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1998 Escort Wagon - Tan
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>> What did you do to your 3rd gen today??

Drove it and became annoyed that I probably need an alignment. When I put the new headlights in we had to run the front wheels from side to side. I knew it was stupid, but the wheels needed to move to allow removal of the various parts so the bumper cover could be removed. Now I am dealing with the decision of not taking to a service center that would have jacked the car up.

Oh well. You win some, you lose some and occasionally you have to pay the piper to get your Ford Escort's wheels aligned.

It's the cycle of life, yes?
 

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My name is ^^^
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You need an alignment because you changed the headlights????
 

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1998 Escort Wagon - Tan
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63 Posts
>> You need an alignment because
>> you changed the headlights????

I know...sounds stupid. But we were pushing the wheels right and left to make space to get to the screws in the wheel well covers were attached to when we changed the headlight assemblies.

What I know is that 2 weeks ago, the car ran straight and true. This week, it is pulling to one side. I know i did not slam some curb, so I am assuming that shoving the wheels right and left screwed the pooch.

Oh well...such is life.
 

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^ The suspension and steering is under far more stress when driving the car than it would ever be turning the wheels when the car is stopped. In short, there is NO WAY that what you did messed up the alignment.
 
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Premium Member
1998 Escort Wagon - Tan
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ok.....i agree with your assessment in principle. But given that i drive so little since the wheel turning event, how did this happen?

Don't get me wrong....i believe what you state. In fact, that is total common sense! I am just a bit baffled how I screwed the pooch on this one. IDGI - I don't get it.

Clearly, I am missing something.

weird weird weird weird
 

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ok.....i agree with your assessment in principle. But given that i drive so little since the wheel turning event, how did this happen?

Don't get me wrong....i believe what you state. In fact, that is total common sense! I am just a bit baffled how I screwed the pooch on this one. IDGI - I don't get it.

Clearly, I am missing something.

weird weird weird weird
Check tire pressure. A tire that is low may cause a pulling to that side.
 

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1998 Escort Wagon - Tan
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63 Posts
>> Check tire pressure. A tire that is low may cause a pulling to that side.

I will do that. Given that I do not drive the car that much, it is likely that the tires have lost a little air.
 

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scortin daily
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990 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Finally got my master bushing set 4.18117 .. Can't wait to start putting them on
 

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545 Posts
Swapped out: water pump, timing belt + tensioner, accessory belt + tensioner, coolant, one ornery hose clamp, lack of pain in my hamstrings. :laugh: Second semi-involved service on the car, and it was a no-start strander :nailbiting: with a very odd cause.

This episode's takeaway: Inspect and swap your belts on schedule, even moreso if you live in hot and dry... and don't skimp on swapping the water pump at the same time.

Need swapped out: both front tires (prolly with Michelin Defenders, need mileage); rear shocks (really need to swap 4 corners but not until I move); radiator (for an all-aluminum one, also not until I move or old one leaks); transmission wear items (heard these auto trans were designed with decontented parts and wear aluminum particles into the fluid or something?). :mooning::cautious:
 

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Fixed a tiny coolant leak that stranded me (almost) once again. And again, a friggin' fluke problem. :wtf:

Fixed that and a not-quite-tight-enough timing belt tensioner... runs great again. Coulda been worse, I suppose... after all, it didn't warp the head to gasket failure, and it runs better now... worth the sunburn. This frosty Ballast Point in my hand sure does tastes good. :hilarious: BTW... wet a paper towel, wrap it around your beer, then tuck it in the freezer -- it'll be frosty in about five minutes. :thumbsup:

This episode's takeaway: Don't skip a double-check of coolant connections, even if your back is killing you -- this time I got lucky, next time, the odds will be sending Russians with aluminum bats. :nailbiting: If you get an intuition something is still wrong, prioritize finding out why seriously... had I not retensioned that belt, it could've skipped time, anytime it lost just enough tension. Thirty mins of work to skip hours of frustration when a problem bites from left field you could've shot in the kneecaps when you had the chance. :thumbsup:

Well, this probably means the plug in the water outlet melted out, and my thermostat is now bypassed. Not worried about it, as that was gonna be the next project anyway... and it's been baking outside.
 

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Fixed a tiny coolant leak that stranded me (almost) once again. And again, a friggin' fluke problem. :wtf:

Fixed that and a not-quite-tight-enough timing belt tensioner... runs great again. Coulda been worse, I suppose... after all, it didn't warp the head to gasket failure, and it runs better now... worth the sunburn. This frosty Ballast Point in my hand sure does tastes good. :hilarious: BTW... wet a paper towel, wrap it around your beer, then tuck it in the freezer -- it'll be frosty in about five minutes. :thumbsup:

Well, this probably means the plug in the water outlet melted out, and my thermostat is now bypassed. Not worried about it, as that was gonna be the next project anyway... and it's been baking outside.
What state are you in?

