The only problem with the Escort--the only problem other than the spark plugs--was that the fuel injectors needed cleaning. Other than these two issues, I removed an engine, put in another engine which I had rebuilt myself, and the car runs and is drivable. If I had just swapped out intakes (as I had pondered doing) or even just the fuel injectors, the drivability problem would have gone away.
How many other people can say that? How many people can do that?
Forget having the tools. Any swinging dick can rent an engine crane; and for a little more money he can just go to Harbor Freight and buy one. (I bought mine from AutoZone, carefully waiting until they were on sale, and paid about as much as one would pay for the exact same tool at Harbor Freight.) I'm talking about applying ability and talent to a complex mechanical problem and emerging victorious.
Okay, there were problems with the project: it didn't run right, there were things wrong and it kept me from achieving a success right away. But once the weather warmed up enough that I could return to the driveway, I put things right. I needed a little advice from a wiser and more experienced mechanic to solve the last niggling problem.
But 99% of the project was all me.
Today I put the 100th mile on the car since getting it running correctly. It's like its old self, only without the big cloud of oil smoke at startup. I can live with that.