03 SVT no start, weird noises, possible head gasket blown? - Page 2
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  1. #16
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: 03 SVT no start, weird noises, possible head gasket blown?

    I just re-read your first post. The "clicking" noise you heard was "ping". Bad ping, by the looks of the head. You were just running 87 in it now, when it stopped working, right? You probably want to replace the knock sensor before you start it and run only 91 or better octane.

    It makes more sense now, the ECU pulled spark timing so far back, in an effort to stop the pinging, that it was sparking just before, at, or after TBC, and the gas was still burning when you were entering higher rpms. The burning gas eroded the seats, it all too hot for the aluminum.
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star

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  3. #17
    FJ Premier Sponsor Steve@Tasca's Avatar
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    Default Re: 03 SVT no start, weird noises, possible head gasket blown?

    I sent a couple of the pics to a friend that's a very well respected engine builder and he said it looks like severe, prolonged overheating. He also said that if the head looks like that the pistons are almost guaranteed to be junk as well.


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  4. #18
    TEAM Member KR1's Avatar
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    Default Re: 03 SVT no start, weird noises, possible head gasket blown?

    I have already spent more than I paid for it getting it fixed up and I would really hate to let it go, but I did find one close by for a decent price that I might just buy anyway. I've got my mechanic who did the suspension replacement looking for a new head since he's got way more sources than I could ever hope to find. I only called him yesterday at like 4:30 so I don't expect to hear anything until sometime next week.

    I had no idea 87 was so destructive to the engine. Looks like I'm not doing that anymore. Cylinder walls look completely undamaged at this point. I might just go ahead and replace the injectors since I'm already deep into the engine at this point.
    2003 Focus SVT Build #429 of 3985
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  6. #19
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: 03 SVT no start, weird noises, possible head gasket blown?

    Also, running 87 doesn't really save you any money. You may feel less pain at the pump, but it significantly reduces power and efficiency. I would have never guessed it would cause this level of damage though. It might not have the ability to pull enough timing to prevent ping, or maybe your knock sensor failed a long time ago. This isn't like a modern turbo car that will just reduce boost to lower compression, and happily run on whatever you feed it with.

    If you have the time you could also buy another one, take the best parts from each car and make one really nice one, and then sell off whats left for a decent profit. SVT parts are starting to get expensive.
    Last edited by SVT5D; May 19, 2017 at 7:00 PM.

  7. #20
    FJ Premier Sponsor Steve@Tasca's Avatar
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    Default Re: 03 SVT no start, weird noises, possible head gasket blown?

    Just to clarify, that damage to the head was not from running 87 octane fuel. Severe preignition/detonation will destroy pistons long before it damages the head like that.

    -Steve
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  8. #21
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: 03 SVT no start, weird noises, possible head gasket blown?

    I'd agree with you if the car was an old carburetor/distributor engine or boosted. But I disagree about this engine... NA, ECU controlled, and the kicker is the pistons are forged but the head is cast.

    That damage is due to movement of hot gas, exactly like aiming a blow-torch at the exhaust valves. Also, the OP said he heard a constant "clicking noise" up until the time when the engine stopped running. Your machinist buddy is wrong. That's definitely not due to any form of simple overheating that would have warped the head and blown the gasket, which didn't happen.
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star


 
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