engine died and no start

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I have a 91 escort wagon automatic 1.9 liter electronic fuel injection, 141,000 miles and we were driving tonight and it just shutdown and cranks but no start. I had to leave it in a guys driveway and probably won't be able to haul it home till Saturday so wanted to get some ideas on what to check in the meantime. We have only driven it for a week after having the tranny replaced. I am very mechanical but am new to the Fords, escorts etc. I know what a cranking engine sounds like after a timing belt goes out and this is not the problem. I have had them go out on dodge 4 cylinders before. I had filled the gas tank and driven about 50-60 miles. The fuel cutoff light is not on. Where is the reset button on the wagons so I can check it anyway? What other common problems cause an immediate shutdown with no start and what is the best method to diagnose which part is bad? I have a code reader for my 98 Ford van but don't think it will work on this 91. Have only had the escort for a short time. Your help is much appreciated, thanks.

posted by  twoshoes

Can you hear the fuel pump? Most likely what it is. How about spark?

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

It is the timing belt! I unbolted and pulled the cover back a little ways and turned the engine over by hand and the cam does not turn. The belt was still on the cam pulley but I could not see down below until I get it home and tore down furthur. It will be Saturday before I can get it home. When it first shut down I was in traffic and tried restarting it a few times to get it out of the way. Do you think it did any damage to valves etc. when I cranked it? I have not tried to crank it with the key since then. I picked up a haynes manual and the belt doesen't look to bad to change. Any and all help is appreciated, thanks again.

posted by  twoshoes

Tore into the escort today and the belt was still on and intact but when you would turn the crank over by hand the belt was slipping on the teeth of the crankshaft sprockett not allowing the cam to turn at all. :banghead: We went ahead and took the belt off and all of the teeth on the part of the belt that was around the crank sprockett only was stripped off smooth :ohcrap: and the rest of the belt and teeth looked fine. The tensioner and idler pulley spun free. I am confused why the only the teeth on the bottom of belt were stripped off. Also tried to turn the cam sprockett by hand a tiny bit after the belt was off and it seemed to turn kinda hard and was afraid to try and force it. Is this normal?? I am gonna have to turn it to realign the marks on the cam sprockett. I am pretty confused about what happened since the belt was still in place with only a few teeth missing! All help is appreciated, thanks, Twoshoes

posted by  twoshoes

It's normal for the camshaft to be hard to spin, it's forcing down springs as you're trying to turn it. You are going to have to line up the timing marks.

Now you just hope it's not an interferance engine.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

dont sound good your over head cam might of locked up , pray for the best

posted by  donaldnjamie

Me and my brother got new belt on today and all seems to be fine for now. Thank you to all who were a big help in solving the problems with it. By the way what mileage mods can be done to this car to increase MPG? Are their any chips or computer mods and will a K&N air filter help at all or the extra cost of it? I intend to run mobil 1 fully synthetic in it just like I have always done the Taurus and van. I am very happy with the performance of it, just want to get maximum MPG. Thanks again.

posted by  twoshoes

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