Diagnose loss of power 93 Escort

Hi, I was driving down the freeway yesterday ( a hot day), and after about 5-10 minutes, I lost 90% engine power.
The car did not die though, I was able to limp to the side. A
couple hours later (after I had it towed), it started and ran fine....
The car does not have an OBD II port (too old)...
How can I diagnose this problem? Don't really want to use trial and error :-)
Car is 93 Ford Escort, 1.9 EFI, manual trans.
Thanks
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Steve wrote:

Take it to an autozone or similar store and have the codes read for free, get the code numbers and post them online. You can also get a EEC-IV reader from Sears for about $20, or use an analog volt meter and paper clip to count needle sweeps if you are the McGyver type. Sounds like your car went into "limp" mode for some reason, was the engine light on or blinking? Get the codes and you might have a fighting chance to diagnose properly, otherwise it is just trial and error.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote in

fine....
or just check your timing belt. KB
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Kevin Bottorff wrote:

He said it ran fine after it cooled down so it can't be the timing belt. I had a similar problem with a 94' Escort. It turned out to be the ignition coil. It was failing when the engine got hot but would run fine after a cold start. He said it was a hot day.
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<snip>

Thanks everyone, I'll check with AutoZone, but I thought they only have OBD-II readers.
I too suspect the coil, is there any way to confirm before buying a new one ?
Thanks all
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Other than having a garage confirm your suspicion about the coil, no. You'll have to spring for a haynes or chilton manual, a multimeter to check the coil per the specs listed in the manuals, and get any codes. All for probably under $30. Throwing a new coil at it will probably set you back double that.
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Steve wrote:

I started with the assumption that the loss of power in conjunction with the rapid hesitation (missing) seemed more like an ignition problem than fuel related. I narrowed it down to the coil after replacing each plug wire (one at a time) with a new one. I drove the car after each wire swap with the engine hot. I did the same procedure by swapping each spark plug with a new one. Neither of those tests corrected the problem so I decided to go for a new coil. It was about $60 from 'Advance'. I don't think you could find this problem by just measuring the resistance of the coil windings, since it's apparently caused by a voltage breakdown in the windings when the coil gets hot. The engine would idle fine even when the problem was occurring while driving. This too is a symptom of coil failure under a load but not when idling. Did yours still idle? If not, you may want to check the ignition module too, since that will cause the engine to quit running and not start until it cools down. You can test this by seeing if you have any spark while you're trying to restart the hot engine. I had no engine warning light on the instrument panel so I doubt there were any codes stored for my coil problem. The EEC-IV system is not very sophisticated when it comes to diagnosing ignition problems. Let us know what you find out.
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Thanks Fordfan and all,
I've decided it sounds enough like a bad coil to replace the old (original by the way) one.
While I'm at it, it needs plugs, so I'm replacing those too..
Will let you know what happens.
Thanks
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Replaced the coil, plugs and wires tonight. Was running OK, but I haven't got it out on a hot day yet for the real acid test. Fingers crossed....
Only problem is a slight hesitation, but that is another story... I think the fuel injectors need some attention...
Thanks again...
Steve wrote:

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Steve wrote:

Try letting it idle long enough for the cooling fan to come on. If you can drive it then without the old problem coming back it's probably going to be all right. It would have been better if you changed one thing at a time so you'd know what the problem was.
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Hi All,
So, after replacing the coil, plugs, wires, everything seems OK, at least so far....
But I am still experiencing slight hesitation (when I depress the gas pedal, there is a momentary hesitation before it "kicks in").... So I replaced the fuel filter today(it was original 13 years old)...
Bad news - there is still a slight hesitation. It's hard to say if the new filter improved things, but it certainly couldn't hurt.
Good news - it actually drives pretty well..... it may just be that I am used to it and know how to work the clutch and gas to make it go :-)
But any ideas on further diagnosis of the slight hesitation welcome...
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Steve wrote:

The car DOES HAVE an OBD-I (EEC-IV) port, though. Get the ebgine codes pulled as a starting point.
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Sharon K. Cooke wrote:

He didn't say the check engine light came on so there probably aren't any codes related to his problem. The light in my 94' Escort didn't come on when the coil was failing.
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