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psst, is anyone still here?

I just resurrected my wagon from the dead. It's been parked for two years after it died on me at a gas station. Almost two years to the week after it was towed home, it lives again. I spent three days under the hood checking sensors, belts, timing, drive-train, grounds, wiring, plugs and the coil. The timing seemed to be advanced by one tooth on the cam gear so I fixed it. every sensor I checked functioned. The only thing I could find not working properly was the coil, only half of it was generating a spark. So I went to testing and checking wiring from the coil to the ECU under the dash. everything still tested good. I jumped on here and done some googling and decided to check the ECU. I don't know how to check the ECU, so I swapped it with one from another car and it acts like it wants to turn over. Positive sign. Put the engine back together and turned the key.
It didn't fire right up but it was starting. After a few stinky backfires, probably from all the starting fluid I squirted into the intake over three days, it kept running under it's own power. 10 minutes of rough idling and the rad fan on high, the motor finally coughed one last time and settled down into it's quiet little idle I remember from all those years ago. I let it run for another 20 mins just to make sure it wasn't trying to trick me into test driving it a little too early then took it out onto the highway that is my street and shook it down a bit. Flat spots on the tires and rusty brakes be dammed. I forgot how sporty this little car is.
Now its time to drop about a grand into all the little things that need tended to on it. like the brakes and tires, cracked glass, all the underneath rubber parts and other little things that need done.

This resurrection was my Wife's idea after I had been rear ended twice in a year in the same vehicle (which got totaled both times) and used car prices being what they are. we still need to get a new work rig for me but its on the back burner since the escort is awake again. If theres enough interest from me, I might even foix up my parts car and put it on the road too. Ive only ever driven it between houses when relocating. WTH why not.
 
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98 thermostat housing upgrade…
front main seal leak downgrade

another leak another project
 

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R1 concepts geomet brakes with ceramic pads
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Aircraft
Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive tire
 
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New control arms, bushings, ball joints, tires, aligned it.
Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle
 

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Doesn't seem like much, until you take all the stuff apart that needs to come out, and disconnect the darn speedo cable, but I fixed the no illumination of the tachometer.

One burnt lamp, and one faulty socket. The bad socket was why the lights never all worked for years, it's good to finally have it figured out and fixed!
 

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Did a factory fog lights upgrade
Found my 3 year old water pump leaking.

my wagon has been 3 years of sweet seeet bitterness.
Car Automotive parking light Land vehicle Vehicle Daytime
 

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I didn’t take a picture, because I was bitter, but I put a 90$ Motorcraft water pump in. Actually my buddy Daryl did it in 20 min with some rubics cube magic. I was absolutely planning on dropping the motor 6” but he rotated the pump in the housing and then another 90 degrees and it dropped out 🤯.

My 2.5 year old water pump still looked brand new. The milling marks were still on the metal impeller. What failed was the bearing, which ate the shaft seal, AND the freeze plug was weeping. 🤬

I even installed a knurled bushing type metal impeller and just replaced it with a non knurled plastic impeller one 😑

I did 100 miles right after and all is well again.
 

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Drained coolant, removed lower rad hose and then my custom alternator bracket in order to remove piece of broken bracket attaching bolt in block.
Cleaned rad hose that was caked with oily dirt in gasoline(!), came out really nice!
Big job that I had been procrastinating for close to a year.
 

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Replaced camshaft seal. I had opened up the hood to check oil levels etc. and noticed a bit more oily mess than usual, and since I don't use a timing belt cover I was able to see that the camshaft seal behind the sprocket had come out about halfway. I pried it back in until I got home. I probably should have left it alone as it was a bit of a pain getting it out afterwards.
Since I keep a good stock of spares at home from Rock Auto closeouts, I actually had a spare seal at hand. I set the timing marks before taking off the sprocket, but discovered that in its wisdom, the Ford Motor Company designed the camshaft so that the Woodruff key is at the bottom when the timing marks are aligned, resulting in the key dropping out when the camshaft sprocket is removed.
Luckily it didn't fall all the way into the bowels of the front cover, and I was able to retrieve it with a magnet.

I'm guessing the seal had dried out and shrunk a little with age, so was a little loose in its housing. It certainly has been leaking for a while, so it needed replacing anyway, I had just been procrastinating the job.

Did an oil flush and change at the same time.
 

