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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
97 ESCORT WAGON,

90K AUTO.

BEGAN A KNOCKING WHILE ONLY ON STEEP HILLS .

AUTOZONE TROUBLESHOOTING RECOMMENDS CHECK SPARK PLUGS FIRST, WIRES , DISTRIB, GOING ALL THE WAY TO A SLPPIED TIMING BELT.

UNDER HOOD STICKER SUGGESTS .052-.056 GAP WELL THE PLUGS WERE SET A LOT SMALLER THAN THAT ( PREVIOUS OWNER). i SET THE GAP TO .052 PUT PLUGS BACK IN NOW WONT RUN RIGHT. STUMBLES AND IDLE IS REAL ROUGH. TRIED PUTTING PLUGS BACK TO WHERE I THOUGHT THEY WERE SET APROX .032 NOW NO KNOCK ON HILLS OR STUMBLE WHILE DRIVING BUT STILL ERADIC WHILE IDLING.

ANYONE WHO CAN FIGURE THIS OUT GETS A GOLD STAR
 

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You can't re-gap old plugs. Or at least, you're not supposed to.

Get new plugs, gap them correctly, and report back.
 

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and wires. your wires are bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I USE THIS CAR FOR A PAPER ROUTE

I DRIVE EXACTLY 69 MILES 6 DAYS A WEEK AND 82 ON SUNDAYS. I PREVIOUSLY HAD A 95 SUZUKI SIDEKICK WITH A MANNY TRANNY THAT GOT A BIT BETTER MPG SO NOW I TRY TO KEEP THE ESCORT AS SMOOTH AND EVEN AS POSSIBLE ( ROLLING STOPS, NO HIGHER THAN 45MPH, NO GUNNING THE ENGINE ON HILLS SO ENGINE DOSENT SHIFT HARD ) TRYING TO SAVE MORE OF OUR MONEY FROM GOING TO OPEC.
WHILE WAITING FOR SHERLOCK , THE LAST 2 NIGHT HAVE BEEN DRIVING WITH THE PLUGS BACK AT APROX .032 -36 GAP. (WHERE THEY SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GAPPED BY PRIOR OWNER) SEEMS FINE WHILE DRIVING A BIT RUFF AT IDLE, KNOCKING AND PING DONT SEEM SO BAD ON THE 3 BIG HILLS I HVE TO DO.
WITH THE COMPUTER IN THIS CAR , WHEN I GAPPED THE PLUGS TO FACTORY SUGGESTION COULD I HAVE THROWN OFF THE COMPUTER FROM WHAT IT HAD KNOWN AND IT HAD TO RELEARN THE NEW GAP?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WHERE IS PVC VALVE ON THIS

I DID FIND ONE BAD WIRE , WHEN CHECKING TO MAKE SURE WIRES WERE ON TIGHT I GOT GOOD SHOCK FROM #2 , I HAD A SPARE SET FROM BONE YARD AND REPLACED IT.
 

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we gave you our thoughts - but throwing a j/y plug wire on shows us how you think. Replace the plugs and wires, clean the MAF, clean the IAC valve, clean EGR valve and EGR port in cyl head, replace the PCV and reset the ECU after thats all done.

mystery solved - no "gold star" needed. :roll:

oh, I gotta add... TURN OFF THE CAPS... its annoying. :stone:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for all advice

did i mention I use this car for paper delivery. I have to be thrifty as possible, i work 7 days a week, including every holiday every sunday, when I'm sick, to provided a service to people . its been 10 years and 9 months since I thought this would be to earn extra cash, no in my community I'm lucky to be getting a pay check.
i have to wait until next pay period to be able to have parts money so I'm doing the best that I can . fortunatly a buddy of ours owns a junkyard nearby and has let me scavange parts for my delivery vehicles.
my big question is without doing anything else to the car why did it run better with wrong gaps?

sorry for the CAPS I'm not a good typist and it saves me time typing to leave the one way or the other.
 

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electrical cleaner for the MAF - the rest can be cleaned with carb/intake cleaner.

I know its tough on $ for alot of people right now, even myself and my wife - but the only way to get it right is to pick at it alittle at a time with new parts.

the parts I listed altogether should be less then $50 - once its all replaced, disconnect the battery to reset the ECU, reconnect after 15-20 min or so, start it and let it idle to learn the new setup.

as for the tight plug gap - its definetly not helping your mileage at all - and the bad wire you so "shockingly" found was probably arcing causeing the spit and sputter. Replace those parts I listed, and clean the others and it should run much better and have good gas mileage again.

Matt.
 
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