94 escort brake lines

hi all, I have a 94 ford escort station wagon, and one of the front to rear lines rotted out. I can't get the line free from the block in the back, it's just so rotted
out. I may have to replace all the lines, and the block in the back. Does anyone know what the block is or what it's called? Is it a valve of some sort or just a junction block. Any Idea if I can still get it and what the cost might be? Also does this car use a standard inverted double flare, or a metric bubble flair? Thanks, Tony
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Block in the back... Proportioning valve? Definately replace all the lines, hoses too. Wheel cylinders and calipers are cheap as well.

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Thats what I need to know,if it's a Proportioning valve, or just a junction,If it's just a junction, I can just use some couplers. Advance Auto told me $55.00 each for calipers. Tony
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ANTHONY DIODATI wrote:

Check out autozone they sold me a new front caliper for my 90 GT Escort for about $20 I think
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Yea, Thanks, I'll check it out. The left front is hanging, I was going to rebuild it, But if I can get it for ~$20.00 It's not worth fooling with. The ford garage said he thought the "block" was only a splitter, cause it's only like $30.00,Right now I cut all 4 lines going to it, I got the 2 that go to the wheels free, but the other 2 are in there pretty good. I have it "baking" in the Electrolysis bath overnight with the battery charger, trying to free up the fittings. I don't have too much money to put into this thing. Tony
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brake hoses for rear wheels. Wheel cylinder bleeder valve's opened easy. Tied into factory lines right below fire wall.
Cost me next to nothing, Guy at the Dodge dealer, GAVE me 25 foot roll of 3/16" brake line and the fittings. Made ALL of my own lines. Got line to use fittings at work, and two brass connectors. Had to buy short line at Auto Zone for fittings, ($2.00) (Uses 3/16 inverted flare, with metric fittings)
Also "rebuilt" left front capaliar,(bleeder valve opened easy.) Cleaned capalier up inside and cleaned seal and dust boot and re used old seal and dust boot. Piston had some rust in one spot,had to clean on wire wheel,left with some pitting, working well now,if calipiar hangs again,will need new piston, if I can get one. If not will need new calipiar,but they are around $50.00! (No Auto Zone wants about $50.00 for calipiar too.) Thanks for the replies, Tony
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ANTHONY DIODATI wrote:

I've been working on the rear brakes lines on my 94' Escort wagon too. As you know now, that brake line block at the rear is just a junction block. The lines are 3/16 (4.7mm) with a regular double flare. You mentioned using some brass fittings. I hope you didn't use compression fittings. They're not legal. How did the brake fluid bleeding go for you? I don't have a power bleeder so I'll have to get a helper to push the pedal. I'd be interested to here about any other problems or repairs you've had with your 94' Escort wagon.
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No, the brass fittings were the connectors you use to connect two regular double flare lines together. I got a short standard 3/16 double flare line at the parts store, and cut it in half to get the fittings. Then I put the fittings on the line(s) that was coming off the master, and double flared the lines on the car. then I double flared my lines,from the 25 foot bulk roll, and ran these back to the junction block.
I used standard fittings and connectors here, and metric fittings at the rear junction block and the brake hoses.
The left front caliper was hanging up, opening the bleeder valve did not free the wheel, so it was not the brake hose. But the cleaning and re assembling the caliper fixed that.
The bleeding went well, I was able to gravity bleed the system, (just open the bleeders and let the fluid run out ) then I pumped up the pedal and put a board on the pedal, but did not get any more air. Same with the left front caliper. By the way, if you don't know this, if you have a line(s) open, and don't want to loose all the fluid in the master, if you wedge something in-between the brake pedal and the seat, your master will not empty out. may want to disconnect the brake light switch.
No, this has really been a good little car. Have not had to do much to it. The alternator went out, but it was just the brushes, that can be replaced right on the car, It does need rear springs and strut mounts, so may as well replace the struts too, but they want like $150.00 a side for a "ready strut" so it will have to wait a while, Unless I could luck out and find some good used ones. Tony
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ANTHONY DIODATI wrote:

