94 Escort running on 3 cylinders-help!

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  #1  
Old 07-04-03, 06:25 AM
chercat
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94 Escort running on 3 cylinders-help!

HI
Just bought this car a month ago- AT , 1.9, 47000 orig. miles .Car ran super on test drive . A few days later ,began idling rough -thought car might have been sitting for awhile cuz was used as a winter car .
Boyfriend , who is mech.,changed plugs and wires - no better .
He then changed fuel filter , cleaned EGR valve and throttle body, ran fuel injector cleaner thru intake manifold (?) to engine - a little better .
Very sluggish on low speeds - hard to get up hills, but once on highway , runs good at 50 or above .
Smells of gas on starting at times .

Checked compression, vac and fuel pressures - all good . No codes show in engine . Suspected timing belt had jumped .

A few days ago , it made a god awful noise and started shaking to make my teeth chatter . Drove it a few miles to his shop - timing belt had slipped quite a bit . He replaced belt - no better .
He rechecked it many times to make sure set right - no better .

He replaced a fuel injector after testing -put new plugs on again even though all looked fine and had spark ( as did the originals but a cheap fix ) .

He is stumped what the problem can be -esp. since no codes show and all tests prove good .
I know this is a non interference engine . If a valve or seal or piston was damaged , wouldn't it show up in a compression test ?

Any suggestions short of replacing one piece at a time ? THis is so frustrating for a car with such low mileage.

BTW _ he did say it looked like someone had been playing with the timing belt before because some screws seemed to be tampered with tbut I thought they might have gotten screwed up when it slipped .

Car no running on three cylinders - afraid it will get worse , so now I have no car but the old 86 Buick in my driveway which I took off the road when I bought this - it actually runs so I may have to put that back on for awhile .
 
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  #2  
Old 07-04-03, 07:13 AM
Joe_F
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Whoa Nelley! STOP! Don't change parts. If your b/f is a mechanic, he should know how to test parts before pitching 'em!

Does the engine misfire? Does it putt out of the exhaust? What happens when you try to pull the trouble codes with a scanner (even though the MIL is not on)?

1) Make sure there are no vacuum leaks. Correct any you find.
2) Make sure the timing is correct.
3) A compression test would usually show problems, yes.
4) How's the fuel pressure?
5) What are the condition of the plugs if you look at them now?
6) Are all cylinders really firing? You could have defective wires.

etc, etc, etc, etc.
 
  #3  
Old 07-04-03, 09:28 AM
chercat
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re : Escort

Yes,I believe the engine is now misfiring - he seems to think the problem is on Cylinder #4 , but he cannot seem to figure out why. He says it must not be getting enough fuel , but a new injector on that clyinder did not correct problem. Blue smoke is coming out of the exhaust today , he said , it was not doing that yesterday , but now it is idling better at start up .

It is smoking near the timing belt pulley , which it was doing when I drove it in. It is making a noise in that area - cannot seem to figure out what the noise is.

He says he is certain that the belt is on right - checked it numerous times -
How can he check timing - says it is automatic. Can the timing belt be on too tight or a problem with the tensioner ? He believes the tensioner is fine and says he is sure belt is not on wrong .

Spark plugs are clean - all have good spark. Wires tested - good - were replaced . Has good fuel pressure and vacuum pressure .

Not sure what MIL is - but he tested for codes with a diagnostic scanner from another shop and no codes appeared at all.

Thanks for your input - I appreciate your taking the trouble to respond.
 
  #4  
Old 07-04-03, 09:39 AM
chercat
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re : Escort

HI

I forgot to mention that he did disconnect the catalytic converter to see if it would run any better without it , but ti did not .

Also, another mechanic told him to change the gas cap which he did - no difference . The new gas cap is still on there - maybe that built up some kind of pressure ? Don't think that makes sense, but grasping at straws here .

I am thinking something with fuel pressure regulator , but not sure if that was bad , it would show up on diagnostic scanner .

Sorry to be a pain and not explaining things too well.
 
