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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my 2001 Escort with 143K miles on it in to have the timing belt replaced. The car was running fine prior to this. Immediately upon picking my car up, a check engine light came on, and I took it to another shop. They told me the timing was off. I took it back to the original shop and 30 minutes later they told me the timing was right, and they deleted the code. Next, the P0340 code came on, and my car runs terrible. It stutters, dies, runs rough, stalls, etc. I took it back to the shop, and now they tell me that it's not their fault and that I have a bad hydraulic timing unit, and need another $650 to fix my P0340 code. I simply don't believe them. Can anybody help? Once again, the car was fine before they worked on it.
 

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sounds like they put the belt on one tooth off. it's kind of hard to line up both cams if you aren't familiar with the zetec engine.
 

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they probably keep doing the same thing wrong.
 

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If they are using a TDC peg to set the crank at TDC, then the timing will be wrong. The pegs are the wrong length. Follow the link and print that out. You wouldn't be the first person that had to print that so that the timing would be right.

http://www.teamzx2.com/showthread.php?t=117
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for the reply. I watched these guys the last time and they had a flat tool at the end of the cams and all the stuff the link referenced I think . I am not mechanical but I bought the car to fix up and did the timing belt as a precaution. The car had no problem before they started. Now they refuse to work on it anymore unless I let them put a new VCT unit on at $700.00. I now have 5 grand in a 2 grand car and it is worse than when I started. I need to talk to someone that can tell me the difference. I will be glad to pay for advice. I think these guys are ripping me off. All of my fix up money has gone to repairs. Not to mention this problem is all over the internet and I am not alone.
 

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I occasionally drive a few hours to fix cars. I wrote that how-to I linked you to. If you don't live that far away (or if you do live too far and are willing to buy a plane ticket) I could fix the car. I even have a spare VCT unit if that is what it needs.

The flatbar is how you time the cams, but how are they timing the crank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the reply. Things are tuff on the finances here. I have put $2500.00 in repairs in a month. I will never get my money out of the car. I live in the Florida panhandle up north. Where are you located? This is my only car. It has been in the shop 17 of 45 days. This is a master mechanic garage that simply can't fix. The car runs great on the highway but baubles starting from dead stop and the light stays on. Gas mileage is 23. I replaced the fuel filter but also have concerns about the fuel pump as well.
 

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That shop is ripping you off. The P0340 means camshaft position sensor circuit malfunction. Why they are messing with VCT for that code is beyond me. The camshaft position sensor is easy to get to and doesn't cost much, not that its the answer to your problem but that's where I would start troubleshooting for that code.

What on earth did they do for $2500?! If I spent that much on a timing belt problem and the car still didn't run right I would take them to court.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They started with new motor mounts as the car vibrated at idle in gear. Then the timing belt plus every gear, tensioner,seal, you can imagine, water pump everything you can think of . However that light came on 10 minutes after I left the shop. I put a new sensor in myself and the light was right back on. Everything I read about this 340 code has come after having the timing belt replaced. Wouldn't the car run really bad if the VCT was bad. This guy swears it will fix it but he will never touch my car again. I do plan to do something legally. I am so tired of dealing with this check engine light. They want 700 bucks for the VCT installed. I laughed.
 

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The vibration in gear at idle is normal in these cars and it will always be there to some extent.

At most they should have only replaced the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, and valve cover gasket when they did the belt, no need to replace any of the gears. The water pump isn't driven by the timing belt on the Zetec so it isn't an item you would normally replace when you do the timing belt.

I know you can run with the VCT unplugged and have no drivability issues so I have doubts that it would cause anything more then a check engine light if it was bad and it certainly wouldn't cost $700 to repair.

ZX2Fast is an expert when it comes to ZX2's. Listen to his advice.
 

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I had a P0340 code for a little while after swapping a new motor and trans in back in May. It turned out to stem from a bunk ass exhaust cam gear. The VCT may have been bad too. I replaced both and everything has been working since.
 

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the VCT will throw a check engine light if it's bad, but it won't be the P0340 code, it would be a manufacturer code P1xxx, since it's a ford-only code. I've seen one go bad, it was out of spec. you can test the VCT for resistance, if it's over 6 ohms (i think) it's bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am may calling this thing the wrong thing. It is not the little sensor that plugs in on the right side and top of engine. What they are showing me is with valve cover off it is on the left attached to front cam I think. They say this part is driven by hydraulic oil pressure. You guys please forgive me I am not mechanical and I just know what these mechanics say. Thanks for all the info.
 

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What weight of oil are you using? How are they timing the crank? What is keeping you from doing this yourself?

I live in Indiana. FL is too far to drive.
 

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the thing you are describing is the VCT. the harness for it plugs in directly on the top of the motor, and you have to unplug it to get the valve cover off. it is run by oil pressure just like you said. test it with a VOM, if it's bad it will read greater than 6 ohms.
 

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definitely not the VCT then.

the timing belt is one tooth off.
 

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