Originally Posted by felixthecat
Pull the balance shafts out & add a plug & stake it.
I would agree with this.
From what I know about the PCV system, air enters the valve cover from intake system (after the MAF so its already metered), flows down through the engine collecting contaminants finally exiting through the PCV valve to go back into the intake manifold to be burned off by the engine. If you pulled the PCV hoses and left the stock PCV valve, the valve is closed and probably won't open letting the nasty stuff out.
I would suggest the balance shaft delete and get the crankcase venting system setup correctly. Maybe even look into a oil cooler. IIRC the Ford Escape has a oil cooler setup from the factory; the oil filter adapter bracket will bolt right onto our engines; just need to find a suitable place to tap into the coolant lines after the radiator.