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Old 06-10-2008, 08:39 AM   #1
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'94 Escort Wagon for $400... what should I check?

after much (much) searching I found a 94 escort for $400. It's about an hour away, so looking at it is going to cost me about $30 just in gas getting there right now, what should I be looking for?

88,000 miles, stick, with sunroof. hopefully it's not pink. (if it is I'm gonna paint it either flat black or primer grey.)

I know it needs brake lines and the rocker panels are rusted through, does that ring any bells or set off any alarms?
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:56 AM   #2
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I think i saw that car in Craigslist. Was that in Providence or Worcester, by any chance?
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:26 AM   #3
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I think i saw that car in Craigslist. Was that in Providence or Worcester, by any chance?
This one is in Lyndonville, VT. Of course they could have listed it in a couple of different states too.

the ad:
http://burlington.craigslist.org/car/681969887.html
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:29 AM   #4
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Check there's still something for the rear springs and struts to hold onto, and they're not broken. If there's any signs of overheating... leaky rad, siezed waterpump, frozen up rad fan, then consider it ready to drop a valve seat and also the transmission will be suspect if auto. If it's an auto and the fluid is burnt, the tranny might not be far behind. Could be okay if the owner stopped driving it immediately it got any of those cooling system issues, but you really wanna try to fix it in place if you have to drive it very far.

Tie rods ends tend to get loose all the time, but they're cheap.

Weighed in for scrap it would get about $240 these days, so don't get too mad if the owner won't go lower than that. i.e. if it looks all fixable but there's a LOT of it.

Maintenance wise, it would probably be due for a waterpump and timing belt change, and expect to have to change fuel filter, clean MAF, change PCV valve, change breather filter, change air filter, change wires and plugs, change out ALL fluids, and get the tires pumped up as far as you dare, before you get good mileage out of it.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:50 PM   #5
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ignition modules tend to go bad; out completely causing it not to start but still turn over. Other times just makes the car run bad.
Stator in the distributor can go bad and cause the car to cut off after it warmed up and not restart until it cools. This is one of those things that get worse over time. the will not start time gets longer and longer.Just replace the distributor if it starts going bad.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
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I would give the front end tie rods, ball joints, and steering rack all a good check. Front end parts are what I have had the most problems with wearing out. I own 3 Escorts a 1988 with 475,000+ miles, a 2002 with 85,000+ miles and a 1997 with 22,000+ miles. I have had very good service from them. You need to ask the previous owner when the timing belt was last changed if ever. If it hasn't been changed it should be. I usually let them run about 100,000 miles. I did have one break on me once but I think it may have just been a defective belt because I think it had only been on about 50,000 miles when it broke. Luckily it didn't do any engine damage, just lined up the timing marks put another belt on it and fired it up. If you are a do it yourselfer you can change it yourself in about 1-2 hours if there is not a lot of accessories in the way to take off so you can get to it. If you can get to it easily you could pull the timing belt cover off and check the water pump for wear although I have only put one water pump on the '88 I have in 475,000 miles. Also look where the axles go into the transmission I have had to replace those seals a couple of times. Crankshaft and camshaft seals should be checked to see if they are leaking any oil. Otherwise I would just look under it to make sure there was no trace of oil underneath the car which could be leaking from anywhere and blowing underneath the car as it is being driven. If there are any very bad leaks the bottom of the car will most likely be covered with oil. As for the ignition modules I think they have improved on them they used to be bad to go out, but I haven't had one go out in several years. I don't know of anything that really sends out red flags on the Escorts, like I said front end parts have been my major issue but even then they usually last 80,000-110,000 miles. If the car has been well cared for it should be good for at least another 200,000 miles if you keep it serviced and keep check on the fluids.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hateful View Post
ignition modules tend to go bad; out completely causing it not to start but still turn over. Other times just makes the car run bad.
Stator in the distributor can go bad and cause the car to cut off after it warmed up and not restart until it cools. This is one of those things that get worse over time. the will not start time gets longer and longer.Just replace the distributor if it starts going bad.
It's EDIS in a '94, coil pack, no dizzy.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:10 PM   #8
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This one is in Lyndonville, VT. Of course they could have listed it in a couple of different states too.

the ad:
http://burlington.craigslist.org/car/681969887.html
hey i went to college at lyndon state, pm me with the kids name and ill see if i know him..get you the scoop!!
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