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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I needed an economical car because my Jeep doesn't cut it. I decided on the Focus since I had a 91 Escort and was very happy for many years before I got rid of it.

A couple questions. It threw ODB2 Code 181 and 420. I did a bunch of research on the 420 code, so I think I will be able to figure that one out easily enough, although any tips are welcome! The 181 code didn't come up with much information in my searches. I'd appreciate any help on trouble shooting tips on this one.

My sister in law also has a 00 wagon with a pretty shaky motor when it's cold. I wouldn't have bought mine if I hadn't rode in hers and knew that it did the exact same thing. So is this the motor mounts or something? I haven't searched on this yet, so forgive me if that's the obvious answer. It must be common enough. Doesn't effect performance. It's just shaky as a mofo.

And then of course, are there any maintenance issues that I should take care of now that I have it? Sorry for the general question. I'm not a small car guy. Mostly familiar with big trucks and Jeeps, but I am fully capable of working on my own junk. Thanks for the help guys! :)

Oh yeah, and the right rear window barely raises and lowers. I'm assuming this is just a motor issue?

EDIT:

So what are the recommended plugs/wires for these DOHC motors?

Any recalls I don't know about?

2001 16v Sedan All power, Clean, Straight & Loaded with 140K Picked it up for $2500
 

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Has the timing belt been done?

I'd get the timing belt done unless you have paper showing it was serviced. I'd do a basic tuneup, plugs, wires, fuel filter, change coolant, and look at the pcv valve hose at the back of the motor to make sure it is not collapsing. Other than that they are excellent cars and my 01 gets 32 hw, 29 city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. That's just the kind of tips I was hoping for. I forgot about the timing belt wearing issues on these little 4 cylinders. Every 80K, I believe?

So what are the recommended plugs/wires for these DOHC motors?

Any recalls I don't know about?
 

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Plug wires, IMO, are any lifetime warranty wires for a daily driver vehicle. Now if it was a race-only vehicle or a weekend race vehicle, then you might consider something else after you have the mods to support it. The ignition system is the last place you go to for performance increases in these vehicles. We do recommend Autolite and Motorcraft plugs over others, for the racer cars the Autolite AR plugs are best.

Water pump replacement is often recommended when replacing the timing belt. IIRC, there is one bolt on the pump that you have to remove the timing cover to get to, so it makes sense to replace it when the timing cover is off.

Recalls on that vehicle have expired as far as I know. There were some recalls for the fuel pump, and there is an issue with the ignition lock cylinder that you will want to look into. Just look at the lock cylinder. If the key hole is off center towards the bottom of the metal lock cylinder- then you have the faulty lock cylinder. The replacement lock cylinder has the key hole in the center of the lock cylinder. It's a chance, sometimes the old style works forever, and sometimes it fails without notice causing you to be stuck wherever you are with the key in the ignition unable to be removed or started. Replacement after it locks up costs $200+, replacement before it locks up is easily done with few tools and costs a little less than $100 depending on how much you pay for the lock cylinder itself. You have to have the cylinder keyed for your lock at the dealer or at a locksmith. We have How-Tos on how to replace it before or after locking up on this site.
 

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The motor mounts are common issues with these cars. The passenger side, hydraulic unit is the most common of the failures. I reccomend OEM for this one. The trans mount and torque strut, beneath the motor, can be replaced with cheaper aftermarket units with no problems.

Edit: I had the aftermarket trans and torque mount on my car for about 4k miles and still had a slight vibration. Today I swapped the torque mount for an OEM. It smoothed it right back out. I will be replacing the trans mount soon as well. I have to change my suggestion to getting all OEM mounts.
 

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The 2000-2001 Foci were plagued with a number of pattern failures. The ones you will encounter are:

1. Old style ignition lock cylinder failure. This one is only a matter of time. Replace it with new style BEFORE it seizes up and requires drilling.
2. PCV hose collapse at intake manifold. Replace with improved part #XS4Z-6N664-BA
3. Alternator pigtail failure. Solder Motorcraft P/N WPT-118 pigtail kit (1U2Z-14S411-TA) onto wiring harness
4. Front spring failure in the rust states usually near the top. Unfortunately you are over the 10yr extended warranty program on this.
5. Rear spring failure in the rust states usually near the bottom.
6. Rear bearing failure. If you have rear disk brakes, this also requires replacement of the rear spindles. There was a program on this years ago. It's over now.
7. Fuel pump failure. The program on this is now over.
8. Front sway-bar end-link failure - Just replace every 5 years anyhow, they're not hard to replace or expensive.
9. Front passenger-side windshield cowling failure causing water leakage onto front passenger floor pan. Clean windshield and replace cowling.
10. Valve-cover gasket failure causing hot engine oil to leak onto the thermostat housing o-ring in turn causing that to fail. Replace VC gasket with the higher-quality Fel-Pro item.
11. DPFE sensor failure causing DTC P0401 to be set. Replace DPFE sensor with improved-design OEM unit.
12. The usual heat-shield falling off problems, again in the rust states.
13. Ignition coil primary-side pigtail failure
14. IAC valve failure causing hard warm starts.
15. Battery wiring seems to need more than the usual attention to tightness and cleanliness, particularly the grounds.
16. Passenger-side engine mount - fluid leaks out and causes excessive vibration at idle. Replace only with OEM unit.

I've worked my way through all of these issues over 11 years and my 2001 is now fairly reliable and fun to drive. It helps A LOT if you don't live in the rust-belt states. By the 2002 MY, Ford had many of these issues worked out.
 

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Hello J. Kelly,
As you have a lot of experience with Focus, I'd like to ask you if your Focus have been in the situation where it has bad idle/cyclic vibration (a sound like a "clap") just when in park or at a stop light? (runs very good in the haighway and never has died)

This was more notorious when I changed 3 motor mounts as it was isolated from other vibrations.

It has been with this failure since I bought 3 months ago; but slight vibration since mounts changed (also DPFE, Motorcraft Plugs, PCV & PCV hose, 1 Million miles air filter, timing belt).
Thank you in advance
 

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If you find out what it is, please post back. We all learn that way.
 
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