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I bought this escort originally for fun, picked it up cheap and everything body and interior wize was mint. Its a 1991 lx. Anyways when I bought it they had told me the head gasket was gone so me and a few friends were going to replace it although I was told the engine would leak coolant and it would come out the exhaust and this was never noticed nor was the coolant going low. The engine tended to over heat mainly at idle and when I stepped onto the gas at a low rpm it shook and sputtered like iw as out of gas until i downshifted. I found out the overheating was due to the fan not engaging and after i took off the maf and air temp sensor and pput on an intake for some reason the low rpm sputtering stopped although it idled a little bit to low and sometimes stalled (only ran it like this for a day) and then as i was leaving the car wudnt start, it tried and tried but wudnt, this had happened on time before, an hour later it randomly started. Then later the next night I was driving and the dash lights got dim and the cd player began to loose power and flash until it shut off and the interior lights then went off and then the whole car shut off. I tried to start the car and it felt as if the battery was dead didnt even try to turn over. I rolled it down thte hill and jump started it and it was fine then it happened again lasting shorter and shorter each time. Until it finally jus wudnt even jump start any more. tried boosting it that didnt work. Thought it was the alternator but used a volt detector and it says the battery is still conductiong 11-12 volts. Not sure wat to do but i have another full engine in my yard so im ready to swap parts. Also thought it could of been a short of one of the wires but not quite sure any help would be great thanks. -Jeremy
 

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still sounds to me like a toasted alternater and battery. 11-12 volts on a battery, even if just sitting there doing nothing is too low.

battery voltage should be at least 12.45v in a good battery. with the vehicle running, usually between 13-15v should be seen at the battery, as well as at the B+ terminal on the back of the alternator(this is the terminal that the big red wire comes from on the alt, it meets up with the battery + somewhere).

i would install a known good battery and start the car, then use your voltmeter to check voltage both at the battery and at the back of the alt. if you have voltage at the battery, well then youre fine and that was the problem.

if you dont have 13-15v at the battery, but you do at the alt. B+ terminal, then somewhere that wire isnt making contact with either the battery's positive terminal itself, or the postivie wire so the charge voltage can get to the battery.

if after starting the car with the good battery (if its less than 12.45 you're taking a risk of overloading the alternator), and you dont get 13-15 volts anywhere, then both the alternator and the old battery are toast.

even with a toasted alt, that alt B+ terminal should still get whatever voltage the battery has while its running, assuming those cables/wires arent losing contact.

PS: on anything equipped with any sort of electronics whatsoever, never, NEVER disconnect the battery cables while the vehicle is running.

i have personally seen 2 engine fires and 1 shorted ECM from this. and even if you still try it, and it stalls, it may mean nothing. most cars are designed to cut power when they detect a voltage feedback spike or any disturbance like removing a battery cable wth the vehicle running will do.
 
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