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Discussion Starter #1
OK guys and gals, heres the latest in the ongoing nightmare that is my 2004 focus 2.3. After having BOTH cats replaced, the shop discovered that the timing was WAY off. While repairing that, it was discovered that it also had a broken chain tensioner. Then, the check engine light came back on and the idle started dropping off and returning to normal. Back to the shop we go. It seems that whatever head the previous owner put on the engine, it doesn't have the 2 ports between the exhaust ports that the tube on top of the exhaust manifold go to. What does that tube do? At a total loss. Where and how can I find out what this head is? I found these numbers on the back of the head (using a mirror) RF3S4G 6090 Below that AA 03 ANY help would be welcome! Thanks in advance. I really, really like the car, but ready to take it out and[gunfire]
 

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One part of this story I've seen before, and not that long ago...

The Shop apparently didn't know about the special exh. manifold gasket that includes the ports for that air injection to flow through.

Put it on with a plain gasket, and there's nowhere for the injection air to go. Could well trigger a check engine light from that part of the emissions system not working.

Search here long enough & you'll find a thread with pictures of the right gasket.

I'll move this to General Tech. Chat because it's a repair question, you might find info. & pictures where it was posted (duratec performance) as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the heads up. According to the shop, there are NO holes in the head for this to allow the air to pass thru. They say the gasket is correct. The part they installed is Dorman 674702 ordered thru rockauto. The holes are in the gasket, but not in the head. Any ideas what the head is? The car runs ok, but idle stumbles and the check engine light are an issue. They claim I need a new head, due to the lack of holes for whatever that pipe is for. Can't find any reference pics or what that pipe is called.
 

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Tell 'em they didn't look close enough at the gasket, and ask why they think it's a problem now when they didn't while doing the work.

Haven't seen it apart myself, just the pictures posted here. The odd setup to AVOID needing a different head for PZEV is to have a gasket with three layers - center layer is OPEN between each pair of cylinders with the "holes" feeding the air through that opening into each pair of exh. pipes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Tell 'em they didn't look close enough at the gasket, and ask why they think it's a problem now when they didn't while doing the work.
Yeah, no kidding! Exactly how the next "conversation" will be starting. Not sure who to be p##sed at, the guy who sold me the car, or the shop! Probably both.

Maybe I'm being a little slow on the uptake, but your answer confused me. The gasket has the holes for the pipe outlets, but they Claim the head doesn't have them. They CLAIM it has the wrong head. I included the numbers that I found on it, but don't know how to decode them. [???:)]

I also saw on another thread that it showed a 2.3 molded into the head, but the picture was a close-up that didn't give me enough info to find the location. Any idea where that set of numbers would be? Thanks in advance!
 

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If you find a post you want to ask about, right click on the post number will give a copy link option to paste into your question post (another right click & hit paste).

Threads can be linked by doing the same to the title before entering the thread.

Hard to make a clear explanation, I'll try again.

The gasket has holes in it (right through) and you'd expect the head to have matching ones, which it doesn't.

The outside faces of the 3 layer gasket cover the whole area around the exh. ports, while the center layer has ONE oval opening for each pair of ports.

This creates a pathway between each pair of exh. ports, and the holes for air injection run through these openings.

SO, the air passes through the first set of holes in the exh. gasket, can't enter the head through the second as the head has no hole there, and moves sideways to each exh. pipe through the open center section of the exh. gasket itself.

No need for a different head with ports for the air to pass through with this setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I saw this post showing the info stamped on the head: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2809178&postcount=7

Where is this number and can I see it without taking off all the "stuff" on the front of the engine? That's the displacement stamp ... right?

So, what you're saying is buy 3 exhaust gaskets and seal the holes for the ports in the middle set so it vents to the exhaust ports. Sound about right?
 

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Tx Marde!

Hadn't managed to find it yet searching around.

Gives the OP some GREAT pics he can use to prove the point.

Lack of air injection isn't likely to cause an idle stumble IMHO, IF his is wrong. Would have to know the code to guess if it might be related.


