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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-23-2015 11:30 PM
Sniper Focus I don't remember hearing dropped valve seats on the first gen either... I had a 95 Escort 1.9 for a short while, and about 10yrs back on FEOA the the valve seat fix was to put on a later head from a later head from a 97-02 or a Focus engine.... We all know that's not the case.

At a junkyard near me the cars are sorted by make with not much regard to model. The ONLY car sorted by model is the Escort because there are SO many, especially with no body damage. I'll bet the reason is that it helps them with rotating "inventory" since they get a ridiculous amount of them. Only lately has the dedicated Escort section has been dwindling.
06-22-2015 07:29 AM
amc49 The early Escort/EXP engines were known for a bad water pump stripping the timing belt to then smack the valves into pistons, thousands of them failed over that and the yards were full of them at the time. We rejected working on them at the shop back then as the customers would commonly bolt to abandon the cars at the shop when they found out how much it would cost to repair.

If you changed belt and water pump they lasted forever but people do what they will do. Or wait until broken before thinking about fixing it. In that case it bit hard.
06-14-2015 02:03 PM
zetecDon The Escort GT you had was a multi-point fuel injected 1.9 OHV motor. It was considered the high output motor at the time for the Escort. I had a 89.5 that had the same motor. All I know is that motor lasted well over 300,000 miles. I kept track of it after I sold it since it exchanged hands between my friends lol.
06-14-2015 11:55 AM
JPFocus86 You tend to hear about it with the 2nd-3rd gen SOHC escorts (1991-2002). The 1st gen escorts used the CVH engine as well, which is known around here as the SPI. I just assume that most 1st gen escorts are off the road in some capacity which is why you don't see valve seat posts about them.

Check out Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA) <-- lots of good info
06-14-2015 11:36 AM
79pace I'm sorry. I just dont remember seeing or hearing about this problem back in the 80's when this engine was widely used in the early escorts. I am not talking about the last of the escorts. I am talking about the oldschool escorts. Mine was a 87 escort GT. I could be wrong but I dont remember ever hearing about the old ones dropping valve seats.
06-14-2015 11:13 AM
JPFocus86 Valve seat issue certainly exists with the escorts as well
06-14-2015 09:22 AM
79pace The bad thing here is that this engine (SPI) was around years before this problem ever started. It has been in escorts for the longest time. They didnt have this valve seat problem and it was a reliable little motor. Somewhere in the head design for this particular incarnation of the engine in the focus is where this problem is. But Fords will always be in my driveway because you cant find a manufacturer that doesnt have some type of failures. its no big deal. The nature of the beast. You drive a car your going to find someone that can tell you what kind of problem them had with one just like it. The valve seat thing yes is a big deal and ford should have dealt with it. But honestly if it wasnt for this valve seat issue I would not have gotten mind for cheap and we will enjoy it for as long as the teenager can keep it in one piece so no complaints here.
06-14-2015 12:03 AM
zetecDon I am never buying a Ford again! *buys a Mazda* Oh the times I have heard this story...
06-13-2015 09:36 PM
sailor Quite a saga, and at least a couple places that didn't know enough about the details.

BTW - you're still in a Ford.

That generation Mazda 3 is a gussied up Ford Focus, sharing many parts including engine/drivetrain. Duratec is the Ford name for the engine, used in some from '03 & in all from '05 to '11. (look close & see "ford" on many parts)

It IS a good unit, with regular maint. it should last well for you.

Ford had a large interest in Mazda at the time. You'll also find Ford Rangers sold as Mazdas here, along with the Mazda "Tribute" (Ford Escape).
06-13-2015 09:05 PM
MountainLion413
SPI failure / End of a long run of owning Fords

We bought our 2000 Ford Focus used from Olathe Ford in December 2007.
It had the SPI angine.

The summer of 2008, during a road trip vacation from Olathe, KS to Oregon and Puget Sound in Washington, the fuel pump failed on it.

At Sweetwater Ford in Evanston, Wyoming on our way back home, they determined it was a failed fuel pump. But it was under factory recall, so we didn't have to pay for it.

What's surprising is that Olathe Ford never told us about that recall.

The Focus ran fine until October of 2010, when the engine dropped a valve seat in #4 cylinder. [Ford had built these SPI egines on teh cheap, and I discovered later, on this forum and others, that Ford did not back up those engines with adequate warranties.
They knew they were building and selling junk engines. Henry Ford would never have approved of that!]

Our church's Car Repair Ministry rebuilt the engine, with aftermarket solid steel valve seats installed, instead of the powdered-metal factory original valve seats.

The Focus ran fine until late 2012, when the timing belt failed, prematurely.
Anderson Automotive in Olathe said the head had lost it's compression, and we needed a new head. We reluctantly had them install a new head, but it kept leaking oil all over the place.

They finally found a defective freeze plug in the head and replaced it, but then the engine developed a main oil seal leak, leaking oil directly onto the flywheel, after which the clutch, which had been newly installed six months previously, to start slipping.

We had enough!

In April 2013, we traded in the Focus at Olathe Ford Pre-Owned cars on a 2007 Mazda "Mazda 3", and have had ZERO issues with the Mazda.

I drove Fords my whole life since the 1960s, a trend which finally ended with this Focus.

This Mazda 3 has made a Mazda Believer out of me!
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