1998 Ford Escort Head gasket

  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 146,000 MILES
I have 1998 ford escort 4 cylinder sigle overhead cam.
The resevoir for the radiator is overflowing. I changed the therostat thinking it was stuck open.
A friend is telling me it is the head gasket or heads.
I do not have money to put it in the shop and want to repair it myself. Can you let me know what else it can be and also what I have to go through to remove the head to check the Gasket?

Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 AT 11:16 AM

1 Reply

Disconnect negative battery cable. Release fuel pressure. See FUEL PRESSURE RELEASE & FUEL LINE CONNECTIONS. Remove air cleaner intake tube. Remove necessary vacuum hoses and electrical connectors. Disconnect speed control, accelerator and throttle valve actuating cables. Remove 2 speed control cable brackets, and position aside.
Disconnect fuel supply and return lines. Remove power steering pressure hose brackets. Remove accessory drive belt. Remove upper alternator bolt and rotate alternator forward. Remove oil level indicator tube. Disconnect EGR manifold tube from EGR valve and exhaust manifold. Remove exhaust manifold heat shield. Disconnect catalytic converter from exhaust manifold.
Raise and support vehicle. Drain coolant. Remove right side splash guard. Remove timing belt. See TIMING BELT. Unbolt A/C compressor and position aside. Loosen lower accessory drive bracket (do not remove). Lower vehicle. Remove upper accessory drive bracket. Remove A/C line bracket. Remove valve cover. Disconnect hose from thermostat housing. Remove cylinder head retaining bolts in sequence. See Fig. 2. Remove cylinder head.
Fig. 2: Cylinder Head Bolt Loosening Sequence
Courtesy of FORD MOTOR CO.
Ensure all mating surfaces are clean. Check cylinder block, cylinder head and manifold surfaces for warpage and cracks. See CYLINDER BLOCK and CYLINDER HEAD tables under ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS.
To install, reverse removal procedure. Ensure crankshaft timing marks are aligned. See Fig. 4. Position NEW cylinder head gasket on cylinder block. Install cylinder head using NEW cylinder head bolts. Tighten bolts in sequence to specification. See Fig. 3. See TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS.
Fig. 3: Cylinder Head Bolt Tightening Sequence
Courtesy of FORD MOTOR CO.
Install timing belt. See TIMING BELT. To complete installation, reverse removal procedure. Tighten remaining bolts to specification. See TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS. Fill or top off fluids. Start engine and check for leaks.

CAUTION:DO NOT rotate crankshaft or camshafts with timing belt removed; damage to valve/piston may result.

Disconnect negative battery cable. Remove accessory drive belt and tensioner. Remove timing cover. Raise and support vehicle. Remove right hand splash guard. Remove crankshaft pulley. Align timing marks. See Fig. 4. Loosen timing belt tensioner. Using an 8-mm Allen wrench, turn tensioner 1/4 turn counterclockwise. Insert 1/8" drill bit to lock tensioner in place. See Fig. 5. Remove timing belt.
Install timing belt. Remove drill bit and tighten tensioner bolt. Rotate engine 2 revolutions clockwise. Recheck timing marks. To complete installation, reverse removal procedure.
Fig. 4: Aligning Crankshaft & Camshaft Timing Marks
Courtesy of FORD MOTOR CO.
Fig. 5: Identifying Timing Belt Tensioner
Courtesy of FORD MOTOR CO.
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Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 AT 11:42 AM

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