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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys and gals. I just got this 1990 escort lx 2 door. (1.9 FI, 3 speed auto) The previous owner claimed to have changed the injector, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, water pump, starter, etc. He may have actually changed them, who knows? I put a new O2 sensor in, and i changed the transmission mount, because the last one had a block of wood in it.... Here's the problem, i get from 13-15 mpg with it, and when it gets warmed up, it seems to burn a ridiculous amount of oil. (like when i drive away, i can see the cloud behind me, and trailing me...)
It has a slight pull, which i blame on tire pressure, kinda. It has a positive camber on the driver's side.
Any ideas? id like to swap out the motor, but i dont have the money, or the know how.
Any help would be appreciated
Thanks
 

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Sounds like you have a tired out motor. What's the mileage? I happen to have one with less than 82k ready to pull out of a parts car :D .
 

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It could be worn out, or just sticking oil rings if it hadn't been maintained properly in the past, or sat for a few years. It could also be the head gasket, or head itself. The front should have positive camber and caster, with a little bit of negative toe. The rear should be negative camber (not sure about caster) with a smidge of positive toe. That is probably not the issue with mileage.

If you can, pull some error codes from the ECU, it will tell you more than throwing a new part at it will. If you don't know how, keep searching on it, the answer has been gone over many times. Don't forget to pull a compression test on it as well, and check the spark plugs for oil fouling.
 

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compression testing would be your best bet, your gonna learn more from your car that way. Ive been looking for motors for the last couple days and have a couple offers, but make sure that you look at the stick on the rebuild page and the front of this Index for re-build tips and ideas, esp looking at the heads.. the different heads will help with the milage if your gonna just do a complete trade out.

How low is your tire pressure just asking> cause if your worried about that warping the drive, maybe it could be part of your gas problem... or maybe your pump is going or the sensor and just puling to much.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips guys. The motor supposedly has 155k, but the odo rolls over at 100k, so its anybody's guess, haha. How much might it cost to get a motor like that to wisconsin, by the way?
The plugs DEFINITELY have oil fouling, seeing as how there are clouds of oil trailing when i pull away.
The motor runs choppy too. When i rev it in neutral, it sputters, and smokes pretty bad. Its sad.. Ive gotten the comment "Ive seen snowmobiles that smoke less than that thing"
Ill see when i can test compression, and probably change out the plugs. If I were to guess, at least one of the cylinders has pathetic compression.
Thanks again for the help guys
 

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I don't usually believe in using off the shelf shit from the likes of AZ or checkers and the lot, but. There is some stuff made by Risolone called RingSeal, it actually does work. It's super thick like STP, you pour it into the oil fill and drive the car after a little while, no more smoke, at least for a few days. It'll give you an opportunity to check the compression like a "before and after". Either way I've seen it work.
 

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You could do the same by running 40 or 50 weight oil in the engine. I've seen this done locally, and it works just the same as what you've mentioned. The choppy revving is probably from being out of time. Oil fouling on the plugs doesn't help things, but it won't cause that specific issue...it'll mostly just hesitate.

Depending on how bad it's smoking, there's a good chance all the cylinders are low compression, and the engine in need of a good rebuild. Personally, I like rebuilding them, but it's definitely not the cheapest. If you go for all new parts, with proper machining, you'll be looking at a grand easy, unless you find a very inexpensive machine shop, or you do all your own work (aside from cleaning, tolerance checking, ring filing, and assembly).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I MIGHT be able to get it rebuilt as part of a class at a local tech school. I think one of the students i talked to, said they rebuilt a 350 for $800. Im assuming the parts for the rebuild will be cheap, hopefully 600. I dont know, i just wish the **** thing ran right. I love this car otherwise
 

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Yeah, a 350 is easier to find parts for. I can find rebuilt 5.0 Fords for about $900 or so, and the parts are much cheaper than the CVH. I'm not sure why, aside from it just being smaller. It's almost as expensive as doing a rebuild for an import engine, especially if you go for custom stuff, but that'd be for any engine, and then the CVH comes out cheaper.

I know a new set of roller lifters can be had for $69.60 + shipping :p so that's a start. It'd be smarter to recondition the crank and rods. Get new water and oil pumps, a master seal kit that will cover everything for the engine. Just be careful about aligning that rear main...it's easy to screw up, and a few of us here have had to redo it. If the rear main doesn't come with the master kit, just go for a PTFE rear main..they look a whole lot better than the stock type.

