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Ford Escort ZX2



  • vanlithvanlith Posts: 3
    Well, I just had to replace the timing belt in my '98. I could tell it was out though because when I tried to turn it over, it wound too fast. Also I had a small issue with the fuel sensor saying it was out of range, but my "service engine soon" light came on so if that is on have your mechanic hook it up to a computer. If it is a "factory" alarm, you should be able to disconnect it from the power source to see if it is the problem, I think . Good luck
  • izaclown1izaclown1 Posts: 116
    The same thing happened to my 98. The only other thing that was added to my list of stuff was spark plug wires. My wires were still shorting out, so we replaced them. We have later had to redo the timing belt.
  • Hey cool. Did the spark plug wires do the trick? Firestone mentioned that we should look into a new timing belt since we're now over 100k, so I expect we'll replace that soon, but for now, I've just gotta get it started.
  • izaclown1izaclown1 Posts: 116
    Yeah it did. Change that timing belt!! I THINK these engines are interference engines. I know my 98 is. Change out tension pulleys and what ever else needs to be done at one time. The main part labor would already be paid to get down to the belt. If that timing belt breaks the engine will probably be junk after that.
  • russ95russ95 Posts: 16
    We may have one for you. My son bought it for use in his ZX2 but never could find a wiring loom to connect it. He is not available so I can't give you a price now. I you are interested please reply. We also have the matching radio.
  • russ95russ95 Posts: 16
    I will be rebuilding the engine on my sons ZX2 5mt (160,000miles / blown head gasket) in the next few weeks. I will also be replacing all the usual externals like clutch, water pump, thermostat, radiator, hoses, mounts, half-shafts, & timing set.
    My real question is the VCT cam pulley. How long do they live? Is this a must do? We are looking to get another 100,000miles out of the car.
    Any thoughts,
  • 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 Cranks but Won't Start (Solution to the Problem). Here is the answer for anyone who runs into the same problem. We took our ZX2 to a different Firestone in town (Recommended by the AAA tow-truck driver). I explained the problem, detailed all of the work I had already done in attempts to fix it, and one week later, they called us with the solution. They needed to completely rewire the PCM, also known as the "Relay Control Box." Grand total was $342.40 for the work. All labor. No parts. According to Firestone, the PCM may have shorted out because it was subjected to water/moisture. This could have happened at a number of points, so here's our general timeline. Maybe you, the reader, can learn from our mistakes... We decided to donate the car to "Charity Cars (CC)." CC said the car could qualify for their donation program and we would likely be able to claim full market value on our taxes. They required us to have the vehicle towed to the crappy Firestone in town for an inspection. Before it was towed, we drove it to a car wash, had it cleaned real well, drove it back home, and parked it in the garage for a week. The tow truck showed up (after three failed shows, by the way) and I drove the ZX2 onto the flatbed. No problems. The flatbed left for the crappy Firestone that morning. Two weeks later, after many phone calls to CC and the crappy Firestone to find out what was going on, CC finally admits to us that they do not want the car and will not explain why. We suspect foul play and demand the car back. They acquiesce and tell us to go pick it up at Firestone. We arrive at the Crappy Firestone where they charge us for the tow and the inspection (both of which, the car did not need - we could have driven it all the way to CC in Florida, it ran THAT well). Crappy Firestone then goes down the list of inspection items that they found; normal wear and tear for a 9-year-old ZX2 and then as we are leaving (after we have paid), the clerk casually mentions that they had trouble getting our car started. In fact, he mentioned it so casually that I did not even make the mental connection to think it was a serious problem; I figured maybe it was a neutral safety switch issue or something like that and that it was starting most of the time and he was just having trouble once in a while. We did not realize what he meant by "having trouble starting" until we went out to the parking lot and tried to leave. The car would not start. No one from the Crappy Firestone seemed to care. One mechanic finally came out after he saw us struggling in the parking lot and tried spraying some fuel injector fluid to get it started. The car still did not start. He then made some recommendations to me to try a new distributor coil or a new valve cover gasket. So long story, short, we ended up calling AAA to tow our car from Crappy Firestone back to my own garage so I could fix something that was not broken when I drove it out of my garage two weeks earlier. Our ZX2 then proceeded to sit in my garage for over a month as I attempted one solution after another (distributor coil, then valve cover gasket, then spark plugs, then spark plug cables) to no avail and then I gave up and figured it must be the car alarm preventing the engine from starting. So I called AAA again for help and when the tow truck driver arrived, I explained the whole story to him. He then informed me how shady the Crappy Firestone was and recommended I have it towed to the Better Firestone in town and voila! Fixed less than a week later. So the PCM could have gotten wet when we had it washed, or it could have crapped out at the Crappy Firestone somehow; since they mentioned the problem so casually and DID NOT include it as a problem on the inspection report, we suspected more foul play there. Another possibility is that the original tow truck driver hired by CC did something to it while unloading it at the Crappy Firestone. Longer story shorter, the car runs incredibly well again, like it always did, for a nine-year-old car, and my wife and I have donated it to a very dear family friend who was absolutely ecstatic to receive what he called his "first new car." Seriously, it was like watching a 17-year-old kid get his license. So, cheers and thanks to everyone on here who offered advice and guidance. Be safe and take care and keep your PCM clean and dry. -Brian
  • bholtzbholtz Posts: 2
    Where is the "neutral safety switch" located. (The switch that does not allow the starter to engage unless the clutch is depressed.)
  • 2basko2basko Posts: 2
    How do you tell what engine size is in a 1998 Escort Sport

