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1998 1.8 Misfire - Jonj1611
Hi,

I have a Ford Escort 1.8LX(Zetec) 1998.

I was driving up the motorway around 60mph the other day, when I wanted to overtake, I was overtaking and there was some smoke from the exhaust and the car started to lose power.

I got the car home, which ran rough all the way. Let the engine cool and then started it, it is running really rough, from what I can tell it is misfiring on Cylinder No.3. When I took the plug out there was oil on it and I could see a thin layer of oil on top of the piston. The car has been burning oil for months so I would assume it is burning it through Cyl 3, all other cylinders are clean and plugs were ok, apart from Cyl 2 where the plug was black, but not oily or wet.

I have changed the HT leads and changed the plugs, so not sure what my next step should be. I can confirm that all plugs are sparking though.

Thanks
Jon
ps : Hi by the way :)

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 15/01/2009 at 10:12

1998 1.8 Misfire - DP
Hi Jon,

Was the engine smoking noticeably before, either on startup, overrun, hard acceleration etc?

I don't want to suggest "mechanical failure" but given the sudden nature of the misfire, the exhaust smoke, the presence of oil where it shouldn't be, and that it happened when the engine was being worked, I'm thinking piston ring or head gasket failure.

A compression test would be a good next step.
1998 1.8 Misfire - Jonj1611
Hi,

The engine has smoked on start-up for the last 10 months or so. It uses about a litre of oil every 2 weeks. Smoking under hard acceleration is often seen too.

The head gasket went about 6 months ago and was replaced.

I will see if I can get hold of a compression tester and see what the results might be. I really hope its not the piston rings, its uneconomical to get the repair done in the garage, local garage said £800+ and I don't have the expertise to do it myself.

Jon
1998 1.8 Misfire - DP
One of the easiest and most plentiful engines to find secondhand - £200-£250 should get you a serviceable unit with a short warranty from a breaker.

If your problem is bottom end related, there's even a brand new short engine on Ebay on a "Buy it now" for £250 at the moment.

Let us know what the compression test says.
1998 1.8 Misfire - Jonj1611
Hi DP,

Thanks for the help, will let you know as soon as I can get a compression kit.

Thanks
Jon :)
1998 1.8 Misfire - Jonj1611
Hi,

Well in the end took it to my mates garage, he's a mechanic and had a good look at it, done all the tests etc. Says 99.9% the rings are gone. Its just too expensive for me to get them done so going to scrap the car. In fact already looking at new one.

Ok, so car is off to scrappies this week. Does anyone know the best way to drain the tank? Something that doesnt involve me sucking on a tube lol :)

Jon
 

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