Need Advice on a zx2....


brownbear360
06-23-2009, 01:30 AM
I have a 2003. and enjoy it everyday.... but there are a few problems with it. there was lack of upkeep with the previous owner, oil changes haven't been done at regular intervals. id say the last one was about 25,000 miles ago. i checked it and there was oil by the gasket and when i popped the sparkplugs there was oil in there too.from what i read here i have to change the gasket.I was wondering if there is a particular order to taking off the bolts on the cover.Also sometimes when it goes from first to second the clutch grinds a little bit.Whats up with that? there is also a noise coming from what i thought was the pulley but from reading here i believe it to be the pcv valve or the canister... since i have to change the gasket, i'm also doing the tune up. i was wondering what else do you recomend, i change or look at while i'm doing it. Also the trunk open button won't work. i looked at the fuses but the were good. I really like the car and want to keep it. Any advice is welcomed....

Davescort97
06-23-2009, 09:54 AM
Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like the zx2 needs a little attention. There is no pattern to loosen the bolts on the valve cover. It's a good idea, though, to start in the center and work your way to the outside. The same is true for tightening the bolts. You're changing the plugs and oil. Put on a new oil filter.

The clutch may be low on fluid. It shares it's brake fluid with the brake master cylinder reservoir. Check the brake fluid on that. There may be some air in the clutch which could be bled out at the clutch slave cylinder. However, it would probably grind in all gears if this was the case. It could be a bad synchronizer on 1st gear. Double clutch it to see if it goes away. If it does it's the synchronizer. Rather than pull the tranny to replace the sychro I would just double clutch from 1st to 2nd. Sometimes if you hesitate in neutral the engine speed will match up to the tranny speed.

While doing a tuneup I would change the air, fuel filter and the PCV valve. If you have over 75k miles on the ignition wires I would replace them, also. Given the service history (none) I would replace the antifreeze. It gets corrosive after a while and will eat through a head gasket.

Belts--replace the accessory belt and the timing belt. If the timing belt breaks the engine will stop, but there won't be any damage because your engine is a non-interference, ie. the valves won't go through the tops of the pistons. The timing belt should be good for about 90k miles. If you think it has more miles on it than this, change it. If it does break the worst scenario will be having it towed to the garage.

Hoses last forever on Escorts. Check them and if they are soft or expanded around the necks change them. I didn't change mine until 180k when I replaced the head.

If the battery is older than 5 years replace it. Otherwise, clean and tighten the terminals. Make up a paste of baking soda and water. Neutralize the acid on the terminals and rinse with water. Even though it is a maintenance free battery you could pry the cell caps off with a slot screwdriver and fill the cells with water to the bottom of the slots.

If you do all of the above maintenance you should be good to go another 100k.

On the trunk button, have someone operate it while you listen to the latch back there. If you can hear the solenoid release the problem is an adjustment of the latching mechanism. If you can't hear anything it is either the fuse, switch or solenoid. ~Dave~

brownbear360
12-18-2009, 12:35 PM
My apologies for taking this long to check back in, had some computer issues (lack of one). Thank you for your advice, it was really helpful. I changed the PCV valve and the noise stopped :biggrin:. I changed the battery, did the tune up and have kept them up regularly. The trunk is working again also. i now have other problems with it but i will post another thread on them. thanks.

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