Dropped valve seat survey | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Dropped valve seat survey

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by zzyzzx, Apr 10, 2008.

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Ever had the dreded dropped valve seat problem?

  1. Yes

    54 vote(s)
    60.7%
  2. No

    35 vote(s)
    39.3%
  1. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Would like to take a survey of who has had this problem, along with listing of pertinent details. I'll start:

    Vehicle: 1995LX
    Mileage at time: 72,500
    Age: car awas about 6 years old at the time.
    Symptoms: None.
    Resoultion: Jasper rebuilt engine installed. Still going strong after more than another 165,000 miles (as of December 2016).
    Other: Had been running a little rough at the time due to me not knowing that those "100,000 mile" tune up intervals actually require cleaning and regapping the double platinum plugs every 30.000 miles. Car never overheated. When it happened I had holes in the engine block and there was oil all over the engine bay. I thought that the engine bay would never be clean again.

    Similar thread in Ford Focus forum:
    http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/show ... p?t=254262

    Four part Youtube series on how to fix this:
    https://www.feoa.net/threads/four-part-series-on-repairing-after-valve-seat-drop.103129/
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  2. nezwick

    nezwick FEOA Member

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    No dropped valve seats here. I guess I got lucky. The previous owner said nothing had ever been done to the engine, so take that to mean it never happened to him either.

    Vehicle: '91 Pony
    Current mileage: 142,xxx miles
    Age: 17 years this month
    Other: engine screams like a banshee above 3k but runs great
  3. win0857

    win0857 FEOA Member

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    At the shop we have done 3 different engine jobs on escorts for dropped seats. Two were 97's and one 98 and i just bought a 01 focus with a dropped seat.All have been cylinder #4 and all have been the last valve in the head. All required a new engine except i am going to repair the focus because it will be cheaper and a better job.
    Mark
  4. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    That's very interesting since originally I thought it was only the 1991-1996 1.9L engines that ever had this problem. Do you recall how many miles these cars had on them when they dropped the valve seat? I'm also thinking that the 1.8L 1991-1996 don't have this happen, which is partly why I'm asking, just to see if I'm right.

    Another thing is that on mine, I had just gotten on the highway and it was practically the coldest day of the winter and the engine was probably still cold when it happenned. Is it normal for it to punch holes in the engine block like mine did?
  5. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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  6. Jeffescortlx

    Jeffescortlx FEOA Member

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    It seem's 96's and up have it the worst. I see more SPI foci's with dropped seats then Escorts.


    Has any ones dropped a valve seat with a older non-EGR Escort?

    Your right, the Mazda motor does'nt have this problem, only some castings of the CVH.
  7. win0857

    win0857 FEOA Member

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    Also has anyone dropped a valve in any other cylinder than #4?
  8. Jeffescortlx

    Jeffescortlx FEOA Member

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    Has any dropped a valve seat in a 1st gen?
  9. red97lxscort

    red97lxscort FEOA Member

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    you guys are making me worried about using my pnpd 97 head. is it just the valve seats? Couldn't I just get those replaced and get the valves ground or get new ones before I installed it all?

    btw- I have yet to drop a seat on my 97 with all original 160k motor. head has never been off.
    -Justin
  10. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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  11. EscorGo

    EscorGo FEOA Donator

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    You guys are making the NooB nervous!
    FWIW, I asked a local cylinder head repair shop and they said they get several 2.0 heads with the problem but have never had a 1.9. They told me to just drive my '95 and not worry.
  12. Jeffescortlx

    Jeffescortlx FEOA Member

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    There's really no need to worry about it. For every head that drop's a seat, there's thousands that dont.

    But has any one heard of a valve seat dropping in a older non-EGR 1.9?
  13. win0857

    win0857 FEOA Member

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    Not me,i have been a mechanic all my life and i have yet to see a 1st gen drop a valve seat.I would think this has to be a expansion and contraction issue due to poor cooling or heat transfer around the end of the head.I will take a picture of the focus head i have at the shop.
    How far back is the non egr escort?My 86 had a egr so it must be in the early 80's.
    Mark
  14. nezwick

    nezwick FEOA Member

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    Well, certain 2g 1.9's with the Federal emissions package were non-EGR up to '93, I think.
  15. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Your mechanic probably told you to not worry about it since they probably never see the problem, because most people junk the car when it happens. That and thee is nothing you can do to prevent it unless you premptively do a valve job (or something).
  16. EscorGo

    EscorGo FEOA Donator

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    Good point. It's about $200 to get a valve job done, inspect for cracks, etc. Replacing seats would be additional. Then there's the cost of a new gasket set and headbolts. Another $100? An improved head on Ebay goes for about $150 - $200 plus the core.
  17. Batman

    Batman New Member

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    Valve seat droppings...

    Hi. i have had a dropped valve seat. Actually, my car dropped at least three. It happened before it was given to me, but i tried turning it over and got it to barely run onceand it probably did more damage than it would have otherwise had.

    My car is a 1996 LX with 107,000 miles on it. It is a 1.9 and my car dropped one in cylinder one (intake seat) and both in cylinder four. It made an ugly bunch of racket. i actually think the EGR contributed to the problem. Is it possible that a small piece from the valve seat (shattered) could travel through the EGR and into the intake again? It's just a theory, but i think it might explain why it took out cyl. one as well. Anyway, i got a new head and all the stuff to fix it now. i'm hoping to have it back on the road by the end of the month. i was wondering if there is a tool out there made to clean out the intake good. The Jasper website said that corrosion in the intake is what kills these engines. i'm not sure how accurate that is, but they remanufacture a whole lot more engines than i do.
  18. win0857

    win0857 FEOA Member

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    Here is a picture of the focus at the shop.Pieces of the now missing valve seat went through ALL 4 cylinders,destroying ALL 4 pistons.It also brke the piston skirt on cyl #4 and bent the connecting rod.Upon disassembly i found a large
    vacuum hose(pcv) that had failed and was causing a large vacuum leak. I wonder if a lean condition causes a higher probability of valve seat failure. In the picture the entire seat is missing and i found all bits of seat in the intake.
    [​IMG]
  19. white-lightning

    white-lightning FEOA Member

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    Mine dropped a valve seat after 110k miles in March '07. It would act up off and on, b/c apparently the seat stuck sometimes and dropped half way sometimes(weird).I took it to a relatives shop and he said I got to him just in time b/c when they were testing it it dropped all the way. It took a month to fix b/c the machine shop was slow and didn't have the right size seats in stock. Haven't had a problem since. It has had 8,000 miles put on it since.
  20. gogo

    gogo Guest

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    94 LX

    Got the car with 94,000 miles. We put about 100,000 on it a year later. The valve seat dropped at about 240,000.

    My dad and I attempted to fix it last spring but postponed the project until the fall. If memory serves me correct #2 seat dropped. There was also extensive damage to the #4 piston and its cylinder wall. We replaced the piston and honed the wall. The head was one purchased from a company I found on the internet claiming to refurbish them. The first head was messed up the cam shaft area had a dent that created a buldge that wouldn't allow the gasket to fit properly and one of the rocker arms wouldn't come up to the proper clearance. But all in all every thing worked out once we sent that head back and got another one.

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