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Cylinder head problem.

4257 Views 4 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  highwayman
I bought a 90 Escort 4 door hatchback new in March 1990 and it was a good car until 96 when it overheated once. After that, it would crack the head and blow the head gasket. I fixed it 3 times, but it kept doing it. I finally gave up and parked it in the back yard. The only thing I can think of that may have been causing the problem is possibly a warped block deck. Has anybody else had this problem?
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No, I didn't think about checking the year of the replacement head. The last time it gave me trouble, I had just finished backflushing the cooling system and was driving it to circulate the coolant. When I got it torn apart, I couldn't see any cracks (always happened between the valves) and couldn't see any weak spot on the head gasket, but there was an indication that the #1 cylinder was pumping coolant. The time before that, it had cracked the replacement head and I had a machine shop repair the head with aluminum welding. Both of these times, the engine didn't overheat. It had just started leaking and the engine would try to lock up when spinning it over to start it.
When I got the replacement head, I was told it was ready to install. A year after I installed it, that head cracked in 2 cylinders. A machinist friend looked at it and told me that the head had not been surfaced prior to assembly. He surfaced the head and welded the cracks with aluminum rod. It held together for a little over a year and went bad again. When I took it apart this time, I couldn't see any cracks and couldn't see any evidence of a gasket leak, but there was coolant in the #1 cylinder. I decided after all the trouble I had with it, it must have a warped block surface, but didn't want to put money into another engine, so I parked it and got another car. The rest of the Escort is in good shape, it was just that the engine wouldn't hold together.
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