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Pedal Faster
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Hey all. GF is looking at a '97 Escort wagon. We've had our eyes on it for a couple of days, went in to test drive it this afternoon. It's super clean, started on the first turn when cold.

After running for about 5 seconds, it had a pretty good blue smoke stream coming from the exhaust. No bad noises, idle was maybe a little lumpy but not any worse than any other 1.9/2.0L I've driven. We got out on the road, which is 35 mph for about a 1/4 mile and it was still smoking a little. In five minutes we were on the highway and the smoke cleared up.

After it was warm, I hammered on it a little and there was no more smoke from the exhaust. I forced 4-3 downshift about three or four times to see how the transmission felt (pretty good, actually) and there was no smoke. Stopped at a stop sign and did a full throttle run up to about 70 and it didn't smoke at all. In fact, it felt really, really strong. No pinging, and aside from typical CVH buzziness, it was pretty good.

When we got back to the lot, I popped the hood and there was some definite valvetrain tick from the left side (passenger side) of the cam cover. Not "death rattle" bad or anything, but a noticeable tick.

Anyone with some knowledge of these motors give me some direction here? If it's going to smoke for a couple of minutes in the morning for the next 30k miles, I think that's okay. It's just a cheap, temporary commuter that'll be around for a couple of years until we get done with grad school. Like I said, the rest of the car is super clean and looks pretty good. Just that disconcerting smoke / valvetrain noise.

Thoughts?
 

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My friend has a 99 escort which we are looking for an engine for. A 2.0 splitport.

Her engine had that same tick, then one day it dropped a valve seat. It still runs to get it to somewhere to work on it, but it sounds like hell. It is parked till we find a decent used engine, if we can even find a decent one.

Google the problem, and you will see what I am talking about, some running with a dropped valve seat can be seen and heard on youtube.
 

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Pedal Faster
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the heads up. It definitely doesn't have a dropped seat now, but it could be cracked or something along those lines. Thanks for the heads up. Think I'll get a compression test before we go any farther.
 

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Keep looking. My brothers 95 Escort started to make a noise and a few weeks later he was replacing the whole head. Now it burns more oil than before.
 

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Keep looking. My brothers 95 Escort started to make a noise and a few weeks later he was replacing the whole head. Now it burns more oil than before.
I think that they went to the 2.0 Splitport in 1997, and I also think that my friends engine is too worn to just replace the head. It didn't blow blue that I noticed, but that valve tick was there for over a year before it finally pooched.
 
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