1997 Ford Escort Can't figure it out.

  • 1997 FORD ESCORT
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 120,000 MILES
My timing belt broke.I replaced it and now it won't run right. Idles SUPER hard and really low and when you hit the gas it throttles just enough to turn the oil pressure light off. It has 40psi of fuel, 120lbs in each cyclinder, spark, and YES the timing has been checking double checked and triple checked. Throttle sensors good I checked with an omhs meter and the MAF is also good.I punched out the cat to because it got super hot and that didnt change a thing. I've also changed the PCM and that didn't do anything. Any ideas?
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Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 2:57 PM

1 Reply

The 2.0L is listed as an interference engine so it's going to have bent valves. That often won't show up on a compression test but it will with a cylinder leakage test. Many auto parts stores that rent or borrow tools will have that tester. You need compressed air to run it.

If the catalytic converter was running red hot, that's because to much unburned fuel was going into the exhaust. That could be related to the bent valves. With low power, the throttle has to be opened more, and that results in lower intake manifold vacuum and more intake air. Both the map sensor, when used, and your mass air flow sensor will tell the Engine Computer the engine is under load and more fuel is needed.

In addition, you're going to have to replace the catalytic converter. It is monitored for efficiency, and with no catalyst inside, no change will take place in the exhaust gas. That will set a fault code and turn on the Check Engine light. Besides blocking some fault codes from setting, with the light on, you'll never know when a different problem occurs. Many of those problems are very minor but can turn expensive when ignored or you don't know about them.

Also consider the engine won't run perfectly once the valves are replaced until you drive it a little. By replacing the Engine Computer, you lost the fuel trim values that were stored in it. Those numbers will be re-established during the first drive cycle.
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Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 3:13 PM

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