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'93 Escort vs. '86 Cavalier: which to keep?? Ford has 98Kmi., Chevy has 28K

dww2dww2 Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Ford
The Ford has 98,000 miles - mostly highway, with some City. Chevy - was kept in a garage, but all city miles. I'm leaning toward keeping the Chevy, but since it was all city miles - which is rough on an engine - and since it's 17 years old, will it cost a lot soon in preventative maintenence? IE-does it need a new timing belt becuase of its age? I'd like to hear any and all thoughts on this issue before I make a decision. Which one would you keep and why?


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    ...has a timing chain, so as long as you've kept up on oil changes, and haven't let it run low, there shouldn't be a problem there. I'm not sure about the Escort though...I think they do have a belt.

    Actually, it's a hard call. Mazda basically built that '93 Escort for Ford, but that implies both good and bad. When it was new, it was good for reliability and refinement, but as it ages, that means more complexity and higher repair bills.

    In contrast, GM cars back in the '80's were kinda like a fine wine...they'd just get better with age. Usually they'd start off with worse or much-worse than average reliability right off the showroom floor, but then as they aged, they seemed to hold up better while other cars would run up big repair bills. By the time they were 4-6 years old, they'd often improve to average or even a bit better.

    If it were my choice, I'd probably keep the Cavalier. Do you have know the maintenance history of both cars?
  • tbonertboner Posts: 402
    While miles are hard on wear items, time is hard on the whole car.

    The Escort is probably an R134A A/C car, while the Cavi is certainly R12. If that goes out, it will be a bit pricey to get fixed on the Chebby.

    Personally, I think the Escort is probably the better driver of the two and will have the nicer interior. I think it will be the smoother of the two cars, engine wise. That Chevy engine is pretty course.

    I'm just wondering why you don't keep both? I don't think you would get more than $5K for the pair. You don't state why you want to get rid of one, such as trading for something else.

    If I could I'd keep both.

    And Andre is right about the timing chain on the Chebby.

  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    IMO, time is harder on a car than mileage. Those Escorts were real bad about popping timing belts, but I believe that engine won't crash the valves if that happens. Someone, correct me if I'm wrong. Either car is probably due for some R&R, I'd rather put the money on the Escort.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    ...according to Gates, which makes timing belts and such, the Escort 1.9 4-cyl was an interference engine. They also list a DOHC 1.8 engine that was built from '81-96, that's a non-interference engine. I think that was for the Escort GT.

    When the base Escort went to a 2.0 engine in 1997 (that engine's still around in the Focus today), it finally became non-interference.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Thanks for the info. I always thought the DOHC was the interference engine. I've had it backwards all these years.
  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    i would keep the chevy.28k of city miles is nothing.hopefully,there was clean oil in the chevy while it sat.the escourt is nearing the end of the line.keep in mind,the other components of the chevy should be like new(suspension etc).the escourt probably has worn suspension and brake systems.this is a no brainer to me.
  • dww2dww2 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response so far. To answer a couple of above questions - yes - I have records of service on both vehicles. And oil changes were 3 to 4 thousand miles on the Ford, more often on the Chevy because 6 months rolled around more often than the 3-thousand mile oil change recommedation. Also - the reason one needs to go - is to save on insurance. My dad - who's retired - owns the cars and only drives a few miles a day at the most - and he's decided he only wants to maintain one car. Thanks for advice so far - more responses are welcome. DWW2
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    amount of misinformation here. I owned a 93 Escort wagon. So here are some facts:

    The A/C System is R 12
    The timing belt is not an issue with these cars. That was a problem with the previous generation of Escorts.
    The engine is not interfence. I had a water pump seize, the timing belt drives the pump and there was no damage.

    The car isn't a Mazda. The Suspension and the trans (I had 5 speed)is Mazda. Most of the car is Ford and I'd stack mine up with any Toyota, Nissan etc. It was a good ride and it didn't break! The 1.9 liter engine is Ford. The 1.8 is Mazda. Most Escorts from 91 model year on had the 1.9.Believe they upraded the engine to 2.0 liters in 97. It is an extremely reliable motor.

    Be careful to what you read/believe on these boards. There are to many people with opinions who don't know what they are talking about!
  • tbonertboner Posts: 402
    The Escort is probably an R134A A/C car, while the Cavi is certainly R12. If that goes out, it will be a bit pricey to get fixed on the Chebby.

    I didn't say it certainly was R134a, only probably, guess I was wrong.

    I'd still take the Escort over the Chevy, miles and all.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,504
    The Gates site has some errors in it, so be careful with that.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    I didn't see your qualifier.

    The escort is 10 years OLD AND THE Cavalier is 16. Personally I wouldn't touch either one of them.Too late in the game for me. Then again I don't know how this owner will use the car.

    The other post goes on about the car being a Mazda. The fact is they are not Mazdas.Don't know what his point is about aging and complexity. Is the Escort any different than any other economy car? You're not talking about a BMW here.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    The racecort is way past it's "drop dead" mileage, and the cavalier is almost there. Please deposit both vehicles at your nearest auto salvage yard and buy something reliable, like an import.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    ...basically, Ford threw in the towel after 1990 when it comes to small cars. The '91 Escort is the same basic car as the 1991 Mazda Protege. It's basically a Protege with an engine from the old Ford Escort thrown in, and Ford sheetmetal.

    Technically it was called a joint venture, but what that boils down to is that essentially, Mazda built that car for Ford, just like Toyota builds the Vibe for GM.

    As for complexity, well a '93 Escort is 7 years newer than an '86 Cavalier, which was pretty obsolete even in '86, so naturally the Escort is going to be more complicated. The Escort's automatic is a 4-speed, whereas the Cav's is only a 3-speed. There's also going to be more computer crap on the Escort than the Cav, and it's just going to be more complex in general.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    to be joking.98k is not a lot of miles for that engine if it was properly maintained.You need to have the vehicle checked by a competent mechanic.

    IT IS NOT A MAZDA PROTEGE. IT IS A FORD. I ought to know, I owned one for 10 years.

    There are some people who come to these boards and contribute. Then you have people with opinions that are based on bias. Save the import garbage for another board; that wasn't the question.
  • U bof be straightup trippin. it aint no protege its a 323
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    The Escort and the Tracer are related. Neither is a Mazda.

    Last post, what school did you go to?
This discussion has been closed.