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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
RESOLVED: New SVT owner--acceleration/hesitation issues

UPDATE

Problem solved

solution
Replaced cracked ignition coil with BWD coil with lifetime warranty from O'Reilly's


Yesterday, I traded in my '02 wagon SE for an '02 sonic blue SVTF. I love the car, but after driving it hard today (gotta have some fun with the new power), I now have a series of hesitations upon hard acceleration.

I will try to be descriptive but not too wordy.

car
'02 SVT Focus, 89k miles, 100% stock
Do not know if timing belt has been replaced

symptoms:
- intermittent loss of power delivery and rpm (series of hesitations/"sputtering"/"bucking")
- problem occurs only during hard acceleration (>75% throttle) in gears 2-3-4 between 3000-6000 rpm
EDIT:
- after a day, said problem occurred throughout entire rpm range and all gears when load was presented to engine and engine/mechanical systems were ambient temperature ("cold-start")
- problem slightly improved upon systems reaching operating temperature (problem constrained to original scenarios listed above in black)

how/when it started
- started after hard cornering/accelerating through some twistys on back roads
- highest speed achieved was roughly 80 mph.
- had joy ride with about an 1/8th tank of gas
- first happened with around 2 gallons of fuel in tank (low fuel light on) after full throttle acceleration from 30-70mph (3-4 gear, shifted @6500 rpm)

my troubleshooting
- thought it was leaning out due to low fuel level and increased acceleration forces causing fuel to slosh away from fuel pump pickup
- filled tank with 93 octane, problem still exists

I figure it could be
Fuel filter
Fuel pump
Timing belt
Ignition coil
Clutch slippage

I just bought this car yesterday and love driving it, but don't have time to fix it (full-time mechanical engineering student). I'm wondering if anyone here has experienced similar problems so I have a general idea what to expect when I take it to my mechanic.
 

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IF you want to throw a part at the problem... I would say Coil Pack.

New (old) car needs an inspection of spark plug health/condition and spark plug wires. -and replace the fuel filter too.

FREE 30-point car inspections are offered at many car experts garages. 30-point or whatever... Let a Pro look it over for free or at a minimum cost.

Cheers!
 

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Put in Autolite copper plugs A103. It may not fix everything but you will have a smoother running car. 93 octane on platinum plugs does nothing - I tried it.
 

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You need to do timing assembly ASAP or that engine will go poof soon. Then you'll have $1200-1500 of head work to do

If you don't know than assume it has not been done...


You can come to Bedias TX and pay me and ill show you how to do your timing assembly, I have all the tools and Im cheaper than any shop you will take it to. I do this partly because you are a fellow forum member and have the same interest in type of car. Ive done 3 other forum members SVT's and my SVT aswell. If your mechanic has not done a SVT before with a VCT gear id be very careful taking it to him its not a run of the mill timing job on regular cams. If its not done right KABOOM!


To me sounds like some trash you sucked up from the bottom of the tank definitely change the fuel filter its cheap and easy to do. Heres something you should stick by any time your car gets to 1/4 tank go fill it up! It will save you from sucking trash from the bottom of your tank, make your fuel pump last longer (because the fuel keeps the fuel pump cool) and it will keep you from being stranded somewhere out of gas.

Only use PREMIUM in the SVT


Check you coil pigtail its a common fault. ford made an updated pigtail for the ignition coil and alternator.

Change your plugs you need 4 motocraft SP463's


Any codes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses so far. I see some of you guys are from Houston. I bought the car from Sterling McCall Lexus in Houston

IF you want to throw a part at the problem... I would say Coil Pack.

New (old) car needs an inspection of spark plug health/condition and spark plug wires. -and replace the fuel filter too.

FREE 30-point car inspections are offered at many car experts garages. 30-point or whatever... Let a Pro look it over for free or at a minimum cost.

Cheers!
I'm going to have the fuel filter replaced Monday. Hopefully it's that simple. I would do it myself but have tests on Monday and Tuesday. So I have no time to work on it.

Sounds like a fuel pump issue to me.
This was my first instinct too. I bet I let the pump overheat with the combination of low fuel and high workload on the pump. It runs fine during normal conditions though, so I'm hoping the filter is simply restricted.

You need to do timing assembly ASAP or that engine will go poof soon. Then you'll have $1200-1500 of head work to do

If you don't know than assume it has not been done...


You can come to Bedias TX and pay me and ill show you how to do your timing assembly, I have all the tools and Im cheaper than any shop you will take it to. I do this partly because you are a fellow forum member and have the same interest in type of car. Ive done 3 other forum members SVT's and my SVT aswell. If your mechanic has not done a SVT before with a VCT gear id be very careful taking it to him its not a run of the mill timing job on regular cams. If its not done right KABOOM!


To me sounds like some trash you sucked up from the bottom of the tank definitely change the fuel filter its cheap and easy to do. Heres something you should stick by any time your car gets to 1/4 tank go fill it up! It will save you from sucking trash from the bottom of your tank, make your fuel pump last longer (because the fuel keeps the fuel pump cool) and it will keep you from being stranded somewhere out of gas.

