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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post here, but after gleaning a ton of good information to help me along in repairing my Focus I thought I'd post up and try to help out anyone else that has the same problems as mine.

My car was given to me after several trips to the local mechanic in a now non-running condition. The Mechanic had replaced the coil, the infamous PCV hose, and the EGR, as well as the plugs and wires. The car ran for 2 days after that and went back to the same problem of running with very limited power until it got up into the higher RPMs.

I started out checking for spark, and checking the fuel filter and pressure. I looked at the wires going into the plug on the coil, and the insulation was broken. I replaced the plug and added 4 inched to the wires to keep from pulling on the wires when the air filter was checked/replaced. I watched through the oil fill as the car was spun over, and both cams were turning, so I decided to check the injectors first. The noid light set told me that the injectors were firing, so I was fairly sure that the Cam and Crank sensors were working. The car was still not running, but there was a pretty solid backfire into the intake every time we cranked it over, so I figured I was facing a timing issue.

I did a compression test on the engine, and was happy to find all 4 between 175 and 190 PSI. I figures at this point that I had an issue with the timing belt or the cam timing, so I removed the belt covers and brought the engine to TDC. The cams were not in time, but the belt seemed to be working and in good shape. The problem was found when I braced my hand on the timing belt to lean over the engine and felt the belt give. I started looking at the tensioner, and though it was installed correctly it had lost almost all of it's spring tension.

This problem came about after the previous owner overheated the car after breaking the serpentine belt. My only guess is that the heat caused the spring to lose tension and the loss of tension caused the belt to go slack enough that the belt slipped a tooth mistiming the cams. I know that this is a common problem with the Zetec engines, but this was such a different kind of failure that I thought it could possibly help some of these guys that have had these ongoing issues with thier cars.

Bob
 

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I would say that it is very doubtful that the overheating caused this problem more likely than not it would just be tensioner failure which will happen depending upon the mileage of the vehicle
 

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If you lost the tensioner then for sure change the idler next to it, they both are probably old enough that the other one will fail shortly.
 
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