was on even ground then it would go the speed I wanted, it was weird. I mean I was going fifty then it sounded like the transmission failed, that's the netrual sound I was sounding. Didn't over heat but like I said it snapped out of it, then I got off on the off ramp, diwnshifted and it died. It doesn't sound fast when I crank it, it sounds slow or bogged down. This mechanic is coming Monday, I just hope it's the timing belt because I'm losing money everyday not going to work at my one job. But the motor was a top until this problem happened. I think since it's so old, things are going to break. I'm trying to make it last at least until taxes. Thanks for the help
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also this could be another symptom of the problem. The belt had this horrible screeching noise that was continuous. I assumed it was the alternator bearing but as I've read online it could've been the timing belt. I could've sworm it was the top pulley behind the timing belt housing, so if that helps .
 

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That would fit for the lack of accel. in fifth & the out of gear feeling, with the engine quitting a separate problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I read that the teeth can be worn on the timing belt so I assumed that it may have just broke. It's not leaking oil, no metal in the oil or a fog color. Tranny is fine, it doesn't start so I'm assuming it has to be the timing
 

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Might just be a coincidence that. The clutch has been slipping and not the belt broke. Two completely separate problems though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sailor, ya I was in fifth and i just lost power. It felt like I was in fourth and wouldn't busge going faster but it wasn't overheating, then like I said it picked momentum up then it died. When I tried starting it it has a slow bogged down whine
 

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The valve seat problem I have no symptoms of that. It never over heats. It kinda had a weird idle but nothing where it stalled.



The valve seat problem never really gives you a heads up. But I will say that a lot of people on the forum love to sell that, (no offense sailor). There is no way that a timing belt will go live you symptoms like its out of gear, )assuming you mean like it was revving). That sounds like your clutch is starting to slip, and at your mileage I wouldn't doubt it. Your no start situation could be anything. Does it turn over faster than it usually does?
 

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Sailor, ya I was in fifth and i just lost power. It felt like I was in fourth and wouldn't busge going faster but it wasn't overheating, then like I said it picked momentum up then it died. When I tried starting it it has a slow bogged down whine


These symptoms are quite different than what you originally stated... With THESE symptoms, I would say it could very well be either a timing belt, or a fuel pump. When you turn the key to the on position without starting the car, do you hear the buzz of the fuel pump?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yep, and the start is not quick at all its bogged down. The tow guy had some mechanical skills and he said he was 90% sure it was the timing belt, I cranked it too much and the battery died he jumped me and he said it has to be the timing belt, because of the way it sounded. The only way I can describe it is slow. And that slipping clutch it never slips out of gear. I'm not saying it couldn't be but I'm hoping to just get it back on the road for two more months. I honestly want to drive it until she goes. It's a good car. I would take the housing off of the timing belt area but the room is not too great. I would have to take the anti freeze tank off , motor mount, then the cerpitine belt, and so on and so on.
 

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If the timing belt goes, you loose compression so it would turn over faster, not slower. Your tow truck driver doesn't seem to know what he is talking about. I've seen quite a few timing belts shred/strip teeth. And all of which turn over faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well the car didn't smoke or anything. I'm taking it off myself on Monday. I watched a video on the timing belt/ water pump replacement. Two more questions and I promise I will be done. How do I check to see if I have a bad cam, a bad valve seal, and a blown cylinder.? I know the head didn't go or it would be smoking terribly. I just have a real distinct feeling it's the timing and a bad cam, which would explain for not going over a certain mph until even ground
 

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Do a compression test after putting on the new timing belt to check engine mechanical condition (assuming the belt is bad).

Your other questions are hard to answer, as they don't refer to anything specific.

Bad valve seal? Valve STEM seals keep oil out of the cylinder, worn out the engine will smoke more - particularly on start up. If you mean seal of the valve to it's seat, the compression test will tell if it needs investigation. Only a leakdown test can confirm where excessive leakage exists.

Bad cam? Bad how? Haven't seen one mentioned here with worn lobes, though anything is possible if an engine has been abused enough - as in run without oil changes.

Blown Cylinder? Could mean almost anything, you'll have to define that one better for sure.
 
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