97 Ford Escort - Pinging/knocking, rough idle

chris376chris376 Member Posts: 2
Wife drove into town yesterday, okay, came home, car started to run rough, died, managed to start and get home. New plugs, plug wires (doesn't seem like it is missing). Runs rough (when you can start it), pings if you give it gas and knocks, with a bit more acceleration, pings more, but not shaking as bad. Engine was installed (new) 5 years ago, only 50K on it now. Hear the fuel pump running when I go to start it, plugs are basically clean, not gummed up, sprayed carb cleaner around some hoses, etc., no change, and all with no service engine light or codes being set? Can't figure this out. Shook the air flow sensor tube, no change, filter is still new. Any ideas?


  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,716
    Does this thing have a knock sensor? I had a knock sensor fail on a 96 Subaru, and it ran terribly rough (similar to what you're describing). No code, either.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • chris376chris376 Member Posts: 2
    Took it to one garage, not really equipped to do heavy engine work, but the Cylinder Contribution Test they ran points to cylinders 1 and 2, nothing on the plugs, not smoking, coolant in car, doesn't appear to be overheating, but thinks likely a head problem. Not sure what that runs, but had a new head put on with the reman engine 50K miles ago. Seems like crap that a head would go bad (warp, crack, etc.) that soon. Not sure what a head job costs either. If the valve broke and went into cylinder, would be obvious sounding etc, no evidence of that either.
    So, leaning towards a stuck valve, bad valve, valve guide (exhaust valve) which may be easier to repair then the head itself...
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