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A shout of thanks to everyone who contributes good information here! With y'alls help I pulled off my first sensitive mechanical procedure and everything seems good. The check engine light even turned off! [clap]I replaced a water pumphousing gasket, water pump, timing belt, drive belt and engine mount over the course of a few days. I dare say I could do it faster a second time.
Heres some notes of interest-
My 2000 focus zx3 ran ok but stumbled a bit while accelerating till one day after running fine it just ceased to turn over.
After pulling the cover off (an hour long project with jacks) I noticed about 4 inches of timing belt teeth along with a tooth here and there had been lost.
I dont know if I was ever driving with a belt missing teeth but Im assuming if my engine had been an interference one it would have been toast.
On the repair end of things the water pump not coming loose was a major cause of frustration. The hindsight here is to not get upset about a couple more bolts to remove the housing. The pump came out finally when I was able to brace the removed housing with clamps and twist knock the sucker free. However more patience is also required to put the housing back with a new gasket that Ford charged me 25$ (island pricing) cause I didnt want to wait a week for one from the mainland. Ford was able to get it to me in 5 days. ?? Yeah anyhow the radiator hose that attaches to the pump can be a bear too so be ready to deal with those pesky hose fasteners.
I acquired the special timing belt tools from Massive which shipped fast and cheaper (35$) than what local auto parts stores quoted me. I used a Gates timing belt kit for the tensioner and belt.
I had a Haines manual that was helpful to get familiar with the parts of the engine but just as important several utube videos and the Ford Fanatics site[twothumbs] which really helped me wrap my head around the task.
One of the best tips I got from this site was that it is possible to set the cams and crankshaft and install the belt without loosening the cams to a free-wheeling position. Hand turning the cam pulleys one at a time to allow the flat bar to be carefully slipped in the back of the cam worked fine. With both the bar and TDC pin set I was able to slip the new belt on paying attention to keep the slack moving counterclockwise towards the tensioner.
A little tip with installing the tensioner is to make sure its bolt is centered in the pulley when you insert it into the block.
Well I guess thats it. My car is definitely and island car and these fixes in a shop would have exceeded its worth by a bunch. Thanks again everybody![mecry] aloha!

Premium Member
44,595 Posts
Nice to hear it's up & running again!

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