87 Escort rattle with black smoke from the tail pipe

ford
escort

#1

Continuing the discussion from About the Maintenance/Repairs category:

Hi I recently purchased a 87ford escort and I think it may have been
sitting for a while but it runs Problem is it jumps rattles shakes while
idalling same thing when driving but not as bad. I’m hoping it is just
in need of tune up but it continues to blow out black smoke from tail
pipe,getting oil changed today.Do you think the smoke could mean the
rings are bad? Also some times it takes awhile before the car shifts
when I am driving till it gets warm.


#2

Black smoke could be caused by oil getting burned in the cylinders, or overly rich mixture (too much gas getting into the cylinders). Yes, the smoke could mean the rings are bad, but don’t assume that. A wet/dry compression test would determine that. I’d focus on what’s causing the rough idling first. It sounds like it is missing. Usually caused by an ignition or fuel/air mixture problem. Or a compression problem. Any diagnostic codes from the engine computer?


#3

I strongly suspect that the poor operation and the black smoke are inextricably related.
As George suggested, I’d start with a compression test. If the basic engine is shot, you’ll need to consider how much you’re willing to invest. If, however, the compression should turn out to be good, you’ll need to start looking for the cause of the black smoke. If your '87 has a carb (my '89 Toyota pickup did) the possibilities will be different than if it was fuel injected… which in '87 generally meant throttle-body injected.

Perhaps the best first step is to get a hands-on assessment from a reputable independent mechanic. There are a lot of different paths this could take, and a good hands-on look-see is IMHO he best place to start.


#4

Your car is fuel injected. Bad rings would result in blue smoke. Black smoke means you are running too rich. Is your check engine light illuminated?


#5

Sorry, but I respectfully cannot agree.
Bad compression does not promote complete combustion of the fuel mix in the cylinder. Lack of complete combustion leaves high concentrations of carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and the dreaded black carbon. I strongly suspect that this may be the case here.


#6

If I remember most Escorts did that when new to some degree… :grin:

Any car this old that has been sitting a while needs a complete inspection by a competent mechanic.

That said, is the black smoke “wet”? Stick you hand in front of the exhaust pipe and have a friend rev it up a bit… Is it wet? Does it smell of raw gas? (too rich, you have a fuel problem) Or is it an oily burnt smell? (oil burning, rings or valve guides) or Both? (List it on Craigslist as a “Modern classic barn find”)

Likely it need spark plugs, plug wires, a distrubutor cap and rotor, change ALL the filters, fuel especially and run a few tanks of gas and maybe some fuel injector cleaner through the car. Plus a compression test and maybe a leakdown test, too.


#7

Checking camshaft timing is very simple and I would recommend starting there.

https://www.google.com/search?q=1.9L+Escort+timing+marks&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwibhLGC9M3OAhUUSmMKHfTmAKIQsAQIOw&biw=960&bih=509#imgrc=71P2ef2bQpCnIM%3A


#8

Thanks for your response. No there is no codes that come on I changed the spark plugs yesterday they were rusted and looked like they had never been changed. It ran a little smoother but still pretty rough but I haven’t changed the plugs yet either also oil was changed but there is still black smoke and it’s a 6 cylinder but the gas runs out to fast . Changed air filter carb was thick almost muddy looking and a lot of gas inside.


#9

Not if the engine is original. These things only came with 4 bangers. Where did you put the 5th and 6th spark plugs?


#10

I’m sorry my brain still trying to wake up your right I only put in 4 spark plugs. Yeah it’s really going through gas way to fast almost 20 on gas a day just around town


#11

Ford didn’t offer a 6 cylinder engine in Escorts. I am guessing you have the throttle body injected engine. If the camshaft timing is off 1 notch the result is drastic loss of power and black smoke due to flooding. Just remove the upper timing cover, rotate the crankshaft until the marks line up at the camshaft pulley and then look at the crankshaft marks which should also be alligned. If not you have found your problem.


#12

thank you for your response it does have a carb I cleaned it out and put a new air filter in it. I will see about a compression test. Once the car is warmed up it runs really good and has no problem on the freeway.


#13

No and the smoke isn’t thick but it has a distinctive smell and it’s not constant mainly when car is sitting and running.


#14

Thank you you all have been very helpful and I am going to test the smoke as suggested and get the filters changed as well at least with the help of all of you and your inputs I can at least know where to start at. Much appreciated guys


#15

@Emotion Are you sure you have a carburetor? The 1.9 engine, which is what you have, either has multi-port injection or throttle body injection. Throttle body injection looks very similar to a carburetor.

What baffles me is that your not getting a check engine light with all that black smoke and misfiring. Makes me wonder if somebody tried to convert it to a carburetor. After all it is 30 years old.


#16

“I changed the spark plugs yesterday they were rusted and looked like they had never been changed.”
"It ran a little smoother but still pretty rough but I haven’t changed the plugs yet "
Both statements were in the same post. Did you or did you not change the sparkplugs?

At the risk of being redundant, allow me to now quote myself:
“Perhaps the best first step is to get a hands-on assessment from a reputable independent mechanic. There are a lot of different paths this could take, and a good hands-on look-see is IMHO he best place to start.”

:nerd:


#17

It may be this poster isn’t located in the USA. Engine configurations are often different for cars sold in other countries.


#18

@GeorgeSanJose Good point.


#19

Throttle body injection didn’t really become commonplace until about 1990. My '89 Toyota was carbureted, the '90 model was TBI.

I have no problem accepting that the OP’s '87 was carbed.


#20

OK, I hate to beat this to death so I looked it up on Rock Auto. For '86 they list parts for carbed and fuel injected versions. For '87 they list parts for fuel injected versions only. It could be that early 87’s had some carbed engines before they phased them out.

Also, @GeorgeSanJose may be right, it could be a non American version.