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JIM
JIM, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 17
Experience:  25 years ase master tech
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2000 Ford Escort ZX2: rough idle..acceleration..noise coming

Resolved Question:

2000 Ford Escort ZX2 2.0 DOHC Ztec manual trans with 160K. Suddenly loss of power from 1/4 to 1/3, rough idle, "service engine soon" light on dash, hesitation on acceleration and a loud "back pressure" noise coming from air cleaner. Also accompanying these symptoms, a rattling noise from the intake side of manifold on acceleration and at no load as well as deceleration. Cat is not loose but rattles like a baffle could be loose, but the noise is coming from the intake side of the engine.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
hello, we have had alot of these engines where one of the timing belt tnsioner pulleys will go bad and make the timing belt loose enough to jump a tooth and the engine will do exactly what you just descibed........this is the first thing that should be checked, let me know, jim
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Auto zone diagnostic check revealed a bad camshaft position sensor, any thoughts?
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
if the timing belt skipped a tooth it will throw the cam sensor out of sync. it shouldn't take much time to pull the top plastic cam cover off and inspect the visible pulleys
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Excellent Jim, makes TOTAL sense; been screwin' with the logistics of this for 2 weeks now. Thanks again, I'll be back. Peace till then. Gary
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
let me know what happens gary, jim.
we have even had a car come in with this problem that was misdiagnosed at the local ford dealer
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
One more thing Jim, are there any surprises I will encounter once I pull this front cover assy. off, like any special tools needed to re-install the timing belt correctly? I thought I remember seeing a Chiltons diagram describing a pin and plate needed to time the cam correctly? Outside of a pully puller and some metric wrenches, I think I have it in the bag. Please respond when you have a minute, thanx.
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
the timing cover upper should be easy to remove and this is a good way to verify if the belt is loose or a visible pully or pulley bearing has failed. as far as the timing belt goes. at the shop we had to buy a $1,000.00 master kit to replace timing belts on all these newer ford vehicles. ford does not put timing reference marks on their engines anymore. they do this so people can not replace their own timing belts in their garages. i will look up the timing belt procedure on this engine. from what i remember is the valve cover has to be removed and a flat machined bar has to be laid at the surface of the head and the rear of the camshafts to lock the cams in one spot and the crankshaft has to be pinned and aligned. there are 2 idler pulleys, one rite below the front camshaft and the other is at the lower front of the engine near crank pulley. the one i have seen fail most is the top one. the tensioner pulley for the timing belt is at the firewall side of the engine near the top under the cam sprocket. i don't know your skill level, or if you will be able to barrow these tools from friends but it might be an involved job if this is your first one. has this car ever had a timing belt replaced? factory recommends 120,000 miles.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I knew I remembered seeing that plate and pin assy. somewhere. I have the email sent from my friend at work with the diagrams and special tools needed to perform surgery. I will have to retrieve it come Friday and get back to you Friday night. Just the same, if you could send me any updated repair info, that would be excellent. I can compare the two procedures at that point. I used to work for Mitsubishi in '83 and went to college for an AAS degree in Diesel Tech. but its been a while since I took anythying apart moreso than an engine, which I did on a daily basis with Mitsu. Then again, there were timing marks on the cam pullys and crank as well as marks on the timing chain, that made R&R easy. No, I haven't ever replaced a belt; I am the second owner and bought the car with 139,000 on it. If I decided to scrap the whole thing, how much could I anticipate spending to have this done? Do you make house calls? LOL. Somehow, I fear the worst. Please reply when you get a minute...Thanx again Jim.
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
i'll have to get back to you tomarrrow
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hey Jim,

I'm getting mixed diagnosis here. Theres a mechanic I know that says it may all just be a bad cat. Either way you look at it, I will let you know what happens.

Stay tuned, I'll talk to you on Sunday.
Thanks for the reply.

Gary
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
hopefully for your sake it is just a bad cat converter. easy way to check that is to remove the front o2 sensor and take it for a ride and see if there is a complete difference in performance. keep in mind with front first o2 sensor removed, engine will remain in open loop, just as if the engine was running cold first thing in the morning.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'll give it a go and keep you in the loop. You've already over-extended your hospitality already, I'll talk on you on Saturday or Sunday. Thanx...
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
ok
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, it's what I had anticipated from the beginning. I had the car looked at by an ASE mechanic of 35 years in my neighborhood here, and he said I broke off two notches in the timing belt. Good thing it stopped there for if it hadn't, I could have been looking at a lot more internal damage; the cam could have delayed lifting the valves from their seat later when the piston was on its way up on compression, the valve could have come in contact with the piston head and SMASH. I guess that would explain that excessive back pressure noise from the air cleaner; it only makes sense that way that the intakes were open for too long and not seated fully before the piston made it up to TDC on the compression stroke. Question though...is the combustion chamber clearance that tight? I mean, without thinking, that would seem to me like a 10:1 or better if the valves could potentially get in the way? I dunno the engine that good. If its worth explaining, you can reply. If not, I will still let you know what he says just to see if he is tryin to snow me! Even so, this conversation is invaluable for futures' troubleshooting and could be looked at as a learning tool. You should keep it for sure, stay tuned...

Gary
Expert:  JIM replied 7 years ago.
thanks gary for all the replys, i'm glad you got to the base of the problem and i am happy i was of assistance to helping you. please accept my answer so i can continue to build my rating on this site..... thanks gary
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