So I had a odd misfire/idle issue with my '99 ford escort wagon at 113k miles. At first I thought it was an IAC valve thing, but after replacing that it didn’t improve. After I had a really bad misfire one day on the way to work I decided to take it to a mechanic. They couldn’t see anything wrong, but suggested to remove the head as they could hear some chatter under moderate throttle and informed me I could have or be in immediate danger of the dreaded “dropped valve seat” issue. I took the car home on a flatbed car carrier and took the engine head off and into a machine shop to look it over. Turns out I barely escaped the dropped valve seat issue (the machinist said one of them fell off while he was washing it!), and I had the head more or less “rebuilt”.
My question is, i’ll be reinstalling the head (cost me $550 to rebuild), this weekend and was wondering if there is anything else I should do while the top half of the engine is taken out. I plan on cleaning out the EGR valve, changing out the thermostat, and replacing the timing belt, but is there anything else anyone would recommend as scheduled “maintenance”/trouble spots? Also, about 4 weeks before I stopped driving the car I had the spark plugs, wires, fuel filter, transmission fluid, and radiator fluid changed/flushed. lastly, note that I have a new Subaru Outback on order so in reality this car only needs to run for about five more weeks, but if I sell it I figure it would be nice to be up on maintenance so i don’t sell a ‘bum’ car. I feel like I’m doing most of everything I can, but any suggestions are welcome!