Code 1381 VCT Problem 98 Ford ztec 16V DOC w/air

Tiny
BIKER MAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 114,000 MILES
Bought the car used @ 114K. Seller said all was fine LOL. 4 months later started out replacing serpentine belt that came of. Removed all engine covers & splash guard, ended up replacing leaking water port gasket on engine block, idler pulley on middle engine cover, water pump. Then while I was at it I replaced timing belt after 114K (not broken), tensioner, new plugs.
The problem as referenced is the 1381 code scanned by auto zone. I researched the timing belt replacement procedure as best I before timing belt replacement. Aligned crank key slot @ slightly ahead of 12 o'clock to compensate for engine tilt. Prior to this I Rotated engine w/crank bolt to place a straight bar between cam ends to align them w/ TDC (w/out loosening exhaust pulley). Checked TDC w/screw driver on #1 as well. Replaced new tensioner, installed belt from crank clockwise keeping tension on belt then around cams. Rotated engine twice & checked timing. It was still on marks and w/flat bar. Never touched cam pulleys. Reinstalled valve cover, plugged VCT sensor back in & buttoned everything up.
Car runs like a scared rabbit but idles rough to almost shut off. During the process I did remove & reinstall the oil filter (still full) to access a bolt in the back but never touched the VCT other than to unplug & re-plug the sensor plug.
I have researched many articles on this code but I am @ a loss as what to try 1st. I will recheck the timing marks to eliminate a skipped belt. I don 't have a break out 104 pin box or any other fancy electrical devices. Please advise process of elimination. My 44. Mag is aimed @ the engine
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Saturday, October 18th, 2014 AT 8:37 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
There is no 2.2 engine available for that year escort. Is it a DOHC or SOHC? What is the 8th digit of the VIN#?
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Saturday, October 18th, 2014 AT 11:09 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
OK, I can see from your title that you must have the 2.0 DOHC.

The code refers to a problem with the VCT solenoid.
This engine has no timing marks so how did you go about timing it?
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Saturday, October 18th, 2014 AT 11:13 AM
Tiny
BIKER MAN
  • MEMBER
OK typo on the 2.2. Its a 2.0 & if you read the subject line you would see its a DOC. Timing marks refer to the link I found on line stating that the keyed slot on the crank points toward the top of the engine when in TDC or 180 degrees out( plus the screwdriver in # 1 cylinder with the piston @TDC) as well as the flat bar in the rear cam slots are what I was referring to as per my 7th sentence. I also mentions "cams" as in plural. I have followed the instructions for timing belt replacement from those kind enough to provide a step by step procedure on line.
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Saturday, October 18th, 2014 AT 1:40 PM
Tiny
BIKER MAN
  • MEMBER
My initial question discussed the code & what it is. I need to know how to determine what to try with the VCT. R & R or what. Oil is new & clean. Changed by tread quarters. Not sure about filter type. These are some of the possibilities shown on the code sheet when printed out. There are a few more. I'm hoping I do not have to replace the VCT.
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Saturday, October 18th, 2014 AT 1:46 PM
Tiny
BIKER MAN
  • MEMBER
8th digit of the Vin # on the 98 escort is "3"
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Saturday, October 18th, 2014 AT 1:48 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
I don't know what information you were given on timing this engine but there is a very specific procedure that requires some special tools. The VCT has to be centered and it surely doesn't sound like you have done that. The instructions are a couple pages long so they can't be posted here but if you look up TSB # 99-25-4, it gives you the instructions.
You also need to check the electrical connector at the solenoid and make sure the pins didn't get damaged.

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/paynlessauto/2009-09-19_044414_timing.pdf
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Saturday, October 18th, 2014 AT 2:19 PM

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