Only use PREMIUM in the SVT


Check you coil pigtail its a common fault. ford made an updated pigtail for the ignition coil and alternator.

Change your plugs you need 4 motocraft SP463's
Thanks for the insight so far.

Any codes?
I don't know if it has any codes. I've been studying all day and will be all day tomorrow. The CEL is not on so most places around here won't scan it for free (to my knowledge).

That's very cool of you to offer to help with my timing rebuild. I'm interested--I always love to learn how to do common repairs as long as I have reliable reference materials/help and appropriate tools..
 

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Check the fuel level too. On my first focus, I found that making a hard right turn with less than half a tank could starve the fuel pump. I'm pretty sure that issue was fixed before the '02 models were released, but maybe not.


Try running around on a full tank and see what happens.
 

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Just PM me for details, whenever you're ready on timing job.

let us know after you change out plugs and fuel filter....Id do the pigtails aswell just for preventive maintenance even if they are fine right now.

For a scanner plus multi tool and PIDs you need this $5 app

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.prowl.torque&hl=en

and dont cheap out on the adapter id get this one since its the #1 and has upgradeable Firmware for $99 (you can make offers to sellers on fleabay to get it a little cheaper)

http://www.scantool.net/scan-tools/obdlink-mx.html


the adapter compatibility list is here, the $2 dollar chinese fleabay adapters are crap and filled with errors I went through 3 of them before I broke down and bought the Kiwi (I originally bought the Kiwi Bluetooth PLX adapter but recently just started giving me errors Its done well for 5 years so I will be getting the MX) The MX can also be used with a PC if you dont have an android.............If you have an Iphone....... you will have to get the MX WiFi model and use the dash command app.

http://torque-bhp.com/wiki/Bluetooth_Adapters


this will save you so much money and you can clear codes yourself and watch a multitude of things going on with your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
update

After sitting a day and driving the car for the first time, the problem now occurs in every situation where throttle input is presented to the drivetrain. This was before the mechanical systems had reached operating temperature. Once operating temperature was achieved, the problem occurred only during original scenarios.

Original post updated

We have monthly meets, having another one next weekend at K1 and then food afterward. HERE is the link to the thread.
Very cool. I will try and make one when I have some free time away from school.

Check the fuel level too. On my first focus, I found that making a hard right turn with less than half a tank could starve the fuel pump. I'm pretty sure that issue was fixed before the '02 models were released, but maybe not.


Try running around on a full tank and see what happens.
It has a full tank of 93 octane. I just drove it to a test review and it did stumble during a 15-mph 90* right-hand turn. But it was stumbling in other scenarios too.

Just PM me for details, whenever you're ready on timing job.

let us know after you change out plugs and fuel filter....Id do the pigtails aswell just for preventive maintenance even if they are fine right now.

For a scanner plus multi tool and PIDs you need this $5 app

...

this will save you so much money and you can clear codes yourself and watch a multitude of things going on with your car.
Nice, I will check that out. I inspected the pigtail today--it looked fine. All wires are adequately seated. I will keep this in mind though. Fuel filter is getting replaced tomorrow.
 

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clean your MAF and Ohm out your TPS sensor to see if its within factory specs
Good ideas. However, ohm-ing out a TPS requires a full sweep test of it, -and this requires some experience doing this type of tests, -and must be done slowly and carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm banking on it being fuel filter, fuel pump, or ignition coil/wires/plugs.

Hopefully it's not a more serious issue like timing belt or clutch slippage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Problem solved

Solution
Replaced cracked ignition coil with BWD coil with lifetime warranty from O'Reilly's

Results
- improved idle quality
- no more hesitation/surging
- quicker throttle response
- restored HP & TQ throughout RPM range

Conclusion
The cracks in the rubber case of the ignition coil allowed the electric current to escape and arc to different metal components in the engine bay area. This prevented the current from flowing through the ignition wires to the spark plugs. Hence, my hesitations were the result of an intermittent loss of electric current ("spark") to the spark plugs.
 

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Another Bad Coil Pack! Yep, no surprise, that's why I guessed coil pack at the beginning... no, I'm not clairvoyant or smart, just a parrot. So many fricken' bad coil pack stories here, it never ends.

Trans problem? Check your coil pack.
Lighting problem? Check your coil pack.
Flat Tire? Check your coil pack.

Congrats on your fixed car 02Wagon5spd
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Another Bad Coil Pack! Yep, no surprise, that's why I guessed coil pack at the beginning... no, I'm not clairvoyant or smart, just a parrot. So many fricken' bad coil pack stories here, it never ends.

Trans problem? Check your coil pack.
Lighting problem? Check your coil pack.
Flat Tire? Check your coil pack.

Congrats on your fixed car 02Wagon5spd
[cheers]

Thanks, bud! Yup, you nailed it.

I had to do the same repair on my previous '02 Focus.
 
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