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Hello all:

I am the proud owner of a 2002 Focus ZX3 with the Zetec engine. Currently has 111880 miles on the odo as of writing this. The timing belt is supposed to be replaced at 75000 miles according to the service manual, but that is a very expensive job to get done and I just have not had the money to do it.

I wanted to know just in case (god forbid) the timing belt were to tear, does anyone know if the 2002 Zetec engine is interference or non-interference?

If it is a non-interference, then I won't say I am not worried about the timing belt, but I would be less worried because it would not mess up the engine if it loses it.

I am not going to just let it go until then, I am saving up to get this job done, it is just slow going. About $10-20 here and there. My mechanic quoted about $800 to do the job.

309216

Pic for attention.
 

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I believe the zetec motor is a non-interference motor. I had 2003 focus with a zetec when they were new and rear ended a guy. The core support broke and whipped around and shattered the cam gear. Insurance totaled the car because of potential engine damage but I remember researching and finding out that because the engine is non-interference there would have been no damage to it. I'm sure that information is somewhere in the depths of the search bar here
 

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Your engine is non interference. If the belt breaks the engine shuts off with no damage. The belt on my 02 broke at 112,000 miles in 2012. $800 seems pretty steep. Best practice is to replace the water pump at the same time.
 

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Non-interference. It's about a 6-8 hour job in a driveway for someone doing it their first time.

75k is pretty early for the base Zetec. I believe Ford says 120k, and I would do it as early as 100k.
 

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Non-interference. It's about a 6-8 hour job in a driveway for someone doing it their first time.

75k is pretty early for the base Zetec. I believe Ford says 120k, and I would do it as early as 100k.
I have been wanting to send the car into the dealer for the 100K service. I normally don't go to the dealer, but I would think that something like a 100K service is best handled by the dealer. Might just have the timing belt done at the same time since they are right there.

I would love to do the job by myself, alas, I do not have the tools, the space, or the time.
 

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I have been wanting to send the car into the dealer for the 100K service. I normally don't go to the dealer, but I would think that something like a 100K service is best handled by the dealer. Might just have the timing belt done at the same time since they are right there.

I would love to do the job by myself, alas, I do not have the tools, the space, or the time.
Thankfully the job is pretty standard, so nearly any Ford dealer should be able to do it. It won't be cheap due to the labor time, but it should be done well.
 

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Non interference 100% on the North American versions of the Zetec. The euro ones may be different, they have a bunch of different sizes over there if it.
My 2.0 Zetec Contour broke belt, no problem or internal damage. My friends 2002 Focus Zetec broke belt at 5000+rpm.... no damage. Reset timing, throe on a new belt and off you go.
 

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I was quoted $600 by my local mechanic.
Ended up ordering the parts/tools and going for it. It was very time consuming, scary getting the timing right, and belt tension. Took me 8 hours.

Now I can do it in 3 hours no sweat, which includes loosening the cam sprockets. Water pump takes extra time. Make sure you get a water pump gasket if you change it.
 
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Zetec timing belt replacement requires special tools and strict adherence to Ford procedure. Any mechanic who says otherwise, walk away.
 

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I don't use that procedure at all. In fact, I view it as an utterly incompetent method.
 

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View attachment 309216

Original owner 02 Zetec 246k, 5+ timing belt changes.
1. Depending on usage and driving style aggressive vs happy, after the OEM timing belt, change every 25k with a visual check . {Northern locations experience freeze conditions along with the summer heatwaves}

2. If water pump is beyond 50k with changes of corrosion and temperature fluctations, then change along with belt and tensioner, for another $150

3. Never visit a dealer again, Pep Boys
{My mechanic, I have one at Pep Boys, can install the belt & tensioner system only within 1 hour}
along with rewards program and coupons equals a $300 job, sometimes less, if you use their online parts order with discounts, sub $275. {Ford advantage rewards is not a REAL rewards program}
4. Most parts for 02-04 are only sourceable on Ebay and partsdirect.com
 

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My 2001 went 150k and 20 years on factory timing belt. Still working when replaced.

Don't have Pep Boys everywhere. None near me.
 

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They are hypalon timing belts and normal change time is 120K miles. Most timing belts jumped from 60 to 120 K around mid '90s or so, when the stronger belts came out. Some high perf high rev engines like SVT still change around 60.
 

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Still a good idea to study it, so you can ask the right questions to evaluate a mechanic's skill and methods. If they don't do it the Ford way, search for one who does. These YT videos help:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSHiwP8aksk
www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4IgVvfovhA

They're a good start, but not the final word. Look for others and learn as much as you can.
So what is different about the Ford procedure compared to the others out there that seem similar and have been used successfully?
 

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Src doesn't like our "dangerous" "unapproved" methods of removing the crankshaft bolt
You forgot to mention "stupid."

If you can't loosen the crank bolt with the right tools, then OBVIOUSLY you don't have the right tools to put it back on at the correct torque spec. You may break the bolt making it too tight, or it works loose while driving. Either way, big fail.

Getting it loose with the starter is for fools who can't think two steps ahead. The starter won't help you put it back on. If you don't have the right tools, leave the job to someone who does.

That's about it.
No, there's more genius.

The Ford method requires using the camshaft alignment tool. It's just a bar of steel, some people can fabricate their own, but without it, the camshafts won't be aligned right. Same with the TDC pin.

Some mechanics will attempt the job without those tools. Avoid them, and the losers who use a starter for a fool's purpose.
 
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