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Mitchell UltraDork
3/5/14 8:59 p.m.

Thank you! This is by far the most involved project that I have both taken on and completed. I still haven't finished my sigh of relief yet.

I returned $100 of Oreilly cores, and turned $30 of that into celebratory Bourbon.

PM me your address; I'll send the flywheel tool your way.

Oh, and there is some conflicting information in the FSM regarding clutch bleeding. In one area, it lists super-DOT4; another, regular 'ol DOT3. I originally bought the 3 in January, then exchanged it for the more expensive S4 when I saw that listed. I then found the page with DOT3 listed, but decided that I didn't want to go to the store again. It worked fine.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/12/14 9:04 p.m.

I have been piling all of my receipts in a precarious stack. I just added up how much I have spent on the car since last Thanksgiving: $1283.39 in parts and $471.37 in tools, lube, and miscellany. I doubt that this is comprehensive.

Where's that whiskey?

Mitchell UltraDork
3/20/14 6:14 p.m.

After two weeks and a little over 1,000 miles since the surgery, almost all is well.

Here's the bad: After putting everything together, I'm getting a loud clunk from the front end. I am thinking (hoping) that it is from the sway bar end link. The factory units are supposedly prone to failure, so I have a pair of MOOG units on the way, which are supposed to be much beefier.

My cruise control no longer works. This was unfortunate, because the 1,000+ miles were almost all highway away from home. I checked all wiring connectors to no avail, so I will have to keep poking around. Both the clutch and the brake disengage the cruise control, so maybe I bodged a switch.

I also saw a slow drip from my clutch master cylinder. I should have replaced it back when I did the clutch, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Imagine if the whole clutch job was unneccessary; rather, the clutch pedal was going slippy because of low fluid reaching the CMC. I'd rather not think about it.

I have also noticed my car dripping whenever I came to a stop. It looks like I found the source:

Look at the black cylinder underneath the hose with the gray clamp. Is this just a breather vent of some sort? I couldn't find any hose that would connect.

I also found that the dipstick tube's retaining bolt has disappeared. The spark plug cover's bolts are the right size/pitch, so I will search the hardware store for a replacement. There is always something.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/20/14 6:21 p.m.

Oh, and because I forgot to post this earlier:

If you ever find yourself refilling the SVT Focus' transmission fluid, the Harbor Freight steel bendy funnel has a spigot end with a near perfect size and diameter:

Here's a top-down view:

I used a funnel-in-a-funnel because it was a windy day, and I didn't want to lose any of the $23/quart transmission fluid in the foot between the container and the metal funnel.

ScreaminE Reader
3/21/14 1:26 p.m.

I assume those two hoses you show are heading into the firewall? If so that plastic tube is your a/c drain. It's supposed to drip.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/21/14 1:50 p.m.

Yes, those hoses are coming out of the firewall. Thanks for the input.

So here is my to-do list in order of importance:

Replace away bar end links

Replace clutch master cylinder/bleed clutch... Again

Diagnose faulty cruise control

Replace/repair trunk switch

Repair/replace catalytic converter bracket and replace both O2 sensors, which give occasional codes

Replace dying head unit with something that accepts iphone interface

Replace front fender

Repair front bumper cover/respray peeling front and rear covers

Tighten all dash and panel screws to attempt squeak elimination

This is to achieve 100% functionality.

Mr_Clutch42 Reader
3/22/14 2:05 p.m.

You'll get it done soon enough.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/23/14 8:02 p.m.

The new end-links came in, and they installed quite easily, without a hitch. Great. The old ones were not doing a whole lot; the joints easily moved around within the socket, and the boots were torn. Old on the left, Moog on the right:

Now here's the problem: The clunk is quieter, but now more frequent. Putting my detective hat on, I think this means that the sway bar bushings are the culprit, since the end links are providing more resistance, and moving the bar around more within its mounts. I had the O'Reilly down the road order a set of Moog K80151 bushings, which appear to be rubber. Would poly bushings be a better choice?

