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1996 Ford Escort LX
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I didnt know you shouldnt jack it up until lug nuts are off so that is very helpful. Also if your key works with your friends, that means it must look similar? Because is so could you tell me if this looks like the right key?
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I have an 99' Escort ZX2. In the past, it showed signs of having a rusted driver side rocker panel. In a matter of weeks, it just started falling apart. I went to repair it and it was swiss cheese to to the door. I thought it was just the driver's side. But the exact same was occuring on the passenger side too. In the end, I didn't repair it. I patched it and that took 2 weeks worth of elbow grease and an entire DIY paint job. It was messy, expensive, time consuming, and exhausting. After the patch, there were problems with leaking into the cabin. I had to seal the inside floor. Cut up the carpet. I still haven't found the source of the leak.

All I'm saying is be prepared for the worst.
 

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i was a lock smith for 5 years . my book is saying u have the wrong key.
the curtis h62 is a blank key . that can be cut to fit . but not for a 96. u have a 91-95 key .
will not work on a 96 .. plus the cuts on the key are wrong who ever made the key made it wrong .
i can open 97% of locks made from 91-09
now with that said i can make u a key .😀
 

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My mom owned this 1996 Escort LX and she is passed now. My goal is to get it so it can drive. Not every day. Just so it will drive again. It is super rusty and may not be possible to save. But i am not going to give up. I am making this thread in hopes that i will find people that will help me slowly fix every problem one by one since i know nothing about cars or how to fix them. There will be people who will tell me just to scrap it at this point. But the point is not to drive it everyday but just for it to be able to drive. I do not have the access to big fancy tools that other people do. If people find this then i will start with the first major issue. The key will not turn
It's possible it's the wrong key, which means either: remove steering column and ignition switch (a thoughtful task for any skilled mechanic) or contact a locksmith to pick and advise what to do. As for the rust, I had luck spraying such rusty bodies with old engine oil mixed with kerosene to make oil sprayable, then drenched the underside and still driving the 1984 F-150 today. It will at least sincerely SLOW the rust from progressing each time it gets damp. I oiled my F-150 this way in 1995 and it did good :)
 

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So the key fits in the ignition, but does not physically turn?
There is a lock in the steering column, if you wiggle the wheel hard, back and forth while trying to turn the key, it may break free...




My mom owned this 1996 Escort LX and she is passed now. My goal is to get it so it can drive. Not every day. Just so it will drive again. It is super rusty and may not be possible to save. But i am not going to give up. I am making this thread in hopes that i will find people that will help me slowly fix every problem one by one since i know nothing about cars or how to fix them. There will be people who will tell me just to scrap it at this point. But the point is not to drive it everyday but just for it to be able to drive. I do not have the access to big fancy tools that other people do. If people find this then i will start with the first major issue. The key will not turn
 

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1996 Ford Escort LX
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Sorry for the inactivity lately. Been busy and the weather hasnt been great to start work on the car. I should be able to start next week. It will be a slow process so bare with me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Finally, I am able to start work on the car. Currently I am trying to remove the back bumper so i can see the rust better and just better access overall. I cant figure out how though. Help would be much appreciated
 

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From the underside, look up into the back of the bumper cover. There should be a crash bracket/bumper attachment pad on each side. On that pad, there are either 3 or 4 (I haven't had my rear bumper cover off in quite a while; front cover is 3 ) nuts on each bracket holding the bumper cover to the bracket. Once those nuts are off, get out from under the car. From behind, get a wide-grip on the bumper cover and pull STRAIGHT BACK. There are alignment fittings (one each corner) that the cover has to slide free from. Once they are free, the cover will want to tip down in your hands. Move the now-free bumper cover to someplace safe (as FORD made them from Sugar Glass and they are VERY brittle🤣).
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Ok i found another key that fits in the ignition effortlessly but does not turn. If anyone knows if this looks like it would be the right key let me know.
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Also say i had the right key how would i get rid of the steering lock so, i dont know… maybe so i can move it 😂 I mean i cant possibly be there as a permanent measure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Update: With enough fooling around with the key and the steering wheel the key turns and the steering wheel lock is off!! Major steps!!!
 

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Be sure to lubricate the ignition key-lock mechanism: By putting a drop of oil onto the ignition key, and putting it into the ignition key-lock, and letting it sit there about ten minutes. I also do this to each of the door locks and the trunk or gate locks. ... Along with dropping oil onto the door hinges and the door latch exposed parts, as well as the hinges for the hood and for the hood release mechanism. I do this annually, usually with '3-in-1' oil, which is like a ten weight oil.

If you ever have the clamshell plastic around the steering column unscrewed, you will be able to look up from below and see a shiny round disc on the bottom of the ignition switch assembly. Inside that is a spring that pushes up on a steel pin which fits into a notch in the steering wheel steel shaft, and which locks the steering wheel lock when the key is out of the ignition and the steering wheel gets turned. That shiny steel disc is held in by 2 horizontal pins which can be driven sideways with a small drill rod, or else you can get a medium sized screwdriver to get the shiny steel disc twisted out. Then the little spring will fall out, and the pin that gets driven into the steering shaft wont get pushed up - and the steering wheel lock function will not work anymore.
The steering wheel lock is an anti-theft feature, not a safety feature per se, and in the places where I live, the safety inspectors have never inspected that. I guess It makes the car slightly easier to steal, but I am not much worried about any thief trying to steal a 25 year old car with rust and faded paint.

Soon after I get each of my cars, I take the best working key to a locksmith and get a couple of extra keys made. Then the best working key gets labelled and stored in the jar (hidden away in the house) where I keep the 'master keys' for each of my cars. In case the locksmith doesnt have a keyblank for my old escorts, I have gotten a few of them from ebay. The ILCO H60 key blanks work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Update!!!!!! I bought a battery put it in and it started right up!! and didnt leave it running for more than a few seconds in fear of the oil being no good or the gas or some other issue. But i did find out the A/C seems to work as i forgot to make sure it was off before i started it. I put the key in the doors and it worked perfectly in the drivers but not so much in the passengers… In the passengers it turned to lock it but it feels like there is some gunk stopping it from opening it. Nevertheless thats not to big of an issue at the moment. QUESTION: I want to turn it on and keep it running to test some of the electronics and obviously sometime soon see if it will.. well.. move? Anyways my current plan is to get some fix a flat and see if the tires will hold air with it (as the tires are obviously too far gone) as a temporary measure just to get it to move into the garage. I observed some of the rust underneath and indeed the rear driver floor panel is fallen out but that is a problem for later.
 

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Do i have to change the oil before i run it? The oil is almost full and it looks ok so?
Id be more worried about the gas if its been sitting longer then a year. If the car has sat longer then a year I'd drain the tank and flush the lines/tank, and maybe get a new filter since you said you ran it or a short wile.
 
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