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I have a 2001 Focus SE with SOHC engine and 99k miles. The engine was rebuilt by Ford at 65k miles, probably because of the dropped valve seat issue. I am praying that the problem does not reoccur.

I can buy a 2005 zx3 hatchback with 120000 miles and a Duratec 2.0 for $3200.

Do you think it is worth it to get the newer car and better motor, but with slightly more miles?

The Duratec has slightly more vibration than my sohc, is this normal on a 05 Duratec?
 

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I would. Selling your old car makes the upgrade price much less.

A 2005 might have original motor mounts, and mounts at that age might be causing excessive vibration, especially or mostly from the passenger side motor mount.
 

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I would. Selling your old car makes the upgrade price much less.

A 2005 might have original motor mounts, and mounts at that age cause excessive vibration, especially or mostly from the passenger side motor mount.
Ditto on the engine mounts. They are pretty inexpensive to replace, so I would agree. Do it. The D20 motor is excellent, and very reliable. Also, on the note of the engine mounts, just DON'T buy aftermarket. They have a terrible reputation for reliability. I'm talking ebay brands mostly. Any reputable brand such as Prothane Fswerks, CFM, Cobb, etc is okay, but don't buy OEM style motor mounts that aren't Ford brand.

Otherwise, I would say go for it. I've had 2 Mk1/2 hatch's and they are sweet. I'm in a Mk3 hatch now. :)
 

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Selling yours should recoup a large portion of the expense to upgrade by 4 yrs, sight unseen you ought to get half or better of the replacement's price.

Current engine is at 35k since the repair, so the change isn't urgent by any means if the car is otherwise in good shape.

70k to 150k is typical for the problem, so you can't plan for it - members have examples over 200k though I wouldn't want to bet on it.

Loud ticking from the durtatec would mean a new intake manifold will eventually be needed (for the std. repair), the one known common issue that isn't disastrous for them.

As usual,a lot depends on the particular car. Wouldn't want to change unless the new one is in very good condition.
 

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Once rebuilt, the valve seat should be ok depending on how they did the repair. 05's are very reliable. As far as the tumble flap problem that causes what sounds like valve ticking, I've been driving mine for about 80k miles with a tumble flap tapping away. Another FF had his tumble flap problem cause a vacuum leak that required replacing the intake manifold. For someone who doesn't work on their own vehicle, this could cost you close to $1k. That problem exists on all Focis with the Duratec engine, but I've seen very few on this board where it failed to the point that the intake manifold was damaged.

Shaky engine = yes, needs new motor mounts. I would replace all 3, typically those all need to be replaced. Other than that, you should notice MUCH better braking, MUCH better acceleration, and probably slightly less fuel economy depending on driving habits. Most other problems with that vehicle are not a big deal. Believe me, I abuse and neglect my poor little wagon, and it still gets me to work. You should look at everything very carefully though. I am highly suspect of ANY small 4 cyl vehicle for sale used right now because I don't think anyone is going to get rid of a good fuel efficient car, and take up a note. Most Americans have learned not to overstep their finances, and if it runs- keep it.

Even if all the rest of the 05's in the world are great cars- that doesn't mean that this one is- or isn't. Just be careful, and wary. My advice: if you like the 01, keep it, put back as much extra money as you can per month in a car fund. Pretend you have a note to pay. Do that for a year, do plenty of research and window shopping, then go get a new one while the interest rates are low. Sell your car in the local paper. Never trade at the dealer, they won't give you crap for it. It is always better to buy a car while you still have a car to drive that way you won't be swayed by dealer sales tricks. I always get ripped off when I "need" a car instead of when I'm just looking and can walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate all your responses so far! I'll surely stick around on these here forums!

-About how many miles do the Duratec engines tend to get without major repair?

-I'll probably be buying the 2005 zx3 hatchback today for $3100. Anything I should look at to make sure it's not going to fall apart on me? :)

-My SOHC 2001 Focus has a valve ticking.....it concerns me because of the stories I hear about catastrophic engine failure on the SOHCs!
 

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Ok, then you're justified. I'll be happy to tell you how to determine if a sound is valves or intake manifold- because the two can sound very similar when listening under the hood. My 05 has 170k horribly abused miles on it.

Still.... I suppose I can see why people would want to get rid of a car with 120k miles on it that works ok. I think it was 150k when my factory MP3 CD radio died. The sway bar end links go out fairly frequently, but nothing is damaged as a result.

As far as the motor mounts go, I have seen where the wrong mount was listed at Autozone for these cars. For some reason they had the AT mount confused with the MT mount. The two look different, so if you simply take a pic of the part- you'll recognize the difference at the counter.

Alternators suffer the same sordid issues with big part company rebuilds as earlier models did. Always find out if your shop will have it rebuilt locally or will install a parts store part. You want the local rebuild, or a brand new Motorcraft part- unless you like changing your alternator every 4 months or less. The difference is simply in the business model, and it makes a person feel good to support local small businesses IMO.

There is an annoying starting problem that plagues some 05s. The car won't start at the first turn of the key. It's because the hole that lets air is too large. This is just something that is annoying. What I do is simply bump the key to crank the engine rrr rrr rrr for a sec, if it doesn't start, drop off the starter, and bump it again. It always starts immediately on the second bump.

Dtec engines are chain driven, so if someone tells you that you need a new timing belt, then that's a sign that you don't need to go back to that mechanic again.
 
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