  #5  
Old 07-04-03, 10:26 AM
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first confirm which cylinder is not firing you can do this by unplugging each injector one at a time, once you determine if it does have a cylinder down run compression again just to make sure it is ok if it is ok check for a vacum leak at the intake manifold gasket using carb cleaner and spraying along where the intake bolts to the head, be carefull cause a fire could result when checking for a vacum leak so try not to use much carb cleaner when checking for a vacum leak.
check the output of the coil on that cylinder use a test light connected to ground and disconnect wire going to whichever cylinder isnt firing at the coil now have someone start the car briefly while checking spark from the coil, most distributerless ignition coils will jump about an inch gap if in doubt you can compare it to another cylinder that is firing.
and if you still havent found it by now check for injector pulse at the cylinder which isnt firing, no injector pulse could be wiring or computer related problem.
 
  #6  
Old 07-04-03, 02:57 PM
BelairBoy
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hold on a second. I believe(could be wrong though) that blue smoke is an oil or seal leak at the pistons, or a blown piston ring....something like that. Dont do anything else until Joe gets on here cause he's the real pro. I wish Joe could come work on my car.......lol good luck.
 
  #7  
Old 07-04-03, 03:13 PM
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First thing I'd do is take the covers off the timing belt, and find out what's causing the smoke. There are a few things that can casue this..A bad tensioner pully, a bad water pump, a cover rubbing against the timing belt.. Have him inspect it, and recheck to make sure it's still in time. Assuming it is, have him redo the compression check. I've seen non-interferance engines bend valves, and interference engines run fine.. strange world!!
Have him do both a dry compression check and a wet compression check...Most manuals for most cars will tell you a range (for compression) that is acceptable, and then also tell you what the maximum variance between cylinders is..So you could have an engine that should be 140-170 PSI (the specs) and have true readings of 168, 165, 162, and 145. By specs the compression is "ok". But most likely the last one is outside the allowable tolerance, and there is a problem. If there is a fairly large difference in 1 cylinder between a dry test and a wet test, then that's an indication of a problem also..Most cars are to be done at normal operating temp, with all plugs removed, coil disabled, and fuel system disabled...
 
  #8  
Old 07-04-03, 03:17 PM
Joe_F
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Both MSA and BeJay are correct. Great advice.

BB: You have a host of professionals on this board. If any of them were working on your car, you should be in confidence .

Original poster: True blue smoke is engine oil burning. Not good. Find the cause and correct it. It could be as MSA suggested. If so, internal failure/rebuild time. If the vehicle is in good shape, it may warrant a rebuilt engine.
 
  #9  
Old 07-04-03, 05:36 PM
chercat
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re ; Escort

Well, he is so frustrated after working on this car virtually non-stop for days , but here is his theory as best as I can explain it .

#4 cylinder is bad - he belives it may even have been since engine was built( MACHINED A BIT OFF ??) but problem never really discovered .
Oil was building up in EGR valve , air intake manifold, PCV valve, etc. . Once he cleaned those things out really well, ( there was a lot of carbon and soot like substance built up ) , now the oil is going thru them and coming out the exhaust . I am sure I am not explaining it right - sorry .

Anyway, he believes that he needs to replace the piston rings on the #4 cylinder and he thinks it is worth doing since he will be doing all the labor - otherwise , I would have to trash a car I hAve owned a month . He says the timing belt slipping had nothing to do with in his opinion.

He does not own a leakdown tester but says there is probably a way he can make something to do a similar test . ANy hints on this ? I am going to try to borrow one from one of the guys at work -they are all mechanics but not auto mechanics , but someone might have one .
 
  #10  
Old 07-04-03, 05:48 PM
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Redoing the compression test on cly #4 can help determine this.. Do the compression test normal, record the results. The squirt a few squirts of oil into the cylinder, and redo the compression test.
If the compression remains the same, either 1, there is no problem in the cylinder, or the problem is in the head/valve train area. If the compression increases drastically, then the problem is in the "lower end" ie, piston and rings..Now, this is based on having compression either on the low end of the manufacture's specs, or below specs.. If the compression is normal, redoing a wet test is pretty much a waste of time..

Did he figure out what was causing the smoke from the timing belt area?
 
  #11  
Old 07-05-03, 04:04 AM
Joe_F
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I agree with MSA. Retrace your steps until you get to the root of the problem.

If the engine is finished, best bet is to get an ATK aftermarket rebuild and just have your b/f do the R&R of the engine and related components. Now would be the time to do belts and hoses, and all expendables with the engine out.

