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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is not a Mustang question but it’s a Ford related question.
I’m having problems with my daughters 1997 Ford Escort, 2.0 4 cyl. With 100,000 miles. I’ll do my best to describe the problem…
The car is very hard to start but when it does start it runs/idles extremely rough for about 10 seconds then stalls. While it’s running rough I hear a knocking sound coming from the top end of the motor. Note: It only knocks when it’s running. It dose not knock when the engine is just turning over. I have never experienced this type of problem before and not sure what to do first. The timing belt was changed 15000 miles ago and the car ran perfect prior to this issue. I also checked the coolant and oil and there’s no sign of them mixing. Any advice is much appreciated and if you need more info let me know. Thanks
 

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Probably a good time to do some general maintanance, i figure fuel filter, coils, and plug wires if any of them are older than 30k miles or more.

I had a problem with the jeep where it wouldnt start, and would die sometimes, and went through replacing stuff and stopped at the crank sensor, that was the one just like someone on the jeep forum had experienced.
 

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Oh, good question - Does it ever run normal now?

Also there is the plug wire test, remove plug wires 1 by 1, replacing each and seeing if when you pull any there is no change or for some reason or it sounds "better".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I forgot to mention. I did pull the valve cover and the springs look fine. Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
TheShagg,
The car does not run. If it does start it runs very rough for about 10 seconds then stalls. Also, the plugs and wires are new.
Would a car with very bad timing cause a knocking sound from the top of the engine?
 

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Was the water pump changed at the same time as the timing belt? Sometimes the pump goes bad (you can't see it with the plastic timing belt cover on) and can damage your belt (strips the cogs off) and the timing will jump. This will cause your car not to run well, if at all.

Pull the timing cover off and check the belt and pump for problems. Just a thought.
 

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At the expense of received the coveted Doofus Award, I offer the following: check the spark plug wires. Perhaps you have two cylinders switched. My TR-4 ran very roughly on 2 cylinders, butcouldn't carry an load without stalling.

Just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
67hardtop, I will check the water pump and belt. If the belt jumped would that also cause the knocking I hear coming from the top of the motor as it idles roughly untill it dies?
 
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