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Discussion Starter #1
so i got this 2000 focus zx3 about 3 weeks ago and i love it! got new plugs, wires, oil change, and damn! its pretty gettyupidy!

anyways after a few drag races (if you wanna call it that) the car seems to have sorta "lost" power. it seems like it has a misfire and on hills you can feel the cars gaps in power between the misfire. anyways i figured it was the spark plugs (and maybe it is) but i just got the premium ones so how? took the timing cover off to go from cheapest to expensive (aka timing cover, vacuum leaks, spark plugs) and the cam gears have a white mark on them. except where the marks are on relation with each other they are almost 180 deg off [ohcrap] where i come from that's not good news... any tips? i know how to realign them and have the manual to figure it out but...

I had a thought that one of the drag races the timing belt might have slipped a gear or two but 10?! heres a pic...and BY the way ITS NOT AT TDC IN THE PICTURE. and the timing belt was just done 5000 miles ago.
 

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Probably had a timing belt done and those were used to mark the locations. I don't think it would even run if it slipped 10. It could be your coil pack or sparkplug wires. I would look at the coilpack though if its misfiring though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Probably had a timing belt done and those were used to mark the locations. I don't think it would even run if it slipped 10. It could be your coil pack or sparkplug wires. I would look at the coilpack though if its misfiring though.

yeah that was my thought exactly! the misfire is really inconstant. at cold when it starts up its revs up and down and up and down and finally up. it sorta studders. its also pretty hesitant when i give it hard throttle and the idle is up and down too, which it was acting like that before i changed the plugs and after it completly went away.
 

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Those aren't "Factory" marks, so unless you put it to TDC #1 and see where they line up you won't know how the last mechanic "marked" the pulleys.

One poster in the "timing" thread I JUST read before this marked a pair that opposed each other at the proper position for HIS line up aid, so you don't know what position was chosen.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
oh ok, gotcha. could it still be off by one tooth though? or does that not really happen? and which way should i turn the crank? clockwise or counterclockwise
 

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The coilpacks on the Zetecs are a fairly common issue. I'd start by replacing that and see if that resolves your issue.
 

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The coilpacks on the Zetecs are a fairly common issue. I'd start by replacing that and see if that resolves your issue.
^THIS. Check for any cracks on the coil. Replace with a Motorcraft coil any other one and you will be replacing it soon than later. Also, make sure that the sparkplug wires are correctly seated. Pull the plugs and see if any of them have cracked insulators and are gapped correctly(.055 is a great gap for Zetecs).

Plus inspect the coil pigtail for any cracked or pulled wires.

K.I.S.S.(keep it simple stupid)is the best approach instead of throwing money at things first.

Post results.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
^THIS. Check for any cracks on the coil. Replace with a Motorcraft coil any other one and you will be replacing it soon than later. Also, make sure that the sparkplug wires are correctly seated. Pull the plugs and see if any of them have cracked insulators and are gapped correctly(.055 is a great gap for Zetecs).

Plus inspect the coil pigtail for any cracked or pulled wires.

K.I.S.S.(keep it simple stupid)is the best approach instead of throwing money at things first.

Post results.
ok, i also bought new wires with the plugs, they are kinda tricky to seat sometimes. i gaped them at .60 and it got a little better, ill try .55
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok well i bought a new ignition coil and popped it in and it still doesn't feel like its running on all 4. its a little better but i think the plugs either went south, the compression is bad, or a possible intake vacuum leak.
 

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If you have a timing light or can borrow one, that's one way to check. If the belt is new, though, I can't see it slipping one tooth without other issues. Compression check is always a good idea, but of course you did that when you bought it...;)

Did you check the wiring harness to the coil? I've replaced those on both my Zetecs, and both caused performance issues for a few days before tossing a code. Look very closely, especially right at the plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you have a timing light or can borrow one, that's one way to check. If the belt is new, though, I can't see it slipping one tooth without other issues. Compression check is always a good idea, but of course you did that when you bought it...;)

Did you check the wiring harness to the coil? I've replaced those on both my Zetecs, and both caused performance issues for a few days before tossing a code. Look very closely, especially right at the plug.

the plug that goes into the coil was a little sketch. the little metal clamp that slips over the connector and hold it was broken on one side causing the clap to not get a very good hold but i tugged on it a few times and it was pretty solid, maybe a little play though.
 

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The clamp isn't huge, as long as it's keeping the plug from vibrating loose.
On mine it was the central green wire, and the insulation was just barely cracked, but it was enough to be a problem.

Start up your car, then wiggle that harness and see if you get any change in engine sound. Wear gloves...that coil can give you quite a shock. If there's a change, replace that plug. You can either pull one from a junkyard or find one online. Ten minutes of soldering and heat-shrinking and you'll have your giddyup back.

If you can't get any change, then your problems lie elsewhere, but at least you'll have eliminated one thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The clamp isn't huge, as long as it's keeping the plug from vibrating loose.
On mine it was the central green wire, and the insulation was just barely cracked, but it was enough to be a problem.

Start up your car, then wiggle that harness and see if you get any change in engine sound. Wear gloves...that coil can give you quite a shock. If there's a change, replace that plug. You can either pull one from a junkyard or find one online. Ten minutes of soldering and heat-shrinking and you'll have your giddyup back.

If you can't get any change, then your problems lie elsewhere, but at least you'll have eliminated one thing.
alright sounds like a plan!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The clamp isn't huge, as long as it's keeping the plug from vibrating loose.
On mine it was the central green wire, and the insulation was just barely cracked, but it was enough to be a problem.

Start up your car, then wiggle that harness and see if you get any change in engine sound. Wear gloves...that coil can give you quite a shock. If there's a change, replace that plug. You can either pull one from a junkyard or find one online. Ten minutes of soldering and heat-shrinking and you'll have your giddyup back.

If you can't get any change, then your problems lie elsewhere, but at least you'll have eliminated one thing.

ok i went out and shook the connector with the car OFF and it has little to no play. i havent tried it with the car on but I'm pretty confident that's not the problem.

and ill get on the compression check. i really do think the/A plug(s) went bad. ive owned 5 motorcycles/dirt bikes in the last year and that actually happened a lot and it showed the same symptoms...and most of all they went south after hard riding...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
update.

im pretty good friends with the car store manager, and since my plugs were still under warranty he swapped them out for new ones, gaped them at .55 and so far its pretty much back to where i remember it was at. its made a huge difference so far but well see how it plays out...

also would a valve adjustment do some good? i suppose checking them would be the judge but the symptoms of having tight valves seem to be what I'm having.
hanging idle, lack of throttle response (sometimes) etc. at least on the dirt bikes that I've owned when those things happened or started happening, it was time to break out the feeler gauges...

and here's another piece to the puzzle, I'm getting terrible gas mileage! i have a true cold air intake, dont usually rev above to 3000 when driving/shifting, and I'm only getting about 200-220 miles per tank. idk what size the tank is but if its a 10 gal tank that's 20mpg...my lifted truck got that, if not better. rumor has it that its a 13 gal tank. if that's true I'm getting 16mpg...
 

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Typical fill ups are about 7 gallons when the gauge gets low, need to run it right down to fit 10. Can't guess if you don't know what was put in.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
when im at a little less then a quarter tank 9.8 gallons are usually what goes in. according to kelly blue book it has a 13.2 gal tank
 
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