Machine shop type work is likely needed on the block if you were to use the original over again. It takes specialized tools and knowledge here---I'd advise against doing it yourself unless you have them.

Get the right tool for the leakdown test. They are not that expensive. As a mechanic, he needs one anyhow .

My guess on the oil leaking at the timing cover is a cam seal, but it's tough to say without seeing/smelling it
 
  #12  
Old 07-09-03, 10:29 AM
chercat
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re ; Escort

I appreciate all the helpful advice given by everyone . I have not been on the baord awhile because nothing further has been done on the car . He has had to work 12 hr shifts with no day off due to lack of personnel .

ANyway, now he is telling me that the #4 cylinder has compression, but after it warms up a short while , it drops.
He is ready to order the parts to replace/repair the rings which he says is what is wrong with it .
Meanwhile , I told this to a mechanic at work, and he and four other guys , all agreed that this did not sound like a problem with the rings. They said if it was bad rings, there would be no compression at all in that cylinder - it would not be there, then drop at warm idle.
To them , it sounded more like a head gasket which they said would be easier to fix than a ring job.

I guess the problem is that he does not have the right tool - leakdown tester , for the job. I hate to spend all that money and time replacing the rings and then finding out it still runs like junk.

I doubt I would get anything for it at this point running the way it is -Anyone have any opinions on Elantras ? Maybe I should cut my losses while I can - it has been almost two months since I bought the car and the Attorny General says I onyl had 30 days to return it since it was bought from a private party and it seems like I would have to try to prove that she had prior knowledge that it had engine problems. I still cannot understand why it ran SO well on test drive and about a week after , the rough idle began.
 
  #13  
Old 07-09-03, 11:32 AM
Joe_F
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You may not have much recourse with a private party. With any cars I have sold, I plainly write "AS IS, no warranty express or implied" on the bill of sale and I sign it along with the buyer.

You had a chance to inspect and run the car and ask questions, or have it looked at, so she didn't deny you anything. She could play dumb on it and say, "Don't know, ran good for me. Maybe the previous owner did something???". Not sure you'd get very far on that route.

Again, get the right tester. If your b/f is a mechanic, he should own that tester---he's going to need it for other jobs/cars. Money well spent. See if that tells you where the problem is.

If the car is in good shape overall, throw the engine out and put in an ATK rebuilt in place of the bad one or get a Ford FQR rebuilt engine for it. In this fashion, you will have a rebuilt with all updated parts and assembly techniques which have been corrected over the original flaws of this engine. Here's a case where rebuilt is BETTER than new if a good quality unit .

If the car is not worth the engine, pitch it. Donate it to charity, take the tax writeoff and save up for another car. I don't know what type of Buick you took off the road, but the Buick is likely a better car than the Ford would be anyhow.

As far as Elantras are concerned, I'd stay away from anything Hyundai. Hyundai's quality is highly suspect. They basically pulled out of selling cars from the US market some years back due to poor quality. They then resurfaced again with cheap price and great warranty. Basically, they HAD to, to regain their reputation.

My neighbor has a 2001 Elantra. It's a tinny, cheap looking econobox, but he likes it. Me? I wouldn't take a free one. There's better out there for the same money.

Good luck.
 
  #14  
Old 07-11-03, 04:44 AM
Joe4x4
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escort 1.9 problem # 4 cylinder

I was working on my girl friends mom`s car last month , and # 4 cylinder
had a bad VALVE SEAT . It is a common problem that Ford knows and they have yet recalled ...and I don`t see it any time soon .

I had the head redone by a machine shop ...know anther family member is putting it together ....but thats another story.


here is a link ....read (( Ford 1.9 ))

http://www.cartrackers.com/Forums/live/Ford/229.html




Just want to say hi to everyone .....I just found this message board,........HI EVERYONE.......

I`m from New Jersey .....
 
  #15  
Old 07-11-03, 06:34 AM
Joe_F
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Question

What part? My sister lives up off Route 78.....
 
  #16  
Old 07-11-03, 02:15 PM
Joe4x4
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what part ?

I live about 1/2 hour from Atlantic City. rt 30 white horse pike.

