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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently purchased a 2003 2.0 Zetec Wagon.

I have changed out coolant while replacing all the radiator/heater hoses and thermostat. I am fighting an issue with an airlock in the system.

Issue: My Fans never come on unless I run the AC to test that they work.

- AIR LOCK - If anyone has a set of proven steps to remove air locks from the cooling system I would appreciate a link to these. I have tried raising the front of the car by jack and stands as well as on on very steep driveway. The highest I have had it so far is approx 30 degrees. The heater has been on high for every attempt. The Final attempt was filling it with a Air Lift tool. I have also put vaccum to the system through the surge tank while running and that did pull out some additional air but that cant be all of it. My Son and I fought all of this with the SVT Focus I gave him and not until he moved to a lower elevation in PA did he solve his Air Lock issue. I am located in Colorado and think that this may also be complicating this issue.

- TEMP SENSOR LOCATION - I think the Temp sensor is on the right side of the engine behind the Alternator. Can anyone confirm this? I am considering replacing this unit in case it is bad.

Thank you in advance. Mark
 

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The Focus system is self bleeding , no need to do anything , as soon as you fill it and the thermostat opens its bled

Why do you feel its air locked ?

Sensor on the Zetec is located in the back of the head between Cyl 2 and 3 at the bottom of the head , Intake side

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why do you feel its air locked ?
Hi -

The Fans wont come on. When you turn the engine off the coolant gurgles in the surge tank and you can hear it also in the area of the upper radiator hose and thermostat housing.

I have also talked to a few Ford mechanics and they always raise the front end and run the car until the Fans come on.

The buddy who I borrowed the Air Lift tool from is a Gold Certified Porsche mechanic. He thinks its air locked as well. He and I work on GT3 Cup cars together. I have a call into him again for some sort of trick but he is up Elk Hunting. :)
 

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Moved to the Technical Chat area, you'll get better answer here.


What you describe is a cooling fan resistor that is bad. If the fans only work when the a/c comes on is a sure sign of that. Look at the radiator and in between the two fans there is a plug. Unplug that sensor and you will probably see some burnt wires or burnt resistor. You'll need to replace those, you can get the wires from ford as it is a common problem for early model year foci.
 

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Fan issues are fairly common, Sleepy's suggestion is the MOST common problem.

You'll find plenty of info here on the possible issues, "air lock" isn't one of them.

The temp sensor doesn't come into contact with the coolant, so the usual assumption that it isn't registering due to an air pocket doesn't hold for these cars. (possible reason for fans not to work on other designs)
 

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Actually on the SVT the coolant temp sensor is located on the t-stat housing and it does indeed come in contact with water. The regular zetec is located on the cylinder head intake side by cylinder 1 & 2 and doesn't come in contact with water as it is really a cylinder head temp sensor and not a water temp sensor.
 

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Ya caught me not reading his car info. Sleepy, but he WAS asking about a Zetec in a Wagon so I'm in luck this time (grin).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So your saying the Temp Sensor in the head on the regular Zetec is just threaded into the casting dry and does not protrude into a water passage?

I will check the resister shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ya caught me not reading his car info. Sleepy, but he WAS asking about a Zetec in a Wagon so I'm in luck this time (grin).
Ya - When my Son received my SVT as a gift after I bought a Solstice GXP Coupe. Helluva thing for a Ford guy to do but I like it. The SVT has a good home. I haven't logged on to this site since I was chasing an elusive Cat for the SVT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What you describe is a cooling fan resistor that is bad. If the fans only work when the a/c comes on is a sure sign of that. Look at the radiator and in between the two fans there is a plug. Unplug that sensor and you will probably see some burnt wires or burnt resistor. You'll need to replace those, you can get the wires from ford as it is a common problem for early model year foci.
Posting Photos of what I found. Tell me what you guys think of this. There is evidence that it has been hot.
 

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Connector is shot...I can't tell from your photo if the resistor is damaged. New connector is needed and maybe new resistor, or connect directly to the resistor and eliminate the connector.

