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Old 01-02-2010, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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'96 contour 2.0 zetech

FYI...

Found out this week that this engine IS a Non-interference engine if your timing belt breaks (another words the valves wont get bent if the belt breaks!!). I was told that all zetech engines are non-interference but I cant say if thats true, only the 96 2.0 for sure. The mechanic first told me that it was not and I had all my valves probably bent, but 6 dealerships service dept said it is. So after towing it home I ended up replacing both idler pulleys and the tensioner pulley as well as the belt myself. Went ahead and replaced the water pump as well due to it being located behind the timing belt and I didn't want to be taking it apart again until the belt is due to be replaced. Looked like the original belt at 92K miles on it and it actually looked fine, one if the idler pulleys and the tensioner though gave it up in my case. ALSO FYI...you need to purchase a tensioner spring and stud from the dealership if these engines have not had the belt replaced before. They come from the factory with no spring and trying to do it without one is a real *****, even though I ended up getting it done without one, but I will buy one next time. Parts ended up costing me 208 bucks. I ended up buying an impact wrench since I could not break loose the crankshaft pulley. Total cost about 300 bucks and a days worth of work. still better then the 750+ that was quoted to me form the mechanic becasue he was going to replace the head, which I will not be going back to for mechanic work since he was either trying to talk me into more money with the bent valve story or just didnt know, hoping he just didnt know. Besides I ended up with a nice little impact wrench to use for other projects now.

Now I need to replace the started since it will not engage about every 4th time I start it...LOL

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Old 01-03-2010, 03:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Rainh2o -

I don't know if the Zetec is non-interference or not, but I'll bet Frank will know.

Ford Zetec engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ford Zeta engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Overview of applications
Ford Mondeo
Ford Fiesta 1992–1995 (1.6 90 bhp Si) (1.8 105 bhp XR2i) (1.8 130 bhp RS1800)
Ford Escort 1992–1998 (Europe) (1.6 90 bhp Si) (1.8 105/130 bhp XR3i) (1.8 115 bhp Si/GTi)
1995–2000 Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique
1999–2002 Mercury Cougar
2000–2003 Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute
2000–2003 Ford Focus
1998-2003 Ford Escort ZX2.
Formula Ford 2000 series (2003 – present)
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Rain, I also have a 96 contour (v6 manual). Love the car to death but it has some pretty serious electrical issues (be gentle with the wiring harness on that car, they are known to go brittle).

also you may want to check out contour.org, some very knowledgeable people there. After a decade of ownership of a cdw27 platform car (contour/cougar/mystic), I can definitely offer the advice that its an easy car to throw parts at, knowledge is your best resource.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The mechanic probably didn't know it was non interference. Lots of publications say the Ford Escort engine is an interference engine, but all except the first few years are non interference. I've had 2 timing belts break on my '88 Escort Pony, both times I just had it towed home, lined up the timing marks, put a new belt on it and fired it up.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ford Man View Post
The mechanic probably didn't know it was non interference. Lots of publications say the Ford Escort engine is an interference engine, but all except the first few years are non interference.
Thats what one of the dealerships told me, that some of the early ones where interference but since then they all are non...even the parts store guys thought it was an interference engine because their info said it was...go figure.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bensenvill View Post
(be gentle with the wiring harness on that car, they are known to go brittle).

Yeah I already found a couple of wires that the insulation was cracked on...a little silicone and its sealed again since they where only cracked and no major corrosion on the wires yet.

also you may want to check out contour.org, some very knowledgeable people there. After a decade of ownership of a cdw27 platform car (contour/cougar/mystic), I can definitely offer the advice that its an easy car to throw parts at, knowledge is your best resource.

Thats where I first learned that they where all non-intereference engines and thats why I started to call the dealerships. Yes I agree there is some real good info on that site.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello -

The Ford Focus also has a Zetec engine, so this sub-forum may be of help :

ZETEC Performance Chat - Focus Fanatics
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The place to chat about any 2.0L Zetec engine performance, tuning and exhaust related upgrades.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Zetec does not have the water pump on the Timing belt, you have a 2.0 SPI if that's the case. Are you at DOHC or SOHC? Zetec has the water pump on the accessory belt. No Zetec's (in the US) are interference, although most manuals say they are.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just because you didn't bend valves doesn't mean it's not an interference engine, by any means. Interference engines literally are defined by the fact that at some point during the engine's operation, the pistons and valves occupy the same area in the engine relative to the block/head mating surface. (Deck)

The engines always have slots machined for the valves to fit into the pistons a bit, making it not highly likely that the pistons would contact the valves hard enough to actually bend them.

If you pull your valve cover, you'll usually be able to identify if the valves have been struck by looking at the tops of them, where the keepers attach. There is almost always damage there if the valve face has been struck, from the valve being pushed back up against the cam.

It's been pretty commonly accepted that newer engines are just basically all called interference, because the term is (as it was explained to me) relative to the deck, and not whether parts could actually come in contact with each other.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tygen1 View Post
Zetec does not have the water pump on the Timing belt, you have a 2.0 SPI if that's the case. Are you at DOHC or SOHC? Zetec has the water pump on the accessory belt. No Zetec's (in the US) are interference, although most manuals say they are.
The water pump is located BEHIND the timing belt and to change the pump you would have to pull the timing belt so that's why I changed it, I didnt want to be doing the whole job again in 20k-30k miles. The pump is driven by the accessory belt. It is a DOHC.

From what I found out this engine is a NON-INTERFERENCE engine which means it will freewheel and there will be no bending of valves because there is clearance between the valves and the pistons.

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