'98 Sport Hell! | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

'98 Sport Hell!

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by exposeenmity, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. exposeenmity

    exposeenmity New Member

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    What's up everyone? I've known my '98 Sport was doomed for failure eventually and it finally happened. I've owned it for about two years now. It had around 80,000 miles when I got it and it just turned over to 106,000.

    The suspension has been really screwy; sounds and feels like something is loose on the front driver side about where the axle is. My alignment is way off, so I know that doesn't help.

    The main problem though is what happened Sunday night. I was driving back from Dallas, to OKC, and in southern Ok my car started acting funny. It was having acceleration problems and started jerking, kind of moving forward and backward while driving. The engine light came on and was flashing until I turned it off hours later.

    Today, I had some free time and was going to replace the spark plugs and ignition wires. Well, I took everything off and I think I found my problem. Facing the engine, the far left spark plug had a dramatic death. It wasn't difficult to take out, as in the amount of force that it took, but it felt like it had problems with the threads.

    I was able to get it out and holy crap! The thing was as black as could be, covered in black sludge stuff, and the threads near the end were shot. I went ahead and tried to put a new spark plug in, but no dice; the thing would thread in. I think I'm just going to have to buy a new head; anyone have an idea of how much I'm looking at?

    I was thinking of calling some salvage yards. Just really sucks that my baby is in bad shape. Fortunately, this is the first real problem that I've had with it; besides people screwing up my car, which is a different story.

    Edit:

    Forgot I had pics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  2. johnymac009

    johnymac009 Guest

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    well i don't know a price but the same thing hapened to my friend and he got the hole taped like rethreaded he just had to buy a diferent plug for that cylinder lol
  3. 98escort

    98escort Guest

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    eeewww +4 plugs... but If you could you should think about getting it tapped. Not sure how possible it is but it's worth a try.
  4. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    No need to replace the head. Just tap it with the appropriate tap. If you have never done it before, pay someone else to do it or practice at the junkyard first. Replace plugs with OEM sytle double platinums (they are cheap enough).

    And you probably also need new struts, and if they haven't been replaced yet, an O2 sensor and tie rod ends. Also check for vacuum leaks.
  5. jlongoria9

    jlongoria9 Guest

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    ewww.....r those bosch 4+?
  6. coldblooded

    coldblooded FEOA Member

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    Did all of your plugs look like that? If only one looked that bad, you might have had something that chewed it up like that. Either a blown head gasket, or maybe a dropped valve seat. Compare to the others before you bother trying to fix threads etc.
  7. 1Sleepy93

    1Sleepy93 New Member

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    $5 on a dropped valve seat.
  8. jonas1022

    jonas1022 Guest

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    Sorry about your engine 8O . I have 98 Escort Sport as well. approx 110K miles. Still running like its' scared of it's shadow. GLH :D .

    Anyhow, the prescibed repair is to remove the head, and tap from the inside of the head. Keeps the plug from blowing out of the aluminum head as the tapped end is a little wider than the untapped side. So, best conditions, tap from inside the head...remove the head. But if your going to do that, maybe you should see about what the engine needs beyond the plug and tapping repair. Might be cheaper to do a JY head that has a warranty, or replace the engine if it's cheap enough. We did a 5-speed replacement on the ZX2 instead of a rebuild when it grenaded two years and 50K ago. Wound up being about two hundred dollars less. Depends on what you think it's worth to you, obviously. 8)
  9. chubyboy

    chubyboy FEOA Member

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    far left is cyl 1 isnt it?
  10. exposeenmity

    exposeenmity New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies everyone! Sorry I couldn't respond sooner, I'm at work and don't have internet acess at home. I had a shop helicoil the cylinder head and they did a compression test and they got at most 10 lbs out of the 1st cylinder (far left). I've searched many forums and dropped valve seat, also mentioned above I see, sounds like the culprit.

    The plugs were the Bosch 4+ :roll: . Only one of the plugs looked like that. The shop said I need a valve job and it would run about $1000. I'm not going to kid anyone, I'm freaking poor and can barely afford supporting myself; fulltime college student.

    My friend is a genius with cars and rebuilt his moms engine and he offered to work on it with me if I buy parts. We're thinking about doing everything and sending the head to a machinist to seat the valves and stuff. I'm not going to pay $800+ on labor.

