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It gets a bad wrap

25791 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Jimmy
The poor, poor SPI gets a bad wrap for its well known issue (valve seat failure).

i wanted to get a few things straight though, SPI stands for "split port induction" NOT "split port injection"! big difference. "The 2.0 L was introduced in the 1997 Escort (North American) sedan and wagon as SPI2000 (Split Port Induction). It now used split port induction (A type of VVT system)"- wikipedia, it has nothing to do with fuel injection.

I know that the SPI is a finicky little engine and if you don't take care of it or follow the service interval, you will pay.

"Despite its considerable shortcomings in terms of Noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) and its intolerance of poor or neglected servicing, the CVH was regarded as being a very easy engine to tune, with many of its key components being considerably over-engineered." -wikipedia

"The CVH was notorious for turning its lubricating oil to sludge prematurely if the service schedule was skipped. This tended to cause top end oil starvation & the tortured mechanical noises these engines were known for. Timing belts frequently failed about 60,000–90,000 mi" -wikipedia

"Throughout its 20-year production life, the CVH had a reputation for being almost painfully coarse and noisy at high RPM (CVH, said some pundits, was an acronym for considerable vibration and harshness, other epithets include Clattery Vapid & Harsh ). Jeremy Clarkson famously said of the CVH-powered Escort that "it was powered by engines so rough, even Moulinex wouldn't use them". -wikipedia

like any other engine, if you take care of it, it should take care of you.

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I bought mine new on the lot Nov 2001 (2002 SE). Over the next 140k miles, I replaced the battery and fuel pump twice each, spark plugs/wires once. I bought a timing belt around 90k, but it was still in the box of random parts (non cruise steering wheel, old turn signals, radio, etc) when I sold it in Mar 2012. The only engine work it ever needed was about a week before I sold it, when #3 spark plug threads needed a helicoil. I guess I overtorqued it when I replaced the plugs.

It was a damn good car, and I actually looked at the '12 Focus when I was shopping to replace it. Unfortunately for Ford, a reasonably-equipped model had an MSRP about $1500 more than what I paid for a brand new Wrangler, which has a lot more utility for me, though I pay for it at the pump.

Not once did I regret getting an SPI instead of a Zetec. It seemed to take several years before the SPI's problems surfaced, while the Zetec forum/Team Tech were always full of people having sh***y mechanical issues.
That's pretty damn impressive. Out of curiosity, do you have a ballpark figure of how much you invested in that?
That's actually quite a bit less than I expected. Nice work.
There's something to be said for originality of a project, too. I'd rather build something unique than show up to a show with an engine identical to everyone else there, which is what you get at many import shows. I'd rather mod an SPI just for the hell of it than a Zetec.
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