Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, first of all let me apologize in advance if I break any rules with this post, post in the wrong place, or duplicate post.

Now, I bought a 2004 Ford Focus for my mother in-law for Christmas. Her husband passed away in 2010 so she has kinda been on her own since. He was a Ford fanatic. Never owned anything but a Ford. So, that being said she wont own anything but a ford. She has a 2001 Ford Windstar that is falling apart and she can not afford to buy something newer and she cannot afford to keep dropping money left and right into the Windstar. I had a little bit of extra money and found her a Focus at a real bargain with some issues. My family and I figured we could get it fixed and give it to her for Christmas as this little Focus just turned over 100K and I've seen these little cars go forever. Also it would save her a ton of money in fuel commuting back and forth to work.

So, here is the issue I need help with if you guys would be so kind. I have been working on cars most of my life and I'm 43. I am no mechanic but I do know my away around a car decently. The car was located about 60 miles from my house and I really couldn't afford to tow it so I tried driving it thinking worst case scenario it would break down, I'd wait till the next day and then have it towed if I had to. I drove the car 60 miles to the mechanics shop that lives just up the street. It would loose power and start flashing the engine light, it would start regaining power and the engine light would stop flashing. Once up to 50-60 mph or while on flat land or going downhill it purred like a kitten. I dropped it off at the mechanics shop and he finally got around to looking at it today(I am starting doubt his abilities at this point). His first words to me were "I don't think you have much at all wrong with that car" Then tells me "there may be a problem". I asked what? He said "no compression in the number 2 cylinder" Lol, I said "well isn't that a potentially a BIG problem"? He didn't respond. Anyways, while looking at it with him the number two cylinder is not showing any compression. Took the valve cover off and the valve rockers are working fine. Cracked or busted ring right? It does not smoke, nor does it knock at all. He said "well, we could try putting some transmission fluid on top of the piston through the spark plug hole" he said sometimes that would help (I've never heard of that). Didn't help at all but still not a single puff of smoke. That baffles me to no end that it has no compression, does not smoke, and EVEN with putting fluid on top of the piston it did not smoke a single puff. Any ideas anyone? Thanks in advance as we would love nothing more than to give this to my mother in-law for Christmas and it running properly so she can have a dependable, economic vehicle for the new year.
 

·
Vince your Moderator
Joined
·
5,074 Posts
JEEBUS, I'd never put tranny fluid in an engine.

Get an second opinion ASAP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Hi there! Sorry to hear about your troubles. Lets start off with the basics. What motor does it have? Being a 2004, it could either be a SOHC SPI 2.0, a 2.0 zetec DOHC, or a 2.3 Duratec 2.0... First off, I wouldn't trust that guy, I would rent a compression tester and do your own test. If there was 0 compression in a single cylinder, it should run rough all the time. A very steady misfire, but anything is possible. I have seen a Chevy 5.4 v8 have no compression on a cylinder and it was missing like crazy, but no smoke. It could be rings, valves (the duratec and zetec have 4 per cylinder). Or maybe a head gasket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for the reply. It is a from my understanding a 2.0 Split Seam SOHC engine. He said his OBDII read random misfire 2&4. It does have an exhaust leak. I don't know how that'd affect anything I'm tracing but thought I'd throw it out there anyway. Yeah though, no smoke, no fluids in the oil, no knocking, rattling, nothing. and it doesn't run that bad at all. It doesn't run perfect but no bad enough that you'd think busted rings, ect.. Thanks again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44,595 Posts
Putting a little oil in to see if compression comes up is a test for worn rings, won't have any effect with a larger problem.

I'm afraid this sounds like a larger problem.

The SPI single cam engine (you mentioned rockers, so it HAS to be that model) is unfortunately known for dropping a valve seat. IF it hasn't broken & done additional damage, having the head redone or installing a replacement head is a common fix.

Look in the SPI Performance section for a LOT of info. on this.

No visible damage to the spark plug, or seeing any to the piston through the plug hole is a good sign - but DON'T chance running it any more! Leakdown test can confirm this guess easily.

They can run well intermittently when this first starts to happen, once the valve seat drops out completely & breaks major damage to the piston/rod occurs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
What he was TRYING to do was a a wet compression test to see if he would get a better reading. Which would indicate bad rings or cylinder walls. If there wasn't any improvement, then it would indicate a bad (chipped) valve (or valves). I've never heard of using transmission fluid though. It's supposed to be oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Putting a little oil in to see if compression comes up is a test for worn rings, won't have any effect with a larger problem.

I'm afraid this sounds like a larger problem.

The SPI single cam engine (you mentioned rockers, so it HAS to be that model) is unfortunately known for dropping a valve seat. IF it hasn't broken & done additional damage, having the head redone or installing a replacement head is a common fix.

Look in the SPI Performance section for a LOT of info. on this.

No visible damage to the spark plug, or seeing any to the piston through the plug hole is a good sign - but DON'T chance running it any more! Leakdown test can confirm this guess easily.

They can run well intermittently when this first starts to happen, once the valve seat drops out completely & breaks major damage to the piston/rod occurs.

Beat me to it again sailor!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It appears to have a brand new head on it. I guess this should probably make me worry. Lol, I am seriously just thinking of getting her another motor put to in it. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
If it has a new head on it I bet its a cylinder problem (walls or rings). But random misfire 2&4 is a strange code. Take a compression test yourself! Don't trust that guys diagnosis
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44,595 Posts
We all typed together....

Compression test & leakdown test to confirm the problem.

The engines aren't all that avail. due to many having the same issue. New/properly rebuilt heads on the other hand, ARE easy to come by.

Poor job on replacement seats could be involved IF the head was done recently, hard to guess without history.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does anyone else find it odd that even after putting fluid on top of the piston and starting it it still did not smoke?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We all typed together....

Compression test & leakdown test to confirm the problem.

The engines aren't all that avail. due to many having the same issue. New/properly rebuilt heads on the other hand, ARE easy to come by.

Poor job on replacement seats could be involved IF the head was done recently, hard to guess without history.
I will certainly try and do that tomorrow.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44,595 Posts
No compression, no fire, no smoke.

Remember, at this point if our guess is correct - any attempt to run the engine more could change a bad head to a destroyed engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,080 Posts
Possible hole in piston? Could explain who no smoke out exhaust. Pull the dip stick and run it? See if you get fumes out the tube? Just ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No compression, no fire, no smoke.

Remember, at this point if our guess is correct - any attempt to run the engine more could change a bad head to a destroyed engine.
I'm sorry if this stupid question but, literal fire or no fire through the spark plug?
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top