What did you do to your 3rd gen today?? | Page 3 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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What did you do to your 3rd gen today??

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by ndlm8888, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. millball

    millball FEOA Donator

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    Replaced the original radiator in my '97 sedan. The OEM radiator developed a small seep at the hot side tank seam after near 17 years and 160,000+ miles.
    I could'nt find a Motorcraft/Modine part, so I opted for the cheapest new radiator I could find.
    Got one from Ebay for $55.90 shipped. Only time will tell if I got a bargan, or not.
  2. pcordes1979

    pcordes1979 FEOA Member

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    Well not exactly all "today" but blew the head gasket between cylinders 1 and 2 and proceeded to drive it about 70 miles (mostly highway from Kenosha, WI to Aurora, IL) back home (yes made for a fun drive home especially up hill and from a stop when running on 2 cylinders and also a lot less expensive than a probably $200+ tow bill). Disassembled the engine to verify said head gasket breakage (after doing cylinder pressure tests which indicated 0 PSI on both 1 and 2).

    Ordered and am in the process of replacing the cylinder head (rebuilt $270 shipped (no core charge and free return shipping from Cylinder Heads International headsonly.com) , water pump, t-stat, all coolant hoses, most (if not all by the time I am done) vacuum hoses, fuel filter, alternator (the replacement one I put on my 93 a few years back) and replacing the alternator wiring connectors (due to breakage and wire fraying), spark plugs (already replaced wires and coil within the past year), TPS, coolant temp senders, oil pressure switch (it was leaking), and a small handful of other things that I can't quite remember in the process of doing the above). It did not help the fact that Rock Auto sent the head gasket kit for a 1st gen Escort instead of for the 3rd gen Escort (right part ordered wrong part put in the box so it just delayed things about a week getting the replacement one from them).
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  3. jlmdroid

    jlmdroid FEOA Member

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    Changed bad PCV valve, did some vacuum hose replacement, added a breather so I could eliminate that annoying hose going back to the air filter.

    [​IMG]
  4. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    Currently waiting for Matt's 3gen tach cluster and 21 mm rear GT/wagon swaybar -- on the first legs of a very long journey... can't wait to have them on the car. :happy:

    BTW... a 3gen Escort wagon with a 5-spd Zetec, Tracer front clip, brake & suspension work with some wider rubber... I dig it. I get it now. Something to think about if I come across a clean SPI wagon for a song :thumbsup: (if the Focus ST or FieSTa plan falls through)...

    After reading about a few more SPI electrical issues centered on that ground junction box... I've determined that's gotta be a priority soon, if not a bespoke ground (loathe intermittent/stranding electrical bugs like Heisenberg hates aryans). Can't possibly be in tip-top shape with the salt and heat here for 15 yrs... and since it is *the* ground connection, improving it will make everything electrical in the car work better. Plus, it's easy, no excuse.
  5. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    Replaced both transmission mounts, and finally got the crossmember back on after some cussing. Now I need to get a new radiator due to a small leak.

    Front
    photo 1.JPG
    Rear AKA pita to get out.
    photo 2.JPG
  6. ndlm8888

    ndlm8888 scortin daily

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    ^ yeah the "belly band" fords name for cross member is always a pain to get on.. I used Polly inserts when I did my swap. Hopefully I will never have to do my mounts again...
    I adjusted my clutch pedal rod.. Now its nice and tight. Also 0 out my toe on front end.
  7. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    Mentioned before my mileage wasn't great after the timing belt/pump and there was no improvement after the idler pulley swap except that the car idles great. Think I found what the problem was... most of you won't be surprised.

    It was the auto trans. Im working on finding a manual already, trust me... :facepalm::banghead:

    Turns out that, at least with my particular 3gen with 100K, the trans needs about 3/4 cup of trans fluid to make the difference between 25 mpg... and 28 mpg. Esp in the city, may as well been driving a Town Car. Right after noticing the fluid level after a ten-min drive was close to the warm lo mark, added about that much to the trans, ending up with the reading just under the warm full mark, and drove the next two days. Difference to shifting and response was minimal to none... but the economy jumped up a lot, just under 3mpg.

    This episode's takeaway: Never owned a vehicle with a drive component *that* sensitive to fluid maintenance... the trans does seep a tiny bit... over time it probably added up to 3/4 cup lost (btw, swapped all the fluid and filter only about a year ago). Is it because there's so much debris and residue in the trans, it's demanding full all the time? Time to shift my own damned cogs. :grumpy:
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  8. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

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    The auto's are unreliable piles of poo.
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  9. ndlm8888

    ndlm8888 scortin daily

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    ^Yes they are.. So much more power and torque out of a manual. It was all worth the swap.. :thumbsup:
    kanak likes this.
  10. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    Changed oil, and drilled a rounded drum screw out. Also removed a rear strut to see how bad spring was broken. Time for new struts before long.
  11. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    Dammit. The seep I noted in other threads... has become a genuine leak now. And after I specifically used Permatex ATF gasket sealer on the good gasket to prevent this... well, it lasted just shy of a year. Will see if it's just a couple of loose bolts, but I go from the top mark to the bottom mark in as little as three days of normal weekday driving now... and while it drips very little parked, it's a drop every few minutes, and that's gotta be more when the trans is spinning on-road... *sigh*

    It's like it heard I hate it and want to swap it, so it's being a PITA until I do. :rolleyes::laugh:

    Meanwhile... Matt's rollbar and tach cluster are coming next week. That tach cluster will definitely make this lovable beater feel like less of an idiot-light secretary special. Next mod: HyperFlex master bushing set... once I get this ƒ@¢&ing trans to stop hemorrhaging. :doctor:
  12. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    oops
    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

