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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 97 escort lx, it was running great until Saturday when we got stopped on an incline, a sharp one, and then it did this jerky thing and made some noise but was still running. Now it will run but there's a very, very loud clanking noise whenever we try to start it. We can't figure out what's wrong and really want to get it working again please help. :cry:
 

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How do the spark plugs look? It sounds like the engine probably a dropped valve seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
he just tried starting it a moment ago and it has a tinny rattle. I'm not big on mechanics but we can't fix a dropped valve seat ourselves can we? it needs to go to a garage for that doesn't it?
 

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The valve seats are part of the cylinder head, and requires disassembly of the head in order to replace them. They also require specialized tools.

I would recommend not trying to start the car until you have made certain the engine did not drop a valve seat. If caught early enough, all it would take to fix it is a replacement head. Every time an attempt to start the engine is made, the risk of damaging the rest of the engine increases.

A quick way to check for a dropped valve seat is to pull the spark plugs and check for damage. Usually the valve seat drops on cylinder #4 (at the transmission end of the engine), but it does happen on other cylinders too.

Casey
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So he checked the spark plugs and three were dry and the other was wet...what does that mean? And about how much will it cost to get fixed? lol, either way getting it fixed just wondering.
 

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was the wet one the 4th one? is the little L-shaped part at the bottom pushed against the rest of the plug?
 

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What was it wet with? Gas, coolant, oil?
 
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