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    Engine size is the same on all '98 Escorts, 2.0L sohc or dohc (ZX models with the number 3 engine code in the VIN).
  • 2basko2basko Posts: 2
    Thank you..

  • myrtle73myrtle73 Posts: 2
    Hi, the driver belt came off of the car. I steering was very difficult to turn the car and I opened the hood and noticed the driver belt was off. I'm trying to put it back on, but I don't know how to do it. I mean I can't get my hands in the area that I need to put the belt on. The area is very small and I would like to know if there is an easier way to put the belt on and then tighten it.
  • bholtzbholtz Posts: 2
    It's under the gas pedal at the floorboard. There's another switch at the top that I thought was it but it is not. Ford wants $71.00 for this switch (no wonder they didn't go under!!) but I fixed it by taking it out of the wiring harness (just unplug it) and putting a jumper wire where it plugged in. Sure, it will start in gear now but if you're that dumb get an automatic. I hate antilock brakes too! I'm old school and I want my cars that way too.
  • russ95russ95 Posts: 16
    First do not drive the car W/O the belt on. You must next determine why the belt came off, belt worn out, bad idler bearing, bad tensioner, ect. Only then can you install a NEW belt. If you have confidence in your abilities then you must jack up the rt front & get dirty. The belt routing is available many places online just search "99 Escort serpantine belt installation".
    Good Luck,
  • atomtan2atomtan2 Posts: 6
    Our 2k2 manual tranny ZX2 w/100,000 miles on it stalls frequently when the air conditioning is turned on. The timing belt was replaced at 80k. Any suggestions? Solutions?

  • snozdongsnozdong Posts: 2
    where is the sending unit located that operates the temp guage in the dash
  • russ95russ95 Posts: 16
    Chemically clean the IAM (idle air motor), MAF (mass air Flow), & throttle body. Replace the PCV valve, check the PCV hose, & all vacuum hoses. Disconnect the battery for a few minutes to reset the ECM. If this doesn't resolve it then change the plugs & wires. If it has the original mounts, replace all of them as they are dead by about 100,000 miles. All of these are normal maintenance that should not be ignored on these cars.
  • I was given a 1998 ZX2 by my mom when they got a new car and I sure love it. There's only one problem with the car, and my parents had never got it fixed. The gas guage doesn't work and I'm zeroing the odometer so I know how many miles I go with each fill. I generally fill at 250 miles. My question, is this a common problem, and is it spendy to fix? The gas guage goes everywhere, sometimes shows full and sometimes empty, and anywhere in between. Even on an empty tank it shows full most of the time.
  • I have a 2000 ZX2. Bought it brand new. Have had numerous issues all costing about 700 dollars each time. It is a manual tranny. Has 144k miles on it. Luckily no issues with the tranny until now possibly. While driving the other day I heard a weird single click noise, no other noises. Came to a red light, put it in first gear went to take off and the car lacked power after about 2k rpms (although I did continue to accelerate very slowly). Shifted into second same thing. Finally got going fast enough to put into 5th and realized my hand and shifter were in front of the passenger seat. The gears have some serious play in them. I would say about 3-4 inches left or right. Does anyone know if that is the clutch, tranny, or even linkage? I can normally figure out what is wrong all by myself being that I grew up with a dad that was a mechanic and was always involved in projects and jobs he had. Not this time though, and dad isnt alive anymore to call and tell him what it is doing to be told exactly what it is without even looking, hearing or touching it. The gears do not grind going into gear, no noises, no other tell tale signs other than the clutch is raised about 2 inches more than normal and goes to the floor board when pushed in to shift. Please Help!!!
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