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Escort Cabriolet Club
Nick Barnes

Bad / Unstable Idle Speed

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I have a 1997 1.6 EFI Cabriolet with 177,000 Kms, I am doing lots of things to sort her out ( just done the timing belt / water pump and auxiliary belt change )

I have always had a problem with the idle / tick over speed its never been 100% ? It runs OK and seems to have enough power on Nml driving.

But now it seems worse again since i did the above jobs ?

Its almost sometimes dying when Idling, @ 900 RPM and has a rythmic surging up and down sound ( as if its not getting enough air or petrol ? )

Last night I added Wynns Exteme Petrol Addittive into 25 Ltrs ( 10 Ltrs left in the tank ) of 98 Octane leaded petrol ( normally runs on 95 Octane was told to try 98 ? ) to try and cure / clean it, and ran it for 70 Km on the motorway around 140 Kmph but this morning again it seems worse than before and stalled today which is unusual while pulling away on cold start up

Because of the additive / petrol would this cause a worse problem ? ( too rich mixture now )

 

I have in the past replaced the

Idle Control Valve ( easy to get out :smile: only 2 bolts, but had a real struggle getting this back in due to lack of access for spanners, sockets, fat fingers ETC. grr )

Throttle Positioning Sensor

( both bought second hand )

 

My next step is to clean the Mass Air Sensor Wires and see if that is the cause, I have cleaned the actual Air Mass Sensor body inside with Carburetor Cleaner ( I did the same with the throttle body ) but whats the best thing to use on the wires inside the sensor if I take it apart ?

I cant find any leaks in the vacuum pipes but I can hear a small hissing from the rear of the engine at the top near the throttle body but cant feel any obvious air leeks around that area ? even had a mechanic with a stethoscope trying to find it for 5 mins, but he had no luck any ideas where it could be from any typical problem areas ?

 

Any ideas / thoughts would be good but my budget is tight so cant buy all 3 things new to try and sort this out

 

 

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Also I have done the Nml servicing things to try and sort this, Spark Plugs, Oil Change, Oil / Air Filter, HT leads.

My friend also has a 2002 Ford Focus and he has the same problem ( maybe worse than mine ) and has done the same cleaning etc. but his also is the same bad / hunting when idling ? Is this a Ford problem ?

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My first check would be to double check the timimg belt

 

could be a notch out

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My first check would be to double check the timimg belt

 

could be a notch out

Thanks for the reply, so if it was bad before then maybe its now 2 teeth out ? we marked everything up on the belts and pulleys and we were sure it was good when refitting the belt, This was my main worry as I'd never done it before. How can i adjust it without taking everything apart again ? and how can I reset it so its good ( it took me and my friend 5 hours including the water pump change ) We didn't use the " special tools " that you locate in the engine block to lock the lower crank, as we were told we did not need it but we did use a piece of metal to hold the Camshafts in place when we took off the old belt. Can it be done just taking the rocker cover / Top Cam pulley cover off or is it a complete strip down again to get to the tensioner pulley to release the tension to adjust it ? How do we tell which cam is out ? and which way it should be turned and by how many teeth ? When the lower mark was on crank pulley was lined up with the mark on the engine block the notches in the ends of the Cams were in a straight line straight and when refitted it as far as I know nothing had moved in between taking the old belt off and refitting the new one ?

I hope there is a quick fix ?

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Hi Nick,

Just an idea. Which timing mark did you use on the crank? Sounds odd I know but there are two. You need to use the second mark on the crank pulley which is about 30 degrees behind the first one.

To check the timing take off the rocker cover and turn the engine over to get the timing bar back into the cam shafts. When they are locked in place you can then check the crankshaft timing mark.

To adjust it just slacken the cam pulley centre bolts about half a turn, the pulley's will then spin on the cam shafts. You can then move the crank until the correct mark is aligned. When all is correctly aligned you can tighten the cam pulley's back up.

When Done I would turn the engine over twice and recheck tne timing before starting the engine.

Cheers

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Hi Paul

Thanks for the reply I will double check but yes we used the second mark. Glad I only have to take off the rocker cover, top camshaft cover and lower cover to check saves a lot of time :smile:

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