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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking for some insight on an annoying issue.

I have a 2012 Focus with 180k+. DCT went out back in October so I felt like it was a perfect time to MTX75 swap it. At the time of transmission failure, the vehicle would crank and start with ease. Before I embarked on the swap, I tried to troubleshooting the DCT to see if there was anything I could do to save it before swapping. After sitting for a few weeks, I tried to start the vehicle but it would not start. The engine would crank but wouldn't start. I cleaned and sanded the grounds to bare metal, thinking maybe this was a TCM issue and the car still wouldn't start. I replaced the battery at this time (which needed to be replaced because it was bad) and same thing - car would crank but wouldn't start. At that time I figured it was a TCM issue and thought things would be fine once I completed the swap.

Fast forward to present day - I've finished the swap, reconnected every plug, hooked up the neutral safety switch to the TCM harness and still the vehicle will not start. It cranks and at times sounds like it really wants to turn over but won't. I've confirmed that I have spark at each plug and I can hear the fuel pump prime. I've also checked compression, all cylinders were a little low but within 20% of each other. I've tried spraying some starting fluid into the intake manifold and it seemed like the engine wanted to start more after that but still didn't turn over. Right now the only CEL code is P0420 which has been on since I took ownership at ~150K so I don't think it's related.

I've attached a video of what the vehicle sounds like when attempting to start it.

I'm just looking for some guidance on where to go next. I'm still leaning towards a fueling issue given that it sounds like it wants to start but I understand timing could be off and causing this issue. I'm not familiar with the process to checking/fixing timing if that's the problem. My next thought would be to pull the fuel filter out and ensure that fuel is making it's way out of the fuel pump. If not, then fuel pump is the likely culprit. If so, then next step would be to pull the intake manifold off and check to see if the injectors are spraying.

Are there other recommendations? I appreciate the assistance.


Video 1
Video 2
 

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Why would you suspect there to be a timing issue? Did you ever remove the crankshaft pulley?

Sounds to me like there's at least some compression. It's maybe a little weird sounding to my ears, the starter is really loud and it sounds like it's cranking a little slowly but every car is different.

If you never touched the crank pulley then the engine should still be in time and you should probably be chasing fueling. Do you have a code reader or any way to look at live data?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why would you suspect there to be a timing issue? Did you ever remove the crankshaft pulley?

Sounds to me like there's at least some compression. It's maybe a little weird sounding to my ears, the starter is really loud and it sounds like it's cranking a little slowly but every car is different.

If you never touched the crank pulley then the engine should still be in time and you should probably be chasing fueling. Do you have a code reader or any way to look at live data?
I never removed the crankshaft pulley but because of the crank no start condition I'm wondering if the ignition timing somehow got messed up. I'm dreading the hundreds of variables that it could be lol.

I appreciate the input and the low suspicion for timing since I also had a low suspicion. I just happened to watch a video of another Focus who had a similar crank but no start condition and all he did to get the car to fire up was to set cyl 1 to TDC by using the crank pulley and a pin (not sure if he did anything else but that's all he described in the video). I tried that with no luck, sadly.

I have a code reader and can look at live data. I'm not entirely sure what to look for or how to interpret the live data. Any recommendations on what I should look for and the normal/standard values?
 

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If you have confirmed that you have spark and you suspect the issue to be fueling, I would check the fuel pressure pids. If your scanner gives you the option to view live data, while you are cranking the car you would look for what your fuel pressures are. On the low pressure side, you would probably see anything between 35-70psi (I'm not sure what good values are for these). On the high pressure side you should be in the thousands of psi after a couple cranks.

I don't have my mk3 anymore but I still have access to one that we can use to get known good values from.
 

