From Mechanical Database
The 2.0L Zetec found in the Escort ZX2 is of a non-interference design, meaning in the event of the engine skipping time or the belt breaking no engine damage will occur. According to most shop manuals the timing belt and pulleys should be changed at 65,000 mile intervals. It would be wise to replace the tensioner, idler pulleys, and a new valve cover gasket when replacing the timing belt.
- Disconnect the VCT oil control solenoid electrical connector and disconnect the air cleaner to valve cover emissions tube.
- If you working on an early model ZX2 that has the spark plug cover remove it to gain access to the spark plug wires and spark plugs.
- Remove the throttle cable and also the speed control cable if so equipped from the throttle body and brackets and place them out of the way.
- Remove the upper timing belt cover (3 bolts) and the valve cover (10 bolts).
- Loosen the water pump pulley bolts (4) with an 10mm wrench.
- Remove the accessory drive or serpentine belt and remove the water pump pulley.
- Remove the middle timing cover (3 bolts).
- Using a ratchet and a 19mm socket rotate the engine until approximate TDC so that the camshaft alignment timing tool (No. T94P-6256-CH) or a 5mm thick piece of flat stock or angle iron can be used inserted into the notches in back of both the intake and exhaust cam.
- Loosen the timing belt tensioner pulley using a 10mm wrench.
- Remove the crankshaft pulley and the lower timing belt cover (2 bolts).
- Remove the timing belt, tensioner and idler pulleys and discard.
- Remove the No 1 spark plug and place a screw driver into the spark plug hole. Slowly rotate the engine clockwise until the screwdriver stops traveling upward. If the screw driver starts to move downward then you have rotated the engine too far.
- Once the engine is at TDC a marker can be used to scribe a mark on the crank gear and the oil pump housing as a quick check reference. Personally i took a center punch and marked my oil pump with a dimple that lines up with the keyway in the crankshaft. This provides a set of lower timing marks for future maintenance.
- Install the Timing belt, tensioner and idler pulleys paying attention to make sure the tensioner pulley alignment tab engages the square hole in the backing plate.
- Using a 6mm Allen wrench, adjust the tensioner until the index marks are aligned and tighten the bolt to 17-20 ft. lbs. (22-28 Nm).
- Note at this time it is always good to check the to see if all the slack is out of the belt and that the crank gear is still at the TDC mark.Remove the steel locking the cams and rotate the engine to check belt tension and verify proper timing. Once the engine is back to No 1 TDC reinsert the steel to lock the cams and check the marks you made at the crank gear.
- Reinstall the lower timing cover and bolts (61 in-lbs).
- Reinstall the middle timing cover and (3) bolts (120 in-lbs).
- Reinstall the crankshaft pulley and (1) bolt (81-89 ft-lbs).
- Reinstall the water pump 4 bolts.
- Reinstall the accessory or serpentine drive belt.
- Replace the valve cover gasket and reinstall the valve cover and (10) bolts (70 in-lbs).
- Reinstall the upper timing cover and (3) bolts (61 in-lbs)
- Reinstall and attach the throttle cables, also the cruise control cable, to the throttle body and brackets.
- Reinstall the spark plug wires and reconnect the VCT oil control solenoid electrical connector.
- Ford ZX2 cylinder head replacement for more in depth information about removal and installation of camshafts & etc.
- Ford ZX2 timing belt replacement walkthrough offers more in depth explanation of this procedure, from first hand experience, with photos.
- Ford ZX2 specifications for proper torque settings.
- Ford Escort & ZX2 section for the entire index of all Ford Escort and ZX2 related articles.