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2011 1.6 Focus - Servicing


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Hi, new forum member here with some questions about servicing. 

My friend has just bought a 1.6 Focus - it's a 2011 petrol estate with the 1596cc engine. It has a good service history but hasn't been serviced for about 20,000 miles and is currently on 110,000 miles. It runs well, but clearly needs a service

I've offered to service it for him as I have a garage and tools but don't know much about Fords as I've never worked on one before. Hence this post! 

- I commonly buy car parts from Autodoc as they are a lot cheaper than buying parts from main dealers of other brands. Does this apply also to Ford parts? For reference, a Bosch oil filter seems to be about £5.50 and air filter about £9.00 from Autodoc. 

- What specification oil does the engine need? 5w30 fully-synth seems to be popular but what is the required Ford specification? 

- I understand that it has a cambelt and don't think that it's ever been changed, so that'll be on the jobs list. Belt kits (belt and idler pulley) seem to be around the £50 mark. Are there any brands to avoid? I'd instinctively look at Gates and Ruvelle - are they any good? 

- Are there any on-line guides to changing the cam belt? Any special tools needed? Anything to watch out for? 

They guy doesn't have money to spare (who does?) but I know that cheap parts are a false economy. All suggestions on what to buy to do the job are welcome! 



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2 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

Is it the 1.6 Ti-VCT or the 1.6 EcoBoost?

If it's an Ecoboost then it should be preserved at all costs, very few make it to 100,000 miles in the UK 😉

I'm going to guess the Ti-VCT but either way the OP says he knows nothing about Ford engines so I think replacing the timing belt may prove to be an experience for him.

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I have done a few timing belts but not on those engines.  Very easy for it to turn into a disaster because the pulleys do not have woodruff keys to locate them on crankshaft and camshafts. If they move when doing the bolts up it does not end well. I really wouldn’t want to be doing it on a friends car for the first time. 

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11 hours ago, zcacogp said:

My friend has just bought a 1.6 Focus - it's a 2011 petrol estate with the 1596cc engine.

What specification oil does the engine need? 5w30 fully-synth seems to be popular but what is the required Ford specification?

The copy of the Ford Focus Haynes manual I have covers 2005-2011 models, specifically 54-61 registrations. If your friend's 2011 happens to be covered by that, then it states: "Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 5W/30 to Ford specification WSS-M2C913-B". It lists capacity for a 1.6L engine as 4.1L.


I understand that it has a cambelt and don't think that it's ever been changed, so that'll be on the jobs list. Belt kits (belt and idler pulley) seem to be around the £50 mark. Are there any brands to avoid? I'd instinctively look at Gates and Ruvelle - are they any good?

Indeed, certainly if it's a 54-61 registration (those covered by my Haynes manual), then the 1.6L has a timing (cam) belt rather than chain and it needs replacing every so often. The Ford replacement interval for the timing belt and tensioner, according to the Haynes manual, is 100,000 miles or 8 years, so I'd agree that getting that changed is high priority. Severe engine damage could result if it were to snap and it's well past the interval.

It's typically a good idea to replace the water pump at the same time, since these wear out too and you have to remove the timing belt to get to it.

I don't know Ruvelle. I have a perception that Gates may be okay. My understanding from when I did my own timing belt for the first time some months ago was that Dayco and Continental (I think) were the top brands to look at for timing belts. Personally I went with Dayco, which I'd recommend. The original factory belt itself I discovered was a Dayco.

About £50 seems right. I've got an '08 reg 1.6L Non-Ti-VCT +AC model; I don't know if it'll be the same for your friend's, but for mine the compatible Dayco products were the KTB461 timing belt kit and DP245 water pump. I bought them from trodo (https://www.trodo.com/) for £58.45 total last November, and despite coming from Latvia this was the cheapest I could find them (though I recall making some complaint about postage and they gave me it free for the first purchase). Note that getting the kit that includes the water pump is not always the same cost as getting the water pump as a separate item; at the time I got mine, separate items proved cheaper.


Are there any on-line guides to changing the cam belt?

Personally when I did mine I started with reading the Haynes manual, which I found to be a very good starting point but far from perfect, and then supplemented it with a whole bunch of youtube videos. Sorry but I've not kept ahold of the specific video links and I'm not sure it would be easy to remember which were the good ones.


Any special tools needed?

Most definitely! Precisely what is needed will depend upon the specific model of the car though.