Let me see if posting a pic works......http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/7ba4e...AMzD_Aa8wmmfnP
 

Last edited by Joe4x4; 07-11-03 at 02:39 PM.
  #17  
Old 07-11-03, 05:25 PM
Joe_F
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Link is broken/invalid.

Yup, that's the other way. My sister is WAY north of there, almost into Easton, PA. About an hour and ten from me (55 miles).
 
  #18  
Old 07-17-03, 02:28 PM
chercat
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re : Escort

I wanted to get back to everyone who was so helpful in their responses and to give you a follow up on the car siutation.

The engine was finally removed today and the problem did turn out to be the valve seat which Joe 4X4 mentioned along with a helpful link.
When my b/f first took it apart ,he said the #4 psiton and rings were damaged along with the head - looking further , he saw that the valve was "off" and discovered that , indeed, the valve seat had dropped causing the damage to the #4 cylinder ,etc.

We brought it to the machine shop and I got an estimate of $300 to replace the seat , piston, rings , etc. and to reinforce the other valve seats - the machinist said he had done about 6 on the same engine - 94-96 over the past few years, but he knows people who had Escorts of those years with 180,000 miles and such issue . He did agree that Ford screwed up when they manufactured those valve seats and he said that it is ALWAYS the #4 cylinder that is damaged .
My b/f will put on the new head gasket and misc things - for another $60-$75. It would not be worth fixing to me if I had to pay more than this , but the car is totally useless to me if I do not fix it , I suppose .
IF , and it is a huge IF, the car works well after all these repairs, I may keep it awhile , but my instinct is to trade it in.

My b/f said the timing belt was an unrealted issue and he believes that someone did try to replace the timing belt or replaced it wrong in an effort to fix the engine problem.

I still cannot understand why the car ran SO well the first day I test drove it and brought it home , and then a few days later , it started running rough .
The second owner, whom I bought it from, did say he replaced the fuel filter , battery , and the idler controller , so my guess is that he had some issues too - but the car was running on all 4 cylinders the day I brought it home - 2 days later I replaced the plugs,wires, etc. - Guess it was just bad timing on my part -

I know one thing - I will NEVER consider another Ford product again - even fro FREE

Thanks again for EVERYONE's input and advice - you guys were awesome !!! This is a great forum .
 
  #19  
Old 07-17-03, 04:29 PM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Glad you figured it out. Screw it back together and see how it goes.

Me personally? I'd pitch it. These are poorly screwed together and will have a lot of annoyance problems over the years.

I have a 89 Cavalier and while it's no stellar vehicle, it gets the job done, it's in great shape and it was free. LOL
 
  #20  
Old 07-18-03, 02:03 AM
Joe4x4
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Ford

Ford makes good trucks tho.....

I hope your b/f gets the car together and running good for you.

What I like to do buy is used cars and trucks that are cheap or free thats the best price. I do not see myself spending $ 30,000
THOUSAND plus dallors for a car or a truck.....car market is out of controll. Buying part`s for cars are also going up , I was working my girls sister`s car needed a started $ 110 got a starter that was the cheapest,.... $ 198 the highest .......I remember when it was around $ 30 bucks ( I sound old know ..LOL ).


Let me see if I can show everyone my toy ...again



http://www.geocities.com/joe4x4_007/photopagerock5.html
 
  #21  
Old 07-18-03, 05:32 AM
chercat
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re ; Escort

Yes, my b/f has an old , 85 I think, Ranger and it has 285,000 miles on it ! He runs it into the ground -

I, on the other hand, take care of my vehicles - maybe I just hit a bad one , who knows ?

ANyway, I hope he can patch it together - a mechanic at work told me to replace all the other valve seats with aluminum and do it right , but I do not really want to invest anymore in this car .
I know he makes sense, though .

Since all the problems seem to have been reported on the #4 cylinder, I will probably take my chances on just replacing that one and anchoring the others in .

If it happens again , I may feel like a fool - then I will bite the bullet and get a 2003 something - maybe a Corolla .
 
  #22  
Old 07-18-03, 05:38 AM
Joe_F
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You can always donate the car to charity and take a tax writeoff if it becomes a money pit.

That or throw it on Ebay cheaply with no reserve .
 
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