1997 Ford Escort overheating

Tiny
GARYVAC2
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
My 1997 escort overheats. We have a new rad, thermostat, flushed entire system several times. Just finished putting in new head gasket, took me two days. Still exact same symptoms. Ok while idle, as soon as you start driving it heats up and within a mile needle is at max. Runs smooth, no smoke, fan cycles ok. Heater inside never blows hot air, just warm, ac works fine. What should I do next?
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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 AT 7:12 AM

21 Replies

Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
I would strongly suggest checking your water pump. It may seems ok but the impeller can seperate from the shaft causing the coolant not to circulate the system. And if you have to replace the pump replace the timing belt same time.
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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 AT 7:20 PM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the response. Is there a way to check the water pump? Its hard to get to behind the timing belt.I think the timing belt actually runs it am I correct? I. Ve been told by some friends that the head itself could be cracked internally, we replaced the head gasket but never had the head checked, it looked ok and we were precise with the cleaning and preparation and torque sequence with new head bolts. The car overheats when you start to drive. It can idle for any length of time without getting above normal, but as sson as idrive down the road and accellerate it heats up within 1/2 mile. No smoke, no coolant in oil, no oil in coolant.I hate like hell to pull the head off again. What should I do to verify the pump could be bad?
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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 AT 8:48 PM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
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It's a pleasure trying to help. To check the waterpump sometimes is to check the water flow at the rediator cap while off but you wont notice much movement due to the thermostat not opened till its specific temp. By that time of opening it (coolant)will be very hot and has expanded. So you have to go the long way but its very easy and not time consuming, check the waterpump directly. And yes the t/belt turns the pump. About your head cracked as long as you do not have any sign of white smoke from the exhaust you should be fine. And you have checked everything else but the waterpump. So refer to the manual to replace the pump if you have doubts.
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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 AT 9:25 PM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
  • MEMBER
Thank you, can you explain a little more about troubleshooting for the waterpump? I started the engine with the cap off and could feel the upper rad hose soft and cold, when the thermostat opens the hose gets stiffer and you can feel the heat. The rad fill hole, coolant spits out occasionally, I caught it and eventually poured it back in as the coolant resides, this went on for about 20 minutes, temp normal.I though I had air in the system, but i'm sure it would've gotten out by then. Put the cap on and 1/2 mile down road heated up the same. If coolant is moving thru the rad is that conclusive enough to assume the water pump is ok? If I remove the timing belt cover to see the water pump can I run the engine without the cover? What would I look for at the pump? Thanks again
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Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 AT 9:37 AM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
Hi again, it all comes down to your pump so will have to replace it. And to check the pump you will have to remove the t/belt (don't forget to set the t/marks b4 removing belt) Usually you would rotate the w/pump pulley by hand and feel for abnormality but it can be deceiving so pull the pump to make sure it is very easy to remove except for the rad hose.
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Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 AT 11:10 AM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
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http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/399551_rocker_arms_1.jpg



