1989 Escort 1.9L- got spark - got gas - no start

Friend's daughter ran her 1989 Ford Escort 1.9L with oil barely showing on the dipstick and an inch or two of coolant in the radiator. Engine died while driving and she thought she ran out of gas. She may have. She
put gas in the tank but while the engine cranks, it won't start.
Engine has spark to the ends of all the plug wires. Plugs, wires, cap and rotor were changed recently. There is a fine mist spraying from the single injector (throttle body injection).
Timing belt was changed about 3 or 4 years ago and appears to be in good shape.
I'm guessing bad compression caused by engine running hot and with insufficient oil in the crankcase: rings shot and/or valves burned.
I plan on checking the compression first because that is easier than checking to see if the timing belt slipped a cog.
I'm wondering what else might be causing a no start condition when both spark and gas are present.
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I fear that the REPLACE ENGINE light has come on now.

FAST.... Fuel, Air, Spark, and Timing. You got the first three, odds are you don't have the fourth. Pulling the valve covers will probably tell you at least how far gone things are.
If it were me, I'd give up on it and drop a junkyard engine in there. You don't know where a junkyard engine has been, but you DO know where this one has been.... --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Scott Dorsey wrote:

LOL!
Yep, my sediments exactly.
And for what that would cost in blood and treasure, it is probably time for another car.

How do I fit a 'C' in there? Isn't compression above 70-80 pounds necessary for combustion to take place?

What would I be looking for under the valve cover?

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That's part of timing. If the valves don't open or the valves don't close, or the valves are now in fragments somewhere in the exhaust pipe, you don't have proper valve timing.

That the camshaft is still there and is in one piece, and that the valves open and close more or less in the right order when you turn the engine over. Not that it's not also possible to have lower engine damage too, but my bet is that you'll see something like the a seized-up camshaft bearing or some twisted-up valve pieces. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Scott Dorsey wrote:

got it
thanks a million steve
I'll be looking at it tomorrow and I'll post what I learn
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Scott Dorsey wrote:

Well, the compression test results are in.
From left to right facing the engine the cylinders measured:
1) 110 lbs 2) 45 lbs 3) 5 lbs 4) 10 lbs
The plugs that came out of the low reading cylinders all had tiny water droplets on them. Either a blown head gasket or a cracked head or block.
I'm guessing a cracked block.
Everything under the valve cover looked okay.
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Foothill Fred wrote:

that can't possibly be good.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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Nate Nagel wrote:

ya think? :-)
It would be easy enough to yank the head off and check around to see what's what, whether the head gasket is the only problem or if there are visible cracks in the head or block.
I was thinking about filling the radiator with water and cranking the engine to get it circulating in the block and then seeing if it was leaking out anywhere.
But this car has been driven into the ground in more ways than one and the best thing for all concerned is to give it a decent burial and get on with life.
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Foothill Fred wrote:

if you have a cooling system pressure tester you could try that before sending it to the Big Parking Lot In The Sky.
I suspect you're right though. if the timing had slipped compression would be low but even. water on plugs ain't particularly good either.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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On Tue, 04 Aug 2009 15:47:36 -0700, Foothill Fred wrote:

I'd change my name to Boothill Fred...
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