Mobile Mechanic Replaced Timing Belt - Now Car Keeps Dying & P0340 code. *Problem Solved* | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Mobile Mechanic Replaced Timing Belt - Now Car Keeps Dying & P0340 code. *Problem Solved*

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by fordlover71, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. fordlover71

    fordlover71 FEOA Member

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    Getting P0340 code:

    I have a 2000 ford escort zx2 with the 2.0 liter zetec with 78k miles on it. This car is all original from factory (mexico) and never had any work done on motor. I noticed the drive belt was cracking so I called a mobile mechanic to fix it. He told me it would be a good idea to also change the timing belt at the same time (he said they need changed at 80k..I saw on the manual that came with belt later it said 120k) anyway, I agreed based on his recommendation.

    He came out and did the job in 2 hours but I noticed he never took off the valve cover. He simply put a white mark on one cam sprocket and then the other cam sprocket to mark their positions, took off belt, turned the crank until the woodruff key on crank was straight up , aligned white marks on cams then slipped on the belt and buttoned everything up.

    It started right away then ran rough and died. started right away again then seem to run better. he revved up the engine and it didn't fall on its face, then he said ok that's good shut it off. When I questioned it dying he said "sometimes they do that after this kind of work" After he left I pulled the car out of the garage and turned it around to put back in garage..during this the car died 4 times. I also noticed the service engine soon light on. Before this work the car never had any engine issues or dying like this in the 15 years I've owned the car.

    I called him and he said well maybe I didn't have the cam sensor on when we first started it. he recommended I take off the negative battery cable, run a jumper wire to the positive for 10-15 minutes to drain the capacitors on the computer then see if that helped. It did not help.

    He said he would come back and fix it for free. This time he says he will take off the valve cover and lock down the cams, take spark plug out, turn crank until #1 cylinder is at TDC and make sure its right this time.

    I hope someone who really knows this engine will reply and tell me the main things he needs to do or keep in mind to get this right so I can make sure he does them and be done with this fiasco. Thanks in advanced.

    Also I read here https://www.fixya.com/cars/t5597136-2_litre_ford_timing_belt_diagram_2000

    and also some posts on this forum that my engine is a non interference engine, I hope that is true. Also worst case scenario and I have to take it to ford (10 miles away) can I drive it there or will I risk messing up my motor ?

    Thanks again for any help on this.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  2. Valdres Rose

    Valdres Rose FEOA Member

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    Tough question! I don't know what options you have but if it were me I would do the job over myself. Do it form scratch and if you get confused ask someone on this Forum that is familiar with Timing Belt issues for your engine.
  3. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Worst case after replacing a timing belt should be low idle for the first few miles, and that is only if you didn't use one of those car memory savers. Did your mobile mechanic use one?

    Also, a 20 year old car with it's original timing belt does need it changed.
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    There should be no need to remove the valve cover.
    Maybe he got the timing off a tooth or two, or maybe he damaged the crank position sensor or other piece when he was working.

    Hopefully he'll fix it.
  5. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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  6. 04Svt

    04Svt FEOA Member

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    I would lock the cams down like this.

    Attached Files:

    Valdres Rose and zzyzzx like this.
  7. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    @04S - It'd be entertaining to be a fly on the garage wall when somebody forgets that's there and...
    austin86 likes this.
  8. 04Svt

    04Svt FEOA Member

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    Pull the belt off , then number 1 piston at the top of its bore . Verify the crank is on its timing mark. If not ? The crank on the wrong stroke and is 180 degrees off. Once you verify all that , put the belt back on and all should be good. Once you put everything back together take the home made cam lock off and spin the engine over by hand 2 revolutions to verify nothing is binding . Then fire up the engine and that should take care of everything.
    zzyzzx, austin86 and Valdres Rose like this.
  9. 04Svt

    04Svt FEOA Member

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    @Intuit ....simply if you forget to take it off that person is a dumb a**.
    On a serious note since the starter engages the flex plate it may shred or snap the timing belt if you forget to take the cam lock off.
  10. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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  11. ChillinZX

    ChillinZX FEOA Member

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    It's actually pretty easy to be 180 degrees off, many have made this mistake. There is a tool which is a bar to lock the end of the camshafts to the head, the cams have a slot on the ends. They are slightly off center and can only be in a perfect alignment to the head with the bar in place. The VCT gear on the exhaust can be easily misaligned and when you have to reset the alignment, align the 3 holes in the actuator at 12 oclock position. If your watching closely, you will see the exhaust cam itself can rotate slightly without the cam gear moving at all. There is something about rotating the VCT actuator back 90 degrees before the alignment but it's been years since I've last read the manual. I guarantee this mobile mechanic doesn't understand VCT alignment, and needs to read how to reset timing. This isn't your basic run of the mill motor like other 90's 00's cars, there is some tech involved in this version of Zetec. It is not an interference motor so he can mess up and nothing will touch.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  12. fordlover71

    fordlover71 FEOA Member

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    sorry for the late reply but things have been busy. no he did not use a memory saver. I had it towed to ford and even they said it didn't need to be changed until 120k but maybe they are just trying to make the mechanic that worked on it look even worse I really don't know but it does seem people have so many differences of opinion.
  13. fordlover71

    fordlover71 FEOA Member

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    The code is P0340
    Don't know the compression but it is at ford now..ill post below the full run down as things are so far..it is not as I would have expected after taking it to ford.
  14. fordlover71

    fordlover71 FEOA Member

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    Ok here is the full scoop on what is happening with the car.