The alignment feels a little off since changing the end links. I'm not quite sure why, but maybe the alignment compensated for the old, busted end links.

Some say that the subframe has to be dropped to get to the bushings. Either way, it's supposed to be a PITA.

Hal SuperDork
3/24/14 10:52 a.m.
Mitchell wrote: I had the O'Reilly down the road order a set of Moog K80151 bushings, which appear to be rubber. Would poly bushings be a better choice? Some say that the subframe has to be dropped to get to the bushings. Either way, it's supposed to be a PITA.

If your swaybar is like mine it has a square section where the bushings fit around it. That is to keep the swaybar from shifting sideways in the bushings and hitting the body. All the poly bushings I have found just have a round hole and thus require collars on the swaybar to prevent the shifting. That is why I removed the Eibach front bar I had and went back to the stock one.

You do not have to drop the subframe to get to the bushings. It is a tight fit but they can be reached thru the wheel well with the tires off. The bolts on the passenger side can acutally be reached from above with a long(24") extension.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/24/14 11:30 a.m.

Good to hear; looks like I will need to pay a visit to the friendly Harbor freight for some more extensions.

ScreaminE Reader
3/24/14 1:33 p.m.

Just added sway bar bushings to my RockAuto shopping cart thanks to this. I'm trying to make sure that my car's front end is feeling tight.

How bad was your clutch disc? On mine, the friction material was worn slick.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/28/14 12:01 a.m.

My clutch didn't look terrible; the wear was down to the back of the other side's rivets. It was certainly thinner than the replacement disc, but not on the verge of failure.

Tonight I changed out the sway bar bushings. It was a pain in the ass, but as Hal said, doable without lowering the subframe. I found the driver's side to be most accessible from the engine bay after removing the battery, air intake, intake tray, and moving the fuse box as far forward as possible. The sway bar mount is directly below, though I needed to use a U-joint to get the back bolt out. I found the passenger side bolts to be most accessible from underneath, simply because I could only get a click or two from the wheel well. I greased them with silicone; apparently using petroleum-based grease is a no-no. The FSM says not to use grease; rather, to lubricate the bushings with water to aid installation.

And in this job, along with many others, I have found the following wrench to be a lifesaver:


After changing the end links and bushings, the front end is a lot quieter, and corners a lot flatter. I still have a faint echo of the clunk I have been chasing, but it has gone from a clunk to rattle to a click. I'm satisfied for now.

The clutch master cylinder, trunk switch, and oxygen sensor came in today. I will try to tackle the first two this weekend; I will wait until I have a free weekday to change out the o2 sensors; I need to get the catalytic converter welded back together first.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/31/14 12:06 a.m.

Got one more item off of the list; changed out the clutch master cylinder. While the pedal assembly was out, I brakleened it off. The clutch pedal has suffered from the long-term brake fluid exposure; it's paint was badly blistered. If I had another day, I would sand it and paint it, but that will have to wait.

I have called a few dealers to replace my long-lost clutch pedal cover, but it looks like I will have to look on the 'bay for a replacement.

Tonight's only hang-up was a battery terminal that wouldn't tighten. Picked up a replacement, only to find its opening too small for the terminal. I was able to open it up with my fake Dremel.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/31/14 10:08 p.m.

Crossed two items off of my checklist tonight.

The interior trunk switch only worked rarely for about a year, and finally stopped working altogether last fall. I finally investigated the problem, and the most likely cause was the switch assembly itself. About $12 later, Part# 1S4Z-54432A38-AA remedied the problem. 3 screw held in the gauge surround, and this allowed access to the switch. Super easy; 5 minute job.

Under the hood, I popped off the throttle body cover, and deduced which cable was for the cruise control. I traced it back to the cruise control module, which seemed strangely devoid of any electrical connections. I fished around, and found a stray connector. Another simple solution. I like these.

Next? Probably the broken driver-side seat latch.

Mitchell UltraDork
4/8/14 6:54 p.m.

Upon realizing that I had today off, I have been planning to work on the car for a few weeks now. Of course, after a week of not seeing the beautiful weather while at work, this is what we got today, a day that required me to use the bike for a few errands:

Oh well, I soldiered on.

