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1987 Escort GT 1.9L HO (1.6 Head Currently) / 1982 Mercury Lynx RS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got the 87 GT running, she's a blast to drive but the battery light is on, big ol red light on the cluster. I'm gonna assume the Alternator or connectors are bad on that but the Tachometer is stuck at 0, hasnt moved except once which was just a little bump. being my FIRST manual car I'd like to know what I'm doing and also use it for checking sound at different RPMS. its a bit of a pain cause when the car is on it reads 14.2 volts at the battery but it died before i parked it and the battery is drained after a quick drive around the block.
 

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If the voltage at the battery is 14.2, its an indication that the alternator has been charging it recently. The normal reading for a fully charged battery would be more or less 12.6, with the engine off and no lights on. Once the engine is running, even at an idle the expected voltage measured at the battery would be over 14, and anything up to 14.9 if its been running for a short while.
If you measure over 14 volts at the battery, and the alternator indicator light i s on, then there is some other problem in the wiring, which could be right at the alternator, or at an underhood fuse box, etc. Sorry that I dont know more, but my escorts are all 2nd gens. One of them has had the alternator light on for a couple of years, but when I plug a voltmeter onto the battery it shows 14.7 or so with the engine running, and 12.9 if I have just turned off the engine. And 12.6 the next day.

If the battery shows a low voltage after just a drive around the block, I would suspect a bad connection in the wiring; like at the battery terminal to battery cable, either the positive or negative cable. I had one of mine decide to not start, due to a fully charged battery, but a bad (dirty) connection between the battery terminal and the battery post. Though lead is a good conductor of electricity, lead oxide is a terrible conductor. About anytime I have a battery terminal off of a battery post, I like to use a penknife blade and lightly scrape the outside of the post, and the inside of the battery terminal, to get any crud removed. Just lightly scraping, not enough to remove much metal.
And dont assume the battery cables are all right; there can be advanced corrosion hiding under the insulation, close to the battery.

And since I dont know how you check the fluid level in the transmission of a first-gen 5-speed, have you checked that fluid level? On my 2nd gen 5-speeds (both of them), checking the fluid can only be done by taking out the Vehicle Speed Sensor that plugs into the trans right next to the differential, and can be a horrible job to do the first time, since the vss tends to corrode into the transmission case. I check mine once a year, and have to take out the battery and the battery box to be able to reach back there.
 

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1987 Escort GT 1.9L HO (1.6 Head Currently) / 1982 Mercury Lynx RS
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And since I dont know how you check the fluid level in the transmission of a first-gen 5-speed, have you checked that fluid level? On my 2nd gen 5-speeds (both of them), checking the fluid can only be done by taking out the Vehicle Speed Sensor that plugs into the trans right next to the differential, and can be a horrible job to do the first time, since the vss tends to corrode into the transmission case. I check mine once a year, and have to take out the battery and the battery box to be able to reach back there.
Haven't checked fluid yet, but it should be the same on the second gen since they're both MTX-IIIs and maybe IVs? I would have though the VSS did speedometer but I'll check it when I wake up, as with the wiring. Haven't checked fuse boxes or the dash relay yet but that'll be done too. She runs fine if I just use jumper cables and have it connected to my Jeep XJ and just run from that.
 

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The VSS does spin the speedo cable, and on a 2nd gen, it tells the computer how fast the car is going, so the computer would know when the transmission should shift. And by pulling the VSS out, and if the oil comes up to the middle of the gear on the bottom of the VSS, you know what the fluid level is OK. The fluid level probably is not really critical, but once its low enough not to show on the gear on the VSS, you cant tell how low it is.
On the 2nd gen escorts, Ford refers to the computer system as being an EEC-IV, meaning "electronic engine control -IV. So a first get escort might be an EEC-III, at least in the ford service manual or the Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual, the EVTM. The EVTM has all of the wiring diagrams in it, at least it does for a second gen escort.
 

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1987 Escort GT 1.9L HO (1.6 Head Currently) / 1982 Mercury Lynx RS
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The VSS does spin the speedo cable, and on a 2nd gen, it tells the computer how fast the car is going, so the computer would know when the transmission should shift. And by pulling the VSS out, and if the oil comes up to the middle of the gear on the bottom of the VSS, you know what the fluid level is OK. The fluid level probably is not really critical, but once its low enough not to show on the gear on the VSS, you cant tell how low it is.
On the 2nd gen escorts, Ford refers to the computer system as being an EEC-IV, meaning "electronic engine control -IV. So a first get escort might be an EEC-III, at least in the ford service manual or the Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual, the EVTM. The EVTM has all of the wiring diagrams in it, at least it does for a second gen escort.
87 should be EEC-IV as well. checked my dash fuse and replaced it. have a bunch more lights but no tach still.
 

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1988 EXP 2.0l H.O on bike carbs.
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The tach's like to die in these cars. A tell tail sign of a bad tach is the needle moves around a lot when rattled or hitting hard bumps. I had to replace a few tach's in my 88. There should be two threaded plugs on the front of the trans that can be used for filling and draining the trans. If you only have the one plug you will have to remove the speedo cable thing and fill it from there.
 

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1987 Escort GT 1.9L HO (1.6 Head Currently) / 1982 Mercury Lynx RS
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
These tachs can be crap. But that would not explain the battery light being on.

A voltmeter is a great tool. It can tell you what is going on.
Where do I start?, the battery gets charged by the Alt, and the Alt is outputting the correct voltages. Am I missing something?
 

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Where do I start?, the battery gets charged by the Alt, and the Alt is outputting the correct voltages. Am I missing something?
By removing the light bulb? joking aside if the alt and bat is working fine I'm betting its something small like a stuck relay or short. maybe the switch for the bulb is stuck on?
 

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Had a worn key on my 2nd Gen 'Scort. Vehicle running, if I turned it back slightly, the dash would cease function but the engine would keep running. The alternator turn-on signal went through the dash so if the dash wasn't functioning or connected, the alternator wouldn't charge.

Check and see whether the ignition switch is a possible factor for your first gen vehicle.
 
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