    Any suggestions? Getting a new car simply is not an option. The amount that it would cost for me to fix taking it to a shop is 1/3 of what the car cost me. :evil:
  11. 1Sleepy93

    1Sleepy93 New Member

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    Time to replace the motor with one from a junkyard.
  12. coldblooded

    coldblooded FEOA Member

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    ^ what he said. You can get one from a JY for definitely cheaper than any rebuild, and it's a more known quantity, often with a better warranty than a rebuild at a machine shop. Hasn't failed me yet (knocks on wood).

    http://car-part.com
  13. pyro_maniac69

    pyro_maniac69 Guest

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    ya, I would say replace the motor because if that plug looked like that, something more than likly screwed up your piston. getting a motor from a junkyard will cost you abour $200, while a rebuild would cost you about $500
  14. jonas1022

    jonas1022 Guest

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    So did you call any JY's? I bet the price for an engine is less than a head job. Oh, buy the warranty. It's cheap insurance.
  15. exposeenmity

    exposeenmity New Member

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    Hey everyone! It's been a while I know. I've been having a lot things to deal with besides my car; but here's an update:

    And here I thought that I wasn't spending a whole lot on my car; WRONG! Albeit, there is a lot of things that were replaced and worked on that didn't really need it, but better now than later and pay even more.

    If you're curious as to what's been going on with my car, here is a LARGE recap. If you really don't care about details, just skip down now, look at the pictures, and read the total amount spent.

    My brother and I were returning home from seeing a kick ass concert in Dallas on December 3rd; Unmerciful, Dying Fetus, Necrophagist, and Cannibal Corpse! I was driving, naturally, as my brother didn't have a car at the time. Well, we were down in Southern Oklahoma somewhere north of Pauls Valley and my car started acting funny.

    I noticed that while going up a slight incline that the car was loosing speed fast; i.e. not your standard, "Just push the gas more" type of thing. Well, I went ahead and tried the whole, "Just push the gas more" type of thing and the car wouldn't accelerate! WTF?! I smashed the thing to the floor board and it slowly began to speed up. The car did this for awhile; I don't remember exactly how long, but I would say somewhere around 30 minutes.

    Now nearing Noble, I was running out of gas; meaning the low fuel light was on. I'd been watching the fuel gage, but I shit you not every damn gas station we went to was closed. I haven't been that pissed and scared in a long time. What moron decides that gas stations should be closed around 3:00 AM in Southern Oklahoma?!

    Anyway, my car begins to shake, and I mean shake. It was lurching forward and backward while driving, acceleration was basically non-existent, and I'm now practically running on fumes. One the outskirts of Norman, I arrive at a glorious gas station; REJOICE!! I noticed as I slowed down, the shaking got worse. It was slower, but the lurching movement seemed larger. When I came to a stop, the car could barely keep running; I'm shocked it didn't die. The car was over heating at this point, so waited a while to let it cool off.

    I filled up, brother sound asleep in the passenger seat, and headed back to Edmond. I was seriously worried as to whether or not my car was going to make it. I don't know how, but I made it to my parents house. The next day I decided to do a tune-up to see if that would fix things. So, I take off the ignition wires and proceed to take out the spark plugs starting with the 4th cylinder moving my way to the 1st; i.e. right to left. The spark plug on the 1st cylinder's a bitch to get off, so I was saving it for last.

    Well, I got to the 1st one and as soon as I pulled it out, I immediately knew something was wrong. I then started putting new spark plugs in; again, starting from right to left. I arrived at the 1st cylinder and the spark plug wouldn't thread. I took another look at the spark plug that I had pulled out of the 1st cylinder and just about shit myself. What I saw are the pictures of the spark plug farther above.

    Now do you see what I mean when I say that I KNEW something was wrong? Take a look at those threads, those things are MELTED!! I took it to Metric Motors on Broadway and they had to helicoil the socket for the 1st spark plug. The fired it up and it didn't get any better from there. In fact, it went down hill, fast. There were only 10 lbs. of compression in the 1st cylinder. That's right; count all of 'em, 10 whole pounds.

    Metric Motors informed me that I would need a valve job. Through calling many shops, researching online, and posting in forums, I found that my car is prone to dropping valve seats. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it; at the beginning of all this, I didn't either. All I knew was that: if I was lucky the engine was fixable; if I wasn't, the engine was ruined. Well, I didn't have enough money to fix the car, so I had to wait until next semester rolled around and I got my refund check from school. Trish was kind enough to drive me around for a long time.

