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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an automatic 1998 Ford Excort ZX2 2.0 DOHC with 198K miles. I was driving my car back from the airport after it had set for a couple of days and it was about 10 degrees F out. I noticed that I was not getting heat and though it might be my heater core. I did not see where it had leaked in my floor board and I did not have any pools of coolant under my car or dripping from it as I was driving. I started loosing power as I went up a hill and started to hear what I though might be my waterpump making some noise but I was not loosing any water that I could see. It continuted to drive until the next hill where it lost power again and died. After it died my service engine light came on, but no warning lights prior to this. Long story short I hauled it home, and reset the timing and it would turn over by not start. I have fire to each plug and I drained the oil and it smells burn but does not look bad. What should I do next? I think I will fill it back up with oil and do a compression check. Any other suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can not say for sure that there was enough antifreeze in it for the temperature. It went from warm to about 10 or so degrees in a day. If I would have cracked the head would it not give me issues right after it started. I drove it about 20 miles on the interstate before the car died.

There were marks on the timing pullies and they were in a different location than they were before I stared having the issues so we reset the timing and tried to see if it would stat and it just crancked and never hit. I have tried starting the car before and let off of the starter too soon and had a hard time starting it again. It acts like it floods out and when it does finally start it idled really fast and would not settle back down until it was shut off and restarted. I just can't figure out why it will not at least hit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
escortrestorer said:
I hope your crank was at TDC before you "aligned" the cam timing marks.

Once you check that, do a compression test. Also check for fuel pressure.
Yeah I verified that #1 was at TDC by placing a screw drive down in the cylinder to find the correct position. Thanks for the tip about the fuel pressure. I have seen the fuel pressure tool but how exactly does it work?
 

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If you cracked the head because of the coolant, your level would be low. Did you check your coolant level?

The timing issue puzzles me. There were marks and now they're different. I'm guessing those marks meant nothing and now your timing is off. Are you absolutely sure it's timed correctly right now? An engine that has it's timing off will give symptoms like you're describing.
 

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The Zetec DOES NOT have timing marks on the cams. You have to use a lock tool in the back of the cams (remove the valve cover) to get the cams set at TDC. It is a good thing this engine is non-interference because you would have just ruined it. You really should just guess on something like that. There is plenty available about timing the Zetec for free on the internet. I know, because I wrote it. You are already a member of Team ZX2. Look under 'Service Items' in the "Knowledge Base" for the timing how-to and get your timing set right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ZX2Fast said:
The Zetec DOES NOT have timing marks on the cams. You have to use a lock tool in the back of the cams (remove the valve cover) to get the cams set at TDC. It is a good thing this engine is non-interference because you would have just ruined it. You really should just guess on something like that. There is plenty available about timing the Zetec for free on the internet. I know, because I wrote it. You are already a member of Team ZX2. Look under 'Service Items' in the "Knowledge Base" for the timing how-to and get your timing set right.
This is how I set the timing. From doing some research online and on the forum it sounded like verifying the timing was the best first step. I did remove the valve cover, placed the lock tool in teh back of the cams to hold them inplace, unscrewed the bolts to the the pullies, made sure #1 was at TDC, and tightened it all back down. For some reason I have two orange marks on each top pully. These were the marks I was was referring to but knew I could not trust them to be correct since there were not suppose to be any indication marks on this engine. Any suggestions for the next step? Will the compression test give me an indication if I cracked the head?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I finally had a chance to mess with the car again. I drained the oil and coolant. All looked normal. I checked the spark plug wires and the plugs to ensure I was getting a spark. I followed the steps to check and compression and I did notice this time that on plug #3 it was pretty dark on the ceramic. Not sure if this is normal or not but it still had a good spark and did not look burnt on the electrode. The compression tester I tried to use would not screw into the head. Not for sure if the treads were bad or if the connector was too large. I found a tester with the rubber nipple but I could not hold it on the head well enough to get an accurate reading. Each cylinder looked like it would jump up between 30-50psi. I picked up an Acturon from Advance Auto Parts but the screw in connection looks the same as the one I previously tried to use. Has anyone tried this one before? Just wondering before I open it. With all of the time I spent jacking around with the compression tester I was wondering if I would be better off just tearing it down? Looking for some advice from people that have been there before.
 

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test compression properly before you even think of tearing into the engine.

You are using the wrong adapter if it does not fit, or you are trying to thread it wrong.

You need to check compression before you tear into the engine so that you know what you will fix inside the engine. That would be like going in for heart surgery and the surgeon not knowing what is wrong with your heart. Sure he may get lucky and find it, but most likely you would just end up with a big hole in your chest and even more problems than you started out with.

To check if you have fuel pressure, first crank the engine to prime the fuel system, then pull the cap of the schraeder valve and depress it to see if fuel squirts out. If it does, you can check fuel pressure with a gauge, but that probably wont be the issue.
 
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