Revival of the '94 Escort...

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Oct 7, 2012
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Well *clears throat* Time to stop lurking and start bringing OC back Coffee Just shoved into the backyard is a friends '94 Escort (1.9 CVH Automatic) They call it an LX, which stands for Luxury Xperience? Manual locks/windows, strangle yourself passive restraints, yet power mirrors, frigid A/C, and a mostly functional heated rear window Got a whole 42,000 miles under it's belt It's shall we say, aesthetically challenged? In that Solo cup 90's teal #90sclearcoatproblems So the story goes like this Last December, me and him put a heater core in it, so it'd be a useable winter transport January rolls in, and he takes it on a road trip to Central PA, and slips on a patch of black ice Caddy corners a tree stump Luckily, wasn't hurt, and no airbags were harmed Local shops told him $1,500 minimum, I say junk it there and Amtrak back Turns out he had the top line AAA membership, which covers 300 miles of towing 165 of those miles later, it comes back to NYC and sits for 6 months on the corner of my block After it'd damaged enough property values, money and time were allocated to making it viable again He cracked the control arm at the weld, which bent the axle and sent it punching a hole in the back of the oil pan Swapped the control arm (which is a pain because the oil pan blocks the bolt) Dad decided to lend a hand in removing the twisted sway bar link that'd only spin In doing so he busted up his finger pretty bad, so work halts for a trip to the ER Sway bar links... mad Rolled it down the street and into the backyard to assess if it was possible to make it a whole car again Dropped the exhaust (the accident conveniently snapped the converter to flex pipe bolts) Manifold to converter nuts were a chore, but Kroil and a MAPP gas torch made it doable Got the oil pan off, saw how there was no oil left, and all the metal chunks Inner CV axle came apart when the axle bent, and stoved right into the back of the oil pan Tried to remove the drain plug, it was cross threaded and stripped to a mirror finish ...I never liked that oil pan anyways whistle Cleaned the oil pickup with some brake clean, because why not? Until the hose came off and a spritz of brake clean got me in the eye (note to self, it burns) WEAR YOUR SAFETY SQUINTS AT ALL TIMES Not just when you think you need them, ALL THE TIME A few days of rest later, Got the new pan all clean and dressed New gasket, and some well placed Ultra Black, because there will be no leaks! Bolt it all together, and torque in sequence to spec (Thanks AllData) Spin a fresh 400S on (Because if it's not genuine, I don't want it smirk ) Real BITOG'ers don't tolerate overtightened, non gasket oiled, ADBV malfunctioning, no name jobber filters 4 quarts of the good stuff go in (WM Supertech 5w30) I pull the coil plug and fuel pump fuse Crank it over until the oil pressure light went out Checked for leaks Repeated this 5 times or so Plugged everything in Crossed my fingers, turned the key And she fired first try, like nothing ever happened I could hear all 88 angry horsepower resonating off the walls through the Genuine Ford Racing Manifold only exhaust system No flickering oil lights, no rattley top end, no deep bottom end knock It sounded just like I remember it did (A/C still works too!) Guess the owner wasn't lying when he said he shut it off the second he finished crashing I let it warm up, so the belt could wear the rust off the pulleys, and saw that the transmission still engaged The verdict was in, this car's got a bright future I promoted it to slightly above station car status I received an axle and sway bar links today So it's gonna go back together hopefully this weekend Gotta find some hardware and a gasket to bolt the two studless exhaust flanges back together, and get it rolling under it's own power again Now I assume you all came for those sweet internal engine pictures? And you shall receive It actually looks dirtier in the pictures then in real light Those puddles in the rockers and drips off the rod caps look black, but the oil was clean? Then again, that oil pan with hole was sitting for 6 months exposed to air and moisture and salt One more OCI, and I suspect oil will be the least of the cars problems That oil pan was a PITA to find, they don't make them new anymore Luckily, found the good used one pictured on eBay for $50~ They even painted it for me, fine people of an online Salvage Yard in Ohio Hopefully, soon the saga of the '94 Escort will conclude... And it will return to it's life of running to the local store, running up and down I-95, sitting in traffic on the B.Q.E, all while making you feel like you're living within your means, and getting very respectable fuel economy Seriously, this thing gets like 25 on a bad day, 30 MPG without really trying, odd for an automatic...
 
