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Broken Zetec - what will I find???


Pooh_R

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After ten days in Cape Town, I needed to blow the cobwebs away last night. So a few miles in the 7 were in order *biggrin*

 

On the way home, (during enthusiastic braking) while dropping down through the box, a loud tapping noise started. Noise was present with ignition off with the engine still turning. Its a hard metal to metal noise, which appears to be from the middle of the inlet cam region of the engine. There's no evidence of timing belt slippage. Theres nothing externally wrong.

 

I plan to pull the cam cover tonight. What do people think I'll find?

 

Its a 2.0 '96 zetec on webers.

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If it's a silver top zetec the noise from this area could be no oil in tappet bucket, which may fix itself next time you start engine from cold.

It could be a worn cam lobe.

I suggest:-

You need to remove cam cover check all the Cam lobes, If they're OK replace the cam cover and restart engine. and try to identify more precisely where the noise is coming from, assuming it's still there. *wavey*

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The hydraulic cam followers can suddenly fail on the older silver top engines as S47 says. I had a brand new one fail about 50 miles after starting the rebuilt and upgraded Zetec in my first 7. It sounds awful but isn't really too catastrophic. Turn the engine by hand with a spanner on the crank pulley and look carefully at all the followers with the cam lobe pointing away from it and the collapsed one will be very easy to spot, compared to its immediate neighbour in the same combustion chamber.

 

It is a very easy task to replace if that is the problem. You just need to remove the relevant camshaft and use a valve grinding tool or similar with a sucker on the end to withdraw the rogue follower. To make life easy, turn the engine to TDC and ensure the slots in the back of the cams line up before removing the camshaft, then replace with the new follower fitted and the slots still lined up, preferably with a piece of 5 thick flat bar, and the timing should still be ok. You won't even need to remove the pulley from the camshaft. When I did mine, I think it took about 35 minutes start to finish, including diagnosing which tappet had actually terminally collapsed but fortunately for me, I did have a spare set of tappets in the garage.

 

A good time to replace the cam belt and tensioner pulley as well. *thumbup*

 

Edited to add:- make certain you remove the spanner from the crank pulley before starting the engine! I forgot once (only once) on my 1650 Anglia back in the 60's and a (brand new) demolished radiator core was the sorry result. 😔

 

Brent

(aka Arfur Nayo)

 

Lotus Elise Probably the best hair dryer in the world! 😬

 

Edited by - Brent Chiswick on 14 Apr 2009 15:46:46

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Thanks for the comments. *thumbup* I'm certainly hoping it is something like the followers, and nothing more serious at this time.

 

As a follow up question, where would be recommended to purchase replacements? If I go to my local ford part desk, they ask all sorts of questions about what car it is for and that they can't supply parts without the chassis number etc etc etc. Recommended alternative suppliers would be appreciated. Yes, I quite agree about the timing belt. I suspect it could be '96 vintage, it was on my list to do, so this is an ideal oportunity.

 

I'm booked on a trackday on monday so want to get it sorted asap.

 

 

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Try Ammo at Raceco or Peter at Raceline. They may have some spare ones kicking around that they can let you have. Failing that, look out for an old Mk 1 Mondeo 2 L on the road and give the dealers that reg no. *wink*

 

If all else fails, contact Steve Motts (Se7enup on here) as I know he has a collection of hydraulic tappets. He has that many, it was probably Steve that caused a countrywide shortage in fact! *tongue*

 

Brent

(aka Arfur Nayo)

 

Lotus Elise Probably the best hair dryer in the world! 😬

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Just put a new cambelt on my Zetec last Thursday. Must have been on its way because the whole thing feels so much sharper. Peter at Raceline advises changing the belt every 4-5 years. Think I got off lightly *eek*

 

'Have you any idea what it's like to have the wind rushing through your hair!' (Quote:Sq Cdr the Lord Flashheart)

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I've had the cam cover off. Nothing to see, all of the tappets seemed to be even. so I gingerly started her up. Noise was there in abundence. it then became intermittent, and then stopped. as the engine warmed up, the noise was intermittent. It was really difficult to say where it was coming from, except towards the top of the engine. I tried turning the engine over with cam cover removed. I was able to get plenty of oil to the top of the engine, but couldn't get it to make the noise. I cant' see why this should be a speed related issue?

 

I checked cam timing while I was there, it was just right. I don't know the age of the belt, I've just not got any record of it being changed.

 

SM25T, Thanks for the heads up about the chit chat thread looking for me - hadn't had time today to be looking in there. *thumbup*

 

 

 

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That is the problem with dodgy hydraulic tappets. They can often refill with oil and quieten right down again. When did you last change the oil and filter and what oil are you using?

 

Brent

(aka Arfur Nayo)

 

Lotus Elise Probably the best hair dryer in the world! 😬

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If the trouble persists and you can't narrow it down to any one particular tappet then you may need to bite the bullet and replace them all. However, if it is just the one, then it may terminally fail at some point which will make it easier to find.

 

A hydraulic tappet that has or is about to collapse will usually be a lot more 'slack', for want of a better description, and as I found, you can easily compress it by hand. If the noise returns, I would whip the cam cover straight off and with each pair of valves closed, try to push each valve down with a screwdriver. Good ones will be hydraulically locked, so very difficult to push down as it will be compressing the valve spring, whereas you may be able to push a failed one down quite easily. I certainly could on mine.

 

From memory, new tappets were c£16 each about 6 years ago so you wouldn't want to be replacing all 16 if you can help it. *eek*

 

When mine went, I found it was fairly easy to determine from roughly which area the noise was emanating, just by listening with a sound stick. I narrowed mine down to possibly No 4 cylinder on the exhaust camshaft and, sure enough, so it proved.

 

Good luck with it. *thumbup*

 

Brent

(aka Arfur Nayo)

 

Lotus Elise Probably the best hair dryer in the world! 😬

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During my investigations last night, I turned the engine on the starter with the cam cover and plugs removed. I'm glad I put lots of rags around. 😬 While doing this, I noticed that there was a large volume of oil which appeared to be coming from one particular tappet. On further examination having let the oil drain away somewhat, it was a jet from the top of the head which sprayed onto the inlet cam between 2 and 3. I assume this is this design, rather than a faulty head ? There isn't an equivalent on the exhaust side. *confused*

 

Edited as my trypnig is carp.

 

 

Edited by - Pooh_R on 15 Apr 2009 09:21:44

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I can't recall the exact details now but there is a kind of pressure relief hole in the head which I believe is supposed to prevent the tappets becoming over pressured and 'pumping up'. I know this because there was a service mod during the life of the silver top Zetec to provide a slightly larger drilling as the tappets were sometimes prone to 'pumping up' under certain conditions. Maybe that is what you saw.

 

Brent

(aka Arfur Nayo)

 

Lotus Elise Probably the best hair dryer in the world! 😬

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Rang Pete McEwan (Raceline recently regarding the ideal oil for my Zetec. He recommended 0-40 or 5-40 but NOT 50. I've just changed to Silkolene Pro- 5W-40. Done 350 miles and engine seems more willing and sweeter than with equivalent Halfrauds 5W-40 Fully synthetic. May be psychological but the Silkolene does seem better (expensive though £45 odd for 5 litres from Opie Oils). Will keep using it from now on I think.

 

'Have you any idea what it's like to have the wind rushing through your hair!' (Quote:Sq Cdr the Lord Flashheart)

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I have also spoken with Pete yesterday. He strongly suggested that the current 5W30 oil is too thin as Mal also says.

 

Time for an oil change tonight. I've gone with Pete's suggestion of 5W40 so will see what (if any) difference that makes.

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