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I just bought a 2013 Focus SE, 2.0 from my employer. It had been sitting at a mechanic shop for 6 months due to the transmission beginning to act funny. Even though I did the research, discovered it was still covered under warranty for 15,000 more miles and next year, they left it sit. Well,they finally asked if I wanted to buy it, and knowing the transmission was still covered and reading up on a few things to fix issues before they get worse, I said sure AS LONG AS IT IS STILL RUNNING/DRIVING. Shop says it is, so I pay my money ($1000) and go to pick it up.

Dead battery. Well, it's been sitting for months, so I'll pony up the money for a new one.
VERY slow crank, no start.
Shop won't touch it, they are not interested in working on the car at all. Fine.
I attempt to clean up the grounds by the battery and under the air box. Still a slow crank, no start.
Get it towed to a different, more reputable shop.
Timing is not working, no compression.

Have the shop inspect the heads to see if any signs of piston/valve contact. They can't find any, so they're in the midst of replacing the timing right now.

Not sure if OP's car had sat for any significant length of time, but I'm wondering if there's an as yet uncommon issue with timing on these. I haven't gotten the car back yet, so we'll see how it goes, but if a replacement timing kit fixes it, I'll find out why the original failed. I'm wondering if it's a bad tensioner or something? I bought this car because I knew it had been maintained, oil changed every 5k miles, fluids changed as needed, had new clutches installed at 80K (130k on it now), and overall runs and drives well. Had one shifting issue where it lost 6th gear for a short period and the select shift stopped working for a few miles, but it resolved itself, so could be a bad ground to the TCM. No shuddering. No other shifting issues and it "fixed itself" last time I drove it, so I'm relatively confident in the car once it is running again.

So... I'd not discount timing as things to check. Just because it shouldn't fail doesn't mean it won't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you have confirmed that you have spark and you suspect the issue to be fueling, I would check the fuel pressure pids. If your scanner gives you the option to view live data, while you are cranking the car you would look for what your fuel pressures are. On the low pressure side, you would probably see anything between 35-70psi (I'm not sure what good values are for these). On the high pressure side you should be in the thousands of psi after a couple cranks.

I don't have my mk3 anymore but I still have access to one that we can use to get known good values from.
Thanks for the info, I'll try to pull some live data tomorrow night and post back with my results.

I just bought a 2013 Focus SE, 2.0 from my employer. It had been sitting at a mechanic shop for 6 months due to the transmission beginning to act funny. Even though I did the research, discovered it was still covered under warranty for 15,000 more miles and next year, they left it sit. Well,they finally asked if I wanted to buy it, and knowing the transmission was still covered and reading up on a few things to fix issues before they get worse, I said sure AS LONG AS IT IS STILL RUNNING/DRIVING. Shop says it is, so I pay my money ($1000) and go to pick it up.

Dead battery. Well, it's been sitting for months, so I'll pony up the money for a new one.
VERY slow crank, no start.
Shop won't touch it, they are not interested in working on the car at all. Fine.
I attempt to clean up the grounds by the battery and under the air box. Still a slow crank, no start.
Get it towed to a different, more reputable shop.
Timing is not working, no compression.

Have the shop inspect the heads to see if any signs of piston/valve contact. They can't find any, so they're in the midst of replacing the timing right now.

Not sure if OP's car had sat for any significant length of time, but I'm wondering if there's an as yet uncommon issue with timing on these. I haven't gotten the car back yet, so we'll see how it goes, but if a replacement timing kit fixes it, I'll find out why the original failed. I'm wondering if it's a bad tensioner or something? I bought this car because I knew it had been maintained, oil changed every 5k miles, fluids changed as needed, had new clutches installed at 80K (130k on it now), and overall runs and drives well. Had one shifting issue where it lost 6th gear for a short period and the select shift stopped working for a few miles, but it resolved itself, so could be a bad ground to the TCM. No shuddering. No other shifting issues and it "fixed itself" last time I drove it, so I'm relatively confident in the car once it is running again.

