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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My scort got hit. Not too bad but still it pisses me off. That will teach me how NOT to show the random signes of kindness. Let a "friend" to borrow the car for two weeks while her car is been fixed in MY garage & here you go - a present. She says she hit the truck in front of her so the spare tire "wrinkled" the hood and the hitch receiver pushed the front cross members with condenser and the radiator about 3 inches in. According to her, the coolant leaked out a little but of course since it's not her car (i really doubt it matters) she kept driving until the "smoke" came out and she stopped for about two hours to let it cool off.
Now I need to decide if I want to fix the car (that I absolutely love) or sell it for parts or something and get another one. That will depend on how much of damage could she inflict on the engine by driving it with leaking coolant. She swears that temperature needle never got past the middle. That i don't get, unless my cluster is broken, but I just installed new cluster and the old one was showing pretty much the same way.
SO the question is how do I check if the engine was overheated or if the re any damage to the head gasket.
Thanks!
 

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Do you have the car back yet? Find the leak in the coolant system most likely the radiator. The header can be pulled back by hand if it's not too bad. For the short term, refill the coolant and start the car. How does it act? Smell? Smoke out the exhaust? These things are quite tough so unless she ran the thing dry, you shoulod be OK. Nice loaner service you have there... :lol:
 

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It might be ok if the cooling fans still worked and it didn't leak out a lot of coolant. The steam could have been just from it leaking hot coolant and escorts normally will not get hotter than the center of the gauge (220 degrees?). The 1.9/2.0 also has a fail-safe in which the thermostat housing internal passages will melt to allow more coolant through in order to prevent over-heating. If it runs fine, it will probably be fine once you fix it properly.

If it has a bad head gasket, it will run like crap. It will not idle normally, acceleration will be very poor, the motor through 2000-5000 rpms will sound like a wrx with a bad motor, and white smoke and water will come out of the exhaust. There will either be coolant in the oil or the other way around and one or more cylinders will have low compression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guys!
Yea - the "loaner" is back now. I can't see where the coolant is/was leaking because someone added a leak-stop in the radiator, so now when I start it (it does start and run fine) I can't see the leak, just a little smell of coolant - that's all. When I drove it last night i did notice a little detonation even in the first gear that was not there before. I did check the oil - no coolant in it or visa-verse, and it's synthetic so that should of helped a bit. I'll try pulling the header after I remove all the trimmings and see if it's "back to normal", get a used radiator and condenser put it all back & see where it lands. It still suck
:roll:
btw, do you know who (out of the parts shops) still loans the cooling system pressure testers? I went the other day to check it out and Kragen &/or Autozone don't have it any more. :mad:
 

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Hmm this story reminds me of the last time I let someone borrow a car of mine. Few years back I lent an uncle of mine(who is clueless when it comes to cars) my old '93 Cavalier w/ 2.2L 4cyl good runner but was definitely not a looker. I lent it to him cause the waterpump on his car went out in the middle of winter and since I wasn't going to fix the waterpump and disassemble the engine mounts to put the belt back on(in a 96 Buick Skylark yes I know a stupid design where the belt runs between the engine mount and engine requiring mount removal to replace the belt). Well a couple weeks later while he was getting money together to have a shop do the work he comes to me saying that there is no heat and the temp gauge was going up real high. So after I get the car back I let it sit(hey its middle of winter not going to pull the head off if I don't have to) until I could get around to pull the head off to replace the head gasket. Once I did I found the head was cracked, the heater core was cracked(on outside of vehicle so no coolant leak into car). So that cost me about $400-600 to fix in all all said and done(head, head, intake and exhaust gaskets, new hoses, new ignition coils plugs and wires, new fuel lines, new battery, new battery cable and a couple other things). Moral of the story don't loan your cars out to people, thats what rental car companies are for :). - Peter
 

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nmikmiknmikmik said:
thanks guys!
Yea - the "loaner" is back now. I can't see where the coolant is/was leaking because someone added a leak-stop in the radiator, so now when I start it (it does start and run fine) I can't see the leak, just a little smell of coolant - that's all. :mad:
Well when you get to the point of installing the new/used rad, do yourself a favor and flush the system untill you drain the local water supply.

I HATE STOP LEAK!!! :mad: Just think...what else is it plugging up before it reaches the hole in the radiator. 8O
 

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Keep a close eye on the temperature. I uses stop leak one time in my life on a small leak in a Chrysler I use to have, a week later I was taking the radiator to the radiator shop for a cleaning.
 

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As for the prognosis for the Original Poster; since he mentioned "a little smell of coolant"...... I would start getting another Escort engine, to rebuild it at my leisure and have it ready when the 'overheated' one eventually loses its coolant via a burnt out headgasket. I would have said to just have a replacement (rebuilt) engine head on hand, but if you have a complete rebuilt engine ready to go in, you could have another 100K or more trouble free miles from the car.

I know its almost like hijacking a thread, but I have used Barr's stop leak about 6 to 8 times in radiators of my cars over the years, and have had good results with all except an F1 whose radiator was already way past due for a recore (but the 'stop-leak' got me home from 200 miles away), and my old Jag - which had a ridiculously small radiator for a 3.5 liter six.
 
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