Get the head checked, although it's probably fine. Check ring gap at the top, middle, and bottom of the bores, chances are you'll notice the gap being higher at the top, which means time for stripping it, and having it bored and honed. Again, it could just be stuck oil rings. I have seen this happen before, and it takes some time to free them up, and they may not even free up on their own. Just start checking specs, and get a shop manual if you can, it has more specs listed than the Chilton or Haynes. I pretty much consider it a must if doing a ground up rebuild. Oh, and definitely go for new bearings, regardless of how good the stock ones look. It never hurts, they're not expensive for the mains and rods, and just make sure you're around .0008" to .0010" oil clearance. That'll make for excellent oil pressure.
 

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Before you rebuild it, get a big can of Seafoam and dump it in the oil. Run it for a day, and if it doesn't improve, it probably needs a rebuild. I've heard of Seafoam un-sticking rings, and I can personally attest to its ability to un-stick lifters.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
the rebuilding by myself thing sounds a little over me head. Thanks for the info though. For the seafoam, should i dump the whole can in, like the day before i change the oil?
 

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marshpoprock said:
A cap full would be all you need.
I have to respectfully disagree there. If you want to be conservative, use a third or a half can, but a capful just won't be enough. A capful is good as a fuel stabilizer for a lawnmower tank.
 

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I agree with seafoaming the engine...it should free up the rings (if they're stuck). I've never used the stuff, but I've heard what it can do, and have seen the results of an engine that ran it, and then was promptly taken apart...the whole thing was very clean, including stuck rings. Of course, if the thing is just in need of a rebuild, you'll notice it smoking even more than before. It'll stop smoking if it's just sticky rings, though.

One note: when I got my car, it only had 132k on the engine, and that thing was screwed...the original head had cracked, the cylinders seriously coned out, rings worn (I had over .050" ring gap...spec is .012") and the pistons were scratched on the skirts. My crank had a lot of damage, and had to be turned .020" undersize to clean it up. So there are "bad" engines out there...people probably didn't take care of them.
 

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I used a third of a can of seafoam as a combustion chamber cleaner. I thought the can even said to use a cap full in the oil. I used it that way, I was happy with results.

I have had a couple of cars that once they got around 120k, they started smoking like that, would kill squeekers for miles. I put new valve seals in one, it helped.
 

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The valve seals will show themselves only on startup. He mentioned pulling away from a light..meaning acceleration or load on the engine. That screams rings...I would suggest seafoaming via the intake..it's a lot faster and more focussed. And, look at it this way: even if the engine is in need of a rebuild, seafoaming will save you hours of cleaning if you choose to rebuild. That was the biggest consumer for me. I had to degrease the thing when I took it apart, and washed it again in a large tub with laundry soap once I got it back from the machine shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ok, ill try the intake. How exactly should i do that? I know how to get to it, etc. Im just wondering the amount? Any extra things i should worry about?
 

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Personally I use trans fluid and water, but if I was going to use off the shelf stuff, it would be BG


Get a length of vacuum hose and find a vacuum source on the intake manifold. Open the can or insert hose into trans/water mix and start car. Let the vacuum suck up about a 1/4" of the stuff at first, then kill the car for about 5 minutes. It will probably be a little hard or long to restart. Let the car suck up another 1/4 to 1/2" and just before you kill it again, slowly rev the engine to about 2500. Again, let it sit for about five minutes. Restart and let the vacuum exhaust all the rest of the can or fluid mix. Kill the car and let sit for about 15 minutes. Now you'll have noticed the car during this whole process, smoking worse than Chris Rock on Friday, it's normal. After you've gone through the whole can, you're going to reconnect your vacuum source, and after letting the car sit, you're going to take it immeadiately out and drive it, at least till it stops smoking, you NEED to burn all that stuff out!!! If everything goes as planned it should be what you're looking for. Good luck.

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Discussion Starter #19
im not sure if i would need to find a vacuum hose. My car is injected, but it looks like a carb at a glance. I can just take the top of the air cleaner off, and voila, the injector is right there, along with the air filter
 
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