So... I'd not discount timing as things to check. Just because it shouldn't fail doesn't mean it won't.
Sheesh, sorry you're going through a similar issue. When the issue first started, the car had only been sitting for about a month or so. Obviously now it has been sitting for upwards of 6 months but the issue was present before sitting for a long period of time. Unlike your situation, I still have compression albeit on the low side. I've only performed a dry compression test though so next I'll try dropping a little oil in the cylinder to see if the compression reading stays the same or increases suggesting a leak (fingers crossed it stays the same). I'm able to pick up a new engine with under 100k miles for $125 so I may just replace the engine if it comes down to it.

Would you report back once you get your car back and they confirm what your issue was?
 

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Thanks for the info, I'll try to pull some live data tomorrow night and post back with my results.


Sheesh, sorry you're going through a similar issue. When the issue first started, the car had only been sitting for about a month or so. Obviously now it has been sitting for upwards of 6 months but the issue was present before sitting for a long period of time. Unlike your situation, I still have compression albeit on the low side. I've only performed a dry compression test though so next I'll try dropping a little oil in the cylinder to see if the compression reading stays the same or increases suggesting a leak (fingers crossed it stays the same). I'm able to pick up a new engine with under 100k miles for $125 so I may just replace the engine if it comes down to it.

Would you report back once you get your car back and they confirm what your issue was?
I will definitely report back once mine is back up and running. I'll ask what actually failed, my suspicion is a chain guide/tensioner as I know Ford has had issues with those in the past on other models (Modular V8's had really bad ones for some year models). But, I'm trying to pretend to be patient and not call the shop every day to ask "Is it done yet" as I know they'll call if it's done or if they plan to light my wallet on fire with additional charges. Last week they told me they saw no PTV contact, and were waiting on parts.
 

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Well... Things aren't looking great.
Not only did the timing go bad, but it now appears that either the head gasket blew or the head may have cracked. Again, not sure how this happened as the car was running when dropped off at the first shop it was at. Looking at $4600 to get it running, but seeing as it was a $1000 car, and the way today's market is, still worth it, but running close to not worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well... Things aren't looking great.
Not only did the timing go bad, but it now appears that either the head gasket blew or the head may have cracked. Again, not sure how this happened as the car was running when dropped off at the first shop it was at. Looking at $4600 to get it running, but seeing as it was a $1000 car, and the way today's market is, still worth it, but running close to not worth it.
Yikes... I have a feeling I'm in a similar situation. Just replaced the fuel injectors with some I pulled from the junkyard as well as the high pressure fuel pump. Still no start. Verified fuel is reaching the injectors too. Rechecked compression and cylinder 1 is at 30 psi cylinder, cylinder 2 at 120 psi, cylinder 3 110 psi, and cylinder 4 90 psi. Did a wet test on cylinder 1 without any change.

I'm wondering if it's a valve. I'm not sure how much more investigating I want to do considering I can get a used engine locally for $105 with 116k on it.
 

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Without test drive?
I drove the car regularly before it went to the shop. I assumed (wrongly) that it was a safe bet.

2013 with DCT? Don't throw good money after bad.
Granted, it's going to be troublesome, but have you seen the used car market? I'm still less than 6K on a car that is going for 8-9K in similar condition (but running).
I'm not afraid of the DCT, and my DCT is under warranty another year.
 

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I drove the car regularly before it went to the shop. I assumed (wrongly) that it was a safe bet.


Granted, it's going to be troublesome, but have you seen the used car market? I'm still less than 6K on a car that is going for 8-9K in similar condition (but running).
I'm not afraid of the DCT, and my DCT is under warranty another year.
Idk how savvy you are mechanically but the motors for these go for pennies on the dollar, it'd be REALLY cheap to swap yourself.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That would be my next option.
I just really don't want to do that level of work on it.
I just ordered a new (used) engine for a little over $130 after taxes and fees. I'm going to pick it up next week. Sadly this means I'm going to have to reverse all the work I did to get the manual swap completed. Such is life, the car is sentimental and I enjoy the challenge. I'm going to try to record the process this time.
 
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