When you do the thermostat housing, let us know what/where/brand you bought and how well you "Like it"..... ok?

thx,

LarryR
 

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scortin daily
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990 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
Had to replace my alternator. The bearing blew off the back. While taking off the tensioner It broke in pieces.

Good news I order every thing I need for mtx swap. Can't wait to start on it
 

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Attempted the second round of replacing my headlights. Hopefully no bad karma happens this time. Now all I need to do is aim them when it gets dark and that should be all. They look better than the old ones.

New
IMG_0120.JPG


These looked worse but they were cleaned up a bit. Only reason they were replaced is because they would not adjust and the seals were leaking water.
IMG_0117.JPG
 

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What state are you in?

When you do the thermostat housing, let us know what/where/brand you bought and how well you "Like it"..... ok?

thx,

LarryR
Think I'm gonna stick with a Motorcraft one for this part... been hearing some bad news about particularly thermostats in the aftermarket. :cautious::writing:

Oh, almost forgot -- two days ago swapped the balding, ancient Bridgestone RE910s in the front for some Michelin Defenders... not even close to sporting tires, but with 80K tread life, they'll probably outlast the car. Scrub in a few more miles, & gonna swap them back to the front -- didn't buy them to sit on the bench. :rolleyes:

This episode's takeaway: Michelin Defender XTs are astounding A/S tires, if a bit expensive. As long as you don't have to drive the car in snow or sub-40degF conditions, they're super-long-lived (8 yrs!), have tons of grip in dry and wet, and are very quiet and low-rolling-resistance. Costco is also quite timely when it comes to getting them on... but it depends on the tech doing the work, if it holds air (mine forgot to scrub rust out of my bead area, then slopped bead sealer on there and didn't clean it all off :rolleyes: ).
 

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scortin daily
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Discussion Starter #36
I drove mine tonight alil. Was cruisen down park came up to like 20 or 30 2011 to 2013 Mustangs All tuned up... None of them would race me... Lol oh well got some laugh Out of them. Wish I had a coyote engine Under my hood
 

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Did my brakes... They were starting to feel 'wrong', but put things off for a while because there was still some pad left. It wasn't metal on metal and things looked OK.

I was driving last week and when I stepped on the brake, the front end started vibrating badly.. The car still stopped OK, but I could feel the shake in the brake pedal and in the steering wheel.

The spacer fins between the two disk surfaces had rusted away. Without the fins, when I stepped on the brake, the piston was pushing the inner disk against the outer one and causing a horrible shake.

New discs and pads fixed it.. (I have rear drums and the shoes still have plenty of meat on them).
 

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545 Posts
Replaced my idler pulley yesterday. After the 3.5 hr back/hamstring ordeal that was the water pump and timing belt, this felt like literally 15 minutes of prep and less than 30 secs of actual swapping, a pleasure. :thumbsup:

One thing I wasn't able to see while the old idler was installed, was that there was a ~1 mm-deep groove worn into the surface of the pulley by many miles with an obviously dry-rotted belt (recall the last owner was my drive-it-till-it-stops mother :rolleyes:). The old bearing seemed to be okay though there was a sheen of greasy lube dusted where the inner race meets the seal, so along with the pulley wear, didn't feel bad at all about swapping it.

After the belt went back on, noticed the car idled a bit better, though can't say it was the new idler definitively. Nice to know it's another pending service out of the way for a few years though.

This episode's takeaways: Even if they don't look it, parts that've worked for 15 yrs continuously will show signs of wear... and the quality on non-OEM (and OEM) Ford parts is nothing near the standards of my last car's. That idler pulley was a hunch... until I put it on and found it wasn't.

Gotta say this about buying the parts: if you use RockAuto, double check your shipping rates on all parts. This idler arrived at the palacials the same day I installed it -- 23 Sep. Order was fulfilled and shipped on Aug 29. :grumpy: Luckily, it was a non-vital part I could get rolling without. The rest of the order showed up, including a ride across the Pacific, in five days after the order was fulfilled (another bone I have to pick with RockAuto) the idler was the only part from their third warehouse, which I hadn't caught shipped as default, in supposedly 9 days... and USPS gave me an excuse about how that method of shipping can take as long as six weeks without being considered tardy. F*** that... 9 days and 42 days is too much difference for me. Check your order carefully to avoid this problem. :thumbsdown:
 

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Okay -- after three days driving it, from ten minute errands to 25-mi visits across town... the idle is definitely better, esp when the A/C is on. Still am not sure that a 2 mm difference in pulley circumference can make this much difference... but that's literally the only thing I've changed since putting air in the tires on Tuesday. :wacky:

If I had to make a guess, the only other thing that makes sense would be the old bearing -- may have had less friction spinning in my hand... but with belt tension on it, could've been a different story (btw, my old tensioner pulley was slightly untrue when it was removed... could be from the belt fragging... but also could've been dropped before or during install, back when in my mom's care). However, on either side of the idler pulley, are the alternator and A/C compressor... kinda makes me wonder how esp the alt bearings are now, since it's the first neighbor of that bad tensioner pulley on the belt. :unsure:
 
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