Thanks for the tip about holding the brake pedal down to avoid draining the master cylinder when a line is open. I hadn't thought of that. I usually put a golf tee in the open line to plug the leak. What kind of brake fluid did you use?
I've also had very little trouble with my 94' Escort wagon. I rebuilt the alternator at about 60K miles. This was before it actually had any problems. I like to do preventative maintenance on some parts to avoid break downs. The alternator lasted another 40K or so until the pulley bearing seized up on a hot day while I was on the Interstate. That was a real belt burner! I don't know why the bearing went bad. I replaced it when I rebuilt the alternator. Next I got a factory rebuilt alternator which only lasted about two years. The brushes started to float at high rpm causing the charging light to come on. They gave me a another rebuilt one under the lifetime warranty.
The 1.9 (Ford) engine is still going strong at 110K. Only about 3% of the 90's Escorts came with the 1.8 DOHC Mazda engine. I've never seen one. A few years ago I started using Valvoline 10W-30 'Durablend' semi-synthetic oil along with a Fram-3600 heavy duty filter. Some time later I noticed that one or more of the hydraulic valve lifters would tap for a second or two after a cold start. I assumed this was caused by leak down in the aging lifters. I decided not to do anything about it, providing the noise kept going away within a few seconds of starting the engine. Recently, just for the heck of it, I installed a Motorcraft-FL400 filter instead of the Fram. The cold start lifter noise has gone away! Apparently the Motorcraft filter has a better anti-drain back design which reduces the leak down in the lifters.
Here's a short run down of other parts that were changed because of a failure or required maintenance.
The timing belt was replaced at 50K and 100K. I changed the water pump and belt tensioner with the first timing belt.
The ignition coil began failing at about 90K. The 'miss' got worse over a period of several weeks. I changed the plugs and wires first but the problem was the coil. I'm using Autolite Platinum AP-5143 spark plugs. They're one heat range cooler than the Motorcraft OEM ones. I did this to minimize a tendency for engine pinging. The computer has an input for a knock sensor but the 94' 1.9 engine doesn't have the sensor. I'm not sure when Ford started using one in the Escort. The plugs always look good when I change them, so the heat range must be acceptable.
I haven't had to change any other engine control parts (yet) such as the MAF, TPS or EGR. The gas filter has been changed twice. I'm starting to check the vacuum hoses more carefully as the engine gets older.
The radiator leaks a little while the engine is warming up in cold weather (winter). This is caused by the seal which is used between the aluminum core and plastic end tanks. The seal is not resilient enough when it's cold. As the engine and cooling system warm up, the seal becomes softer and the leak stops. I've tried tightening the crimps around the end tanks but it didn't improve much. Since this problem only occurs during the engine's warm up time after a cold weather start, I haven't replaced the radiator. Perhaps I should from an environmental stand point. The cooling system has been flushed several times over the years, including two new thermostats. I changed the radiator fan temperature switch because it seemed to be taking too long for the fan to come on when the car was idling. The temperature gauge would get up to more than 3/4 scale before the fan came on. Now it comes on at about 2/3 scale. I haven't had any problems with the AC. It's never even needed a recharge.
The rear springs were changed because the bottom of the coils broke off in the lower mount. This is a common problem with 90's Escorts, especially the wagons. Most owners wouldn't know the springs were broken. It doesn't have much affect on the ride quality and there's usually no noise associated with it. There are probably many 90's Escorts still on the road with broken rear springs.
The exhaust system between the converter and muffler has been changed twice. The muffler is still the original. I'm beginning to wonder if it's made from stainless steel.
I recently changed (flushed) the power steering fluid for the first time. The automatic transmission fluid gets partially changed every year. I use a hand pump to drawn about three quarts of fluid out of the dip stick tube. That's all you can get with that method but it's enough to replenish the fluid. The filter has been changed once. The tranny has never had any problems.
I replaced all the light bulbs in the instrument panel. I waited until several of them had failed because I knew it was a pain to do. The steering wheel/column has to be lowered on to the seat to access the panel and the speedometer cable had to be disconnected from the transmission so the panel would pull out from the dash. I used long life bulbs so I won't ever have to do that job again.
The power door lock relay module started acting up about a year ago. Sometimes the doors wouldn't lock when the driver's side button was pushed down. The module has two relays, one for locking and the other to unlock. The module is not available new and I couldn't find a used one at a local junk yard so I did some micro surgery on the locking relay. This required removing it's small (appx. 20-mm x 15-mm) plastic cover and cleaning the contacts. It's working fine now.
The front brake pads and rotors have been changed twice. Haven't had to do the calipers yet. I clean and lube them every year so they work freely. The rear drums and shoes were changed once.
The main issue with the car now is keeping up with the rust. The body is still in good shape but it's an up hill battle in my area with all the road salt they use in the winter. I've replaced a two foot section of the rocker panels in front of the rear tires on both sides. The 90's Escorts have a tendency to rust out in that area and also above the rear wheel wells. You can't buy the rocker panels separately. They're part of the complete rear door frame which costs at least $500. I wasn't about to pay $1000 for the privilege of cutting out two new rocker panels, so I made new ones from 22-gauge steel. The first one was a b*tch but the second went much faster. If you're interested I can describe the process.
That's all I can think of for now. Maybe this info' will help some other Escort owners with the same problems. I sometimes wonder if it's worth keeping a car of this age going but I really like it. It has a sun roof, power windows, power door locks, cruise control and a great DIY sound system. The car has cost almost nothing to maintain over it's life so far. I wouldn't mind finding another one in great condition (body wise) and keeping it running for another decade. ;-)
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Wow, It sounds like you really stay after the car. No, Hell I have about 170,000 on my escort, and it still runs strong. I really should replace the timing belt(and water pump while I'm in there) But I usually don't do anything to it (sans Oil changes) unless it brakes. Tony
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ANTHONY DIODATI wrote:

