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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey people how's it going so I have a 96 ford escort 1.9 engine and i was driving on a highway and then died on me i had no lights on wouldn't shift <it's an automatic> and crawl to the side of the road it turn over but won't start i pop the hood and saw white smoke everywhere around the engine but not a lot smell like burnt oil so i open the oil cap there oil there check the dip stick says full and clean not muddy call a tow while we hook up the car and got it back home I saw oil dripping so i pop the hood again and saw that oil is now all over my powers tearing tank any thoughts before i rip this thing apart yes it's
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not a Cosworth but its great on gas and still only has 137k miles so i would like to fix it
 

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Welcome to the forums!
Seems you still need to continue the diagnosis of what really failed. Take good care of that power steering plastic tank. I had one that got cracked and could only find a replacement one on ebay, from a dismantler junkyard. I would advise starting to pull it apart, maybe doing a compression check - just to have a baseline. Based on your mileage I would figure on replacing the timing belt and tensioner, along with all the coolant hoses, maybe the water pump, and for sure the power steering pump and the high pressure hose attached at the output of the p.s. pump, I have rebuilt several 2nd gen escorts, and like to replace the original pulleys for the serpentine belt tensioner and idler, and check that the pulley still turns freely on the a.c. compressor. There is a bearing inside that pulley that cant be lubricated, and its kind of hard to replace, even after removing the compressor and the pulley; pretty easy to distort the face of the pulley when pressing the bearing out.
You should have a look at the condition of the rubber hoses and the metal lines that connect the transmission oil cooler to the radiator. I have had to replace the rubber hoses, and on one of my escorts I had to replace a section of the metal line that had rusted through.
It still pretty easy (cheap) to get the Ford Escort Tracer service manual from ebay, and the companion manual, the Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (EVTM). The EVTM has all the wiring diagrams in it, but get the one matching your year, since the EVTM does change each year.

We get between 34 - 37 mpg on the open road on our escorts with the automatic. I liked my first escort well enough that I bought one with the 5-speed transmission; though I had to replace the engine head and two pistons. On that one we get 39 mpg on interstates.
If you are going to have the engine out, I would replace the five freeze plugs on the block, and replace the radiator fan motor. The motor with its shroud are fairly cheap now.
It not uncommon for the plastic side tanks on the radiators to crack and leak - and the radiators are still well under $100 for a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How many miles are on this engine?
I'm thinking dropped valve seat that punched a hole in the engine. Yes, I've had this happen.
its going to have to sit for now until the weekend its raining hard where i live and the car is outside then i will let you know more about it its just weird that is the only signs i saw so i know power steering is on its own loop and the oil didn't come out the block it would have been everywhere so i can only assume it came out the tank but my thing is if it was a drop vale i would had a noise in the engine i had nothing and i turn it back over several times it acts like it wants to start but wont i wounder if i have two issues i had a water leak a month ago so i put bar stop leak in just for a quick fix it stop and i believe it was the water pump that was the leak but then my thermoset got stuck open after a week driving the car so maybe the bar stop plug up my pc vale and thermoset of course i pull the vale cover off and i need to fix the water pump as well so i will let you know when i rip it apart
 

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Two of my escorts had dropped a valve seat insert - on the previous owners. Neither owner wanted to do the repair themselves nor pay to have it done. Both of those made a loud noise when you started them (very loud and a reluctant start), but there was also at least one of our members who had the same failure - and didnt hear any noise. ?? So I think 'it depends'.
Doing a compression check would clear that up fast - there would be normal compression in 3 cylinders and zero in the 4th one. If you dont get any compression in any cylinder, that would indicate a slipped or snapped timing belt Since these are non-interference engines (in spite of what the countermen in a lot of auto parts places say), such a fix doesn't involve any damage to the head......other than putting on a rebuilt head to have inlet valve seat inserts that have been replaced.
I have used Barr stop leak - but only put in a tiny amount (teaspoon full) for a tiny leak, Then after getting home (zip code 22312) from Flagstaff AZ I replaced the radiator.

One or two of our members have had an engine that failed - with a fractured piston, and that punched a hole in the cylinder wall. I think that is what would happen if an owner would only replace a engine head that dropped a valve seat insert, but didnt take the pistons out to check whether they had gotten 'peppered' by the broken chunks of valve seat. The car would run okay for a few hundred or a few thousand miles, but eventually the distorted piston would overheat and fracture; causing further communicative damage - such as putting a hole in the block. And for me, buying any escort that had a replacement head, would cause me to dismantle the engine to check on the pistons inside it. I do this by taking out the engine and transmission still bolted together, since that is the only way its possible to get the driveline out of the car by hoisting it all up.
 

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I could not see the picture yesterday... Very interesting. Mine had engine oil all over the engine..
Is there oil in the engine facing side of the hood? I'm wondering if it somehow hit there (or someplace else first) and ended up on the power steering pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so it was a nice day the rain stop so i drain the oil no metal just black and it looked like it wasn't enough oil i remember the light flicker on and off so i might have been low but the dipstick said full how long should the dip stick should be i might have a wrong stick and if it was low that could have cause it to shut off but it doesn't explain the white smoke and burning smell i do have oil all over the seal of the oil pain that could just be the gasket{ i pull the vale cover} no metal clean just black oil
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i did drain the power steering tank it was power steering its just oil on the tank
 

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usually the fluid erupting from the power steering reservoir is caused from turning the wheel when the engine is off. super common on fords, there may be nothing wrong with the p/s at all. but that fluid does look torched. might be worth the while to do a fluid swap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ok i know i haven't updated about my issue so this is what i know now i drain the oil and the pan felt light and my light was on when i did broke down but i pull the dip stick and it said full so i when i drain the oil and put fresh in i did pull that pan of the engine for 2 reasons one i wants to see how long this dip stick was and yes i believe its longer than what it should be so it just lying in the pan and even with 1qt of oil it would say full and the other reason was to check for metal again and a spun barring everything look ok so i closed it back up then i grab the compression test and pull the plugs so my plugs are black dry and suttee so that telling me maybe my engine is ruing rich so i did my test so my range it 140psi to 150psi so all chambers are fine now my check on 3 was smoking when i pull the tester out but the next day i did pull the plug after i crank it over a few times to see if it was still smoking it did not i also did a wire check to make sure i was getting spark to the plug even though they are fried i did change the power steering fluid yup its fluid in my tank but was burnt it was oil around my tank so now im checking if i get gas to my engine and waiting for the new dip stick from the dealer with the new plugs and wires even though my wires are good i decide to put out the cash and get new
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
so, my new question is this i believe there is a fuel control unit somewhere on the engine where it is because i do believe she might be running rich and there might be a issue with that or maybe injectors and if i cant find a problem with that then well this ant like my classic with a carb on that i can control the air and fuel ratio so how would i adjust the mixture im hoping with the new plugs she will clean herself up
 

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the fueling is calculated by rpm, throttle position, and mass air flow down to the milisecond. any variations that would cause the vehicle to run horribly or potentially damage the cat would throw a code. your power steering fluid probably erupted because it was hot, and the wheel was being turned with the engine off. this happens on a lot of vehicles, the fluid from the rack is forced back into the reservoir and has no where to go but out.
typically things that cause it to die while driving are...
broken timing belt, bad fuel pump, loss of crank signal. since your car is an automatic it should have a tach on the cluster right? you should see the rpm gauge move while cranking if the crank sensor is good.
 
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