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Old 06-14-2009, 06:38 AM   #1
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Escort mini-update...

Hi folks,

Still breathing here...

Need to collect up my receipts and do my log up.

My Escort has been annoying the hell out of me on the gas mileage front. Sometimes it runs great, sometimes it doesn't. Got an intermittent issue of some sort that I can't put a finger on. Also have had several issues, bad wires, oil leak, alternator going out, which have had impacts.

Also been having an erratic driving schedule, some weeks have a huge amount of city driving, some don't, been driving it around with couches, carpets, beds and crap on the rack and working it hard... in all that it's been getting rather hard to really know what the mpg numbers are really doing.

Getting no codes, just sometimes it starts and runs awesome, pulls like a train and "feels" like it's using less gas at cruise, other days it runs a little stumbly and laggy and feels like it's using more than it should.

With all that, haven't moved forward with 2nd phase of mods/experimenting. Waiting to get stable figures.

Road Warrior.

edit:
<<< Those are winter figures still showing, it's been doing 30mpgish lately.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:27 PM   #2
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Heard from a Ford tech that the coil modules frequently begin to fail with intermittent glitches.... hmmm... $80 though...
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:37 PM   #3
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You can probably get a used coil for under $10 @ a junkyard.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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That would be a good plan in a car that it is not supposed to be an endemic problem to. From what that ford guy was saying, it rather sounds as if I'd only have about a 3:1 shot of getting a fully good one.

Latest!

Found a vacuum leak! A line had rubbed through in an inaccessible place. Was while changing oil back to 0W30 and fixing the temp gauge grounding issue that has been bugging me. Mileage on a 65% highway tank and only 3/4 of it after the fix is 31.5 mpg... now it's going the right way!

However, discovered my aerodynamics have probably taken a hit, lost the left side partial bellypan cover, and the right side is flapping down.... if it's not one thing it's something else.

Also might be suffering in the RR department now, my axles have been throwing grease from the inner boots... seems like the small end of the boots has gone loose... never seen that before... possibly going to just shoot a load of grease back in there and use industrial strength zipties to reclamp them... reports from the front line are that re-man axles are a crap shoot... and boot kits no longer seem to be available.

Still haven't got the new tie rod ends on it yet, gah. Finding it hard to get it out of service for more than a couple hours at a time... probably won't take long, but sometimes stupid problems soak up wayyy too much time.

Discovered that my catalytic intake ports are probably a big lose and getting round to adding the fuel heater will probably not "unlock" them... the reason for this being.... chelating metal deactivators as a normal constituent of gasoline

Also, running around in 85 degree temps and my temp gauge is rock solid at about 1/3 scale, it's always rock solid there, I am pretty sure it got a new thermostat, which was a 195F nominal one, but the previous thermostat it sat at more like 2/5 ish in hot weather.

Was running great today, still getting that stumbly thing intermittently, Octane boosters do NOT improve it, possibly make it worse, I'm thinking this indicates ignition problems of some sort, either the coil or needs more advance or different plug gap or something.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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You might want to check the compression. The Escort engines have a tendency to drop valve seats you know. Probably not the problem, but if it is and is just lose you might catch it before it does any damage. I think you'd probably be able to get a good coil at jy, as far as I know they don't go bad from just sitting and I don't think 2 out of three of them were bad when the car went to the jy. Have you checked to see if there are any codes stored in the ecu? Might also want to take a good look at the timing belt too, they are bad to strip teeth off and jump time.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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Valveseats were in good shape when I put the head back on, and this thing has been bugging me almost constantly since I got it back together. Timing belt was new, had to have it 5* advanced due to head getting skimmed. No codes. E-tested extremely clean.

An odd thing about it is, it seems less likely to misbehave if I turn the key to run then count to five before starting it.

Sometimes it's like very light dieseling, but it's not a full on knock. I'm kind suspicious of the TPS being dead spotted or glitchy because sometimes a twitch of the foot, or ease off and reapply throttle will make it go away.

