Saving a 91 EGT | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Saving a 91 EGT

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.8L DOHC' started by kTaLgsTo, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Hey all, I picked up a 91 escort gt left for dead.
    I have some questions on this thing, but first I'll introduce myself.
    My name is Luke, I've went through life buying what I consider neat cars, fixing them up and then selling them for a loss. I always wanted to lose money on an escort gt but they've been hard to find most of my life until now.

    This car has sat for a couple years, wouldn't run and I have very little info on it's past.
    I picked it up and did a compression check only to see it has 0, 35, 90, 0. Now for my first question, is there a special procedure on these for a compression check? I just pulled the fuel fuse and went at it.
    After I ran the test I checked the timing belt, it is brand new, so later this week I am going to put it at tdc and check the job was done right.
    My last question is how likely are these cars to have head gasket issues?
    I know I'm getting fuel as the spark plugs reek of it, and I'm getting spark as well.

    Thanks for reading!!!
    If timing looks good I'll be pulling the whole motor and having some fun.
    zzyzzx and Rjtheracer99 like this.
  2. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    Definitely start with timing. Hopefully that's it. The 1.8 BP motor is generally known for it's reliability.
  3. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Timing was good, I pulled the motor yesterday, if I had known it was such a pain in the ass to pull the motor without the trans then I would have just pulled the whole set.

    Either way, this helped me determine what all needs replaced... Plus I snapped a fuel line because it got hung up on the intake when pulling... So now I have to source one of those. Onward to cracking her open and finding the compression problem!
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  4. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    All four pistons were cracked, missing pieces, this motor is a mess! How does all four pistons take a hit like that?

    Machine shop said block looks good, crank also looks good. So I ordered pistons and we're going head first into this baby!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  5. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Pics please!!!
  6. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Dump incoming
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Cylinder 4
    [​IMG]
    Cylinder 3
    [​IMG]
    Cylinder 2
    [​IMG]
    Cylinder 1
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The worst bearing
    [​IMG]
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  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    I was expecting more carnage, but this would explain why the engine block itself is still good. Thanks for the pics! That car should clean up nicely!
  8. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    I am hoping so, the machine shop said it looks like it saw many miles with a blown head gasket.
    The block needed decked, which means the head probably does too.
    I'll be bringing the head in next week along with the rods to verify they are still true.
  9. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    What the heck caused that? Detonation?
  10. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    I had three theories:

    Over heating, but this is probably ruled out by the minimal block and piston scoring.
    Water ingestion, which had me worried because then the rods could be bent.

    Or timing, the crank was off two teeth, so maybe this caused detonation.
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  11. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Picked up the manual...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Found one of the Rods was put in backwards from the factory, which really shouldn't matter, but I thought it was an oddity... Guess I'll keep it that way since it's ran 100k+ miles this way...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Installed some Chinese pistons
    [​IMG]
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  12. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Crank is in!!!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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  13. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    The more I think about the pistons, the more it doesn't make sense. If those chunks of pistons broke off in a running engine, how did they get out? Did they wiggle around the exhaust valves and sneak out as they were bouncing around, somehow not getting caught between the piston top and cylinder head surface?

    Then the backwards installed con rod. I would say some monkey has taken apart the engine, damaged the pistons somehow and reassembled it improperly, not surprisingly.
    kTaLgsTo likes this.
  14. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Yeah I suppose there could be some shenanigans with this thing.
    The piston damage really was quite strange, either way its all getting sorted. Hoping to be back on the road soon enough.
  15. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    I thought I had already added these pictures, but I guess not... Check out how beat these things were....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Also, I have some guy trying to sell me a low mileage MTX-III manual trans, is this what is in the escort currently? He claims it's less than 20k miles, but I admittedly do not know what the trans is in these cars...
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  16. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Good to see the rebuild process. With the new pictures' side views, the pistons can be seen to have taken quite a beating, so maybe the chunks of piston were indeed pulverized and passed out the exhaust.
    What does the matching combustion chamber surface look like?

    Also, I am curious to know what the deck clearance is with the new pistons. Aftermarket piston makers used to have the terrible practice of "de-stroking" oversize pistons (reducing compression height) to compensate for the slight increase of compression ratio due to the larger piston area. I have also heard they did this in anticipation of skimming the deck surface during the rebuild.

    Anyways, the practice used to be to "de-stroke" the pistons by the same amount as the diameter was increased. So the top of a 0.020" (0.50mm) over size piston would be 0.020" lower in the bore. Which, ironically, actually increases the tendency of detonation.
  17. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    This is the worst cylinder after hone:
    [​IMG]
    Machine shop said all cylinders were still true, I had expressed to them I didn't want to bore unless needed. I didn't think this was too bad being the worst of them so std pistons were used, should hear back on the head this next week. Just one look at the valves and he said yeah those need replaced, they don't close cleanly anymore. He believes they took quite a beating and was impressed by the overall good condition of the block because someone must have just beat this thing to heck.
    I'll keep reporting back on progress...
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  18. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Ring gap is a little more than i'd like, but the Ford manual allows up to .9mm!!! Though it prefers tighter than that...
    The top and second rings both measured .58-.7mm across the board, the bottom rings were just about right on at .3mm
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A lot of people seem to complain about this ring compressor, but for 9.00 what do you expect?? It's a cheap piece of crap and it takes extra steps and caution when inserting the pistons, just use some patience.
    [​IMG]
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  19. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Nothing new to this forum I am sure, but I spent 20 minutes in the mud at a pickNpull for this today...
    [​IMG]
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  20. kTaLgsTo

    kTaLgsTo FEOA Member

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    Well son of a **&*... Rockauto sent me the wrong oil pump...

    I apparently have the small nose crank and they sent me a big nose pump but I am already installed... What a PAIN to have to take this all apart again....

    Anybody know if you can make this big nose pump work with a small nose or should I just try to find a small nose pump and send back to rockauto??

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