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Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - vattie

Hi All.
My 2002 (52 plate) Escort Van has become a right pig to start from cold. I have renewed the glow plugs, and have checked the power going to them, so its definately not a "heat" problem, so im guessing (from reading up on the subject on many forum threads) that it is possible that the diesel is going back to the tank? meaning an airleak of some sort?. To try and justified this i took the air intake off one morning and dropped a spoonful of diesel down each pot, put the air intake back on, turned the key, heated the plugs and hey presto it fired straight away, albeit didnt run as it only had the spoonful of diesel to burn, which would strenghten my case that the diesel is running back? Today i have renewed the primer pump on the fuel filter, as i read that these can sometimes leak air, but i still have the problem?......any suggestions? I have also changed the fuel line between the primer pump and the injector pump as both fittings didnt seem that "tight", but that still hasnt cured it. I have noticed that one of the diesel injectors has a leak, could that cause the fuel to creep back??? It seems that i am running out of "cheap" options. The pump timing has been checked, could it be the pump itself? but it does run ok once started, abeit a bit smokey these days and not very quick (bluey/whitey smoke...related?)
Like i say, i am running out of ideas, would be greatful if anyone could shed some light as to what else i could try. Someone did say there was a "shut off valve" on the pump that sometimes sticks??......couldnt see it (but didnt really know what i was looking for)
Thanks in advance

Edited by vattie on 16/03/2011 at 19:51

Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - Peter.N.

Hi Vattie

It sounds as though you have the old 1.8 IDI engine, didn't know they used those as late as that, anyway, your theory of air ingress is probably correct, the way to check is to pump the primer until it goes hard and then try to start it, if it starts then air is the problem, if not it could be as you mention a sticky fuel solonoid.

If this engine uses the samepump as the early one the solonoid is screwed into the top of the pump towards the back where the injector pipes are connected, on some late mechanical pumps access to the solonoid valve is restricted for security reasons, if yours has a single wire connected to a terminal, that's OK, if it has a multi way plug - it armoured.

Air leakage via the injector leak off pipes can be a problem on Bosch pumps but I think yours is a Lucas. If you do have fuel at the injectors and it won't start, this is usually indicated by white smoke from the exhaust, if you don't have this then fuel starvation is the problem. Have you changed the fuel filter lately, if not it could be restricting the fuel, if yes, that's perhaps where the air is leaking in.


Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - vattie

Many thanks for your reply Peter.

The engine is the Endura DE, would this be the correct engine for a 52 plate escort van or do you think it has had a transplant at some point? (i havent owned it long)

Like i say, i changed the primer top today for a brand new one, so yes the fuel filter has been off, but because it looked "as new" i put the old filter back on the new primer top, in hindsight i should of replaced the filter and the top and bottom rubbers too, perhaps will do that tomorrow as only a 10 minute job.

Have pumped the primer till it goes hard but still no joy, well not straight away (it always does start eventually), i normally pump then try, go back and pump then try, and then normally on a about the third pump and try it will fire but not start, then i normally pump again and it will catch ??

I also have a 96 (P) Ford Courier with a 1.8 Endura DE, this one hasnt got a primer pump and has a different injector pump. The courier pump has loads of gubbings on the top whereas the escort pump is flat on top apart from the throttle lever...will have alook in morning to see if i can find the solonoid valve, albeit from memory i dont think it is obvious (to me) where it is.

Pretty sure it is the Lucas pump on the Escort. The fact that it does start eventually, would that point to air leakage and fuel draining back or solonoid. When it does run it runs well, just hard to start from cold.

Could compression be a problem?.,......as i said in first post it doesnt seem that quick (i know they werent when new but does seem extra slow, plus it smokes white/blueuy smoke all the while)

Once again thanks for your time


Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - Peter.N.

Does it blow out blue/white smoke when you are trying to start it? If so, fuel is reaching the injectors. I know the earlier versions of this engine can be a pig to start, my son has a P100 pick up and usually has to run it down the track to start it, it will start on the battery if you turn it over long enough but doesn't do the battery any good,

I had thought of advancing the timing a bit but your engine sounds like a modernised version, Peugeot/Citroen did the same with their early 2000s vans, so may not be exactly the same.

Low compression could be the trouble but unless its done well over 100k or has not had regular oil changes that shouldn't be a problem. Check for smoke when turning it over, that will tell you whether its getting fuel on not.


Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - vattie

Thanks once again for your reply Peter.

Ok, have just been out to the van, first thing i did was take the fuel line off the primer pump (that goes to the injector pump), and pressed the plunger a few times, diesel spurted out on every plunge. I then got in van and tried to start....nothing, no fire or anything (although it would eventually if i get trying for 10 minutes). I opened the rear doors and spun it over for a good 15-20 seconds (twice) whilst looking out the back doors and could see no sign of any smoke ?? So no diesel getting into the pots (which i suspected as when i put a drop of diesel down the air intake it fires straight away), but the fuel filter seemed full this morning when i took the pipe off and plunged !!

Where too from here??



Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - Peter.N.

Sounds suspiciously as though the fuel solonoid is sticking then, you could try disconnecting the fuel line at the pump and priming, just to make sure the fuel is reaching it.


Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - JDog

I have a 94 1.8 diesel fiesta, and have had problems with the running. Mine started ok but everynow and then it revved by itself. After trying almost everything I had no option but to go to a specialist that opened the pump up and serviced it. it now seems ok cross fingers.

From what you are saying it seems that there is some restriction for fuel from pump onwards, probably inside.

I am no expert but to also eliminate any notion of air leak and fuel floing back to tank, a very cheap solution is to put a non return valve in the pipe leading from filter to pump. At least this way after engine starts it has for sure some fuel to start and initiate suction.

But your problem seems to be like others are saying. But it won't hurt since you're at it.

Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - vattie

Problem solved !!.....but unfortunately not good news.

Have just ran it down to my local Ford garage, where they have confirmed that the rings have gone, the smoke coming out the back is oil smoke and not diesel diesel smoke, so hence there is very little compression when trying to start from cold.

*Cheap 52 plate Escort van For Sale, needs engine*

Thanks all for your contributions


Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - Peter.N.

Don't know if yours has an external connection for the cold start advance solonoid but they can loose their supply, try connecting it to a 12v supply, straight to the battery would do, this happened on my sons P100 and it made the difference between running the battery flat or starting reasonably quickly .

Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - LOFTY JAGO

my p100 has just the two cables hanging of the injector pump.... maybe thats why mine is a pig to start. what do they need to be connected to as i cant find where they used to be connected too?

Escort Van 1.8 Diesel (non turbo) - Escort Van 1.8Diesel Cold Stat Problem - Peter.N.

Just try connecting them to the 12 volts, if that helps and it runs OK leave them connected. You can pick up a 12v switched supply from the fuel solonoid towards the rear of the pump on the top.


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