I´m not 100% sure I´m welcome here (I´m a Philistine with a ´93 Tracer 1.9 4-door), but since the Tracer and Escort are basically identical, I thought I´d ask here.
I bought my Tracer about 1.5 years ago ($1500 cash...lovely), and I´ve had to replace the valve cover gasket three times (and am about to do it a fourth time). The seal always fails in the same place over the number 4 cylendar, directly over the exhaust manifold. While I lose very little oil, the oil that I do lose ends up burning off and stinking up a storm.
I did the gasket replacement the first couple of times myself, since it´s pretty simple to do, but last time I had a professional do it (since I figured I must´ve hosed the first 2 somehow). It has lasted a bit longer than normal, but it´s starting to fail again (I can see the break in the gasket).
I was starting to think that maybe PCV is failing, but if it were, I´d be burning oil out the exhaust too, right (and I´m not...the engine is in otherwise great shape and passes California emissions without a single problem)?
Anyone out there run into a similar problem?