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I won´t be too much help but i´m going to take a wild stab and say no it doesn´t. but to be safe I would change it out every 50k miles. It´s either that or waiting for it to slip and break so you can find out first hand if it´s an interference engine. if you have the manual it should tell you when to perform the scheduled maintenance. ;-)
 

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Hey Decolliber.

Its funny you ask that because I have a ´97 as well and am in the same situation. It currently has 104000 miles on it but I dont believe it has ever had the timing belt changed.

There is no spec from Ford as to when this belt should be changed (my guess is because it was a changeover year and a new engine size, but thats just me shooting in the dark). But this does explain why it doesnt say anything about it in your manual.

It IS an interference engine, which means problems if the belt breaks. So, Im just waiting until I can afford to buy the timing and serpentine belts along with a water pump to do the work on it.

~Bug
 

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This is purely speculation and I blame my crappy memory...but I think i read from someone that a water pump is about 30 bucks, and I´m sure that a couple pieces of rubber won´t be much more expensive than that...
 

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A reman pump from NAPA is 28 bucks. A new one is 45. The timing belt is 35 dollars, and the serpentine belt is 17. (I have been a busy guy at the parts store) Im not sure if I can do the install yet, so Im also saving the money to pay the mechanic I go to if I need to. I can bring my own parts so I only get charged labor. (yeah, ONLY) But, I just dont know if I can get my hands in there, it looks like a sucky thing to have to do.

~Bug
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My wife´s 97 Escort has only 67K, so I guess I am safe for a while. Owner´s manual does not mention timing belt. Factory repair manual show how to replace but says nothing about how often; same with Chilton. Very strange that Ford makes no recommendation about replacing something that will wreck your engine if it breaks! Just had t-belt replaced on my daughter´s ´93 Escort (1.9L) at 107K.
Years ago I had t-belt replaced on ´83 Honda Accord at 60K because of reports of breakage before factory recommended replacement at 90K. Same thing with Audi: they used to recommend 90K on 12 valve A6s, now recommend 60K because of premature breakage (and the 12V A6 is an interference engine, as was the old Honda 1.6 liter). But at least Honda and Audi warn customers to get it replaced.
 

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I think other Escort engines are slated for replacement at 60k or so, I will have to check on that.

According to one site I have found, it says that the engine is NOT interference fit, another says that it is. So I guess I have to recind my previous statement. However, all of the other intervals that are listed are either 60k or 100k. Im going to do mine simply because why take the chance?
 

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Notice in my garage (workshop) says timing belts should be changed at 50 thousand miles or five years - all makes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Called local Ford dealer and they said 97 engine is not interference, but they recommend t-belt change at 60K
 

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Thanks for that info! Ill know better than to open my mouth so easily next time. But, I guess that means Im waaaaay over for a belt change.
 

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First off, never ever buy a remanufactured water pump! Only buy new water pumps.

And the last Escort made with an interference engine was the 1984 model. So the only 1.6L non-interferences engines where the 1985 models which were only made for a few months them replaced by the 1985.5 models with the 1.9L engine.

[ This message was edited by: zzyzzx on 29-04-2003 13:16 ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just found reference to t-belt in Chilton manual for 1991-1999 Escorts. Says that NONE have interference engines. Says Ford recommends change 1.8L engine t-belt at 60K but has no recommendation for 1.9 and 2.0 engines. Also says belt manufacturers recommend replacement between 45K and 90K; sooner if car used in stop & go traffic and idling for long periods.
Local Ford service manager told me my daughter´s ´93 1.9 Escort does have interference engine!
I had already booked wife´s ´97 Escort in for t-belt change (68K miles), and am now wondering if I should leave it for another 20K miles or so ...
At the Audi dealer a few weeks ago I saw a ´95 A6/100 getting a $3000 top end rebuild because timing belt had broken at 73K. So I have become a little obsessed with looking into timing belt service in my own cars!
 

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The 1.8 is supposed to be a non interference...so I thought. I spent 2 grand rebuilding the heads and replacing the piston rings when my timing belt snapped and supposedly bent two valves. I think I just got screwed by a bad bad mechanic. :-Y
 

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Well, regardless of if it is an interference or not, I would think the moral here is to just change the timing belt. Im planning on it soon, but how hard is it to do anyway? My hands arent that small, and there is like negative space by the serpentine belt.

Any thoughts?

~Bug
 

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Although I´m for DIY repairs/replacements (I just replaced my 3 pc spoiler and will do my bumper tomorrow)...I´d say get it professionally done if you´re unsure if you can fit your hands in there...i can fit my hands in there but I´m not too muscular and i doubt I´d be able to pull the tensioner back to get it off the car. ;-)
 

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<TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%>[TR][TD]Quote:

[/TD][/TR][TR][TD]
29-04-2003 at 22:05, James92Scort wrote:
The 1.8 is supposed to be a non interference...so I thought. I spent 2 grand rebuilding the heads and replacing the piston rings when my timing belt snapped and supposedly bent two valves. I think I just got screwed by a bad bad mechanic. :-Y
[/TD][/TR][TR][TD]

[/TD][/TR][/TABLE]

I´d still say that´s a lot better than throwing a rod at 72,000 miles and spending $4000 for a Jasper rebuilt engine for a 1.9L Escort LX.
 

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If you have the patience and the time, and a decent set of metric tools, you can do this job in an afternoon. It´s not too horrible, and the biggest problem is keeping the cams lined up throughout the installation of the new belts.
 

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It´s not a very hard job to do at all. I did mine in about an hour and a half (About the lenth one period in my highschool autoshop). Could have very easily done it at home. Although to do it at home, you will definately need a jack of some sort to support the engine.

Matt :cool:
 

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I have jack stands easy enough.

Its the jack that will be the problem. And the fact that I dont have a garage, just a driveway to get it done. :) Air tools would also be handy, but those will have to wait until I can afford such things.

It doesnt look like a complicated thing to do, its just more I wonder about space constraints. (more me fitting into the engine bay) Im not a big guy at all, but still, I am prone to botching up stuff. Timing belt seems to be something that if screwed up could be serious. I get a quote from my mechanic (who only charges $30/hr) to see what it will set me back before I decide.

~Bug
 
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