Escort Engine Swap | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Escort Engine Swap

Discussion in 'Engine Swaps' started by Kevin Burns, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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    My wonderful Ford Escort LX 1.9L sta hatchback rolled over then broke a timing belt scarring the valves. I bought a used engine and had it installed. It is running. I have had some minor issues. While referencing the VIN it reflected and indicated to be a 94 Ford Escort. Will this difference in year cause any problems. What should I reference for needed parts, the VIN or Year/Make/and Model. Any help is highly appreciated.
    denisond3 likes this.
  2. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    It shouldn't cause any problems though I think the timing belt is different from the 91 year engine. BTW, the 1.9L should be a non-interference engine meaning if your timing belt breaks nothing should happen to the valves.
  3. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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  4. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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    I always knew about the non interference belt but my mechanic said it was just a rarity and I have to get a new engine. Do you think at that point I needed a different engine or a different mechanic? Are there situations when it can still cause damage?
  5. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Well please tell us what the difference is. You replaced a 1.9 engine with a '94 1.9 engine.
    What year was the first engine? Is either of them California smog editions?
  6. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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  7. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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    How do I tell if it is a California or Mexico. Any help is always a greatly needed...thanks!
  8. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    If the car is a CA emisions model, there will be a sticker on the metal beside the top of the radiator - about a foot to the left of the driver's side of the car. The label would say something about being 'C.A.R.B" compliant.

    I think the cars made in Mexico had a VIN starting with a "3" instead of a "1".
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  9. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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  10. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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    Wow! This is better than "House Wives looking for Date!" The first engine was the original 1996 Ford Escort LX STA 1.9 L SOHC. Only had very low mileage. I love this car. It is a work horse! I pull up next to Hondas that sound worse. (if I wanted to sound like that car I would have installed a Thrush Muffler. LOL!)
    She runs like a dream despite recent minor setbacks!. I think it is California because the first number is 1...is that a plus or minus..pray tell..?
  11. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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  12. Kevin Burns

    Kevin Burns FEOA Member

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    I failed to mention that even though it is non-interference the valves can sometimes strike to piston and scar them. My mechanic insisted that it would be cheaper just to get a used engine. I went to the salvage yard and purchased a used engine 1996 Ford Escort LX STA 1.9 L SOHC. That is exactly on the receipt. The next line has the VIN Number. When several auto parts facilities including Ford (as well as my self) referenced the VIN the results reflected 1994 Ford Escort L4-116 1.9L SOHC. One party mentioned that if my mechanic knew, he should have swapped out all of the externals. I don't think that happened because I started breaking serpentine belts. Had we have done that the yard would have protested that we modified and all warranty is null and void. Someone else said they clearly misrepresented themselves on the invoice receipt and that I should hold them accountable. I don't know...any suggestions!
  13. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    A major difference with the 1.9s is that non-California early ones had no EGR, but I think both engines you have will have EGR.
    Another difference is that some will have two sensors on the water hose leading to the heater, others will have three.

    So long as you swap over any obviously different parts from the old engine to the new, the engine swap should be successful.
  14. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The VIN starting with the number one means the car was built in the USA - in Wayne Michigan. One of mine had the plaque on the radiator support about being CARB compliant. My 95LX sedan has a VIN beginning with a three, (because it was made in Mexico) but doesnt say it was CARB compliant.

    I still think the engines are non-interference.
    I think the only time a valve would hit a piston would be if the head had been milled further than normal, or if the block had been milled too. I had two engines milled to deal with low spots between cyl 2 & 3, and also put heads on them rebuilt by a firm selling the results on ebay, and they were still non-interference.

    I have rebuilt five of these engines, not needing to use oversize pistons and rings, or undersized bearings in any of them - not even the ones that had passed 250k miles. The only two rebuilds where I needed to change out a piston (and con rod) were the two which had swallowed an inlet valve seat insert; which damaged a piston or two. The pistons came out of a parts engine I bought from a JY to have the parts. I did get the cylinders all honed because I was putting in new piston rings. Put in new freeze plugs too.

    As far as I can tell, the 91LX escorts all had egr, since I had two of them, one not being labelled CARB compliant, the other one was. Both of them had EGR; But the routing of the EGR air tube was downward behind the engine to a fitting on the outlet side of the cat converter. The 94 and later EGR air tubes ran from the exhaust manifold around the side of the engine to the EGR valve.

    If breaking serpentine belts, ensure the pulley on the a.c compressor spins freely, even when having sat overnight. A new tensioner assembly might be good idea too. There is a bearing inside the compressor pulley that may be as old as the car, and there is no way to lube that bearing. Its possible to remove the pulley and replace the bearing, but whoever does it should take care not to distort the pulley in any way. I have bought the a.c. "compressor bypass pulley" from rockauto(dot)com, just because I dont care to be driving across the US with a 25 year old ball bearing in the a.c. compressor pulley.

    Two externals that might be different between a 94 to 96 engine, would be the bracket for the throttle cable, and the bracket that holds the coil pack.

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