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Ask John Crouch Your Own Question
John Crouch
John Crouch, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1835
Experience:  22 years of Ford service, and Ford senior master certified in diesel, gasoline and hybrid vehicles
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2000 Ford Focus 2.0 sohc... serpentine belt broke and shredded.

Customer Question

2000 Ford Focus 2.0 sohc... serpentine belt broke and shredded. Replaced it. Car turns over but wont start. Disconnected Battery to try to see if reseting computer might help. Didnt Help.Autoparts suggested replacing camshaft sensor. Replaced it. Car still turns over but still wont start. Removed spark plug to check for spark and it does have good spark. Tried adding small amount of gas by hand to see if it would help start. Still turns over but wont start.
ANY IDEAS????? I'm about to give up.
Submitted: 6 years ago via
Category: Ford
Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will answer your question. If the car ran before the belt broke and all you have done is replaced the belt and not it will not run then it would be safe to say that the engine was not timed correctly when belt was replaced I would recheck the timing marks and make sure the #1 cylinder is on TDC. remove the spark plugs and use a long screwdriver to verify that the piston is at top dead center
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I will try that and get back to you John
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

John are the timing marks supposed to be located on the pulley?

Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
sounds good, let me know if you need more assistance.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
John are the timing marks located on the pulley? The car was running when belt broke. Not sure how it could get out of time?
Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
when I get back to work I will look up the information and give it to you then, home eating lunch right now.
Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
On the camshaft gear there is a arrow. It needs to be pointing straight up and aligns with a dot on the cylinder head. the crankshaft gear has a pointer on it also (small arrow) there is a notch in the aluminum just above it and it should align with that. the water pump and idler pulleys do not require any alignment. Once belt is installed and tension is applied to the belt make sure the arrows are still at there marks. You can try to start it with just the balancer on it and not all the covers if you want to try it before putting it all back together, just make sure the balancer is on to keep the crank gear from walking out.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
SO in effect you are saying that I,m going to need to remove the timing belt cover to access the camshaft gear. Tming can't be acheived whithout removing the timing belt cover?
Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
yes, the timing belt cover needs to be off to properly align the camshaft. You cant see the marks with it on (the black plastic cover).
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No black plastic cover on my engine. Just alluminum cover with what looked like an inspection plate cover. Removed the plate (two bolts) expecting it would have an inspection window beneath it but it didnt. Cant even fgure out why the plate is there as it doesnt do anything other than have a sticker with a number on it???

I am assumeing I must remove the alluminum cover and break gasket to inspect?

Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
are you sure that you have a single overhead cam engine and not the dual overhead cam engine? where are plugs in front of head or in center of valve cover?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes, the spark plugs are in front of the head.

When you are facing the engine from front is the #1 plug to the far right or the far left?

I dont understand how the serpentine belt breaking could have slipped the timing or timing belt on the engine. Are you suggesting part of the serpentine belt have somehow gotten behind or under the cover and slipped the timing belt?

Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
the reason that I asked about the spark plugs was I wanted to just make sure that the information I am giving you is about the correct engine. the valve cover does not need to come off. But when replacing the timing belt the belt covers need to come off and that was what I was talking about, the belt covers, not the valve cover. The belt cover needs to come off so that you can re-check the timing of the engine.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Is the #1 plug to the far left or far right?


Can the timing be checked by getting the #1 at TDC then removing the spark plug cap which should indicate what cylinder should be firering?

Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
#1 is all the way to the left if standing in front of the car. You need to check camshaft alignment like I told you before, there is no distributor on this engine, uses a coil pack.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You were refering to the black plastic cap. Would that be the round one directly under the radiator overflow bottle on the left side just behind the serpentine belt? Also my engine says Split Port on it.
Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
No sir. what I was refering to is the covers on the side of the engine that had to be removed in order to get the timing belt out and the new one in. I usually do remove the lower plastic shield/ panel (black) that keeps water from getting up into the a/c compressor as well (is mounted under the vehicle).
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

John, just one last question to make sure we are both on the same track.

I did not replace the timing belt I replaced the broken serpentine belt and the car was running when it broke so how did the timing get off????

Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
Thats why we are going in circles.... I thought that you had replaced the timing belt. not the serp belt......How may miles are on this car? with what you are experiencing If you have spark and fuel pressure it should run, the only other thing is engine timing, it is possible that the engine is out of time. the only way to know for sure is to take off the covers and check it. If you can get a scan tool and test it for any codes. I really think that you have a timing belt issue here. I have seen them strip and go out of time and still turn over the camshaft, just not correctly in time with crank.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Car has 150,000. Ran great before serpentine broke. I put a scan tool on it but most of the codes wont indicate anything because the car wont run only turns over?

I know I have spark-- how can I confirm I'm getting fuel?? Why would Ford make an engine that the timing couldnt be checked with out tearing into the engine??

Expert:  John Crouch replied 6 years ago.
You really dont have to take that much off to check the timing. get the cover off of the cam gear and take out the #1 spark plug and make sure the piston is all the way at the top and the arrow that I told you about should be pointing up at the marker on head. If you have good spark and spray some carb cleaner into the throttle body and crank it over as long as it is in time it should at least try to start. You can take a fuel hose off of the fuel rail and turn the key on long enough to make sure that there is fuel there. next would be to put what is called a "noid" test light in one of the injector connectors (harness side and then crank over and see if the light pulses when cranking, this will tell if the injectors are pulsing. If have fuel pressure, pulse and spark, if timed up correctly the thing should run.