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...since I don't use a timing belt cover I was able to see that the camshaft seal behind the sprocket had come out about halfway...
...I'm guessing the seal had dried out and shrunk a little with age, so was a little loose in its housing...
A more critical member (NOT ME, mind you) might observe that the timing belt cover was engineered to keep debris and other harmful components of the underhood environment away from the timing belt and seals, in hopes of extending their life. Since I am NOT one of those critical members, I will not make that observation.

Instead, I will observe how serendipitous it was that you had an unobstructed view of the deteriorated and shifted seal.

...but discovered that in its wisdom, the Ford Motor Company designed the camshaft so that the Woodruff key is at the bottom when the timing marks are aligned, resulting in the key dropping out when the camshaft sprocket is removed....
I did not know this off the top of my head, and I am not sure I would have noticed the key's orientation, had I have been in your shoes. I will make note of this bit of trivia. Should I find myself in your shoes someday [and miraculously remember this exchange], I think I would do the following:

1. Align the crank at the "other" TDC, with the cam sprocket 180 degrees off of the timing mark (and the keyway UP instead of DOWN).
2. Make a poor man's mark of some sort, noting the cam sprocket's current location.
3. Pull the belt & sprocket and replace the seal.
4. Re-install those parts removed, spin the engine to the proper timing mark(s) alignment, and confirm their correctness.

Thanks for sharing your story, so that others may benefit. (y)
 

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This wasn't technically 'today', but a week or two ago, I prepared [with some trepidation] to get the required bi-annual smog inspection on my red wagon.

This being a 1994, and pre-OBD2, the certification process includes a dreaded EVAP system test:
After pinching off the vapor line that goes to the charcoal canister, the fuel system is placed under a slight positive pressure via an adapter on the fill neck. (The gas cap is similarly tested.) This pressure must be held for some number of minutes, otherwise the car fails. A myriad of 28-year-old car woes can result in a failure. These include the dreaded fill neck hose itself, the vapor lines and grommets buried on top of the tank, the fuel pump o-ring, and the vapor line to the front. And there's more! Beyond the pinch-off point, the continuation of the vapor line to the charcoal canister and the purge line to the throttle body are all subject to a physical inspection.

I have previously failed the EVAP test on multiple Gen2's for multiple reasons, so my week-or-two-ago task was a review of system components, and a peremptory replacement of ALL the vapor-related underhood hoses.

Thankfully, the car passed the EVAP and all the other tailpipe emission and inspections tests.
I single-handedly saved the planet.

You're welcome.
 

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1988 EXP 2.0l H.O on bike carbs.
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Thankfully, the car passed the EVAP and all the other tailpipe emission and inspections tests.
I single-handedly saved the planet.

You're welcome.
Then there is me with a 88 EXP and no egr, evap,charcoal canister running on bike carbs with a big cam and 2 way high flow cat. :whistle:

OK OK, I only put around 5k miles on in the 5-6 years I owned the car so maybe I'm not all that a of dirt bag.
 

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Regarding the timing belt cover delete, I like simplicity and also have replaced the PS and AC, idlers etc. with a simple bracket for the alternator with no clumsy serpentine drive system.
I was a bit concerned with the chance of a small pebble or stick bouncing into the belt and sprocket assembly and breaking it, but I drive mostly on paved roads and keep the lower splash shields on which should keep most debris out.
I also keep a spare timing belt and tools in the car so I could change the belt on the side of the road, which I have done once before.

I think the EVAP system on my car has never worked since I've had it as there is never pressure in the tank when I remove the gas cap. I did replace the vapour system grommets on the top of the fuel tank several years ago as they were badly leaking. It doesn't produce a trouble code, however.

Luckily my car is one of the series that was made without an EGR system ('92-'94 non-California, I think), as that seems to be a common problem area.
 

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...and keep the lower splash shields on which should keep most debris out.
Splash Shield Delete, here (you know, for simplicity). :p

...I think the EVAP system on my car has never worked since I've had it as there is never pressure in the tank when I remove the gas cap. I did replace the vapour system grommets on the top of the fuel tank several years ago as they were badly leaking. It doesn't produce a trouble code, however.
Pre-OBD2 won't throw a CEL if the EVAP system is malfunctioning.
1996 model year [OBD2] was when the EVAP pressure sensor was added (which WOULD throw a CEL in case of failure).
That's why OBD2 cars don't need the EVAP test - they are periodically testing themselves.
 
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