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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all I am new to owning a ford focus. Real quick here's the deal. I bought a non running 2000 focus se for 150 bucks. I'm pretty sure it's the fuel pump based on what he said happened. The engine turns over and everything BUT it makes a puff of smoke right near the firewall on the passenger side when you first turn the key. (I am replacing the pump next week when I am off work. Does anyone have an idea on what that puff of smoke could be? I am hoping it's not a timing belt as I don't think I am experienced enough to attempt that.
Any help is appreciated it seems like a good little car and I'd hate to have to scrap it. Thanks in advance!

Matthew
 

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Before you get a fuel pump, you must...

Have engine timing checked & perform a compression test.
 

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X2

No-one can guess further without more info., including what engine is in the car.
 

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OK, that helps

Read up in this area on potential problems, and you'll know why compression check is a first step before spending $ on the car:http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=42

It SHOULD be done for any car when you don't know it's condition. Either possible engine has a timing belt that could be a problem & the SPI has a possible valve seat issue as well.

Compression check lets you know if the engine is in good condition mechanically or not. If you confirm it's in good shape that justifies spending on the car to get it running again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree that a compression test is the first step. I didn't have access to that when I looked at the car. I guess I can look around and or ask friends if someone can do that for me here at home. I can always return the fuel pump to since I didnt install it yet. But I took a chance on a 150 dollar car that looked real decent. I will keep you all informed on what I find. Thanks for the help!
 

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A compression test gauge is often loaned (for free with a deposit) by many of the big name car part stores. You can do this test at your home, not difficult.

H.H.
 

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Easier than changing a tire...

Remove spark plugs & unplug wire connector to coil (to prevent sparking while cranking for test).

Screw tester into spark plug hole (many have an adapter to screw in, gauge connects to adapter).

Crank engine until pressure stops rising with throttle open (foot to floor).

Record result

Repeat for the other three cylinders.

If cranking slows after a couple, take a break while recharging battery before continuing. (can happen with a lees than perfect battery)

Post results & we'll help with interpretation. (one hint, 10% max variation in results)

No heavy work, only 4 items to unscrew & one wire connector to detach - easy work.
 

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One thing to add to sailor's excellent instructions would be to state that ideally the engine should be at operating temperature, if possible, while doing a compression test.

To the OP: Not to be insulting but if you're unfamiliar with basic engine tests such as a compression test, you may be in over your head purchasing a non-runing car in need of work. I would bet that your cheap, non-running SPI engined Focus has a toasted motor as Marde and sailor are indirectly alluding to. Car is cheap for a reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Im not offended at that at all. I took a friend with me to the sale and I felt confident enough to buy it for 150. If its toasted I've already made arrangements with a local scrap yard that will give me 300 guaranteed so yea. I appreciate all the help so far and I will keep you posted. Oh and the car was for sale for more than 150 that's what I talked the seller down to.
 

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That last sentence even more confirms car motor is probably scrap.
 

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OP may be lucky, many aren't up to tackling a fuel pump replacement & the bill to have it done would be high. Last owner COULD have dumped it for that reason alone.

Still wouldn't dump that kind of work/$ into it without checking engine condition first.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've replaced several fuel pumps/fuel tanks. I'm not worried about doing that part of the job. I have a compression gauge now too and as soon as I have time I'm going to check that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok guys here is an update:
I did the compression test before I did anything else based on recomendations on this post. All 4 cylinders had well over 100 psi except 4 which only had like 120 psi

THe spark plugs turned out to be the original plugs.. the car has 103842 for miles. I didnt have any new ones on hand so I "cleaned" thos up best I Could. after putting the plugs back in shined up I decided to crank it over.. big suprise the car started and ran for like 15 seconds. I tried restarting it and it did eventually restart but acted like it was starving for fuel. So then I threw in the new fuel pump. Now I can actually hear the pump come on. The car starts but wont stay running.
Any Ideas guys?
 

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Well if it had the original spark plugs, you can bet it has the original fuel filter.
 

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The norm for compression around 170 or so, the 120 is a problem developing, the engines pretty much cease to function on a cylinder at around 100 or so.
 

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Exactly, this:
All 4 cylinders had well over 100 psi except 4 which only had like 120 psi.
Is pretty useless for diagnostic purposes, just post the numbers for each cylinder.
 
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