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Oil Leak

Zetec front crank seal leak

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There has been an annoying leak at the Zetec engine front since day one. A slow leak, but oil gets on the inside of the alternator drive pulley on the crankshaft and sprays around. The alternator looks wet and ugly as a result, even though it is well above the crankshaft.

I found a great video on youtube that shows how to replace the oil pump to crankshaft seal with the engine in the car. The work being shown is on a ZX2 (not Focus) Zetec, but we'll take what we can get, this is possibly better than if done on a Focus :-) If you want to replace your cam belt or the front crankshaft seal (engine in car) take the time to watch the entire 90 minute video. Well worth the time.

The video is by ZX2Fast and has crank pully removal at 11:20, differences in cam idler pulleys at 19:00, oil seal replacement at 46:11, and cam belt install at 59:00. The part numbers for the parts are on the the part number Page, but repeated here. Total cost of these parts in June 2013 from Ford was about $250.

Part Source Description Part Number
FordTiming Belt (cams)F8CZ-6268-AA
FordCam Belt Crankshaft GearF5RZ-6306-AB
FordCam Belt TensionerF8CZ-6K254-AA
FordCam drive belt idlerYS7Z-6M250-BA
FordOil pump/crankshaft sealF5RZ-6700-A

There are two clever tricks on dealing with the crankshaft-front bolt that applied to my situation, both are in the movie. The problem is that one cannot access the flywheel to prevent the engine from turning so:

Trick one

To loosen the front crankshaft bolt, put a breaker bar on the bolt braced on the floor. Just touch the starter, bump the starter once (so to speak), being sure that the coil is not plugged in so the engine cannot start! That will loosen the bolt instantly.

I think this is better than using an impact wrench as I worried the impacts might have an effect on the rod big-end bearings.

Trick two

To tighten that front crankshaft bolt, one has choices. In the film, he uses 2 drops of loctite medium-strength on the crankshaft front bolt and tightens modestly without getting much torque on the bolt. Of course once you apply loctite the squeeze applied is not the same (lubricated threads!) so you do not really know what torque to apply!

An alternate suggested on the teamzx2.com forums was from a manufacturer of an undersize pulley: Use the find-tdc-pin on the left rear of the block (a standard Zetec tool). That pin is not large, but supposedly it is large enough to safely get full 88 ft-lb torque on the pulley bolt. I did this as it seemed likely this is the better alternative.

An impact wrench would work to tighten with no pin and no loctite but I worry about the big-end bearings and my cheap air impact wrench has no torque limiting feature.

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