PC's 1998 Tracer | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

PC's 1998 Tracer

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by PColumbus, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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    Hey everyone! This is my 1998 Mercury Tracer, it is just about to reach 130,000 miles on it. I bought the car in 2010 when it had 97,000 miles. This has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. I'd like to keep it for as long as I can!

    Currently, it need some work. I bought the car when I lived in Ohio (has since moved to South Carolina.) Since moving down here, the paint on the car has faded and peeled badly. My theory is that the sun and salt air from the ocean (I live in Myrtle Beach) wore down the paint that had endured Ohio's winters (including road salt.)

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    Here's a look at the deteriorating paint on the hood:

    [​IMG]

    The roof is by far the hardest hit by the fading/peeling paint:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Two of my hubcaps went missing, I'm thinking about removing the last two

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    [​IMG]

    Since was originally from Ohio, it suffers from rust in the undercarriage as well. I had to replace a brake line due to rust. Some other pieces are in various stages of corrosion.

    If anyone can give advice that would be great. If you live near my area (Myrtle Beach, SC) and can recommend places to go (body, mechanical, etc.) that would be even better!
  2. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    3rd gen tracer wagon. Rare bird right there!
  3. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    I have a set of Ford hubcaps, they are painted silver and are in decent shape. I can PM pics if you like.
  4. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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    There's a pick 'n pull in my area that has a Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer wagon similar to mine, if I g=can get a chance, I might poke around there. If I got replacement hub caps, I think I'd paint them black.
  5. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    go for alloy wheels.
  6. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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  7. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

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    Just run with no hubcaps.
  8. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    2nd gen GT fanblades or 8 spokes.
  9. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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  10. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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    After reading about the notorious dropped valve seat issue, I've been considering selling my 98 Tracer and getting something different. I have considered buying a rebuilt cylinder head from Ebay, but I have very limited mechanical knowledge, so if I purchased the cylinder head, I'd have to take it to a shop to get replaced. If any of you work in a service center, could you please give me at least a minimum if what it would cost for a shop to replace the cylinder head (excluding the cost for the head itself)
  11. LariRudi

    LariRudi FEOA Donator

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    If you purchase a DIFFERENT car, it might drop a valve seat too. This problem is not limited to Escorts and Tracers. I'm going to drive my Escorts with confidence/faith/hope and take it's potential failures in stride.

    And I don't think that it's GUARANTEED TO FAIL; I don't think it happens to EVERYBODY......... I've had/have 5 Escorts, 1993, 1994, 1993, 1994 and 1997 and have not experienced this problem. The first three listed above were the most extensively driven. The 1997 I admit is in storage waiting for a head gasket.

    All my Gen 2 cars are 1.9 SOHC engines; one has 297,500 miles on it.

    LarryR
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  12. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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    At the very least I'd like to get a good inspection of my Tracer. I sound like a hypochondriac when it comes to cars, but I like to be prepared. I understand that dropping a valve seat is not guaranteed for all Escorts/Tracers, but it sounds like a chronic enough problem for these cars to warrant scrutiny. And if there is reason to believe that a valve seat (or something else) is in danger of imminent failure, I prefer having the funds available to address it ASAP.

    While we are on the topic of maintenance, I think that a transmission flush is about due, or needed.

    Also, this morning when I was on the freeway, I noticed that the driver's side of the windshield would get a little foggy near the left end of the windshield wiper (at rest). Could the heater core have sprung a leak? My heater and A/C was turned off, the morning temps were around high 70s-low 80s. The fogginess decreased as speed decreased.
  13. 22732

    22732 Guest

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    If you can, I'd try to keep the car as there is no other compact station wagon out there that gets as good mpg as the escort wagons (at least to my knowledge). I love my tracer wagon and plan on running it into the ground. As for the cost of labor of putting on a new head i can't say (I would guess in the ballpark of $500). Obviously as I'm sure you've read it's a lot cheaper to do before the seat drops and causes damage. As cars age, air can sneak past the ducting flaps inside the dash a little even though they may be "off" not much you can do about it. It's possible that there was just humid air built up in your air ducts especially if there was no coolant like smell.
  14. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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    Yesterday evening on the way into work (I work nights), the fog came back, this time it was a thicker, green toned fog on the interior, bottom of the windshield. I was told by someone who owned a Ford Mustang (with the same issue) that it could be a blown (or near blown) head gasket. There is no coolant leaking into the floorboard. Again, the heater/AC were OFF
  15. LariRudi

    LariRudi FEOA Donator

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    Even tho the blower is off, coolant is still flowing through the heater core, and a very SLIGHT leak will still vaporize, WITHOUT drips, [until later] and then the vapor condenses on the "cooler" windshield; that is the windshield is cooler than the hot coolant.

    I'm leaning with a heater core, tho I can't be POSITIVE at this point. I'd be watching my coolant level, my temp gauge, my windshield vapor/condensation, and see what happens as time goes on..... possibly it'll get severe enough that it will have a stronger smell.

    Later, if it IS a heater core, it'll be more apparent.

    LarryR
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  16. schwinnman67

    schwinnman67 FEOA Member

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    I'd say heater core also... The only way coolant gets into the heating system is through the core...
  17. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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    Update: I topped off the antifreeze/coolant and the fog hasn't appeared again, at least that I can see.
  18. PColumbus

    PColumbus FEOA Member

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    Update: I topped off the antifreeze/coolant and the fog hasn't appeared again, at least that I can see.
  19. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

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    I absolutely love my Tracer Wagon as well! 38-41mpg highway day in and day out - how can you beat that???
  20. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

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    IMG_0407.jpg
    I 100% think the same way... wish I wasn't a car hypochondriac either. If I was a millionaire, I don't think I would be lol. I think it stems from I really enjoy driving my little Tracer and don't want something breaking to get in the way of driving it.

    As a PS - have you ever thought of putting some fog lights in?? I just did and cannot believe the difference they make at night!

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