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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
My first post here so be kind! :)
I've got my hands on a 2000 ford focus se wagon.
A few days ago my check engine light came on and it read a misfire on cylinder 4.
After a compression test on all cylinders, #4 came up 90 psi. The other three came in at 150 psi. Is there some sort of trick I can do to make sure its the valve(s)? I read it could be other things like head gasket but they all seem internal to the engine. :(

The spark plugs (I used the Autolite Platinum as recommended) and the coil pack is fine. I HAVE NOT checked the fuel injectors but will do so in the morning.

Armed with a can of seafoam, I did a vaccum line pour and revved the engine to prevent stall. Five minutes later I started her back up and revved the engine to burn out some of the carbon.
I hear the valve seat is prone to failure. Not sure.

Any hints or fairy dust you guys can sprinkle on the problem is GREATLY appreciated.
 

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Do not worry about the other stuff. You need to go back to your compression test. Please do a web search for Wet verses Dry cylinder compression test. Results of Wet & Dry tests can help in your engine diagnosis.
 

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Usually when a cylinder fails a standard (dry) compression test the next step is to do either a 'wet' compression test or a leak down test. The leakdown test is more diagnostic and can pinpoint the specific cylinder leak path but requires the leak down test equipment and compressed air.

Good luck
Paul
 

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Yes, verify the engine. If P on the 8th digit of the VIN then pretty much tear the engine down time, you only make the damage worse by rigging things like the seafoam event.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yes i have the SOHC engine. the 8th digit on the VIN is a P. when doing the seafoam thing i did notice i have an exhaust leak somewhere...would that cause compression loss at all?
 

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Yep, but you generally don't hear a valve leak outside the engine, if you hear one probably a pipe leak and not the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well, i dont hear the leak i just saw some smoke from inside the "engine bay" or whatever its called while doing the seafoam vaccum line gig. About to go over the vacuum lines and while there's a handy dandy little diagram underneath the hood I have a hard time seeing where the different lines go. Is there a way that I can confirm that its an issue with the valve? I took off the valve cover and didn't see any broken pieces or metal shaving etc. No rocker arms loose. Is the valve stuck open? OR not closing all the way in the valve seat? Ugh.
 

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You know why...................probably there.

No sense working on anything else until you get that compression issue worked out, it is the major reason why most let go of SPI cars. 90 psi will not and never will fire clean enough to keep a spark plug running clean and why it's missing.
 

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Yes it fits, no it isn't JUST swapping the engine.

Details in a "stickie" & other threads in the Engine/trans swap section.

Fairly popular option, many have done it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
oh yea i read something about the engine mounts all different....lol
at least i know my issue i just am not a shop mechanic and have a hard time with some of the steps required. I will give it my best though! The top cover (I guess its the crankcase cover) is easy enough, how ever i think the head coming out is a bit more...uh...tedious no?
 

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Top cover is called a "valve cover" because it covers the mechanism actuating the valves.

Swapping out a cylinder head for repair/replacement is a larger job, does require a minimum of special tools such as a torque wrench.

I'd recommend a basic manual on the car for reference, that'll cover a lot of details, basic info. & the specs. needed for reference.

Only an experienced mechanic could hope to have success with only basic specs. available, diagrams/pictures/hints form a book help tremendously when you haven't done it before.
 

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A Haynes or Chilton manual will give you some good reference photos and tips. The full Ford teardown manual is best, but not necessary. I find books easier than trying to reference a YouTube video while I'm working, but watching a few vids beforehand can be very helpful.

You need to be patient and methodical, but you can manage just fine with a basic manual and a few tools. A half-decent garage space will help, but I've dropped engines and changed transmissions in a tiny shed with a dirt floor. I just don't recommend it ;)
 
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