97 escort runs horrible

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by 1997escort, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Hello all,
    I have a 97 escort,5speed.lately I've been having issues with the vehicle. It stayed running horribly while driving. If you try to accelerate fast or give it alot of throttle it starts sputtering and choking out. I've replaced the plugs, wires, ignition coil and cleaned the maf sensor. Any idea or suggestions?

    Thanks
    Adam
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    How does it run at an idle, and at a steady speed on level ground? And how many miles are on it?
  3. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Idle runs a little rough.doesn't matter what tyou of terrain I'm driving on flat,hilly,etc. It starts to sputter when you accurate fast or give it more throttle. Car has 162k.I'm the second owner.first was my grandfather.
  4. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Forgot to mention I replaced the fuel cap,had the codes ran a week ago before I replaced any parts and it had an evap code and o2 code. O2 code has been there awhile due to the exhaust missing a piece of it.
  5. Swift

    Swift FEOA Donator

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    Is the o2 hooked up? What "piece" is missing of exhaust?
  6. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Far as I know the o2 sensor is hooked up. The piece right after the manifold under the car.it's been misisng/had a hole for quite some time.I was going to drive it today and get the codes pulled after work but when I started it it was running horrible so I took my truck into work.
  7. pcordes1979

    pcordes1979 FEOA Member

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    It wouldn't hurt to check the fuel pressure, as if the pump is going bad it may be able to supply enough fuel to start the car but not drive it.

    Be sure to get a fuel pressure gauge that has the Ford schrader valve adapter, as the fitting is smaller than the standard "bike valve" sized fitting.
  8. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Where would I find said fitting and gauge and where would I locate line on the car to hook it to?
  9. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    Have you checked for vacuum leaks?
  10. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    No I haven't.only thing I've replaced or checked is above.
  11. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    how old is the air and fuel filter? when was the last time the timing belt was replaced?
  12. pcordes1979

    pcordes1979 FEOA Member

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    Good catch pextor on the fuel filter suggestion, I forgot to mention that in my reply. I had a similar issue on the 93 Cavalier I used to have, could get up to 45MPH or so before it would run out of steam and go no quicker though no problems running otherwise. Replacing the fuel filter fixed that.

    As far as the schrader valve it is on the passenger side of a fuel rail, should have a black plastic screw off cap on it. The gauge itself any parts store should have it and maybe able to get one as a loaner if you don't want to buy one, but again make sure it has the adapter with it as I have not found them to be easily available separately.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  13. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Air filter is good fuel filter.not so sure.I tried replacing it as well but couldn't get the bottom fuel line off so I put it all back together before damaging the fuel line itself and causing a bigger issue.
  14. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    The fuel filter connectors have a plastic clip that has to be removed before you pull off the connector with no effort at all. The clips are brittle and will break, but the Motorcraft fuel filter has replacement clips included. Don't attempt to pry off the connector without removing the clip first.
  15. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    With mine, after the clips were pulled out, I still had to use some force (by hand) to get the connectors off. I installed the new clips, and then shoved the connectors back into place. i wanted to feel that sort of 'click'.
  16. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    I removed both clips on the filter.top one came off after some elbow grease couldn't get bottom off.I dropped the car off at my mechanic.no sense in throwing more parts at it. While he's got it I'm going to have him fix the exhaust and replace the fuel filter.
  17. Adamprince2

    Adamprince2 FEOA Member

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    If you had watched the video I posted on Wednesday along with the comments on youtube you would know that a gas cap can NEVER cause an evap code on a 1997 Ford Escort.

    The 1997 Escort with its Evaporative Emissions Purge Flow System CANNOT detect a leak between the purge valve solenoid and the gas tank/gas cap. Therefore, it will not generate a code. The Purge Flow Sensor varies voltage based on how much gas flows past it. If there is a leak between the purge valve solenoid and the gas tank/gas cap it will not cause flow when the purge valve solenoid is closed. Hence it will not be detected. It can detect a blockage though, if the solenoid is open and the sensor detects no/limited gas flow. That is unrelated to the gas cap though.

    So in summary, a sealed gas cap it part of a properly function evap system on the 1997 Escort, but cannot generate an evap code.

    The 1997 can ONLY detect a leak between the solenoid and the intake manifold.

    Additionally, if you watched the video you would know exactly how to solve you evap codes... that was a whole point of me posting it...
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  18. Adamprince2

    Adamprince2 FEOA Member

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    As far as your exhaust is concerned the major leak spots are the catalytic converter, the flexible coupling (the thing covered with wire mesh) and of course general rust (the muffler seems especially susceptible). The catalytic converter cracks just below the flange where is connects with the exhaust manifold. I have an unposted video on how to fix it. If there was interest I would post it. (it's short)
  19. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Adam I didn't see your video.I will go back and give it a look. The muffler is newer I replaced it a year or two ago.but yes the catalytic converter is what's missing.
  20. 1997escort

    1997escort FEOA Member

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    Well got the car back friday.new fuel filter was clogged and the hose to the pcv valve was collapsed.ran great home.parked it until last night when I went to get gas for the week and the clutch pedal is sticking to the floor again. The slave cylinder has been replaced twice in two years and the clutch master cylinder was replaced once in that time.

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