Engine - Timing Upper Idler Pulley Stripped | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Engine Timing Upper Idler Pulley Stripped

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by PKII, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    While trying to tighten the bolt to 35 Ft lbs I noticed it would not tighten up.

    What is the best method to fix the stripped hole in the block?

    Heli coil? or an insert?

    Which will hold the top idler pulley tight enough?
  2. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    i don't think the hole was stripped due to tightening with a torque wrench. To begin with, the torque specs are very high when you consider that you are torquing a bolt into an aluminum part. I wouldn't torque it down that far due to risk of breaking the bolt (they break easily).

    As for your problem, it was likely caused by not removing the center timing cover (the one with the pulley on it). The pulley used on a 2000 zx2 does not have enough clearance to properly remove it from the head without removing the center timing cover, despite what some may claim. If you did not remove the cover, then damage to the threads is the cause of this.

    this problem is not uncommon. I have seen many zx2 dead due to this problem. You can fix it with heli-coil as a few people have done.
  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I prefer to install the threaded inserts - like the helicoil ones, though there are several brands of the same thing with different names. My Escorts are LX's, & I know zero about the layout of the ZX2 engines. Usually the problem is getting to the hole with a drill, to make it the correct size for the special thread tap that creates the threads for the insert, and enough space to run the insert in with the 'holding tool'.
    And get a new bolt if the threads on the old bolt are worn at all. I would think a grade 5 bolt would be good enough.
  4. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    Yes. That is exactly what happened. I did not remove the center timing cover because I didn't know it existed. And the pulley was very hard to remove and I damaged the thread. Hopefully the heli-coil will fit it. :)
  5. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    I bought a repair kit and it looks like a helicoil. But I wasn't sure if this will be strong enough for use at the top idler pulley or not. I was hoping I wasn't the only person to strip out his idler bolt hole. : /
  6. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    the easiest way to fix this is very time consuming because it will require removing the head. This will make sure that you install the heli-coil correctly and the new pulley goes in straight. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it will be worth it when the repair lasts longer than a month or so because the timing pulley broke again.
    If you take off the head to fix this, this will give you another option. The other option you will have is that you will have the option of drilling and tapping the head to use the 98 version of timing pulleys. This will give you a new threaded hole to use but will require the addition of the lower idler pulley on the oil pump to be installed. (the 98 pulley can be removed without having to remove the center timing cover, but the lower pulley cannot unless you notch the cover as I do )
  7. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    You don't think a heli coil fix will last more than a month?

    I'll just let it break. Then, if I have to remove the head. I can replace the gasket while I'm there.

    I should have just let the belt break. It had 90,000 miles on it and when I took it off it looked brand new (NAPA Brand). lol
  8. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    Ok. Just a thought. The bolt will screw into the bolt hole. However, just when I know its at the end it will not tighten up. Could I put a bit of loctite on the threads and maybe that would hold it enough?


    If that is a no go. How do I remove the middle timing cover. I can see one bolt right beside the water pump but no idea where the other side is or if I can even get to it. Do I have to lower the engine?
  9. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    since you don't know how to remove the timing cover, then just break some of it off (enough to allow the pulley to install without having to remove it). This will not compromise the strength of the part, it will jsut remove some of the part which retains the timing belt cover.

    if I uploaded a picture correctly, then you will see how I have done it in the past

    Attached Files:

  10. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    you have screwed up the hole beyond just trying to use loc-tite at this point when you tried to use a torque wrench to tighten it. Torquing down to that spec is all fail as that is far too tight. The amount of torque you put on it has stripped the threads even more. Maybe if you had a longer bolt, then you might be able to make it grab enough to be able to use some jb weld in there with it. It would just mean using anti-seize on the bolt so that the jb weld does not permanently glue the bolt in
  11. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    Sounds good to me. I better use a grinder. My luck I will break it off. lol
  12. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    All my drills are too big for this job. What are people using to drill in this tight space?

    Right angle drill?
  13. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont have a ZX2 set up, so this is another blind-man's guess. A right angle drill adapter might let you get a shortened drill bit into small places, but getting the drill to go in -straight- and perpendicular to the hole is important - for the strength of the threaded insert. Then you need room to put in the tap for the oversized 'external' threads of the insert, and for the tool that runs the insert into place.

    I had to take took an engine out of a Jeep once, to get a helicoil insert properly installed for a motor mount bolt. I wasnt happy about it - but took the opportunity to replace the main seals and freeze plugs on the engine and to get the engine and the engine compartment totally clean.
  14. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    Room to get the drill in is the main issue. I believe by either raising or lowering the engine I can get it in straight. Here is what I'm looking at.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
  15. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    based on everything I have read so far I am afraid to give you any further suggestions to remedy this situation. I have already mentioned removing the head to fix this, but that would only lead to a bigger job which may be too much for you to handle on your own.

    there is a possibility of lowering the engine to be able to gain access through the wheel well. The first thing I am going to tell you to do is have jack stands available and know how to use them.

    to lower your engine you will have to remove or loosen quite a bit of things. First, the engine mount near that area has a through bolt. You can undo this and the engine will be able to tilt a little. This may be enough depending on the size of your drill and if it can fit in that area. You will likely have to loosen the cross support with the two lower engine/trans mounts. This will require the removal of another support directly below that. The trans support can probably get away with only unbolting one side as that will lower the engine considerably. The rear should be the better of the two to completely unbolt.

    believe it or not, removing the head would be the easiest solution to this issue. Just be sure to either remove the center timing cover or notch it as I have pictured
  16. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    I see your point on removing the head. From what I've read... everyone says that the bolt needs to be snug but not at the shop manuals specification of 35 ft/lbs.

    I tried it will a small wrench and it does tighten snug but then it turns and will not tighten to 35 ft/lbs.

    Although previous not recommended I added loctite and if it breaks off I will do the head method. It will save a head gasket change later. Thanks.
  17. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    It didn't last long. Snapped off last week.

    When I remove the head since its not blown can I just replace the gasket? Without having to have the head milled?
  18. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    if you are planning on removing the head you can fix this a number of ways. You can heli-coil the hole and use the same timing pulley or you could just install another head or you could have the head drilled so that it will use the 98 style timing kit.

    when it comes to the head gasket, you will not have to have the head worked on if everything is working as it should. I would only spend the extra time and money on it if the car was overheated or the head gasket was broken

    either way, based on all your recent posts here, I would not recommend you removing the head unless you have someone who has experience with the zetec to help you in the removal and reinstallation of the head as this seems as it may be something beyond your experience level. it is real easy to mess things up to the point that this car will end up in a yard (yes, I have seen a lot of them end up in a yard due to this same problem)
  19. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    Its gonna be in the junk yard now if I don't do anything. (or on here under parts for sale)

    My dad was a heavy machinery mechanic and knows a bit about car engines. That is about all the help I'm gonna get. (we can't make it no worse than now) ;)

    I am going to drill it out and use a heli-coil.

    Is there a walk through on how to remove the head anywhere? (links)
  20. PKII

    PKII FEOA Member

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    Going with the 98 style timing kit does this idler pulley look the correct size? 70mm OD and the 2000 is a 60mm OD. What other parts are different? I have the small idler I believe its a 47 or 48mm. Is the tensioner a different size?

    [​IMG]

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