I'm pretty conscientious when it comes to car maintenance. I forgot to mention another important repair I did last year. I was jacking up one side of the rear end with the jack located under the suspension trailing arm, when I heard a crunching sound. I stopped jacking and noticed that the arm was bending and breaking. After closer inspection I found that it was badly rusted on the inside. Ford used a hollow box beam design for this part instead of making it from a length of solid metal like an I-beam. I replaced both rear trailing arms for about $50 each. They're easy to change. I'm glad I caught this problem before something nasty happened. Does your 94' have much rust?
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Hay, How's it going? No not too much rust on the body, little around the wheel hole openings that may need attention next year for inspection, Still need the rear strut mounts and springs, so may as well get the "quick strut" but there like $150.00 each, and I cant afford it right now. Would rather put $300.00 into the bike any how.....LOL
Question;
Where does your temp gauge usually run,say going down the highway,with the heater on? Mine is running a little below the "N" of the word Normal. (I would call it about 1/4 th of the way up) Not getting real good heat, don't know weather to flush the heater core 1st, or replace the T stat 1st.Coolant level is full. Thanks, Tony
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ANTHONY DIODATI wrote:

My temp' gauge typically runs at about 1/3 scale at highway speed with the heater on. This is a little *above* the 'N' in 'Normal'. My heater is still working well, probably because I flush the cooling system every year. I installed an adapter 'tee' on the heater hose to make it easy to flush the system. Antifreeze is cheap compared to the hassle of changing a heater core these days. I used to change the cores on my older cars in about two hours. Now it can take all day. There's really no excuse for designing a car so the dash panel has to be lowered to gain access to the heater core or AC evaporator.
In your case I would first check the air temperature blend door located in the heater box under the dash. If it's not going all the way over to the high heat position it will limit the amount of air that goes through the heater core. This will result in less heat. You may have to adjust the temperature control cable where it connects to the blend door mechanism.
Next remove the thermostat and test it. Put it in a pan of cool water with a liquid thermometer and slowly heat it on a stove until the thermostat opens. It should open close to it's rated temperature and not much before. Make sure it closes all the way as the water cools down. Regardless of the test results, replace the thermostat so you'll never have to do it again for the life of the car.
I haven't had much success with flushing heater cores which were still installed in the car. The deposits usually don't come loose. It may work better if you use a mixture of water and air to blast the core. Some shops have a special machine for doing this but there's a risk of rupturing the core if you use too much air pressure. I think there is also a method which radiator shops use to circulate a chemical flushing agent through the core. This is followed by a neutralizing chemical and finally clean water. It's similar to the process used to chemically clean a radiator core. You can get an idea for how well the heater core is working by comparing the relative temperature differences between the inlet and outlet hoses going to the core on the firewall. If there isn't much difference, the core is probably plugged. A good core will lower the outlet coolant temperature considerably below the inlet. This is because of the heat transfer from the core to the blower air. An infrared temperature meter would be handy for evaluating the two heater hoses but I doubt if many shops have one.
Good luck with your 94'.
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Ok Thank for the Ideas, Tony
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