My to-do list was to replace the broken catalytic converter bracket, so that I could then install my pricey OEM O2 sensors.

I didn't take a before picture, but here is what the bracket looked like after getting welded back together. It cost $20 ( less than 1/3 of the price of a new bracket) at a place down the street; I spotted the welder another $10 for getting me in an out in less than 5 minutes.

The clunk coming from underneath the car continues to drive me nuts. I tested every bolt that I had to touch for the clutch job. I may be grasping at straws, but perhaps the sound is coming from the rear swaybar, and resonating to the front of the car. The links were pretty crusty, so I placed another set on order, along with the bushings. $28 shipped total from Amazon; cheap enough to risk a misdiagnosis. The engine dogbone mount bushing looked dried out as well, but that's a lot more expensive.

What else could the culprit be? In the front, the swaybar bushings, endlinks, control arms, and ball joints are all new. What would a defective ball joint sound like?

The sound I'm chasing is a loud single "pop" that occurs during acceleration/braking. It's not every time, but louder under harder acceleration and braking.

ScreaminE Reader
4/9/14 8:31 a.m.

How many miles are on your motor mounts? I've heard that the mount essentially turn to snot after 100k or so miles. My stock never replaced motor mounts were scary. I also have these if you're interested:

All new, with the press in prothane press in "dog bone" setup.

Mitchell UltraDork
4/9/14 11:44 a.m.

All of mine are original, so 121k miles. How much would you want for all of them?

Mitchell UltraDork
4/16/14 8:17 p.m.

A few more items checked off of the list:

Changed the rear sway bar bushings and links. The bushings were in okay shape, but the links were quite crusty:

ScreaminE Reader
4/17/14 6:57 a.m.

Did this remedy any of the clunking?

Wanted to make sure you have this thread on how to change out the lower mount: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=156666

Mitchell UltraDork
4/17/14 9:21 a.m.

The clunk is very faint now; more of a creak. I saw that thread a while back; I am hoping that I don't need to pick up a vise to install the inserts. I don't have the space for a table to mount it. A rubber mallet should do the trick.

G8MikeGXP New Reader
4/17/14 9:47 a.m.

I had an 03 ZX3. I put on the full SVT suspension setup. The front swaybar endlinks went bad pretty quickly. Unless yours are brand new, they might be worth a look. They made they same noises you describe.

EDIT: I'm a moron. I didn't read up far enough. I'm not help to you.

ScreaminE Reader
4/17/14 10:53 a.m.

Doubt you'll NEED a vise. Place on top/between two blocks of wood. Hit with hammer to remove/install. Golden. I bought a vise from sears for $50 on sale and it has been a great purchase. I understand not having the space though.

Mitchell UltraDork
4/17/14 12:33 p.m.

I sometimes think of getting one, just to put Rad_Capz's bench vise how-to to work:


Mitchell UltraDork
4/22/14 8:30 p.m.

Today's update: All new mounts.

A few years back, before I became mechanically familiar with the car, I was under the impression that the car was throttle-by-wire. After applying throttle, there was always a delay before the car responded.

After installing all of the mounts that I got from ScreaminE for a song, this hesitation is now gone. Even small throttle inputs have immediate response. What a change! Even better, cabin noise is down considerably, and vibrations at idle are almost nonexistent aside from a slight purr.

It's easy to see why the old mounts did their job so poorly:

Passenger side: The rubber should not deflect from the metal bracket at all. The circular isolator was only attached at about 25% of its circumference.

Here's a comparison between the old and new driver's side mounts. The old mount completely tore through on one of the three connection sides, and other two edges were badly cracked.

I destroyed the old inserts for the lower mount, but here is the original mount with the nice new solid inserts:

The engine support bar shown on the first page was really nice to have for this task. It made the job a lot easier.

ScreaminE Reader
4/22/14 8:44 p.m.

Glad I could help. I knew you'd be happy with all new mounts. Car has came a long way.

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