Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey So my timing belt busted on me last week (luckily no damage) and I'm getting ready to install a new one.

I do alot of constant stop and go and travel all day in my car so gas is killing me.

Now i know that advancing the cam timing will provide more low end torque, make the car stop to go with less effort on the engine therefore increasing fuel economy.

Has anyone tried this on a Zetec?

Specifically by advancing the timing by moving either the crank or cam by 1 tooth and without adjustable cam gears or a degree wheel?

I also forget if it is one tooth on the cam or the crank that is approximately equivalent to 10 degrees.

I am mainly asking to find out if this sets off a check engine light?, effects emissions?, or causes detonation? on a Zetec motor.

has anyone tried this? and how much increase was noticed with what change?
 

·
FF's Night Security
Joined
·
28,766 Posts
FIrst off welcome to the forum [welcome][ffrocks]


Don't bother, just re-time it the best you can using the cam tools. If you were going to adjust the timing I highly suggest adjustable cam gears and dyno tuning them. You could end up with no gains in fuel and may loose hp and tq, and you wouldn't even know it. I've have had adj. cam gears and the only true way is to dyno tune them. It's the only way to see any benefits.
 

·
FF Affiliate
Joined
·
31,098 Posts
You cannot change the cams by 1 tooth and do anything , if you do adj cam gears and get them properly adjusted on a dyno then yes that may help some

The ZX2 is a much lighter and smaller car it gets better MPG right off the bat

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
Tom didn't you do a fuel economy tune for Zetec? I seem to remember some threads about it a while back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well Thanks for the Welcome and thanks for the info.

i suppose i can toy around with one in the future.

Has anyone maybe tried one of those hydrogen kits?

Also unrelated question but im getting ready to put the head on.. i have the no1 piston at TDC by eye... as for the stock cam timing... everyone says use the tool without much more explaination.. well im just gonna use a straight bar. but on the cam ends should the bigger circle half be on top or bottom of the bar?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well since i did not buy a timing tool kit... i used a bar to align the cams when i put the belt on (apparently the cam slots are offset so there is only one way a straight bar will fit. I used a 1/4 inch steel from home depot slightly too thick and i had to leave the cam bearings loose a tad then tighten them after the belt was on as not to bend or damage anything.

i set the piston to TDC by eye and feel while the head was off because i did not have the tool to lock it in place and i marked the crank position to the block with a silver sharpie. at the last moment i decided to turn the crank about a half a tooth back to make sure it at least that it wasn't retarded if my mark was slightly off, as i am looking for more economy. I couldn't tell you how far advanced it is i would say about 5 or so degrees on the cams.

Either way... huge difference in torque. The car climbs hills in 5th at 1-1.5k rpm.
and I have about 300 lbs of equipment in the trunk. keeping the rpm lower and accelerating easily without strain on the motor at low rpms seems more productive now. For fuel economy i usually shift at 1500 rpm or skip gears at 2k if on a lvl or downhill area. the car used to be at the boarder line brink of sputtering and sounding like shit b4 if i was going uphill and shifting at 1500. and now is extremely smooth.

I will update with the MPG in a month or so once i go through a few tanks to see if there is any improvement. Maybe it will prove worth while to find that magic number for cam timing to get the most. I will also bring it through emissions to see if it still passes like this.


(I could be wrong but I believe this is the idea in the 2012 focus to achieve 40mpg that the computer advances the timing while you drive and lowers it at idle for emissions.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,250 Posts
Actually it advances and retards each cam as needed depending on inputs. The 12.5:1 compression ratio and DFI have something to do with it as well. I'm a bit unimpressed with it. Lots of engine tech, but not much of an increase. Most 2012 owners are reporting real world FE just slightly over that of previous Foci. Sure it's a little heavier car, but still not exactly the improvement to FE I'd have guessed.

Did you move one cam or both? Counting the number of teeth and dividing 360 by that will give you the number of degrees. The relative position of the cams, overlap or lobe spread (same thing different way of looking at it), will produce an effect also. Tom is right, a dyno will let you know what you're actually doing. Guessing is less scientific, and makes it difficult for others to produce the same result.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
i know im guessing that's why i said it may be worth it to look for the "magic number" on a dyno. i brought the crank back 1/2-1 tooth. which should equal about 1/4 to 1/2 advance on the cams. both cams are equal using the bar. I backed off the crank so that when the crank is at TDC with the bar removed the cams will be forward a bit.

I am surprised at how much of a change I notice with so lil cam advance.

if i take it apart again in the future will check it with a degree wheel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
So just wanted to update on this it has been a long while and surprisingly I got some super solid numbers... 3-0 lol

So as it has been watching my fuel economy testeing if i drive like grandma, rev the piss out of it, race it, or drive fast every night on the thruway.... IT ALWAYS GETS 30MPG on the tee every time for the past 7 months. I generally go 300 miles per tank b4 refuel. I have about 250 lbs of equipment if not more in the trunk at all times... I have not tested FE unloaded. torque is amazing... climbs hills with steady speed increase as high as 5th gear. Top end sucks for hp but still climbs fast.

