Head Gasket Install Manual | Page 5 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Head Gasket Install Manual

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by curtiskurtz, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. rc5

    rc5 FEOA Member

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    I was able to drive the car for about 75 miles over the weekend, and so far it's running great! I still saw a little bit of water dripping out of the exhaust pipe where the cat pipe bolts to the mid pipe today but I haven't seen any smoke out the exhaust, no coolant loss thus far, steady idle, no overheat. To fix that water drip I'm going to try flipping the gasket between those two pipes.

    I don't want to declare victory too early but things are looking good! Thanks again to everyone who posted responses, no way I could have done the job without your help.

    I would say to any novice trying it for the first time that it's actually not too horrible a job if you have the right tools, and you'll save a lot of time if you get all the tools you'll need in advance, like razor blades/sandpaper for cleaning the block, the fuel line disconnect tools, and I was glad to have an angle grinder to use the old head bolts as studs to connect the exhaust manifold to the cat pipe.
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  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I use the red Permatex RTV on the gasket between the end of the cat pipe and the front of the mid pipe. It does a good job of sealing. The two surfaces at the joint, the cat pipe and the mid pipe can get pretty well rusted - but still be useable. The permatex red is the high temp RTV.
    To make it easier to get the joint apart in the future, I always smear my favorite antisieze compound onto the threads. Then to cover up any exposed threads on the end of the bolts, I put on another nut or even a capscrew. With the threads all enclosed and covered with the antiseize, they dont rust to speak of - and they come off using just ordinary box end wrenches. I do the same for the two studs holding the cat converter onto the exhaust manifold flange. (This is on 2nd gen LX Escorts.)
  3. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    a bit of drip could be considered ok as long as there is no exhaust leak.. but can also be the start of an exhaust leak. if your gasket is good and your pipes line up, you should never need any sealer on the gasket. ive seen it done before, but personally never used it.
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I second the recommendation for anti seize compound. The double nutting is a good trick, too.

    It sure is satisfying to be able to take apart the parts next time without the grief of seized fasteners.
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  5. rc5

    rc5 FEOA Member

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    Just got the car up again to check out that joint and I spotted another issue. When putting the cat pipe back in I did notice that the bolt that helps hang the piping on the back of the crankcase that's in the first photo- I couldn't tighten it all the way, I think because I had tightened the cat to manifold bolts and midpipe bolts first. I was only able to just get that pipe to crankcase bolt threaded a few turns. Plus, I realized that I couldn't torque the cat pipe to exhaust manifold bolts to spec- if you keep turning they just bend the studs that you thread into the manifold, so I ended up overtightening them.

    So that's a learning lesson for me, because I think having the piping misaligned and then overtightening the cat to manifold stud bolts caused the EGR pipe to crack at the joint which you can see in the second picture. Moisture was coming out of there too.

    For now, I realigned the piping so that crankcase hanger bolt goes in flush, and tightened the cat to manifold nuts just snug but not overkill. And I put some JB weld extreme heat on that crack, but eventually will probably have to get that joint repaired with a weld. I'm gonna let the JB cure for a day and then see if that will do temporarily. IMG_3836 pipe bolt.JPG IMG_3834 pipe rot.JPG
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  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I can tell you that your car has much less rust than both of my 91LX' do; being almost sparkling clean. The 91LX's are the only two of my little fleet of Escorts that have the EGR tube running behind the motor to plug into the bung on the end of the car converter.

    Maybe half of my Escorts have the brace missing that connects between the backside of the oil pan and to the angled bracket on the cat converter pipe. So far I havent had any cracks in the exhaust, as a result of the brace being missing. With my 2nd gen Escorts, the joint between the cat converter and the exhaust manifold flange seems to be flexible enough to let the two parts move - rather than crack. Also, maybe its because I drive like the old guy that I am.
  7. rc5

    rc5 FEOA Member

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    Yeah the cost of living here in CA is getting me down, but I guess we don't have to worry about rust.

    When I have time I need to check for exhaust leaks. The JB weld may not be holding well enough, and the cat pipe to mid pipe joint may need to be tightened more. I can't really tell by listening, but I feel like I can smell fumes in the cabin. I saw a trick on youtube for finding leaks where you blow air from a shop vac into the tailpipe and then spray soapy water on the exhaust components and look for bubbles.

    I also recently replaced the clutch on the car and I get an intermittent popping noise when I depress the pedal, but that's probably better to be posted on a different thread.

    Still lots of work to be done, but at least so far with the head itself, everything has been working well so far.
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  8. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    One of my 94LX 5-speeds give me a little squeak each time the pedal is pushed down. I figure some spring or pivot needs lubricated. Its been doing it for about 4 years and 40k miles.
  9. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Mine made the same squeak of the clutch pedal, and after several years I finally got around to lying down under there and applying some rubber grease on the bushings.
    A successful five minute job.

    Now I just have to fix the squeak from the steering wheel trim every time I turn.
  10. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    One of mine also has the squeak from the steering wheel. I will get around to fix it someday. I think its near the bottom of page five of my list of jobs to do.
  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I think my squeaky steering wheel may be due to the steering column being a bit high as a result of disconnecting the joint at the steering rack. There is provision for sliding the column up and down a bit at the connection.

    I am procrastinating looking at it until I swap in the manual rack to replace the depowered rack that's in there now.
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  12. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Procrastination is a favorite method of mine of dealing with problems.
  13. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    I experienced this as well, but only on the first startup. Was wondering what that was.
  14. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Got an update?
  15. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    As long as this is the semi-offical head gasket thread, I'd like to recommend NOT using the Fel-Pro head gasket on 1991-1996 1,9L engines, since the Mahle one simply fits better because it's only for a 1991-1996 1.9L engine. Based on the info from this thread:

    https://www.feoa.net/threads/coolant-leak-into-the-exhaust-manifold.113900/page-11#post-1094680

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