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=322169&page=3

Connect wires to resistor with method shown in above thread, or use 1/4" spade terminals, or solder wires to resistor terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Connector is shot...I can't tell from your photo if the resistor is damaged. New connector is needed and maybe new resistor, or connect directly to the resistor and eliminate the connector.

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=322169&page=3

Connect wires to resistor with method shown in above thread, or use 1/4" spade terminals, or solder wires to resistor terminals.
I think the connector still works. It has been hot though and should be replaced. I cant tell if the resistor is good or not. The Coil is intact but with the heat that resister that sits behind it is most likely shot.

I just tried to buy one at NAPA and they don't list it so I am headed to the Ford Dealer for this item on Monday and will check on that connector as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fan issues are fairly common, Sleepy's suggestion is the MOST common problem.

You'll find plenty of info here on the possible issues, "air lock" isn't one of them.

The temp sensor doesn't come into contact with the coolant, so the usual assumption that it isn't registering due to an air pocket doesn't hold for these cars. (possible reason for fans not to work on other designs)

Sailor - I want to confirm that you are indeed sure that the Temp Sensor on a regular Zetec doesn't come in contact with Coolant. I just picked a new one up at NAPA and it sure looks like a standard temp probe that would come in contact with Coolant.

I appreciate everyones help here.
 

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I think the connector still works. It has been hot though and should be replaced. I cant tell if the resistor is good or not. The Coil is intact but with the heat that resister that sits behind it is most likely shot.

I just tried to buy one at NAPA and they don't list it so I am headed to the Ford Dealer for this item on Monday and will check on that connector as well.
The resistor rarely fails, but the connections can get so hot that they don't work well with a new connector. The connector is the weak point and personally I feel that if it is eliminated altogether you are much better off.

If the resistor reads only a few ohms across the terminals with a multimeter, it is good.
 

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Dorman replacement resistor and connector should be available at O'Reilly (Part No. 902-219). Also available online such as Amazon or eBay ($24 there).

Regarding possible air lock with a Zetec. Air can get trapped in the heater core if the engine is not revved up. At idle the water pump often does not push the air from the core. Revving just a few seconds when you start the engine the first time after a flush and fill will push the air from the core.

On the thermostat there is a bleed hole. Position this at 12 o'clock.
 

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Zetecs are self bleeding provided you cycle the engine to temp needle straight up and the stat as mentioned has the hole at 12 o'clock, what it does. All nine hoses must be in place as well, why it doesn't airlock (purposely designed not to for emission reasons) and funny that Ford techs do such silly things. Maybe they should read one of their own service manuals.............
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dorman replacement resistor and connector should be available at O'Reilly (Part No. 902-219). Also available online such as Amazon or eBay ($24 there).

Regarding possible air lock with a Zetec. Air can get trapped in the heater core if the engine is not revved up. At idle the water pump often does not push the air from the core. Revving just a few seconds when you start the engine the first time after a flush and fill will push the air from the core.

On the thermostat there is a bleed hole. Position this at 12 o'clock.
Thank you for the part number - I will call the O'Reilly store tomorrow for that resistor.

I bought a thermostat from Ford directly to get the one with the bleeder. All the others that were available from the various parts stores did not have the ball valve. I also did rev the engine with the heater on.

I do think that the altitude does make this process more difficult with a configuration like this. (even baking a cake requires changes to make that work) I will get the new resistor and connector in and see if anything changes before I resort to wrassling around the back side of the head for the Temp Sensor.

If I were to speculate at the major contributor to an air lock on these cars I would go with the dip in the upper radiator hose. It doesn't get that warm while running and doesn't feel as if it is full of water. While the heater hoses and the log manifold that runs above the radiator gets very hot.
 

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I'd go for a Solstice for a fun car, they aren't making any more as they say....

GM lost on making those, you can profit from that.

Cyl. head temp. is common on Focus models, my duratec has one as well - just between the 2&3 plugs on the head so access is easier. Silly things don't touch water, so changing if required is easier.
 
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