Some days it will run perfect and rip off 0-60 in around 8 secs. (No I'm not doing that all the time )

MAF is clean, plugs were new, PCV valve not that old...
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:20 PM   #7
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I'm thinking another potential is the O2 sensor... symptoms are similar to running rich, coz sometimes it will surge after stumbling... also looks a bit black around the tailpipe considering it was a new one 6 months ago.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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Holy crap I'm a dumb@ss, I had the motor apart before because it blew the headgasket, drank coolant into 2 cylinders and probably spat it down the exhaust pipe, not counting what it spat down there if it was seeping a bit before that...

So is it always 1 shot 1 kill with antifreeze and O2 sensors? Just can't believe it hasn't thrown a code yet if it was coolant killed.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:42 AM   #9
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Have you checked the fuel presure? Reading the part where you said if you turn the key on and wait a few seconds before starting sounds like maybe a weak fuel pump or presure regulator or clogged filter?? Just another suggestion. I don't know what affect anti freeze will have on an 02 sensor.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:31 PM   #10
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It's cured (touch wood) or at least much improved....

The O2 sensor tested A-okay, and I ran a full whack of KOEO, KEOR tests, and got zip, nada.

Fuel filter was/is fairly new, I forget the service interval (30,000??) but it's nowhere near that yet and I've never had dirty gas issues round here. Pump has not given any indication of trouble not even a slight warble in tone while running. Couldn't find pressure gauge for a check, but I was fairly confident it wasn't gonna turn anything up.

The problem appears to have been inductive crossfire between the (new!) ignition wires, which I had in the factory loom clips arranged 1-2-3-4... because the wires could flop around a little still, they arranged themselves more parallel or less parallel, maybe if I went over a bump, maybe if I was in the engine bay for anything else and wiggled them to check they were firmly on the plugs still. I had the previous set of motorcraft wires arranged the same way, but one may have also had leakage, because the problem improved a little after I put the new wires in... and also they might have been flopped in a "good" position right after I installed them. The funny thing is, I don't think I was using the loom clips before I redid the head, I think they were just sprawled all over, maybe one or two clipped down, it was because I arranged them "properly", hah.

The reason that waiting to start the car might have helped is because it would probably power the coilpack and the coilpack would warm up... this would make it less effective, so less prone to inductive interference, it gets a slightly weaker spark, but sparks at the right time, instead of a strong spark that gets strongly suppressed or a spurious spark 90 degrees out of phase.

Soooo, I'm now using the inductive coupling to advantage instead of disadvantage! I paired up the wires 1-4 and 2-3 because I believe it's a wasted spark setup on this and it fires them in pairs. So each pair now reinforces each other.

Result, smoothed the motor out quite a bit over the lower RPM range, I didn't know it was "rough" until I heard it smooth, so smooth between 700 and 1500 that coming to a stop I keep thinking I've stalled it. Also have been trying to force it to misbehave by going too slow up hills and it hasn't yet. There's a "slow spot" at 2000 RPM, where the stumble and hesitation gave me a lot of trouble, but I think the EEC might have added or subtracted fuel or timing there to try and fix it, and that might drive out.

Immediately after fixing it, I could tell the EEC had added too much fuel because at city speeds, I could take my foot off the gas and it would just keep going the same speed! That has scaled back now with some driving and re-learning. Going only by the gas gauge, it appears to be using less gas on this tank. It's certainly a lot more pleasant to drive now, don't have to manually downshift on hills to keep it out of the splutter zone. Seem to have picked up some low end.

Anyway, I hope this has finally nailed it, and I can get on with some other improvements and tests. I am thinking I want to run some decarb fluid through it if this tank turns up good, I had the heads very nicely polished and it's probably had enough partial firing and over-rich running to black them up Also want to make sure the intake ports are cleaned up again, had an experimental catalytic coating on them, which I bet is gunked up now... but half of the problem with those is that I just discovered that chelating agents are put in the gasoline to deactivate metals to STOP them decomposing hydrocarbons, need to put a big fat nix on those to get it working how I want....
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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