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Discussion Starter #1
So, as I'v done my research and now that I'm just getting into Ford's (especially these Foci) I've found that these Valve Seats are too small, just on the 2.0 SPI engines.

I decided to take the car to my mechanic yesterday and figure this out. While it's in there, it's also getting two new rear wheel bearings (they were newer, but the last shop must of over torqued them). [smackbum]

Sssssoooooo...now after a few hundred into those, which I would do myself if they weren't pressed in, I'm also shelling out the cash for him to take care of the Valve Seats for good, before they go bad.

No, I don't want to engine swap. No, I don't want to sell it. I got it for wwaaaayyy too good of a deal to sell it ($1,600 with 82k on it).

Considering I did get it that cheap, I'm willing to put some money into it, including a possible trunk swap, from non spoiler to w/spoiler, and maybe a cluster with a tachometer on it, since mine is an auto without the tach. I'm not sure yet, since it really doesn't bother me that much.

Here comes the question. I've already handed my mechanic a few hundred dollars to take care of this problem before my engine implodes, and he's capping the labor and parts at $500 tops. What is he going to do, to take care of the Valve Seats to make sure it never happens again? Send it to a machine shop maybe? Can he do it with some newer parts and some locktite? [lockdance]

Any help and input is appreciated. Thank you! Glad to be part of the community!
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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Na its inevitable, it will happen, not when. Of course you will always have your black sheep.
The problem is that it was made from 2 different materials, steel and aluminum say, so they contract and expand at different temps. Eventually the one falls inside the other, tearing up the piston, rod, etc.

The popular choice is to go with Reman heads. I believe they are based down in Florida. Anyway, if you go that route, which many recommend and what I will do when I get enough money built up. I don't know how long it takes but it usually ranges around 700-900 dollars depending on where you are located. I don't believe a machine shop can do anything about it.

You should just be able to buy a spoiler and not have to buy a whole new trunk, and for you cluster with a tach. Find one that has similar miles on it as the miles transfer with the new cluster. Search around on the site, they aren't that expensive, its just harder finding one with similar miles on it.
 

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Wheel bearings must be torqued to 173ft.lbs Most under torque them. The spindle nuts are a one time use design.

Buy an upgraded head. Ive seen them for $400.00
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So there is absolutely NOTHING at all, that I can do to prevent it? [shameful]

I mean, there has to be something dude? My mechanic wants to send the part out to the local machine shop and have them take care of it. He says they may be able to seat them low enough that they never fall again? Is this correct? Or am I shooting at ridiculous goals here?

Such a stupid design from the factory, wow. To top it all of, no recalls? Not a good start to joining the Ford team on my part. Dang. [thumbd]
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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Sorry man, I wish there was a solution instead of putting a whole different head on. It's usually cylinder 4 or 1 that's drops. Sometimes you get about a week notice or less.

Nothing you can do to stop it at all. If it wants to drop it will, no preventative maintenance can be taken for this.

Well I guess if they send it out and it still does it then have them give it a lifetime warrenty so when it drops they will replace all the damage it causes.

Everyone looked for recalls but none came up. Earliest it happens is 70,000-till whenever. No set time.

But other than this it's a mechanically sound engine that gets great gas mileage for it's age.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So what about the Zetec engines? What do they have wrong with them from the factory?
 

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Machine shop CAN peen the current seats in there to prevent seat drop, rebuilt heads this is often done and/or larger valve seats installed.

There's been plenty of posts/threads in here on this in the past, this is one time that factory original isn't the fix - you want something upgraded.
 

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Only PITA with the Zetec engines is changing the timing belt, takes special tools to do it right (not expensive) and it isn't as simple as changing the SPI single cam belt that has timing marks for setting it.

ALL the engines can self destruct when old & worn enough, keeping enough good oil in a duratec is important... Seen worn out zetecs with a thrown rod as well, once the bearings are going you either shut it down fast or pick up the pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Machine shop CAN peen the current seats in there to prevent seat drop, rebuilt heads this is often done and/or larger valve seats installed.

There's been plenty of posts/threads in here on this in the past, this is one time that factory original isn't the fix - you want something upgraded.
Wait a minute here Sailor. So your saying that my mechanic CAN send it out to a machine shop, where they can press them in well enough that it prevents them from dropping in the first place? I should send for larger valve seats installed while they are at it as well?

So...there is restored hope that I can get this issue resolved before it destroys the engine?
 

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There's hope, opinions vary as to what's "best" in prev. posts here but once a head is done whether locally or with a rebuilt installed you shouldn't have to worry about when a "drop" might occur.

