Advice on replacing engine or to sell as is | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Advice on replacing engine or to sell as is

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by wallytheaviator, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. wallytheaviator

    wallytheaviator New Member

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    long story short, my father is notoriously bad at maintaining and operating machines.

    He does not want to have them serviced or pay for the proper parts when they are needed. He would rather wait until the car stops working to replace the part mentioned, but often there are other parts by that time.

    So far, his track record consists of ruining engines on: his 99 escort, 2002 caravan - not difficult it was a lemon to begine with and it’s a dodge - thankfully I got it fixed, 2 generators, over 15 lawn movers, two boats - my mom and I spent almost 4k to fix and overhaul everything on one boat including taking it to louisiana for the engine and drive unit repair and upgrade - we surprised him with it on fathers day and he thought we bought him a nee boat from how well I had painted it. However, he was gunning the engine too much and nearly flipped the boat within one hour of the surprise and was still chuckling and standing as proud as Capt Morgan or Mike Fink. He has also destroyed several weed eaters, about 12 chain saws, an 83 f-100 - which I’m about 80% done with fixing, but going to restore it one day, and a 94 f150 - I just fixed recently.

    Currently he has a 2002 caravan and public transport to go where he needs. My mom now has the 83 F-100, and the 94 F-150, I’ll probably let her use my F-350 when I move to a larger city for a bit. He isn’t allowed to drive anything except the van so if he destroys it, he has to retire and sell the van since my mom wants to join the rv lifestyle



    Which brings me to my reason for dropping by, I have the options to either:

    A) fix the car by swapping out the engine and all components likely to fail in less then 100k miles

    B) sell the car as is to a mechanic, or someone who wants to fix the car for their use or for a kid, or salvage yard
    I don’t have the desire to part out the car online, possibly locally, but I don’t want to be stuck here past Dec because I hope to start my own career in a new location.

    C) fix and keep for myself if I need a car in a city for days when public transport isn’t best suited.


    The background

    I’ve done auto work and engine swaps, but only on pre obd2 cars. The newest car was a 1992 gmc and it’s been about 10 years since.

    I feel like I could do the work, but I just don’t like messing with timing belts in small car compartments. If it’s on the ground, I’m sure I could find tdc dimples with no trouble.

    The issue

    99 escort 5sp mt, sohc 2.0. Metal in one cylinder and manually turning engine over there is something blocking full range in that cylinder. My guess is that the valve stuck and got shattered. Transmission is/ was good, but has been sitting. Everything else on the car worked as of 2/2018

    216-230k miles


    For 2 years I had been telling my father to get the seal replaced, he didn’t want to. I would constantly remind him to check the oil every 2 to three weeks in order to make sure he didn’t forget.

    Finally last October I saw the timing belt was nearing time to replace - 3rd replacement - and told him to take it to the repair shop by describing what could happen if the belt snapped - I’m pretty sure his car has a safe guard against it since that was more common in the older cars- but if you don’t use scare tactics it will never get done. I told him to let them replace the seal at the same time since they would be able to do it with little effort.

    They called and said it would be x amount (probably less than 80.00) and he declined the service without my knowing. Only after I took him to get the car he said they didn’t when i asked.

    I kept having to remind him, I would have paid for the repair, but I was unemployed and couldn’t affford to.

    My civic also had issues which I was trying to fix at the time. I finally got mine running around Feb of this year and in less than 4 days some guy playing on the phone rear ended the civic and totaled it. So I had to use my secondary car - a dually 7.3 which is a bit cumbersom for daily driving, but it’s running so I’m happy.

    While I was tied up with all the insurance and medical from injuries in the first wreck, I forgot to remind my dad about checking the oil.

    He called one day saying the car shut off. I get there and check the oil first before looking at anything else. Totally dry not a drop of oil. Also radiator coolant was very low.

    When he filled oil in the engine against my suggestion, the engine sounded like a 1 cyl lawn mower on a cold start. It ran maybe 5 seconds and stalled out.

    It’s been sitting since Feb. Around the first week of April I was feeling better and in less pain from the wreck. I decided I would start looking into what it would take to replace the engine on the escort. I started getting all the figures together to inform my dad and since I had some down time I could do the work at a relaxed pace to avoid any flare up in my back and neck.

    However, some joker in a suburban had other plans and decided to rear end my dually around the 20th of April. So back to insurance and the chiropractor

    I’m finally feeling like I can handle some of the work involved, but I’m still not 100%. It’s insane what a rear end collision does to the body. Doesn’t feel like much, but the after effects linger for so long.

    Basically, what do you guys/ gals think?

    Is it worth replacing the engine? I know I can’t physically do the work unless I pace myself and have some stronger folks come over to help if I stage the swap correctly.

    I plan to replace any part that may fail within 100k miles to ensure it is running for quite a while with no issues.

    The thing I fear is that his track record will remain the same and eventually kill the salvage engine.


    Or is it best to just cut the losses and sell as is? I learned to drive with the car and it’s been an awesome little car with great fuel economy and easy to park. I just hate to see a reliable car go out this way. Compared to a 7.3, I think it’s just as bulletproof and reliable, but my dad found a way to kill it.

    Anyway, any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you!!
    denisond3 likes this.
  2. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    The 2.0 SOHC engines are known for having valve seat issues, so it's not surprising that it happened. If you get a replacement engine, I would have the valve seats replaced so it doesn't happen again (hopefully!)

    If the car isn't rusty, and is in otherwise good shape, it's worth putting some money into.
  3. DC Ultra

    DC Ultra FEOA Donator

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    You need a budget since u are on a time table? Drop a jy engine in it if you just need something today. If you going long term, you get engine with a new head with new valve seats (can use same engine or jy engine).
    Not sure how to gauge your situation. There is no "ez" fix.
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I also recommend swapping in a new engine, and keeping the car for yourself.

    I hope you are getting paid for working on your dad's stuff.
  5. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I also recommend swapping in a new engine, and keeping the car for yourself.

    I hope you are getting paid for working on your dad's stuff.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  6. wallytheaviator

    wallytheaviator New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I will try to swap the engine. As for budget, it’s his car so he is going to buy the parts.

    Haha! I wish
  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Is your Dad a woman?

    [​IMG]
  8. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Might have to move this thread to the Driveline - Trans section.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  9. Adamprince2

    Adamprince2 FEOA Member

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    Usually the calculation is the price of the car as is subtracted from the repaired value of the car. So a junk ford escort is worth $150-200. A repaired ford escort with an automatic is worth about $1500 depending on body condition. With a manual somewhat more.

    What's 30-40 hours of your time worth? Do the math then you will have the answer.

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