Thanks for the good advice, i have the head off again and had it re-surfaced and press. tested...turns out its ok...i noticed little metal fins in the water jacket when i looked down the ports next to the cylinders with a flashlite!! the water pump fins of course....changed the water pump and rad hose, cleaned out the debris and installed the head again with another new gasket and torques with the proper sequence....question is....the rocker arms? i think they are called? on top of the valves....what is the torque for them with the engine off and at top dead ctr....should they be all at the same torque before i start the engine? what is the torque?...i loosened them before removing the head origionally so as not to damage the cam....
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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
Hello again im glad you got it sorted out but you did not have to remove the head again since there was no signs of coolant via a cracked head which you would have seen white smoke from the tail pipe. However to answer your question the rocker arm bolts could be torqued between 17 and 22 in -lbs. Also its a non interference engine so you did not have to worry about bending valves. Well good luck on your car enjoy.
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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
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Great, thanks for the quick response.I was told that compression was causing a vapor lock situation keeping the coolant from flowing, so I removed the head again, and I was criticized by family for not having it checked and resurfaced, so I figured I better take it off again, at least I cut my time in half the second time! That's what made me notice the failed water pump. Anyhow, I got to know the car better with all this. Tomorrow i'll torque those and put on the valve cover, timing cover, fan and alternator back and hope for the best when I turn the key. Thank you for your help!
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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 AT 10:50 PM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
You will be fine just make sure you have the timing dead on and it should fire up without problems. I love those engines reliable and easy yo work with once you maintain them.
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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 AT 10:54 PM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
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Thanks again, I finally got everything back on and had trouble starting it, just did'nt want to turn over. So I pulled the timing belt cover off again and thought the belt slipped or something but it was dead on where I put it. So I continued to crank and it finally turned over and idled rough for about 15 seconds then smoothed out? Is that the computer "learning" the timing and stuff over again?
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Thursday, August 27th, 2009 AT 5:31 PM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
Nah that was just the fuel stabalizing and the parts getting lubed since the head was off.
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Thursday, August 27th, 2009 AT 9:52 PM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
  • MEMBER
Hi, thanks for your help. We are having a new (related) problem. Everythings been good for over 2 weeks about 500 miles. Went to grocery store shut off car. Little hard to start then lound clanging from top end. Shut off car. Heard that the valves have seating problem in these? I had a misfire 2wice in cyl #4 according to the codes so I replaced wires and plugs. Happened again 50 miles before this clanging. Question is : do I need to remove the head again to replace the valve? Never worked with the valves before, but I had the head off twice if you remember. Let me know what you would do?
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Saturday, September 19th, 2009 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
Hi again sorry to hear u r having more issues with your car I will try to help as much as I can. First I would remove the valve cover then start it briefly and listen for the noise if its abnormal maby u have a loose rocker if so tighten. If not do a compression test if any cylinders are off pull the head to see whats up. If you have bad valves it might be cheaper to get one from the junk yard get it shaved and cleaned. However check one step at a time and let me know
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Saturday, September 19th, 2009 AT 4:31 PM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
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Just got it towed back here at home. Getting late, so I pulled off the valve cover and found the rocker arms OK nothing terribly loose or anything. Upon cranking, the sound seems to be coming from under the head I guess. Valves? I'll start removing the head in the morning for the third time now. Hope this is somethinmg I can fix. What am I looking for? Broken valves? Valves coming out of the head?
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Saturday, September 19th, 2009 AT 7:43 PM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
  • MEMBER
OK, finally, I got the head off again.......took off the exhast and intake manifolds...there is damage to the surface of the head,, the no.4 piston has damage to it as well....just to the face of the piston as seen in pic....the cylinder walls are fine, no damage, no scratches.....remember, (m not a mechanic, just calling this stuff out as I see it)


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/399551_head_damage_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/399551_pistondamage_1.jpg

.....if I get another head with good valves can I install it and run the car with the piston damaged like that? looks like just surface damage, we did NOT run the car like this for more than about 5 seconds before shutting it off.....it was towed home....considering the miles 165K and age....can it be left like this with another head and run for a year or so?
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Sunday, September 20th, 2009 AT 6:32 PM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
Hi again, sorry to see that your head got messed up, and funny thing I signed in was reading your last input and was about to tell you mayby there was somthing loose in the cylinder and scrooling down I saw what I was thinking about.
Ive seen a few of those but cant see how or what got in the cylinder. However if you can do a fluid test on that cylinder by putting some t/m fluid in them and see if there is any leaks then you should be fine as long as the new head and gasket can seal without any kinks.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2009 AT 5:59 AM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
  • MEMBER
Thanks for getting back to me.I ended up getting a rebuilt head with new valves. The valve seat came out and got chewed up as you saw in the last post. Supposably, they have improved the valve seats on these rebuids to prevent this from happening.I put it all back together and started the car before I went to bed last night. Only thing i'm worried about is that damage on the piston, not sure if heat will cause it to prematurely fail and crack or something, I did'nt realize that the pistons are also aluminum.I'll give it a run this morning and hope for the best. Thanks for your help
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Thursday, September 24th, 2009 AT 6:09 AM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
  • MEMBER
Sorry to get back to you so late but I see u have it covered. But to know the integrity of the piston would be to do the fluid test. However from the pic the damage was not to the center but the edge so you should be ok.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2009 AT 6:14 AM
Tiny
GARYVAC2
  • MEMBER
Its too late to do that test.I'm not a mechanic, like I said before, but, i've never seen the pistons out on a table to look at. Can you give me an idea how thick they are at the top? This damage to the edge is about 1/16 maybe 1/8" deep in a couple spots. But no damage to the center as you say, the center is thicker then?
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Thursday, September 24th, 2009 AT 6:19 AM
Tiny
LAZYGAZER
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Yes its late now but you should be fine looking at the pics you are ok.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2009 AT 6:22 AM

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