  • You'll need the right "timing pin" (crankshaft timing setup) and also a "timing bar" (camshaft alignment). I got mine in a US-Pro kit 3292 from eBay, but you may need to be looking at a more expensive option that includes the 'X' shaped tool mentioned next, depending upon the precise model of the car. FYI you don't really need the little "triangle pin" thing the kits come with, a 4mm drill bit would do instead.
  • If it's a Ti-VCT model then you'd need a big 'X' shaped tool (code 303-1097) to align the Ti-VCT units, whereas for my non-Ti-VCT model this wasn't applicable.
  • You'll need a tool to lock the flywheel in place. For the 1.4 and 1.6L models covered by my Haynes manual this is ford codes 303-393 + 303-393-02 (there are three differently sized bars that fit into the plate). I got a Sealey kit (VSE5945) "cheaply" on eBay for something like £25. Note that you'll need two nuts (M10 I think) to secure it in place with the starter motor bolts, which the Sealey kit does not come with. If you were local I might've considered loaning you my timing specific tools for a few quid; shame you're so far away 😞
  • For Ti-VCT, assuming my Haynes manual applies to your friend's 2011, it looks like you'll need a torx bit to undo the Ti-VCT units on the camshaft sprockets, and possibly a hex bit for the blanking plugs. I don't know what sizes as the book doesn't specify such details unfortunately.
  • You'll need a torx bit for the bolts holding the wheel arch liner in place, if your friend's model uses torx bolts like mine. I think it's size T27 or T30.
  • If you remove the alternator as discussed below, you'll need an e-torx socket for one of the studs. You may also want one for the studs used for those connecting the two engine mount pieces together, should they happen to come loose when undoing the nuts.
  • If you remove the intake manifold, as discussed below, you'll need a torx bit for removing the throttle body.
  • You'll want a counterhold tool for when working with the crankshaft pulley. I made my own, as suggested in the Haynes manual, using, from rough measurement, a 4mm thick bar of steel from B&Q and some 8.8 grade M8 nuts and bolts. It held up perfectly to the rather strong forces I was applying to break the old bolt and tighten the new one with manual tools (no impact gun here). FWIW I was worried about whether or not my breaker bar (1/2" sealey AK730) was up to the challenge, but it performed perfectly.
  • You may need a pulley puller to get the crankshaft pulley off. Personally mine just came off by hand without any trouble. I remember in one of the youtube videos one being a bit stuck but use of a bit of WD40 was enough.
  • You may need an angle tightening gauge for the torque+angle tightening cases, though when I did my timing belt the angles were easy enough to do by eye.
  • You may find "crow feet" useful. I found that undoing and refitting the timing pin hole blanking plug was troublesome due to lack of enough room for fitting my socket and driver between it and the axle behind it. Having crow feet would have been a good solution, but I had to do without (my Milwaukee sockets have flat sides so I used a spanner with them, and had to forgo torquing it).

Otherwise just the common basics - sockets, drivers, torque wrenches, etc, unless I'm forgetting something or overlooking something having not really read the Ti-VCT side of the instructions fully.


Anything to watch out for?

Plenty. The following all applied to my experience with my 1.6L model, and some or all may apply to your friend's (depending upon the precise model).

