2001 Ford Escape: exhaust manifold heats & glows red

Bob do you know how to line an engine up to TDC on the Compression Stroke on number 1 cylinder? Im asking because I want you to test my stretched T chain theory. Many items need to precisely allign when a motor is at TDC…if they do not…no amount of fiddling will help until those cams allign with the crank.


Someone a few pages back recommended using a vacuum gauge to test for leaks but the gauge would also show a restricted exhaust which, regardless of what has been replaced already may still be the cause of all these problems.

Didnt this guy already replace his Cat and exhaust ? I believe he ruled out any clogged or possible exhaust clogs…No?

Only a lean burn condition…or a timing problem will glow a Manifold so easily. This person also said it does NOT run smoothly or idle well. ALL symptoms of Engine Timing.


Yes.I did remove the car , there are no clogs in the exhaust .after replacing the egr valve the car was idling better but not running smoothly,still sputters .

Only a lean burn condition…or a timing problem will glow a Manifold so easily. This person also said it does NOT run smoothly or idle well. ALL symptoms of Engine Timing.

Again, while that may be true with this particular vehicle design, it is not always true. There are many designs out there that use secondary air injection. I have two instances (in my limited experience) that have been due to RICH exhaust causing very poor running and quickly heating the exhaust manifold to cherry red. Both were Chevy designs where the temp switch was failed causing the engine to run very rich due to temperature based enrichment scheme continuing to run even though the engine was warm. Idle stumble, no power and super hot exhaust due to air injection consuming the raw gas in the manifold and beyond. For example, my 2005 Trailblazer has the A.I.R. input right at the manifold. An early 2000s truck I had almost burned to the ground from rich exhaust heating the manifold, cat and pipe between them to the point the carpet was too hot to touch. No exaggeration. A friend tried to limp it home in that condition…

I looked up the Escape and it does not appear to have an A.I.R. system so it could be ruled out here. Just want to be clear in case someone stumbles across this post in the future and makes a judgement call that may not necessarily be true…

I would like to thank everyone for all the info that has been given . I’m letting a mechanic look at it I’m done ! Lmao!
On another topic what does anyone know about a death wobble on an 03 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 4.0? :slight_smile:

Death Wobble? If its in the steering wheel…its tire and wheel related. If it feels like the middle of the car is shimmying… It will be the front shaft going from the Xfer Case to the front differential… There are two types. One has normal U-Joints on the shaft… The fancier AWD all the time type has a CV style joint that always blows out and then causes the joint to disintegrate and the shaft to then venture on an Elliptical rotation. This will vibrate the entire vehicle and soon it will come off and try to pole vault the SUV… LOL They sell rebuild kits for this CV style joint because it is a VERY common failure mode. They tend to wear out more than the U-Joint type because it is impossible to disengage the shaft and stop it from spinning… It spins all the time on the AWD version.

Just my guess… Actually I needed more info before making this guess… but…thats why its called a guess … I guess…lol

I would start a new post if you are really after a solution


Check the steering damper on the steering. It’s a shock absorber unit for the steering and when they go bad the usual symptom is a wobble after hitting a bump, pothole, etc. It’s an easy cheap fix.

Just had an Escape come in with the same problem. Customer had just replaced the engine. After duplicating every bodies diagnosis we were puzzled. Just happened to look at another escape and found the wiring harness to the front coils could be laid on the engine either way. The customer had #4 and #6 coils backward. Switched and problem went away and runs great.

Good observation @basllc . That would definitely explain the misfire codes for 4 and 6. And themisfires would allow gasoline to combust in the exhaust manifold, making it glow red. Harder to explain the lean code though. You’d think a misfire would result in a rich condition rather than lean at the O2 sensor.

Lean mixtures can cause holes to be burned in the pistons, advanced timing can cause pre-ignition, break rings and pistons. Late timing and rich mixtures cause unburned fuel to spill out into the manifolds, burning there and causing the manifolds to glow.
I once had a 532 cubic inch Ford C850 single axle with a missing check ball in the carb that would allow the huge secondaries in the carb to open at any rpm and it was making so much power that I could pull a 80,000 gross rig almost 80 mph but if I han it hard for 45 minutes the exhaust manifolds would be yellow and dripping.

Here’s a question. This is a V6, right? Are BOTH manifolds glowing or just the one side? If just the one side, I doubt it could be a valve timing issue unless this engine has a separate cam for each side. (not familiar with this family of engines) How’s the fuel mileage? An engine running rich will get terrible mileage. (of course a poorly running engine in general will not get great mileage either)

How does the engine run overall? You say it will stall. Does it accelerate properly, run smoothly, etc?

The OP has been gone for quite some time.

I didn’t notice that someone had revived this months-old post.