atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#146: Adventures in Escort Repair 7

The car has been averaging about 35 miles to the gallon and 100 to the quart.

35 miles per gallon of gasoline; 100 miles per quart of oil.

Since the car burns oil so much, I figured, when will I have a better opportunity to try the various cheap remedies which exist for cars which burn oil?

I've tried two kinds so far:


These images are NOT to scale.

The first product cost $7 and didn't do squat. It is a blue oily substance with a fine metal powder in suspension. I can see how it might work, but only if you bypassed the oil filter with something that won't strain out the metal particles.

The second product I bought because it has the name "Rislone" on it.

In 1987 Dad bought a 1977 MGB, and its engine didn't have very good compression. One of Dad's friends advised him to try using Rislone Engine Flush. You add a quart of the stuff to the crankcase and then start the engine, and let it run until the thermostat opens and/or the cooling fans come on. Then you shut the engine off, let it cool a bit, and change the oil and filter.

Doing that, we saw an immediate and measurable increase in compression. The car only had 27,000 miles on it when Dad bought it, so clearly the engine had just carboned up; it probably had some stuck rings, and the Rislone cleaned the carbon out.

It worked so well that I use that stuff on any and every used car I buy.

Anyway, I saw this stuff and thought, "Heck, it's only $3 and I might as well see if it works."

This "ring seal" stuff was clear but thick as honey. It oozed out of the bottle. When I started the car, it only ran on three cylinders!!!

I pulled off to make sure I hadn't popped a plug wire loose, and saw smoke pouring out of a hose!

The hose was attached to the EGR line, which is itself attached to the exhaust manifold. I tried in vain to find where the unoccupied end of the hose attached, but couldn't. I went back to AutoZone for more hose, then went home and had a look at the green car.

The hose attaches to some kind of sensor. I think it's an EGR pressure transducer of some kind. Anyway, the hose I bought was too small to fit on the sensor's fitting, of course; why on Earth would Ford specify the same size fitting as on the other end? They wouldn't be able to sell a special hose if they didn't!! Anyway a little high-temp grease and elbow grease got it onto the fitting.

I also pulled the spark plugs and--sure enough!--number 4 was clogged with carbon. I think the Rislone Ring Seal stuff oozed down the valve guide; anyway I had to scrape the carbon out and then wire-wheel the plug to clean it. (You're not supposed to wire-wheel platinum plugs. Too goddamned bad. A previous owner of the car installed those stupid Bosch +2 platinum plugs, which have a superfluous ground electrode. The extra ground electrode provides no benefit whatsoever, except that it gives Bosch an excuse to charge more for the spark plug.)

Once the plugs were clean, and the hose plugged where it goes, the car started and ran fine again.

...and I have not seen the "check engine" light since then.

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