I am considering a 1992 Ford Escort station wagon for $900. It is in
fine condition except that it does need a front-right axle (note to
self: H & W, Spring Hill). Body seems fine, I drove it and it did fine.
It had sat for 6 months, father is selling it for son who's in rehab at
the moment. (Boy, don't you love this story?) It has about 80,000 miles
on it, has the 1.9 litre engine.
The main focus of my post today concerns the timing belt. I've had some
state that, with Ford Engines (which this appears to be despite the
Mazda heritage) it is strongly advisable that you replace the timing
belt/chain because if it breaks on Ford products, due to how their belt
structure is a blown belt/chain could easily result in an engine that
needs replacement. Thus, the argument is made, just replace the timing
belt/chain by default to prevent this. And again, this seems to made
specifically regarding Ford products. Is their argument correct? Should
the belt be replaced by default, or can it be inspected to ascertain
its estimated useful remaining life?
If the timing belt/chain should be replaced, what price should I expect
to be charged?