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Discussion Starter #1
2000 ZX3, 5 speed, leaky thermostat, 108,000 miles and never changed spark plugs or PCV valve, ever. Clutch replaced at about 100k miles.

At first I wondered if I would be buying my 4th fuel pump, but it's in a straight line at any speed, if I give it more than 1/4 throttle it will buck or jump, and the speedometer will jump up about 15mph, although once today I was going 25 and it flicked up to 70mph.

Any ideas?
 

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change your plugs and wires. sounds like a misfire. no idea what the speedometer thing is. maybe it'll go away when the misfire does. :dunno:
 

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yea 108k and never changed the plugs and wires. Thats definetly a good start and will probably solve the problem. I change my plugs around every 9k because it's easy for me to remember and they are cheap. I do the fuel filter at the same time, which probably wouldn't be a bad idea either.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
did your speedo jump happen while the car stumbled? i just figured out the engine stumbling and speedo jumping only happens when i'm in gear, i can rev the engine freely in neutral. which makes me think it's not the spark plugs
 

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Discussion Starter #5
did your speedo jump happen while the car stumbled? i just figured out the engine stumbling and speedo jumping only happens when i'm in gear, i can rev the engine freely in neutral. which makes me think it's not the spark plugs
 

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sounds like ignition issues, other thing it could be is a loose battery cable if the gauges are going up and down...check both where it attaches to the battery and also the grounds and whatnot because foci have a lot of issues with the battery cables lol...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i need to stress though it is no other gauges except the speedometer, and it doesn't jump up and down on it's own, it shoots up when i step on the gas and the engine stumbles.

that would rule out electrical issues, right? wouldn't that make it mechanical?
 

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oh ok, I thought it was more than just the speedo. if they were all moving then its a good chance its battery/alternator related. I guess it may be mechanical...the only thing I can think of is that maybe the connection somewhere is loose and the stuttering is triggering the gauges going haywire...see if you can go over a ****ty road and see if it does the same thing to the speedometer. Other than that im fresh out :-\
 

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Discussion Starter #9
cool. thanks for the suggestions. i was hoping this is one of those things that happens all the time and there would be like a how to on focushacks or something lol
 

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my car had similar symptoms and it turned out to be the fuel pick-up was too low. this was a recall that my car never made it to before I owned it. I only had about 70,000 miles on my car at the time. It ran great but randomly started to stall and buck very badly. I don't recall what the speedometer did as I had to make sure that no one would hit me while I was getting the car started again! I would check wether your car had the fuel pick up replaced
for the racall. Hope you figure out the problem before it gets dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
was that separate from the fuel pump issues? i just limped it to my mechanic, when i went to work today it wasn't even doing what i described before, today it had like zero power, it sounded kinda like a two stroke how they go bup-bup-bup-bup, and the check engine light started flashing, and curiously, the dummy temp gauge never got up to the middle point like is normal, it stayed at like 10 o'clock. oh and i smelled gas. god dammit lol
 

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... 1st off... 108k on plugs, wires, and pcv??? c'mon... basic car care... if i was your car... i'd be pissed too.. lol:p

first off... i'd start w/ a GOOD tune up.. new plugs.. wires.. pcv.. fuel filter.. air filter... possibly a coil pack...

the fuel smell is most likely the unburnt fuel in the cylinders from the hellacious missfiring.... which would also explain the sound... and most misfiring problems that are ignition based tend to happen under load... unless you have complete failure of an ignition part such as a failed coil or wires cross-arcing... and its not gonna reach full temp if half the cylinders arnt firing... SO TUNE UP UR CAR!!!! geeze ;) replace that t-stat housing while ur at it... its simple.. and wont add too much to the cost of the repair.

as for the speedo... well.. when the engine is running like that.. all kinds of wierd things can happen.. so get the listed above items taken care of... and see if it continues... if it does.. start w/ the grounds like many have mentioned....

kinda sucks it had to go to the mech... what would have costed less then $100 at the parts house and an hour or two... may end up costing out the ass.. and a few days without your car...

good luck
-AcId-
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah so as it turns out the #1 cylinder wasn't firing cuz of pretty much what you said, so they are replacing plugs, wires, fuel filter, and MY ****ING VALVE COVER GASKET IS LEAKING AGAIN EVEN AFTER THE FORD DEALER FIXED IT 9 MONTHS AGO.