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Virginia
Great work here smile Very good write up and pics too. Well done indeed. I had a 89 Ford Probe that was given to me by my mom. It was a LX version too. I wondered what that meant too. A very good car in fact. Basically a Mazda motor and transmission in it. I saw one just yesterday and I was shocked to see one.
 
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Oct 9, 2004
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
Aargh-memories of my poor misspent youth, I personally had an '83 & an '85 1/2, my Mom had an '81 Lynx & a '94 Tracer wagon. Made me appreciate Toyota small cars & even a Cavalier or two...
 
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You must live in Whitestone as that's the only neighborhood I know of where you can park a car for days on end without having to move it. You did say NYC. EXCELLENT write up.
 
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Oct 9, 2004
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
Also, what killed my Mom's '94 1.9 Tracer was an intake seat dropping out of the head & imbedding into the piston-if I was putting $ into one, I would pull the head & stake those seats in-hers died with 90K on it. Love those Ford aluminum heads!
 

pbm

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New York
IIRC, the OP lives across the GG (ethnic slur gangplank or Veranzano Bridge) in Staten Italy (which always made me laugh). I enjoyed the write-up but I agree you have to watch that CVH for dropped valve seats (common issue).....if you correct that issue the car should soldier on indefinitely.
 
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DFW
Good thought on the strategically placed black RTV. I had a 93 and replaced the oil pan gasket twice after the dealer did it once and still had ooze. The dealer mechanic simply said, "Escorts and Tempos leak." Both used that type of cast aluminum oil pan. My guess is that it will not "flex" and form as good a fit to the bottom of the engine as a stamped steel pan would. Hopefully, the addition of the sealant will prevent that. If you ever notice substantial vibration while stopped at lights it is most likely a messed up harmonic balancer. Apparently, those separate sometimes. Also, I like Poland Spring water. I buy a lot of it on every trip to NYC.
 
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With the 1991 model year the Escort became a sort of Ford/Mazda hybrid. The engine was Ford (1.9L), transmission (at least the automatic) and suspension was Mazda. Interesting combination that resulted in a reliable, but boring, experience. The GT version had a Mazda DOHC 1.8L engine which gave it a little oomph. The Mercury Tracer was its corporate twin.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
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BerksCounty/Pa.
My girlfriend back in the day had a 2 door 94 Escort LX wtih the 1.9L 5spd. That litte car ran great after a new cap,rotor,plugs and wires when I first started dating her. She ended up trading it in on a brand new 1998 Chevy Caviler at a dealership while I was at work without my knowledge. I asked her how much they offered her & she said 500 bucks off her new car. I called them & offered them 500 cash & they said -- no. I missed that little car when it was gone & thanks for the post & refreshing some memories.
 

pbm

Joined
Apr 19, 2004
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New York
Originally Posted By: thorromig
My girlfriend back in the day had a 2 door 94 Escort LX wtih the 1.9L 5spd. That litte car ran great after a new cap,rotor,plugs and wires when I first started dating her. She ended up trading it in on a brand new 1998 Chevy Caviler at a dealership while I was at work without my knowledge. I asked her how much they offered her & she said 500 bucks off her new car. I called them & offered them 500 cash & they said -- no. I missed that little car when it was gone & thanks for the post & refreshing some memories.
Wow. If my GF traded in her car without asking me if I wanted to buy it, she probably wouldn't be my GF anymore...J/K...sorta..
 
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Originally Posted By: thorromig
My girlfriend back in the day had a 2 door 94 Escort LX wtih the 1.9L 5spd. That litte car ran great after a new cap,rotor,plugs and wires when I first started dating her.
Something is off here. The 1.9L Ford engine has distributorless ignition. It had a single coil block and spark plug wires, but no distributor and thus no cap. That car must have had the optional MAZDA 1.8L DOHC engine, which did have a distributor. It was 127hp rather than the 88hp in the Ford 1.9L.
 

michaelluscher

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 7, 2012
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NYC
Well, it's coming along Axle and exhaust are back together Only problem is, when I pulled the remnants of the inner CV joint, I was not prepared for fluid Does this automatic have a separate fill and drain for the differential? It's a F-4EAT automatic Anyone ever service one before?
 
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