Engine - I'm Almost There, but I've still got some Idling issues. | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Engine I'm Almost There, but I've still got some Idling issues.

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by DFX2KX, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. DFX2KX

    DFX2KX FEOA Member

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    Okay, Guys! It's been awhile, And this is the second attempt at this post because I realized the hard way that NoScript didn't have you guys whitelisted. I am not a smart man, anyway...

    So. I have the ZX2 idling. It sounds awful, surges, and I think there's a clogged injector or two, but it is currently idling for as long as I want to let it idle. It has also been on the road more or less successfully, and (due to whatever's up with either fuel or vacuum or something, doens't like to have any power below 3,000 RPM, so it doesn't like fifth, at all).

    So, what I've done so far:
    Replaced All four spark plugs. That got it to sound okay, but it would not idle at all for more then a minute.
    Replaced the Cam Sensor: That honestly shouldn't have done anything, but at least it would idle for two or three minutes afterward, not sure why, but I'm not going to complain.
    Replaced the IAC, and tried running without the MAF plugged in: Now it'll idle as long as I want, but it was surging terribly while doing so. The old IAC looked pretty beat. This poor car.
    Replaced the cracked air-box with a cheap Ebay Cold Air intake kit: It idled a little slower and surged slightly less, still doesn't like the MAF plugged in
    Replaced the MAF with a cheap Reman to see if that was the issue... Got 8 of them for some reason (Anyone need a MAF for cheap?), it didn't help, it doesn't care which one I use, but I have a spare which is nice.
    Replaced the PCV Valve, it idles just a bit better then before, but still surges.

    What I still don't know
    I have the PCV hose, but can't figure out how to get the elbow off at the front, and where exactly the rear is supposed to be going (there's a bunch of similar diameter vacuum lines back there, and I can't quite tell by finger feel what's what). Any 1998 ZX2 guys with pictures pointing out the one I'm supposed to replace with this foil-covered line would be super great.

    I'm not sure if there are other vacuum leaks, but I'll be replacing everything that looks like a vacuum line with some silicon hose so I can tell them apart and not mix anything up. Also the injectors are going to get a rebuild kit if I can figure out how to get those out.

    It also dons on me that I don't think I've put pictures of this thing on here, so here you go:
    IMG_20190413_173744.jpg IMG_20190413_173727.jpg

    I think the engine really is good, so I'd love to find a shell to stick it in (there was a guy in DSM that had one on Letgo, asked what the whole car might run, he never got back to me naturally).
  2. DFX2KX

    DFX2KX FEOA Member

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    So, update. Figured out where the PCV hose routes.

    Managed to get the Elbow off. That was FUN. The other half of the PCV hose (the hose part) is so stuck onto the metal tube that I can't get it off. Any ideas?
    IMG_20190419_202136.jpg IMG_20190419_213203.jpg
  3. steve60tuesday

    steve60tuesday FEOA Member

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    I know this is far to late to be of any use, but here is a reply to your posts:

    1. I am in the same boat, after 3 years of trouble free or easily repaired performance for my zx2, I am playing the parts replacement bingo game in hope of getting the stupid thing working again. And in this game, there's no free space. Everything I do seems to make it run a little better, but then a week later, sime other jerk must have gotten a bingo because my car is back to running like crap.

    2. I'd love to buy one of your MAFs. Maybe that's the magic bullet that will exorcise the demons from my car!

    3. I've replaced that stupid PCV hose twice. Neither time was it leaking at all, but I was hoping the ritual would bring good fortune to my situation. You can just run a generic vacuum hose between the two fittings, bypassing both elbows. If you can't get the pcv valve out, swear at it and pull harder.

    I'd recommend a smoke test if you suspect a vacuum leak. Every time I'm sure I have a vacuum leak, unless it's because I obviously forgot to reconnect something, I wind up randomly replacing hoses then eventually paying a mechanic to tell me I don't actually have a vacuum leak.

    I don't imagine any of this helps, but I hate seeing your post going unanswered.
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  4. DFX2KX

    DFX2KX FEOA Member

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    Thanks for the tips!

    Never thought about using smoke I assume from like an incense stick or blown out candle or something?

    Still have the MAFs, PM me later (if you haven't already, typing this quick before heading out for a few hours), so I we can work something out. If nothing else, it's nice to have a spare.

    That is the thing, it's like ALMOST there, aside from some clogged injectors. It can drive around and everything, I just don't like the idle or the fact the MAF still has to be unplugged.
  5. Defunct SR Owner

    Defunct SR Owner FEOA Member

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    Have you double checked the timing? These cars can jump a tooth if you push it too hard (I'm guilty of this). Use the crank locating pin and the bar stock to locate the cams. This and vacuum leaks is where I would start.
    DFX2KX likes this.
  6. DFX2KX

    DFX2KX FEOA Member

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    It's throwing a 1383 error, so I know the timing is off. given that it runs, I didn't realize it jumping a tooth could affect idle like that.

    that VCT thing confuses me, because I've heard you can do the timing belt properly and still have the VCT pulley itself out of spec and it'll throw that error.
  7. Defunct SR Owner

    Defunct SR Owner FEOA Member

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    I'm having the exact same problem with my 2001 ZX2 Black that is in another post on this site...of course I'm glad it is running. I am going to check for vacuum leaks, double check the timing again as well as see if the VCT is working properly.
  8. steve60tuesday

    steve60tuesday FEOA Member

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    The smoke test I suggested is performed at a mechanic's shop for a nominal fee, like $30 or $100 depending on how much you're annoying them. It pumps a dense smoke (or something smoke-like) into your manifold under pressure. If there are leaks, they can see the smoke escaping there.

    These days maybe you could get the neighbor kid to blow his vape pen there instead.
  9. Defunct SR Owner

    Defunct SR Owner FEOA Member

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    I'll have to mull that one over...you can buy analytical smoke OTC; its putting under pressure. Hummm?
  10. KirkComer

    KirkComer FEOA Member

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  11. Defunct SR Owner

    Defunct SR Owner FEOA Member

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    Found this on YouTube


    I'm going to give it a try...

    I didn't get it to work...the paint can was too old and rusty and five sticks of incense didn't seem to produce enough smoke.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  12. sad zx2 owner

    sad zx2 owner FEOA Member

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  13. sad zx2 owner

    sad zx2 owner FEOA Member

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    Check your entire timing belt, cam gears, idler pulleys to see if an idler pulley bearing has seized up and if the timing belt has eaten up the plastic idler pulley enough so the belt is now sliding over a frozen chewed up wheel. Sorry no pics, I threw away the chewed up idler pulley. Changed all parts with a Gates Timing Kit from O'Reilly's. and change the water pump housing since you are there anyway. especially if your serpentine belt tensioner pulley sticks out further to the left than the other pulleys.

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