'99 Ford Escort, 2L DOHC I-4, manual trans

Discussion in 'Domestics' started by billr, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    This is going to be a project... I let a friend tow it to my house for me to resurrect or declare dead. There are no codes set, but a couple of flags are set indicating it is "not ready for emissions test". Least of the problems right now. Third-hand history is that it "stopped running" and owner was told the timing belt was bad. He gave it to his brother (my friend) who proceeded to pull off the belt cover. At that point he got overwhelmed and brought it to me as a "basket case". Removed parts in the trunk, cables disconnected, the whole bit. Fasteners were left laying loose on top of the radiator, so I'm not even sure I have all of them after the 30-mile tow.

    The timing belt is bad, but not broken in the usual manner. It is split down its circumference, so it looks like two belts, one 1/4" wide and one 3/8" wide right along-side of the other. It seems quite possible that it could have slipped time, but good news is that I believe this is a non-interference engine.

    I need the timing mark info/procedure, both to check the timing as-is and to install a new belt correctly. He already bought a Gates belt, I'm thinking that is a quality part; right?

    One thing that disturbs me is that the exhaust cam pulley has a big domed hub, looks ominously like the hub on variable-pitch aircraft props! Does this thing have variable valve timing???

    My plan is to change the belt so I can crank it successfully, then go from there...
     
  2. NickD

    NickD wrench

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    Sounds just like my stepdaughters 98 ZX2 with the 2.0L DOHC engine that I worked on a couple of months ago removing the old timing belt. On hers the belt looked good, except the teeth where it contacted the crankshaft gear were are worn off. Did get a Gates belt kit like this one.

    [​IMG]

    The key cause of her problem was the tensioner on the engine right side had a broken plastic pulley, why plastic? Other than that the rest of her belt looked good.

    Was also confused about whether this was an interference engine or not, hand turned both the intake and exhaust cams so each pair of valves were closed and did a cylinder leakage test, all four cylinders passed that test. This engine does not have an EGR valve, a far more intelligent approach was to variably close the exhaust valves to leave burnt gas in the cylinder rather than route them through the intake manifold leaving carbon all over the place.

    Perhaps Jim will post the timing marks, was pretty easy as I recall, just did my 88 Supra and must have deleted that ZX2 from my brain. When I blocked up her car for more under vehicle clearance, saw the under door rocker panels bend, couldn't even open the doors. In this last year, both sides of her rocker panels completely rust through, decided this car was at the end of its life. You shouldn't have the problem in California, but still worth a check for the rest of the vehicle before proceeding. I also pitched the shop manual, another vehicle in the history category.

    If you get that far, miserable to change the water pump on these things and will need a diagram for the drive belt, really a two man job. Only place to put that belt on on the last spot is the alternator, but only way to reach the tensioner is underneath. I used masking tape to hold the belt on, tied off a wrench on the tensioner underneath, got up to slide the belt over very carefully watching my fingers in case the wrench slipped. Tensioner on these cars is also a piece of crap, plan on replacing that as well.

    She also complained when her AC died last year, thought it was a tad low on R-134a, but when I got under, her high pressure line was rusted through. All of her cooling pipes looked like a pile of rust. Time to get rid of it, only surprised was our wrecking yards are now paying 300 bucks for these rust buckets. Not too long ago, had to pay them to get rid of these wrecks.

    So much for calling vehicles an investment, would do better in buying stock in a gold mine in Wisconsin.
     
  3. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    Since the search function is working these days, I went back and found NickD's saga from April of this year. I'll go over that info and advise if I need anything else. No timing marks, it sounds like, uses that "special bar" in slots at the end of each cam and a non-accessible pin on the crank. Oh joy...
     
  4. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

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    Ok, Bill, here are the procedures from my prgram. hope they help. I had pics in my cell phone from an earlier t-belt on a escort, dumped them though. Sorry.
    You need to fabricate a timing peg for the crank, or a 1/4in dia punch does it for me.

    Also included the revised set-up. Which ever way works.


