Smoky Mondeo

Hi all,
My uncle has a K-reg Mondeo 1.8 saloon. Gradually it has been losing power. We had a look at the air filter to see if it was blocked, but it was clean.
All I know is that when driving along, you can put your foot down and it really doesn't want to climb above 2500 revs. There's no power at all. It's a similar feeling to when a clutch is on it's last legs.
With the bonnet open, and revving hard in neutral, a little white smoke seems to be coming from the black plastic box on top of the engine (plenum chamber, whatever that is). Although of course it could be coming from below there. It also sounds really harsh (I don't know if this is par for the course;).
Any ideas?
A
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I had a Mazda MX6 with a very similar problem, I call that little box "the garbage can" and it had cracked on the Mazda.. and was letting air in, which was leaning the mixture too much, and it had no power.. remove that box, and check for cracks.. it's likely cracked, in which case replace it (dont try duct tape.... it wont hold against the high pressures.. trust me. heh)
Chuck Burns
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Can you provide more details? Like is the exhaust gasses smoky (like burning oil)? Or sweet?
Something tells me that it needs new rings and bearings and other parts or perhaps the cylinder head needs to be refurbished.
Jeff

power.
clean.
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power.
clean.
Can you provide some more details, like how its starts and runs, is the idle smooth, any other recent problems that could be connected..?
Does sound abit like a blocked exhuast to me though... Give the cat a tap- does it sound hollow? If yes, its broken up...
Tim..
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