Rough Running Engine and/or Noise on Ford Escort

Valve seats (components in the cylinder head that help seal the valve) can fall out. When this happens, it causes rough running and creates noise. Replacement of the cylinder head is commonly required to fix this problem.

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Average mileage: 155,191 (97,000–266,500)
Engines affected: 1.9L 4 Cylinder, 2.0L 4 Cylinder, 2.0L 4 Cylinder SOHC
12 model years affected: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, more1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
28 people reported this problem
15 people shared problem details
1996 Ford Escort- 1.9L 4 Cylinder134,000
My motor was running rough and then stalled out. pulled the spark plug and when I had someone cranking the motor for a compression check. A part of the seat damaged the bottom of the gauge and had zero compression, looked in there with a flashlight and could see metal bits. oh dear. Pulled the head, after a fight with the intake manifold that is, discovered, hundreds of bits of valve seat. head- damaged beyond repair. huge craters. sucks. piston? Damaged yes, but, thought it may be salvageable. so, turned the crankshaft to see the action of the piston in the cylinder and much to my surprise and wonder the number 1,2and 3 pistons went up and down but, number 4 sat still as a stone. Took oil pan off, lots of piston parts in it...never to good... bumped the #4 out and turns out it was busted clean off next to wrist pin, all the way around. Then upon dismantling of the rest of crank and other three i discovered, no only was the piston busted, but, the rod was bent!! shaped like the letter c. well not that much but it was a surprising amount. So? I ordered parts! New head! aftermarket, NO MORE FALLING VALVE SEATS. 120$$ online, all valves installed. have to put your old cam and tappets onto it. Not to bad. New piston from parts dinosaur, new ring kit to re-ringed all pistons, 1 new rod, new rod bearings. While I was at it, new water-pump/timing belt, thermostat, wires. All necessary gaskets. or a "kit" as some would say. Broke the glaze off my cylinder walls with a hone and commenced re-installing nicely cleaned and re-ringed pistons. popped them in, torqued down with some fresh bearings, re-installed pan and other under car business. ( all this is totally doable with motor still in car ). Installed head, water pump..now i gotta tell ya, cleaning the old water pump gasket off of this thing with motor still in the car was a real pain in the ass. Set timing, installed belt, re-installed intake/exhaust manifolds, spark system, fuel system, many many odds and ends and probably some other major stuff i have forgotten i did now. Its so nice having a fresh motor, perfect compression, lots of miles in its future. Then the moment of truth...she fired Right up! How nice it was. Time to break in those rings! did max accelerate to 50 no throttle decel to 30 method. bout 12 times. Then drove her easy for a bit, changed oil, all systems nominal. now, today she's over 10k with the new motor and runs primo. That's my story about the lame #4 faulty valve seat in this car. not a good thing to have happen to anyone,and i really wouldn't recommend this motor to anyone. I was on a tight budget and i did essentially a full motor re-built for 400$, finding all the best prices online. Now my 88 escort 1.9, that was a motor! I put 360K miles on that puppy before i gave it to my sister. awesome gas mileage, like, 50mpg. 5-speed, it was fast to! They don't make them like they used to. Anyway best of luck to all reading this with a broken down escort.
1997 Ford Escort166,425
run rough restarted it couple times it was good. Happen couple times then last time started it was ALOT worse. Shut car off timing belt and timing were good. Thought timing might have jump or something. No compression on cyl 4 removed head. Found that the seat for cyl 4 intake was broken half of the seat still loose and haning on head. The other half beat top of piston. Fortunately no scoring of cylinder wall. Will replace piston rings and head.
1995 Ford Escort- 1.9L 4 Cylinder150,679
Happened to me #2 and #4 drove it home with a top speed of 25mph. Pulled head as soon as it was cool top of pistons were a little beat but no wall scaring or burnt rings. Replaced valve stem seals and valves on 2 and4 and haven't had a problem since
1994 Ford Escort- 1.9L 4 Cylinder121,000
Picked up a 94, idled kinda rough so checked plugs, wires, etc and all seemed good, noticed plug on #4 cylinder didn't appear to have any residue on it, like it wasn't firing. Did a compression test and #4 showed 0..all others were good, so now waiting to pull the head and check for the dreaded valve issue or piston.
2002 Ford Escort- 2.0L 4 Cylinder SOHC104,000
The idle got rougher, started missing and then lot cylinder 2. I had it tested and they said the valve couldn't seat properly. I haven't fixed it yet.
1993 Ford Escort- 1.9L 4 Cylinder151,000
stalling skipping when cold.
1999 Ford Escort- 2.0L 4 Cylinder SOHC160,000
exhaust seat. fell out of head on top of piston caused catastrophic failure total engine replacement
1997 Ford Escort- 2.0L 4 Cylinder104,431
This is a 2.0 Splitfire Engine that was running fine until a short episode of misfires on cyl # 4 then it stalled, on restart # 4 cyl.dropped the exhaust valve seat an took out the piston & head. Not sure if I'm going to put it back together.
2000 Ford Escort- 2.0L 4 Cylinder SOHC
I have a 2000 ford escort with 162,000 miles on it in august 2014 I was driving it for a couple of hours then shut it off when I restarted it I heard a loud banging noise it was a valve seat that failed now I have to get the head rebuilt and maybe a new piston why did this happen the car never over heated
1996 Ford Escort- 1.9L 4 Cylinder175,000
WELL I PARKED AT THE PARTS STORE TO GET PARTS FOR MY FRIENDS CAR , WHEN I GOT BACK TO MY CAR AND STARTED IT IT SOUNDED BAD SO I SHUT IT OFF RIGHT AWAY AND STARTED INVESTIGATING THE ISSUE. LOW AND BEHOLD AFTER PULLING THE NUMBER 3 SPARK PLUG I FOUND STUCK TO THE SPARK PLUG A PIECE OF VALVE SEAT AFTER I PULLED THAT OUT IT RAN QUITE SAVE FOR IT RUNNING VERY ROUGH. I WILL BE BUYING A NEW HEAD THIS WEEK FROM THE ALMIGHTY INTERWEBS AND EVERY THING ELSE I NEED TO DO THE JOB AS WELL, I WILL ALSO BE REPLACING THE RINGS AND BEARINGS AT THE SAME TIME TO SAVE FUTUR ISSUES WITH THIS MOTOR OTHER WISE GREAT MILAGE AND FUN TO DRIVE . I HAVE OWND THIS CAR FOR A YEAR NOW
1997 Ford Escort- 2.0L 4 Cylinder126,000
Valve seat fell out cylinder number 4, trashed combustion chamber and piston. Replacing engine with lower mileage used one.
1994 Ford Escort- 1.9L 4 Cylinder266,500
lost a valve seat, have not decided on to repair or replace motor yet. Had been a good motor, ddidn't burn oil.
1997 Ford Escort- 2.0L 4 Cylinder143,000
noisy valves ,most possible reason valve seats - must replace cylender head
1997 Ford Escort- 2.0L 4 Cylinder228,000
#4 intake seat fell out. Rebuilt the whole engine. Good as new again. Great car.
same issue - car wouldnt start up - shop got it running not firing on #4 - no compression on cylinder- est cost to repair used new or rebuilt
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