    [attachment deleted during maintenance]
     
  5. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    I got it apart, the idler down near the crank locked up, then the plastic pulley melted/broke off, then the bearing outer-raced wore through the outside of the belt; but since the bearing race is narrower than the belt it left the "two belts". I think the tensioner is also shot. The bearing is OK, but there are several things about the tensioning and mounting pieces that seem broken. So, looking to get a timing belt "kit", I see that there was a change about Feb. 1999; I need to de-code the VIN to tell when this was built, can anyone help? There was no tension on the belt, either because the lower pulley was far too small in OD, or because the tensioner is also bad. So it likely did slip time, accounting for the "not running symptom". I have hopes this is actually going to be a quick-and-easy fix! The slots in the cams are obvious, but where does that timing pin for the crank go? In NickD's old thread it seemed like that pin would be a real pain to get to...
     
  6. NickD

    NickD wrench

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    Woke me up a little, 98*F outside today, and the intermediate pipe broke off from the Cat, replaced everything from the cat back on my 92 DeVille.

    Yes the flats on the camshaft, for 180* apart, one flat was about a straight line where the valve cover goes, that is correct, rotating the cam 180*, the other flat would be higher than the valve cover seat, that is the wrong way. Ford could have just used one flat.

    Kind of recall a mark on the damper pulley, where I had to just seat the lower timing cover, no screws stuck in, then slide on the damper pulley to align those marks for TDC to the lower timing cover. After I cleaned off the varnish on the crankshaft with a few drops of oil on it, was very easy to slide the pulley on and off. With the plugs out and no timing belt in, inserted the pulley bolt to get a wrench on it, to rotate the crank, and a slight tap backwards to remove that bolt again and the pulley and lower timing belt cover.
     
  7. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    This stuff all slipped apart easily, even the timing pulley on the crank; no problem there at all.
     
  8. NickD

    NickD wrench

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    Rockauto.com wants 80 bucks for that Gates component timing belt kit, NAPA was 165 and Carquest 175 bucks, Ford didn't sell the kit, but the separate pieces, total came up to over 360 bucks! Thought I wanted that kit now, NAPA is ran by a woman, winked at her and got it for 120 bucks. But ended taking it back.

    How is the rest of this car? How many miles on it? Really hated the brakes on these cars, use pins on the pad, always replace those, not cheap for a stupid pin, but rust solid to the pads. So end up with a dragging pad.
     
  9. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    The rest of the car seems OK, nature is pretty kind on cars here. I have been looking at info on VINs and still need help; the actual build date doesn't seem to be coded into the VIN. The sequential # for this '99 is 213724, but I haven't found a way to correlate that to which belt kit I need.
     
  10. NickD

    NickD wrench

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    Rockauto.com doesn't even list a DOHC engine for the Escort, just the 2.0L SOHC engine and shows this component kit for it:

    [​IMG]

    Shows the DOHC for other vehicles like the Contour or the ZX2, so not quite sure what you got. Did someone change the engine in that car?
     
  11. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

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    Sorry Bill, didn't know you had an escort in the family, I would have told you they have big time issues with the DOHC engines in these cars, same applied in the contours that had the same engine or like the FXZ's.

    Most of the failures on this engine from timing belt region are due to a frozen tensioner bearing or idler bearing. They are mounted in baked plastic( I think they call it bakelite), when they over heat they explode and cause havoc in the front of those engines. A new TOTAL kit is called for.

    I second the fact that you looked into a timing belt KIT for this one.
     
  12. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    Thanks to rockauto customer-service I found the build date... right there on the label with tire size/pressure, GVW, etc on the driver's door jamb!

    NickD, take another look at rockauto, they certainly do show stuff for the '99 2L DOHC; that's how I got on to the mid-year change in the first place.

    Both Nicks, I still need to know where that pin goes in for stopping the crank at the correct timing point. It is not in my family... "just visiting"!
     
  13. Jim Fairbanks

    Jim Fairbanks wrench

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    Does this pic help Bill?....Jim

    [attachment deleted during maintenance]
     
  14. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    Maybe... I don't recognize anything in it right now, but will go look tomorrow. Do you know if that is the belt end or flywheel end of the engine?
     
  15. Jim Fairbanks

    Jim Fairbanks wrench

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    The electrical connector just to the right of the pin is the crank sensor....Jim
     

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