Ford Escape Ejected Plug Engine Replacement



Well, what next?

The 2002 Escape V6 is having its engine replaced, as I type this. It’ll end up running around $2,000 for a salvaged engine.

The engine I got has under 50k miles, and has a warranty for 100 days.

My question is, what to do next? I am now very heavily inclined to sell the thing. The point for me was to get the thing so people would buy it; people weren’t going to with that horrible noise it was making.

But my thinking is that this repair probably won’t last long. No one would buy it before with the noise it was making; at least this way, I can get low-book for it, around $8,000.

What do you think? Sell it or keep it? You already know which direction I’m leaning.

A recording of the engine noise can be found here:



yup, you know my opinion too. i would have kept the old engine in, and drove it till it died, then got a used engine. but, to each his own :slight_smile:


Once you have replaced the engine why would you want to sell it. The replacement engine has a 100 day warranty because it is salvaged from a wreck, and that’s a standard wrecker’s warranty. Before that wreck crashed the engine was as good as the one in your car before it blew the plug. A 2002 is hardly an old car.


Well, here’s why I didn’t want to do that: It sounded like it could have been a rod bearing. We’re planning to drive from Northern California to Yellowstone and back in June. What would this problem have cost if it threw a rod somewhere between Reno and Idaho Falls? Seems like the tow alone could have cost $500. They’d probably have towed it straight to a dealer, and they’d have put in a new long-block for around $5,000. Vacation ruined.

If we were planning for this to be a town-only car (no more ski trips to Tahoe, kids! Sorry!), what’s the point in having it?

It has been a very good car. We drove it comfortably to Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Reno, Tahoe, Point Reyes, Pasco (Pasco??), and I would not have felt comfortable taking ANY of those trips with it making that noise. And I think it was getting worse (this might be the key right there).


I’m still very skeptical that you had a major engine problem but that’s all water under the bridge now.
Should I even ask if the shop installing this used engine was prudent enough to check things over by removing the spark plugs, inspecting threads, and installing new plugs BEFORE the engine was installed?

If not, what happens if a plug is removed and brings out the threads on day 101, after the warranty is up?


You don’t normally replace an engine just because a plug blew out. That can almost always be fixed.

Now with a replacement engine, why should you expect any more of a problem than any other car?

OK you have a bad feeling about this car, but frankly from what I have read, I would not.

It’s your money, if you think it is worth replacing it and you believe you will feel better about a new vehicle, then go for it. However from what you wrote, maybe you need a new mechanic.


You have a replacement engine with 50 K miles and a 100 day warranty. 100 days should be more than sufficient to disclose any latent engine faults. if you don’t have any additional unreported problems with this vehicle and the engine performs as advertised, i don’t understand why you would want to go throught the hassle of selling it. An 02 car with 50 K on the engine to start with is not a bad place to be .


I told them to put in a new set of stock (Motorcraft) iridium plugs as a part of this deal, just to cover my own rear. That’ll get me to about 207,000 miles, at which point the car will probably history anyway.


I agree completely. Unless you have other reasons to “need” a new car, keep it!


Well, hopefully this will be my last post on this subject.

Got the car from the mechanic last night. The engine they put in is, apparently, a Japanese engine. I consider this to be a good thing. Ford sources these engines from Mexico, the US and Japan, so when you buy a new one, it’s the luck of the draw what your car gets. I got a Japanese one with between 30k and 50k miles. They looked inside the spark plug hole and it still has the original part IDs legible.

It runs fantastically. I can’t remember the car running this well, ever. So now that I’ve done this, I’m inclined to keep the car for at least two years.

As for the old engine, they’re still not sure what happened, but they want to know. On the mechanic’s own time, he plans to remove that head. He just wants to know what happened. I suspect he’ll find a bent valve, damaged seat or mangled piston, or some combination of these three things. Ford no longer supplies instructions for rebuilding the bottom-end of the Duratec. They used to, but I guess too many mechanics botched it, so now AllData (I subscribe) says, “Replace short block assembly.” At $3,500 just for the part, I doubt there are many takers.

Obviously I’m happy with the way the car’s running. It has a lot of power. I wish it hadn’t cost this much, but as I said before, no one was going to buy it the way it was, and I wasn’t going to trust it on long trips (Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Columbia River Gorge, Tahoe, San Francisco, etc.) the way it was. A 30k-50k mile engine cost a few hundred more than head removal and installation. This cost more, but I think was much more cost-effective.

I want to thank everyone for their advice, whether I took it or seemed to ignore it. The fact that people were so helpful is the real point here. I appreciate all input.

In true gratitude,




Glad to hear that the new engine worked out ok for you and hope it goes a long time before needing any real work again. Keep up on the proper maintenance of the car and have fun on the trips with it. If you need any more car advice you know where to refer to.

Drive On,


If you hear back from the mechanic about what happened, post back. I’m curious, and I’m probably not the only one.

I’m glad you’re keeping it. My dad’s got a 2001 with 130,000+ on it and it’s still going strong. The only real trouble he’s had was with the door handles (which break repeatedly) and once with an ABS sensor.


On Friday, my wife was driving the Escape and noticed that the water-level light was on, and it smelled like anti-freeze.


Turned out it was a heater-hose connecter. I fixed it in about 45 minutes, including the trip to get the new part.

Still leaves me with a question, though: Why didn’t this evacuate the entire cooling system? The connector was broken clean in half. Why did it have any coolant left at all?


funny you mention that;

i had that happen to my wife as she was driving, (while talking to me on the cell phone) i kept pleading for her to pull over immediately, to save the engine.

well. she didnt pull over, drove the three miles home, and when i got home the next week, lo and behold there was still antifreeze in the radiator and block. i couldn’t figure out why, until i started up the van with the heater hose still rotted off.

it seems that most of the water is “pulled” back into the radiator loop, with (if you like to call it this) easier flowing to the regular cooling loop, rather than the heater core.

i had never heard of, or seen this, but it DID work for me!