Piston Slap: Escort Wagon Spelunking?

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TTAC Commentator Modest Possessions writing :

The best of the West, young man,

The Boss has a nice ’94 Escort LX wagon on yours truly, and it just so happens to have hit the sweet spot between my choice and his love. A big one for this one-owner handshake and it managed to put up around 23,000 last year – points of interest are rare here in Wyoming.

At 140,000 I thought it would be good prophylaxis to go ahead and do that timing belt (1.9 to four potentiometers) after what was finally determined to be the tensioner started barking.

A new pocket to buy, good new shoes, and a windshield are our investments beyond regular maintenance. (When it rains, it hails). Some forums s̶k̶u̶l̶d̶u̶g̶g̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶ caving revealed the possibility of new valve seats as the next major maintenance preventive measure. My question to you, the B&B, et al, is does this make sense, or do you drive it until it spawns (uh, it drops) and then place a scrap mill? The current motivation is pretty narrow to be good at voting and all that, and I’d like the Green Machine to keep going at least until I’m old enough to buy myself beer.

Sajeev answers:

Yes, new valve seats could be in your future. Or your future. Or the future of the Escort. Anyway…

The questions here are when and how to replace it: wait for it to drop and sell the Escort? Wait and replace it with a holdup engine? Replace the valve seats now, either yourself (if it’s that awesome) or with a rebuilt head swap?

Like me to have Gaining more gray on my dome and less flexibility in my joints in cold weather, my answer goes down the path of least resistance: the somewhat stress-free and fairly cheap path. So don’t wait for the whole engine to turn into a grenade, because that will (probably) ruin both the head and the block. Junkyard engines are 3 or 4 times better than a rebuilt cylinder head, and you think valve “repair” has been applied to everything you buy? Or will it fail again, probably after the junkyard warranty expires?

Ignorance is not bliss, nor is it a change of engine in and out. It’s time to find the answer in shades of gray.

The smartest move is to spend a few hundred dollars at a place like this, or something similar on eBay. In the case of the 1.9L Escort, a rebuilt cylinder head fixes the failing component and a new gasket/fluid set is needed with someone smart enough to change everything. And if you have to pay for labor, that’s always smarter. -future position that replace the whole engine.

One last possible question: is it stupid to want to solve the problem before it actually becomes a problem?

When the problem may damage the entire engine and replacement engines may not be any better, the answer is absolutely yes.

It’s up to you, the best and the brightest.

[Image: Shutterstock user Slusing]

Send your questions to [email protected]com. Don’t skimp on the details and ask for a quick fix if you’re in a hurry… but be realistic and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.


Source : thetruthaboutcars.com

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