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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I recently bought a 1990 Escort LX as a fixer-upper. The body and interior are perfect, but the motor blew a head gasket and the previous owner drove it after the coolant bubbled out, causing the head to warp and crack. After some searching around, it looks like the 1.9 is fairly well known for cracked heads, and I was just wondering what the odds are that a junkyard head would have the same issues. Is it really that common, or pretty much limited to engines that overheated? Just trying to get an idea what to expect, so I know whether or not to be surprised if I find 3 more cracked warped heads... heh :?

Also, does anyone here have experience with shift kits for the ATX transmission? I've owned a few cars with them and never cared much for the way they shift, and for $23, it seems like it might be a nice upgrade. The one I'm looking at is through www.northernautoparts.com. Thanks
Jason
 

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I can't comment on the 1st gen as I don't own one. but I can say I've never heard it before so I'd tend to attribute it to people having no clue about their cars...


however I have to know more about your turbo ranger! V6 or I4? what turbo etc? what kind of numbers are you running.
 

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warped/cracked aluminum heads are common on nearly any engine that's been severly overheated... it's not an Escort thing.

The valve seat thing is something you shouldn't be concerned about since you really shouldn't even consider putting a 2nd gen 1.9L engine in your '90 scort. Keep your eye open for a 1.9L head from a GT for a boost in power. :D

Hey, Jeff, do you know if the SPI swap would be difficult to perform on JT's car? If not, that may be an interesting way to update the '90.
 

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Beaverboy said:
Hey, Jeff, do you know if the SPI swap would be difficult to perform on JT's car? If not, that may be an interesting way to update the '90.
It would be possible, but not worth it. The first gen GT motor would be easyer and the GT HO and SPI make about the same power, SPI is a little less but it does'nt have a header.
But either way would require a Computer and wire warness swap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK first things first. I'm glad to hear the cracked head problem is generally limited to overheated cars, I know some are notorious for cracking regardless of driving conditions. Both junkyards that have these on hand have agreed to take the head back if I have any problems. And I take it the later 'scorts are worse for dropping valve seats? Anyway, I'd love to find a GT head for it but I promised myself this one is going together stock, I really need one car without any mods, just a simple, fuel efficient, reliable winter car. I'm going to have to lock away my grinding tools to keep from porting the head though... :-D Any thoughts on the shift kit? (update: found ATP shift kit for $20 on RockAuto.com) The ATX has 140k miles on it and I did notice it doing the whiplash shift into second when I took it home... maybe its on the way out, hopefully just an adjustment... :-/

And for those interested in the ranger... Originally a 2.3/5spd converted to 2.3 turbo from the 85 XR4Ti which may be getting the 5.0HO from my Lincoln someday. So many projects, so little free time. Anyway, the engine is fully rebuilt, with a heavily ported/modified N/A head with stainless valves, and upped the compression from 8:1 to 8.5:1 so it has a nice low end. Stock shortblock buildup, new .48/60 T3, Merk PF3 EEC (small VAM nand 35# brown top injectors) USA-made sensors and small parts all the way around, K&N, Volvo FMIC, ranger roller cam, esslinger timing pulley at -8*, stock timing, 12# boost (to save my big, loud Kumho mud terrain tires), converted to newer style OEM clutch and compact starter, 3.73 7.5 open diff, dynomax ultraflow SS 2.5" exhaust, Pioneer deck thru JBL speakers... I know I'm forgetting something but that should give you a good idea what I put into it. Oh, and it has 211,000 miles, and the original engine was fine other than the usual oil leaks. And yes, I am a regular on Turboford, under the name Mac J. I see they're under new ownership now, hopefully that means some nice updates, the site could use a little work... But definitely a wealth of info. Anywho, thanks for the replies, seems like a good knowledgeable group here.



 

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that's awesome man.. my tbird's still a work in progress also.

bob's big header
t3/t04e 50trim
3.5" downpipe with no exhaust
bob's 3" elbow
ported d-port head
larger valves (i forget how big)
bob's intakes
65mm tb
centerforce dual friction
maybe some 4.11's. :)
rebuilt block with wiseco pistons
and, last but not least, a '01 powerstroke intercooler.

my brother's '88 xr4ti just ran a 13.5 @99 the other day -
he has a water/air intercooler
stock t3 running 22psi
no exhaust
bobs intakes
bobs small log header
slipping clutch. :)
 

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TitoElSpicco said:
holla!

whats the difference between the auto/manual turbos? and what kind of car are we referring to?

i have a 2 laying around, but they both need to be rebuilt..
83-86 thunderbird automatics have a .48A/R housing, they spool a bit faster but make less power. I dont know the spec off the top of my head.
Any 2.3T, SVO, Murker, T-bird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Merkur autos had the .48 turbine housing too, which is where mine came from. There has been a lot of debate on the .48 housing versus the .63... Personally, since mine is in a relatively heavy 4x4 truck, I want it to spool at lower rpm's to feel more like a V8 in situations where you don't want to rev a lot. Like climbing, pulling, etc. And believe me, it pulls like a V8. At 12psi it's just mild enough to keep the tires from breaking loose unless I tell them to. I've had it up to 17# with timing at 14 and it was the scariest experience, seriously, a truck is just not meant to go that fast. Didn't take long to hit 120, and at that speed, big-lug tires start to deform and pull you all over... Not cool. But I have no doubt, with the right tires, it could have done 160 easily.

But anyway, back to the car. No one is using a shift kit? I guess I'll be the guinea pig and give it a try. Supposedly corrects some common ATX shift issues and reduces slippage and wear. We'll see.
 
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