    I decided to have it towed to my local ford dealership. They have a mechanic that's been there 18 years so I thought this would all be over soon but they called me up after it having been there a while and having initially done the diagnostic which told them it was out of time then they quoted me $385 to fix it.

    Then I waited days and finally called them only to be told they have had it back together twice and it still has the same P0340 code and is still running the same as when I first brought it in. Now they are pushing it back in the shop only when there other stuff slows down and even mentioned the possibility of giving the car back to me if they cannot figure it out. This seems very odd that a ford car towed to ford to be fixed may not be able to be fixed when the car ran perfect before a timing belt change.

    The service manager says they have the timing right..that part is done, yet it still runs the same as it did when I first brought it to them and still has the code ?. This just doesn't seem possible to me that they have the timing right.

    It's hard to be able to talk with ford as they seem to keep the mechanic behind museum glass like he's the pope :p But I have managed to be able to get an email from the service manager to send something that may help them to fix the car..dunno if they really are looking at it or not though.

    last I heard they were using a scope to check out if the flywheel had a crack in it. To me this seems way off base. What do you guys think I should do at this point ? And thank you very much for all the comments, I really do appreciate it.

    Some extra info that may help:

    The mobile mechanic used the following parts
    Gates TCK294A Component Kit - Timing belt
    Drive Belt changed - used Gates K060850

    This motor has never been worked on since new until this timing belt change and always ran perfect. Upon taking off the timing cover I noticed the lower right idler was not installed (the one still in plastic in timing component kit) upon checking it appears on some escorts they used different size idlers etc making this lower one not needed ?
    denisond3 likes this.
  15. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    I can tell you what happened at the dealer. You brought in a beater, and they gave it to their trainee to diagnose. This is why you need to do your own work on a car that has almost no retail value on.
    austin86 likes this.
  16. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    I second this. Also that code is for a camshaft position sensor. Check cam timing, is the tensioner/belt tight? wiring to the sensor good? maybe replace the sensor after all that.
  17. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    If you are getting a code for a crankshaft position sensor, then it (or it's wiring) was probably buggered up during the timing belt install.
  18. ChillinZX

    ChillinZX FEOA Member

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    Sometimes those kits use the wrong size pulley. Not sure which listing is correct but they are different for 99.5+ model year ZX2's.
  19. ChillinZX

    ChillinZX FEOA Member

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    Taken from the web in a 2008 post.

    "Just an FYI for anybody else who gets this code (and a thanks for the help).
    I had to order the dang E20 torx socket - nobody around here stocks them. But once I had that, I just floated both sprockets as suggested, re-aligned everything, torqued it all back down, and voila - no more P0340. In fact it now idles smoother than it has since we bought it (used). The only thing that bugs me is that this code is supposed to mean a fault in the cam sensor circuit. I had expected if it was just the timing it'd be some other code. Oh well, live and learn."

    To me it looks like you need to reset the VCT actuator. The hillbilly at Ford looking at your car needs to read the repair manual and stop guessing.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  20. fordlover71

    fordlover71 FEOA Member

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    Problem has been fixed. Car seems to be running fine and no codes.

    I called fords hotline (800) 392-3673 last night, they gave me a case # for something called Repair Assistance. I gave the dealership that case # last night and this morning the dealership called me and said the car was fixed.

    ford hotline explained to me the Repair Assistance would help the dealership financially so they can keep working on the car and not be loosing money since they already spend two days on it. The dealership told me that wasn't the case and the call I made to ford hotline didn't change anything. It's lovely getting contradictory information but at least the car is running properly now.

    Here is what the problem was from the ticket they gave me...hopefully this will help someone in the future if they run into this issue.

    " C/S will not stay running after replacing drive & timing belt
    found vehicle was out of time, tore down timed vehicle per workshop manual.
    vehicle still out of time. Tore back down, found oil pressure in cam phaser when timing vehicle was causing exhaust cam to be out of time. Advanced exhaust cam so when it built oil pressure it came back to zero. Test drove vehicle is working as it should.

    No labor warranty


    Total labor $392.50 "

    Service manager told me they had to time it a different way from what they were doing previously. I would think there is only one way from start to finish to time the car but I'm not a mechanic.

    Also I had emailed the dealership the following information. they said they never looked at it.

    Timing Belt/Tensioner - Ford Revised Setup Procedure Article No. 99-25-4 for the ZX2
    ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/paynlessauto/2009-09-19_044548_tsb.pdf


    Below is Video from one of the Ford Escort Owners Association ZX2 experts concerning the ZX2 Timing Procedure

    3:15 He proves the TDC Peg cannot be used on the ZX2 to achieve TDC. The screwdriver method in #1 spark plug hole or the crank key way pointing to 12 oclock method must be used.

    18:29 he explains the lower idler pulley and how some didn't have the lower idler pulley (mine didn't) the upper pulley is a different size depending of if you had the lower pulley or not. The kit I got is the Gates TCK294A Component Kit.

    36:15 Tensioner + Tab Alignment

    1:10:00 Timing Belt Install

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzL7u9TZ3WY&feature=youtu.be

    on a side note... on the way home my hood started to lift up on the highway..they didn't latch the hood all the way :p
    zzyzzx likes this.

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