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  13. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    Hooooly shirtballs on toast! :eek::nailbiting::jaw drop:

    Was it a valve seat? Condolences, man... that is one helluva way to justify a motor swap. :dead::drowning:
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  14. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    wrist pin decided to give up causing the rod to bounce around and break but not before it decided to tear through the windage tray. It was LOL and noisy but the car was still running after all of that. I have an extra bare block, will probably reload it and use it to fix this tomorrow. Should take a day or two
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  15. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    A wrist pin gave?!? Man, of anything in that motor I'd think it'd be last on my sh*t list of things that could break in such a proven engine... wow. :confused:
  16. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    spent most of the night refilling the bare block I had and now have a working short block. Just got done installing it onto the trans so I will install this as an assembly to make it easy :) I just have to go to the autozone and get another rear trans mount while I am at it. Other than that, I may be done with this tonight
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  17. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    Actually, I think its a Zetec (SPI has a cast oil pan). They aren't quite as proven as the CVH but still I haven't heard of one with a wrist pin giving out like this.
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  18. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    Inspected leaking auto trans pan gasket and bolts -- found it was primarily from the back of the pan, where two bolts had worked slightly loose. Torqued all bolts to spec again, took a little lap around the block to warm fluid. No leakage on newly-cleaned drip area... checked fluid level. Drove about 15 mi away to get the car washed, drove back, and checked again -- no drippage, no level dropping, and the trans was behaving quite well -- shifts and throttle/forward-motion ratio usually deteriorate pretty quickly as it warms, but today it was fine (see below). Gonna call it good and just monitor it, maybe drain the pump and valve body through the plug & replace with new fluid later. :unsure:

    Oh BTW... this morning while getting the day's tools from storage, decided to check my IMRC. Just as in the video, it's literally five minutes work. And sonova... sure enough, my runners were stuck shut. A bit of a light tap with an extension at the center of the actuator arm, and it broke free -- felt like a bit of carbon had glued it in the low-rpm position, bit crackly. Luckily, the IMRC unit's motor and gears felt fine, and the rubber seal, while quite rocky*, was intact with no cracks. Reinstalled and drove home to check the trans in my shaded parking spot...

    Now, to pull the IMRC, the intake tube has to come off, meaning the air temp sensor has to disconnect. This resets your maps to default, which for me usually results in gnarly fuel consumption until the PCM gets its bearings again. This time, though, it didn't... drink fuel, that is. I babied the pedal as I do after every FI sensor disconnect to save fuel... and rather than guzzle, the car actually got much better fuel economy over next the 50 miles, figuring out what to do. Subjectively as well, the car didn't feel like it'd started out strong and adjusted to sitting-duck levels, as it used to do... but the car started off a *bit* stronger (esp with A/C on at a light), and settled a *bit* weaker... a much slighter change than it ever did... I'd say if you weren't the owner, you wouldn't even notice any difference. Drove around town a bit more just to heat it up well... and no change. None of that stupid shudder taking off in 1st, none of that schizo 'I'll-downshift-when-I-feel-like-it-Mr.-Auto-Trans-Hater' shens, none of that shaking-itself-apart under max A/C at a light. Just did what it was expected to do... shocking. :cautious::rolleyes:

    So was this from the IMRC runner control now being free to do its job, or from the reset of the maps? Both? No idea -- same air filter, same engine oil, just a touch of trans fluid (improves trans behavior, but never like this), same plugs... just cracked the RC shaft free, and tightened some bolts. Hmm... have I mentioned I really dislike having an auto trans? Coulda turned out worse, but sheesh. :confused::writing:

    This episode's takeaway: Check your IMRC. And I really dislike this F4EAT auto trans. :rolleyes:

    --

    * Glad this isn't a Phoenix car, or half the car would've turned to dust in 15 yrs. Gotta pick one -- rocky dust with no humidity, or holey rust when you have humidity... :bucktooth:
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  19. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    That's absolutely correct -- now that I look at it, that's nothing like an SPI pan! :facepalm: Och, no more posting after burritos with Dave's Insanity before bed... embarrassing. :sorry:

    But yeah -- wrist pins aren't usually the weak link in a piston engine -- even the rod will bend before a wrist pin and piston give (like with water or runaway fuel ingestion). Hell, if a 2" long, 1/2"-diam, tapered-cross-section pin can withstand reciprocating forces in a 16,000-rpm-redline Yamaha R6 engine, why on earth did a much bigger and thicker pin, without the edge taper... decide to fail, esp clipped into that fragile cast piston? Was a retaining clip not installed correctly? I think the piston failed, and started things off. :confused:
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  20. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    Okay... next on the list -- Matt's swaybar and tach are supposed to be in tomorrow (though tracker still says it left Richmond, CA on the 8th), can't wait to put those in. Meanwhile, need to order the bushings from Amazon, and a new downstream O2 sensor...

    So far the work on the trans has held, hopefully write that off for another year...

    Retainer clips for the driver's door panel -- apparently, there is no one in my hour of searching that has any idea what clips went where on a '99 sedan's drivers door. It had bad ones when I bought the car and constantly binds on the door frame when opening and closing. Not to mention it sounds like an '80s K-car when closing, while the intact passenger door sounds nice and solid. Frustrating... :grumpy:

    Quick question, though -- has anyone had any bad experience with the dome light killing their battery on the DOOR setting? I see that it stays on for about 15 secs of so after you get out, then shuts off. I've had it OFF for a year or so, just because my mother was afraid of killing her battery (well, she did zero maintenance, makes sense for someone who just puts gas in it). Would just like to have a dome light that shuts off when I close the door, frankly... :unsure:

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