The only downside is that retarding the cams seems to have put the motor off balance so there is vibration at idle.

SO overall im very pleased.. I would like to see someone do this on a dyno and see what can be achieved with the "magic number" and not a visual guess.

Keep in mind that before I retarded the cam, with all the stop and go driving, excessive idle and tons of added weight, i was averaging about 24-26 MPG.

And now with no changes in weight or driving habits I obtain a steady 30 MPG
each job i do is about 15-30 min of backroad stop and go driving and 15-30 mins idle time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
Two question related to the links posted about mileage. The so called Home Depot front lip...whats up with that? Pics? And on the other thing, knock sensor unplugged? I guess this keeps the sensor from knocking (no pun intended!) the timing keeping power at max? Does it effect the smog thing or turn on the check engine light? Also, since I use either mid grade or premium gas, will this be an OK mod?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
NEVER unplug your knock sensor , it is a sensor that there to save your engine if you have spk knock

Tom
That is what I thought, but I saw it in those mileage writeups....thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,559 Posts
Two question related to the links posted about mileage. The so called Home Depot front lip...whats up with that? Pics? And on the other thing, knock sensor unplugged? I guess this keeps the sensor from knocking (no pun intended!) the timing keeping power at max? Does it effect the smog thing or turn on the check engine light? Also, since I use either mid grade or premium gas, will this be an OK mod?
You will find more about the Home Depot lip if you do a search on it. There is more than likely more information about it in the First Generation chat section for mods. As for the knock sensor just do what Tom had suggested and you should be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
its possible, at least on Zx2. Mine was off-time and darn!!! that week I saved like 40 bucks worth of gas. then redo time ... miracle was gone. Theres a mod that involves removing your knock sensor at least (again) on zx2 engines. The knock sensor if triggered it will affect your timing (retard-iirc) actually theres TSB for these cars because in certain years the KS was too sensitive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
You will find more about the Home Depot lip if you do a search on it. There is more than likely more information about it in the First Generation chat section for mods. As for the knock sensor just do what Tom had suggested and you should be fine.
Found it, it looks pretty good actually!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
its possible, at least on Zx2. Mine was off-time and darn!!! that week I saved like 40 bucks worth of gas. then redo time ... miracle was gone. Theres a mod that involves removing your knock sensor at least (again) on zx2 engines. The knock sensor if triggered it will affect your timing (retard-iirc) actually theres TSB for these cars because in certain years the KS was too sensitive.
I have been warned against disconnection of the KS but if one used only 91~93 octane fuel, would the KS even ever kick in, thereby making removal of it a moot point?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I have a ZX2, VCT on the exhaust side. Being an automatic I made 12-14 passes down the track allowing cool off periods to test different intake cam gear timings. I found that +4 improved my times by .1 in the 1/4. I tested this method multiple times and went back and forth but it lowered my MPH by a full 1 MPH.

What I noticed in the seat of my pants is that the +4 setting did not gain any power in the idle-3K range. It gained power in the mid part of the band. 3k-5k. This made a difference in highway acceleration.

I expected the car to gain from idle-3k but did not and my 60ft times remained the same regardless if I tried 0 degrees, +2, +4 and +6. By +6 the idle suffered considerably.

Also to note I tried to advance the intake cam gear one tooth and aside from idling like a sack of shit, it threw a code and felt lazy up top.

I know this isn't relevant to gas mileage but this gives some information to how it's relevant to acceleration on a track.

To provide more feedback on the knock sensor, I would agree with Tom to never unplug the knock sensor unfornutely the ZX2 in 98-02 cars used an overly sensative knock sensor that caused too much timing to be pulled. Ford's performance PCM's for the ZX2 NGPO for Manuals and JZB3 for Automatics actually had the knocked turned off right from the factory. Ford in 2003 corrected the issue and manufactured a better knock sensor. Most of us leave ours unplugged or turn it off in a tune. I don't recommend this, but unfornutely is the only way to do it when it comes to ZX2's.

Those who have experience with ZX2's know this, right Tom?
 

·
FF Affiliate
Joined
·
31,098 Posts
I leave the KS on and havent run into any issues that I couldnt over come with the SCT software , some do need to be adjusted but I never confirmed this with the ones that did on the dyno , yes some can be over active but again if you have a tune this can be corrected
Your cam timing wont work on some one elses Zetec engine , no 2 Zetec are the same , have the same mods so sense there is no pin in the cams there is nothing to go by from one car to another

Tom
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top