  • The crankshaft pulley, the timing belt cog, and the camshaft sprockets are all "free floating", i.e. there are no keyways at all to ensure things are aligned correctly for correct timing. As soon as you loosen the bolts things are free to move and fall out of sync. Great care is needed, following instructions very carefully, to ensure that you get the timing set up correctly upon reassembly. When I did this job for myself this was a huge source of anxiety, especially considering that I've yet to ever even change my own engine oil - talk about jumping into the deep end! - but i pulled it off successfully despite my lack of experience, through very careful research and study of the procedures.
  • Tip: Do NOT try using the common trick of breaking the crankshaft pulley bolt loose by wedging a breaker bar against the ground and turning over the engine. Due to the "interference" engine design and lack of keyways, if you do this you take great risk of the pistons and valves slamming into each other resulting in major engine damage. Mine broke free with just a breaker bar (and a lot of strength); if you can't break it loose with just a breaker bar, and if WD40 doesn't help, you must turn to an impact driver, never that old trick.
  • Tip: pay very careful attention to when and when not each timing tool should be in place. I recall seeing a video where someone had their timing bar in place at the wrong time (and possibly was otherwise not following correct procedure), and the torque they applied to the crankshaft caused a chunk of camshaft to violently break off.
  • The auxiliary belt (the main one and the AC one if fitted) are stretch-fit, meaning there's no tensioner with which to aid removal and refitting, you need a special tool. Personally I chose to save costs when I did mine by doing without said tool. When it came to dealing with the AC belt I was able to largely get by through just pushing/pulling on the belt laterally whilst turning the crankshaft, though when refitting it was misaligned slightly which I solved by letting something slim slide between the belt and pulley, letting it re-align, before the item dropped out the other side. With the main belt I removed the alternator, letting me easily remove the belt, and then to refit I let the act of refitting the alternator stretch the belt, which wasn't easy at all, having to force the alternator sideways with a bar of metal to get the bolts aligned with the holes, and managed to mangle the bolts holes slightly on the first go. I wish in hindsight I'd had a proper tool. Note, if removing the alternator, remember to disconnect the battery first!
  • There is very little clearance between the chassis and the bolts of the water pump pulley (which must be removed to get to one or two of the timing belt cover bolts). Depending upon what tools you have available you may find that you need to raise the engine a couple of inches or so, as I did. Personally, lacking a trolley jack, I achieved this (along with generally supporting the engine with the one mount removed) using a custom wooden jig I roughly put together, combined with a cheap bottle jack.
  • Tip: You need to remove the starter motor in order to fit the flywheel lock tool in place; while it's possible to get the starter motor removed from below, I'm not sure if it would be very easy to fit the lock tool from below. Personally I removed the intake manifold in order to do it from above, which first required removing the fuel rail and also the throttle body (in the way of one intake manifold bolt). Since the fuel rail is high pressure, you need to depressurise it first, which is simple but the instructions in the Haynes manual were wrong in my case - you need to start the engine, then pull the fuel pump fuse second, and then the engine will die from lack of fuel and you're good. Unfortunately when I later came to refit the fuel rail, trying to tighten the two retaining bolts into the plastic intake manifold bolt holes to the right torque spec caused the threads to strip (I don't think it was the torque wrench). I'll spare you at this time the full tale of the nightmare I went through trying to fix that, but suffice to say I'd be wary of trying to meet the "proper" torque spec here.
  • As careful as I was to catch any spilt coolant whilst changing the water pump, I still managed to loose a good portion, requiring a top-up. So be prepared that you may also need to purchase fresh coolant if you do the pump.
  • You'll need to remove the head cover, but the bolt on the back row nearest the battery is a pain. There's a bracket fixed to it with a second bolt a few inches down the back which must be removed in order to get the bracket out of the way, and that second bolt down the back is a right pain to reach.
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Or you might consider this work around.

Have a read at the whole thread.

I have not done it yet but I believe others have.


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12 hours ago, ScaniaPBman said:

Or you might consider this work around.

I'm extremely sceptical of the feasibility of this, in particular to the specific model in question here, as I've just detailed in a response on that thread. Unless it can be demonstrated to actually work, it's important to highlight that this is merely hypothetical.

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  • 1 month later...


It's been a while and sorry for not posting here. I've now done the job and all your comments were very welcome indeed, thank you. Particular thanks to rd457 for his very comprehensive write-up and to ScaniaPBMan for his suggested workaround. 

rd457, your post was most useful. I agree with all you said. I bought the slightly more comprehensive specialist toolkit for this type of engine (the one with the X-shaped tool in it) but it turned out that the engine didn't have the variable valve timing so the X-tool wasn't necessary. However the pins, cam alignment plate and flywheel lock were all essential and it made the job a load easier. 

I don't have much to add to your comments other than to say that the job wasn't that hard, but I am perhaps more experienced than most with working on cars. However the engine was entirely unlike any engine I've worked on before (which is almost entirely VAG/Porsche stuff); the free-running sprockets were weird and the stretch belts were possibly even weirder. However they weren't hard to deal with and everything was nice and accessible, and the engine seemed to be in very good nick for something that had done over 110k miles. The only hard bit (although it was really quite hard) was undoing the bolt on the end of the crankshaft as it was CHUFFING tight. My longest (3ft) breaker bar didn't shift it and I shattered an extension when trying it. So I bought a medium-sized rattle gun, which the bolt also laughed at. In desperation I toasted the bolt with a blowtorch and then hit it with the rattle gun and that got it moving (to my huge relief) but I think it was a close run thing. 

The only downside to the job was the tappets; they were rattly before I started so I ran a can of Wynns Hydraulic Tappet cleaner through the oil before changing it, but it made no difference. I've subsequently discovered that the engine has solid tappets so this would have made no difference. The solution to rattly tappets seems to be to remove the existing ones and replace them with slightly thicker ones, but that's a very involved job and one I'm happy to avoid, particularly as it seems that these engines will go for many thousands of miles with slightly noisy top ends. 

If anyone else is considering this job then it's not hard. You'll need the specialist tool kit and something to get the big bolt out (18mm), and if that won't shift then consider applying some heat to help out. 

Thanks again for your help chaps. 

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Well done, I recon you are a 1 in 10.

Most posters don't come back and let us know how they got on with the job we all advised on.

On the removal and fitting of the crank bolt, I seem to remember that VW engines require a bolt on torque multiplier ( aka a gearbox device) to make the job much easier.



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