Once you're paying for a head swap, many go the extra for fully redone whether locally or with a replacement. Machine shop can tell you more once apart, or you can just plan on the replacement & a firm price/quicker replacement since you don't have to wait for work to be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very cool! At this point, the car is getting a new head gasket, new valve cover gasket, coolant, oil, oil filter, and possibly a new timing chain.

He said the timing chain tensioner got stuck, or seized up or something like that when he got down to it, but he was able to free it up? Does that mean I should have the tensioner replaced? What about the water pump?

...apparently they are like the old twin cam LD9's, and the water pumps are driven by the whole unit?

Thanks again for all your help on this long, "without my car" feeling journey.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update:

Car is getting a whole new head pretty much. Whole top engine is getting replaced. So here is a part's list.

Head Gasket - $30
Valve Cover Gasket - $25 (May be a tad overpriced, but no biggie).
Oil Change w/filter - $30
Timing Belt (sorry, I mentioned something about a chain earlier, lol) and Tensioner - $99
Coolant - $20
Machine shop fitting the new Valve Seats (larger) and pressing - $100
Total labor costs - $274 (he has well over 10 hours into this car now).

I may be missing something? Not sure. Didn't add up those numbers to check, but I've got the bill for the final cost...

So in total, not including both back wheel bearings, (those were $220 for the pair) The total cost came out to $577. Not bad for a whole new top end, including the valve seat issue (hopefully) fixed for good!

That also includes 1 year of all parts and labor warranty. Beyond that, the labor is warrantied for as long as my wife and I own the car. We will just have to pay for parts, if anything else happens to it. How's that for insurance? [read]
 

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Sounds good, and you already corrected the "chain" question in the second post.

Check on head bolt type for the SPI, my duratec uses a torque to yield style that can't be reused & they're pretty common now.
 

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What I see looking around for confirmation is that you should use new head bolts when R&R the head on the SPI.

Don't look expensive from the old posts, some gasket kits even included them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What I see looking around for confirmation is that you should use new head bolts when R&R the head on the SPI.

Don't look expensive from the old posts, some gasket kits even included them.
So your saying I should let my mechanic know to put on "new head bolts" when he replaces the head gasket? (I hope I'm understanding what your getting at, since I'm no good at internals on engines, lol).

Any certain reason for this? I just wanna make sure that if I tell him that and he asks why we should do it, I have a legitimate answer.

I also talked to him today and like I said before, I'm not sure if he knows to tell the machine shop to "press" the bigger valve seats in. Or do they do that anyways? Standard procedure?

Again, thank you for everything!
 

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When he looks at torque specs for the head bolts (they're the bolts that hold the head to the block) he should see an angle torque as the last step in the process.

This is used for "torque to yield" style bolts that aren't reusable. The bolts yield (stretch) enough at their correct setting that a torque spec wouldn't be accurate for tightening them properly. Used again, they'd be weaker than they should be and there is an increased chance of head gasket leakage even if none of the bolts actually fail. (wrong tension applied)

If you're worried about the machine shop, ask what their procedure is to prevent future valve seat dropping. If they don't know about the issue, might try a shop that does.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Alright, cool! I'll let him know about the head bolts then.

It looks like he is going to put the engine back together today? So we will see what happens.

...I've got another post in mind to put up, asking a few more questions, but I'll do some searching around first.

Anything else I should let him know, to make sure the dropping is almost completely preventable?
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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Alright, cool! I'll let him know about the head bolts then.



It looks like he is going to put the engine back together today? So we will see what happens.



...I've got another post in mind to put up, asking a few more questions, but I'll do some searching around first.



Anything else I should let him know, to make sure the dropping is almost completely preventable?

There is nothing that is ever completely preventable.

So you will be going to pick it up today, that will be nice to have it back.

We are game for any questions. I you find the answers for the said questions post them up anyway, you never know who might also be thinking or needing the same thing. But hasn't come to mind yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There is nothing that is ever completely preventable.
Which is dumb, because with basic maintenance and care, it all should be, right? American or not...

So you will be going to pick it up today, that will be nice to have it back.
Hopefully I get her back, and yes. It will be very nice! Now I can sell the Saturn, haha.

I you find the answers for the said questions post them up anyway, you never know who might also be thinking or needing the same thing. But hasn't come to mind yet.
Absolutely. I know I'm always searching for answers, and every once in a while I'll stumble upon a thread like this that always helps me out. I'll report any more findings (and progress) here.
 

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Everything wears out/breaks eventually, with any luck this maint. will keep it going for a LONG time so there aren't any mechanical problems 'till it wears out completely.

Yup, keeping up on maint./repairs in general makes things last a LOT longer. Repeated overheating from not doing repairs on the cooling system takes out many of these as well. Don't hear complaints about it as much because the problem is obvious.
 
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