So I pondered just having them do everything but plugs and wires but then i just said screw it and let them do it all.

I am, however, replacing my PCV valve with my next paycheck. I'm good with oil changes but I'm so disgusted by this car anymore that being proactive about other maintenance doesn't happen too often, and boy I sure learned my lesson
 

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Jared said:
cool. thanks for the suggestions. i was hoping this is one of those things that happens all the time and there would be like a how to on focushacks or something lol
Mine is doing the same thing to an extent. On my car, it's the VSS. It's loose or toast or something. Loose connection makes the car think it's going over the speed limiter temporarily, causing the bucking.

I'm using an SCT program now that has no speed limiter and it fixed it, but I still plan on tracking down the Vehicle Speed Sensor issue when it gets nicer out.

Oh yah, And I'm at 130k on the OEM timing belt. And I need new engine mounts. Ugh.
 

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Jared said:
I am, however, replacing my PCV valve with my next paycheck. I'm good with oil changes but I'm so disgusted by this car anymore that being proactive about other maintenance doesn't happen too often, and boy I sure learned my lesson
You do know where the PCV valve is, right? If you do, you can simply go to your local auto parts store, shell out less than $10 for the part, and do it yourself in about 5 minutes or so.

Jeez, I hope this doesn't come across as sounding like I am being a jerk. I'm just trying to encourage you to try to do the routine maintenance yourself and save that hard-earned money for something that you can't fix yourself.
 

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ax0n, LMAO. You didn't have enough power as an admin?

Oh yeah, PCV valve is best done from under the car, I changed it from the top 3 times burning the **** out of my hand on the exhaust until I figured it out while I was pulling the exhaust.
 

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That one was just me not paying attention....and s
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I know this is pretty much a dead issue...but I wanted to throw this in here for anyone that may read it looking for advice.

One other thing to look at with the Zetec is on the back of the intake manifold, the 1/2" ish sized vacuum line that is on the back that runs to the PCV valve gets really soft and ends up sucking shut while you are driving...also causing problems similar to what you mentioned. I'm sure its just one of the number of things that need replaced on your totally neglected car. :lol:

The hose is clamped on with a crimped clamp that is a real pain to get off, but when I replaced mine I just cut the clamp, and used a regular hose clamp to re-install the hose. Just something to look at for all of you with Zetecs. I started having problems with mine around 75,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You know what's weird, lately (even after I fixed all that ****) the car occasionally bucks, but in a different way from before, when I shift and give it some gas. But it's only in like 2nd and third gear, and it's so quick it makes me wonder if I accidentally just stepped on the gas too fast with my work boots, but then I realize it wasn't me.

So thanks, I think I'll check this out.

For the record, I attempted to change my PCV valve around 80,000 miles, but when I went to the parts counter at the dealership, the guy said he needs me to take it off and read him the part number cuz there are two different models of PCV valve for the Zetec, and I was like "um can't you tell by my VIN?" and he said no, so that sort of discouraged me until I forgot about it.

So if that's something I can just go to the auto parts store and there's only one part#, then hell I'll do that this weekend lol
 

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you should look into replacing your throttle position sensor (TPS) then...thats what it sounds like to me.
 

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2000 ZX3, 5 speed, leaky thermostat, 108,000 miles and never changed spark plugs or PCV valve, ever. Clutch replaced at about 100k miles.

At first I wondered if I would be buying my 4th fuel pump, but it's in a straight line at any speed, if I give it more than 1/4 throttle it will buck or jump, and the speedometer will jump up about 15mph, although once today I was going 25 and it flicked up to 70mph.

Any ideas?
Mine was doing the same thing it was the speedo cluster
 
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