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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, just wanted to say "cool board", just found it the other day and have been doing a lot of reading.

I have a 2001 SE with the 2.0 split port engine, automatic, with 125,000 miles. It's been a fantastic car, I bought it with 44,000 and haven't had to do anything other than a battery and timing belt, up till now. I've had a slightly rough idle for the past month or so. I pulled the plugs and they were toast, I'm surprised it ran at all. They were severely worn and look like I had a slightly lean condition. I replaced them with Motorcraft Platinums with no change in idle. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure if I had an engine light from the idle issue because my EGR tube had been leaking for a while and was causing a light, so I replaced it also and put new plug wires on too, because the old ones looked pretty dried out. Still no change. I went ahead and changed the fuel filter at this point, figuring it probably needed it anyway. I disconnected the battery for this, obviously turning of the CEL. Still no change and no new CEL yet.

So, it actually idles worse now and actually died coasting to a light or around a corner a few times at low speed. I suspect the DPFE which would explain the lean look to the plugs but I've only read complaints about mid throttle/cruise stumble, which I didn't have till just recently and nothing about idle issues.

Exhaust does not appear dark or smell like missing cylinder/overly rich issue.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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DTC P0606
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^ X2
Check for a split or perished PCV hose admitting unmetered air into the intake manifold. Common problem causing erratic, low idle. Cheap fix if that's the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't replaced the PCV valve yet, that was next on my list, as far as the hose goes, I did replace the molded 180 degree bend that connects the hard lines. I'll check the other side of the hard lines for leaks.

Should I be suspect of the DPFE? Sounds like mine has lasted a lot longer than average.
 

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Typically there are codes that pop up for the DPFE, you will have a check engine light. You can test the PCV by removing the line from the manifold or TB, wherever it gets it's vacuum, and blow into it. You should feel resistance to your blowing. If not, the PCV is stuck or the vacuum line is damaged.

I hope you checked your gap when you replaced your plugs, and also checked your owner's manual against the parts you purchased. There have been a few times when we've seen parts guys giving SPI owners Zetec plugs and vice versa. Both engines were 2.0L, so be sure you're getting parts for the SOHC engine not DOHC. Zetec plugs on an SPI will give you a low idle.

You might want to do a compression test to see if you might be close to dropping a valve seat. This is a common problem with these engines, and causes engine running issues until it destroys the engine. These engines are extremely difficult to find in junkyards because of this.

Your timing belt might be going out as well. 125k is low mileage, but you have 10 years of use on top of that. Rubber parts or neoprene tend to decay after 10 years.

I'm sorry to inform you that the SPI is the self destructing engine that it is. If you find compression to be low on any of the cylinders, the best idea is to remove the cylinder head and have new valve seats installed at a machine shop. After that, the engine should last another 100k miles. Most people wait until the valve seat falls out and punches a hole in a piston, the block, or the cylinder head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, the parts monkey did give me zetec plugs the first time, luckily i noticed the length difference and the different part number. The timing belt is good, replaced it about 15,000 miles ago.

Unfortunately, my cel went off when I disconnected my battery to do the fuel filter but I'm going to rent a code reader today and see what I get. I'll check compression while I'm at it.

It's dissapointing to hear these have such bad problems but I appreciate the advice. Anybody make a cam for these, as long as I'm gonna have the head off?
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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ZETEC SWAP!

Seriously though, check out your alternator, the pig tail that leads into your coil, and make sure you aren't losing a valve seat that will grenade your motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Replaced the PCV and the ends, PCV was bad anyway, that took care of the problem. At least for the most part. I'm still getting a faint stumble at part throttle if I'm cruising about 40mph or so. I'm going to check the compression this weekend and make sure I'm not about to drop a valve guide.

Thanks so much for the help!
 
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