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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so the woman (whose car this is) has a spare engine from her old escort and is thinking about rebuilding it to swap into her current sedan which puffs smoke pretty badly.

along the way can anything simple/cheap/free be done to add some pep? is the 2.0 head the same or any better?
the spare 1.9 engine is a runner but has ~120k miles on it. her plan was a full rebuild, strip it down to a bare block, get new bearings, honed cylinders, get the block cleaned and checked, new rings, head done (ground flat and valve job done). the 1.9 tends to drop valve seats, is there anything the shop would see as a warning sign prior to that happening? assuming that the 2.0 head is no better or doesnt fit. the 1.9 is a good engine but just so....underpowered. of course i'd be gasket matching the intake and exhaust ports once the head was stripped down as well as the manifolds, but beyond that anything else thats free/cheap/simple?
 

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Ok if I understand she has a 1.9 in the car and a spare 1.9. The 2.0L head on the 1.9 block will cause a drop in compression and create an interference engine. You would be wasting your time rebuilding the 1.9 for power. Just get a 2.0L and rebuild it. 20 extra horse power and no port matching needed. The 1.9 head will never out flow the 2.0 no matter how much is done to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, i think she'll just rebuild the 1.9 and live with the pathetic power. actually she'll probably never rebuild it, but i told her i'd ask around for her.

her current engine seems to be puffing alot of smoke for just bad valve seals, are valve guide issues common with the 1.9? a shame since its just rolled over 100k. my old 1.8 toyota with 40k more miles burned less oil. only puffs out oil upon acceleration after its been idling at a stop or idling and warm. she's getting tired of laying a spy hunter smoke screen at ever red light and i know something isnt right, just a matter of is it worth fixing it. we've already swapped the trans since the one in the car turned out to be a dud. the one we yanked from her 93 works fine but has the hard 1-2 upshift thats pretty common and a couple leaks.

i'll say one thing about these escorts, they're easy to work on and seem to last a while before totally breaking.
 

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I rebuilt a 92 1.9L with 190,000 miles on it. It was puffing blue smoke, a very noticeable blue cloud when starting up. When I rebuilt the engine I found the oil control rings were mostly staying down in the groove, and not springing out much at all. There was a good bit of hardened muck to clean out from behind all of the rings.
The car had gotten most of its mileage on a long commute, but the last 20,000 miles had mostly been on trips of only a couple of miles; grocery store, taking her kids to school, parking near the bus stop, etc. The engine head had been replaced a year of two earlier with one from a junkyard, so its valve stem seals were probably also senile.
With the new piston rings, lightly honed cylinders, and a normal valve job on the head - no more blue. We have about 25,000 on the car since then, and the only time I wish it had more power is on upgrades where it wont hold 60 mph. I DO enjoy 37.8 mpg on the highway though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thats great to hear, i was aware of the sludging issues on these 1.9's but thanks for letting me know about the oil control ring issues. we'll try some solvents over a period of time and some more highway driving and see if that lessens the smoking somewhat. havent done a compression test on this engine yet but the spare engine had had an issue with low compression in one cylinder due to what i suspect was stuck rings.

compression read like 180, 90, 170, 175. the cylinder with 90 came back to 170 after a dose of seafoam to the crankcase, 20 min idling, and a 3 mile drive. i was pretty astonished.

under the valve cover of this engine doesnt look too bad, but i don't know how it was driven by the previous owner or how well maintained.
 
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