Hello guys, my 1998 Ford Escort SE SPI 2000 automatic wont idle. I went to the gas station yesterday and forgot my wallet. On my way back the car started to idle very roughly but was still running. In the middle of the turn onto my street the engine died. I rolled to a stop and went to restart it. It did not want to start. I gave it some gas and got it going and pulled into my yard. The engine will barely start when you crank it over and maybe fire a couple of times. If you give it a slight bit of throttle it will run. It runs much better at higher RPM's but you can tell something is not right. If you let off and let it return to idle it will run really rough for a few seconds and die. What I mean by running rough is the whole car is shaking and the engine is practically bouncing. When you give the throttle a slight blip (not flooring it, but maybe a 500-100o RPM jump quickly) I get this nasty mechanical sound like it is knocking or something but as soon as the RPM stabilizes that sound goes away. There is no check engine light. In March I did an oil change, oil filter, upper and lower radiator hose, water pump, 2 gallons of coolant, timing belt, timing belt auto-tensioner, spark plugs, spark plug wires, coil pack, and heater hose plus the little intake preheat hose off of the heater hose. So all of these parts only have about 3000 miles on them so far. The coolant level is normal and the color is correct. The oil is full and pretty clean for 3000 miles. There are no fluids coming out of the exhaust. Spark plugs from Cylinders 1-3 are clean and still white. The spark plug from cylinder 4 appears to be pretty brown. There is no damage to any of the spark plugs. I pulled the idle air control valve and and cleaned it out and sprayed a little bit of silicone lubricant into it. Nothing changed. I will be taking the timing cover off next and checking the timing marks to see if it jumped a tooth. I am hoping this is not the dreaded valve seat drop. I got this car at 252,xxx miles from my friend's auto shop. It was in for a dropped valve seat and the shop ended up getting it and fixing it up. The car currently has 319,xxx miles on it. I have put 67,xxx miles on it with very few problems. I smogged it last year, and it blew perfect numbers. On one test the limit was 110 PPM and the California average was 17 PPM, my Escort blew 1 PPM. If anyone has any ideas, or things I should start checking please let me know. I have some time to fix it but once college starts up again in about a month and a half I will be screwed without a car. The cheaper the tests I can run the better. I am not mechanically shy. If it needs the head pulled after I have exhausted all other tests and inspections I will gladly pull the head. I don't have a lot of tools, but I can get a hold of others if they are not too exotic. Thank you.