    So, I come back from visiting my family in Spain for Christmas and tried to decide what to do about my car. Who am I going to call? DREW!! My best friend Drew is, to me anyway, a mechanical genius. He's great with electronics and circuitry, motors, and fixing random gadgets. He even worked on a Top Alcohol drag team for a while and rebuilt the top end of his mom's Acura V8!! To my great fortune, Drew obliged to help me with my car woes.

    Little was I aware of the great endeavor ahead of us. Okay, wait a minute; I should really say, "ahead of Drew" because, honestly, he did most of the work, he had all of the knowledge. I was just an extra set of hands and supplied the funds. Well, we got down to business and removed the cylinder head. No metal shavings present: COOL! That was a great sign. Drew disassembles the cylinder head and even takes it into Jackson's Auto Shop for me! I'm telling you, Drew's a class act guy!

    Getting ready to take the cylinder head off:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The machine shop got the head ready to go. Well, I ordered a ton of parts and soon began to realize the monster forming in my parents driveway. As more parts came off, the more it seemed appropriate to put new parts in to avoid needing to get it done later and paying an arm and a leg for labor. "We're already there so we may as well do it," Drew suggests. I thought it a good idea and practical one; saves me money in the long run and it should be less likely that I have problems with the parts to be replaced.

    Nice, shinney, and new; mostly:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I must say, that I also agreed to do this because I knew jack squat about cars and viewed this as a great learning opportunity. We move forward with taking out the pistons. Pistons were taken out, eventually got cleaned, got new piston rings, and Drew honed the cylinders. New rod bearings were installed, as well as a ton of new gaskets, oxygen sensors, spark plugs, ignition wires, battery, etc.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We worked off and on during the day and during the night. It was mostly done in the cold though. Damn it's hard to work when you can't feel your fingers. In the midst of work, school, relationships, and ordering of parts; we were nearing the end. We had a few hiccups along the way, but the only one that pissed Drew and I off wasn't our fault. We just had to deal with numerous retards at parts stores that couldn't tell the difference between a fan belt and a garter belt (thanks Drew!). Seriously, these places could have put monkeys behind the desk and we would have received better service; especially concerning NAPA on Memorial.

    Taken before we had to pull it off again:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Well, needless to say, "Drew done got dat son-uh-bitch uh runin." I just want to give a huge thanks for everyone that's helped me through this shitty situation. First and foremost, Drew, I love you man. It would have been difficult without your help and I appreciate it whole heartedly. Secondly, thanks to everyone that drove my ass around! I couldn't have made it to work and school without you all; Trish, Danielle, John, Kendall, and even Abbie. I want to give a special thanks to my mom and John for allowing Drew and I to turn their driveway into a concrete slip'n slide.

    Just finishing up; getting turned over in just a few:
    [​IMG]

    Ladies and gentlemen, she is up and running. The new tires will be put on soon and a front end allignment will be performed; then she will be all said and done. That is, until I wreck it a week from now. LMFAO!!!! I'm just kidding.

    Parts/Maintenance:

    Helicoil socket for spark plug
    Valve Job w/ valves etc.
    Top end gasket set
    Belts
    Fuel filter
    Oil filter
    Spark plugs
    Ignition wires
    O rings for fuel injectors
    Piston rings
    Rod bearings
    Two new oxygen sensors
    Four new high performance tires*
    New bumper*
    New header panel*
    Freeze plug (pain in the ass!)
    Honed the cylinders
    PCV Valve
    Tubing
    Camshaft tensioner pulley
    Oil
    Coolant
    Lots of brake and carb cleaner
    Battery
    Oil pan
    Paid Drew for all the work he did
    Front end alignment
    Tires put on and balanced
    New right outer tie rod

    *Had nothing to do with the car running the way it was, but needed to be replaced.

    Just how much damage was done to my bank account you ask?

    $1,950.68 I shit you not.

    Oh, and by the way, it wasn't a dropped valve seat. We don't know what caused it. All we know is that it got so hot that the valve seats tuliped. Also, the hose for the PCV valve was melted. There was absolutely NO damage to the pistons or the cylinders. There was also NO metal in the oil.
  16. jlongoria9

    jlongoria9 Guest

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    what kind of spark plugs did u get now? :?
  17. exposeenmity

    exposeenmity New Member

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    Autolite XP5144 Iridiums, better than the Bosch no doubt.

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