P.S. - Marde's post shows what the proper gasket should look like, no need for three!

The 2.3 marking is below the EGR port on the front of the head, driver's side. Manifold is over it, so seeing it would be near impossible assembled (left side of pic. is top of head).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just saw the link that sailor was talking about, thanks to marde!!!! So its not just me!!!! Thanks a whole bunch, this should solve the problem! Will keep everyone apprised of the outcome. Thanks again
 

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BTW the "2.3" stamp is located on the back, next to the exhaust manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just a quick little bit of info.....the dorman 674702 cat/manifold kit comes with the WRONG gasket for the 2.3 duratec. It is the single layer gasket, not the triple layer that is required.
 

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Just a quick little bit of info.....the dorman 674702 cat/manifold kit comes with the WRONG gasket for the 2.3 duratec. It is the single layer gasket, not the triple layer that is required.
The gasket is the correct one for the 2.3.
The gasket is NOT the correct one for the 2.3 PZEV.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update.........Changed the exhaust gasket. 300 plus miles later, running like a champ and NO check engine light!!!! A BIG thank you to everyone who helped me get it back running right and making it fun to drive. However, my mechanics think it has to be some kind of voodoo....They didn't question it, they just went with it and it worked. Thanks again to all on the Focus forum for the help[pray]
 

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Cool. Congrats!

Sorry to pester you but could you please give me a rundown of symptoms and history leading up to replacing both cats. Did you have any performance problems, or did you just get a DTC and Check Engine Light (CEL) one day that said Cat Inefficient. Did you replace an O2 sensor during this? Was there an exhaust leak?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not a problem. Bought the car and it was sluggish and shifting poorly (it's an automatic). Took it to the shop I have dealt with and they checked it over and diagonosed that it had a bad front cat, which also took out the rear cat. I believe the guy as he's got almost 20 years at an exhaust shop before here. It got real hot and smelled like rotten eggs. O2 sensors were fine and no check engine light until the cats were changed (and there started the wrong gasket issue). The rear cat had been changed before I owned it, so my belief is the front one went south and they changed the rear (cheaper) one, got it through emissions, and sold the car. Just an opinion.
 

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Tx for the update!

Happy to hear the gasket did the trick & you had no other problems remaining.

Wouldn't have believed the oddball setup using the special gasket for air passages without seeing it, so I can understand the shop's wondering if the head was changed with all the issues with the "new to you" used car.

Cheers
 

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Thanks Stripe! Your story might be the first Focus I have seen that confirms that an old cat can plug-up, become inefficient, not trip a DTC and cause sluggish performance. I am in the beginning stages of diagnosing what might be the same thing. Side note that you and I both have 2004 2.3 PZEV and live in AZ. One strange thing about what you think happened with the previous owner is AZ does not sniff our cars during emissions testing. So the cats can be failing but as long as no DTC is set you will pass.

I did some poormans data-logging using Torque (smart phone app). The logs reveal the mani-cat is working poorly (based on 2nd O2 sensor low voltage readings). It is nice that the PCM does not easily set an emissions DTC and cause me/you/us to fail emissions testing BUT it is also a bummer that the PCM is not letting us know that the cat might be plugged up & might also be causing engine performance problems. My next step is to buy/borrow an IR Temperature gun and test the temps of the cat-in verses cat-output.

I have never smelled the bad cat rotten egg smell from my car.

My engine performance problems are described as; hesitation & bog with light throttle; sometimes a surge or bucking as it climbs out of the problem rpm/torque zone; happens much much less if air conditioning is off; happens more often when hot outside; happens most often when taking-off with light throttle. No problems if I step on it. Poor gas mileage. Do any of these symptoms remind you of what your car was doing before the repairs you did?

My car seems to shift ok, but the stock shift points are too low for my taste. Because I have the problem described above, I sometimes get bogging & slight bucking when the car shifts into 4th & I'm driving slow (40-45) & going up incline & ac is on. Too much load, too much torque, not enough power and maybe an old cat that is making it hard for my engine to breathe.
 
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