Just got a 2006 Ford Escape for $200, Trying to make it a daily driver for cheap

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Joshk
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It won’t hurt to try the pressure washer, but I bet you have rust in places that long wand won’t aim at.

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Step 1: make sure it has a clean title and isn’t stolen Question

Scallywag
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Texas_Ace wrote:
You would not happen to know of a way to program a new key for it without going to the dealer by chance? I only have 1 key and seems that means the dealer is the only option for adding a 2nd which I need.

A lot of places these days are able to do keys. The requirements vary depending on what kind of hardware/software the place has, but often a place like a (participating) Batteries Plus, some hardware stores, some locksmiths, etc. Usually the dealer is the most expensive place to go, but also the only one guaranteed to get it right.
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Scallywag wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
You would not happen to know of a way to program a new key for it without going to the dealer by chance? I only have 1 key and seems that means the dealer is the only option for adding a 2nd which I need.
A lot of places these days are able to do keys. The requirements vary depending on what kind of hardware/software the place has, but often a place like a (participating) Batteries Plus, some hardware stores, some locksmiths, etc. Usually the dealer is the most expensive place to go, but also the only one guaranteed to get it right.

Yeah, it seems walmart can clone the keys but they are $60 each.

If on the other hand I have the dealer program 1 more key, I can then make as many as I want as home. Since I need to program 2 keys getting one from the dealer seems like a better option depending on the exact price.

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Anyone know if the 2.3L in the escape is prone to rear main seal leaks?

I topped off the oil when I got it but it has proceeded to loose 1 quart and then stopped loosing oil.

I am hoping it is something else but sounds like a rear main seal to me since the oil is coming from that location as well.

If the main seal does need to be done, how hard is it on this car?

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Boaz wrote:
The cheapest way to deal with the rust is just to turn up the tunes really loud and all the vibration will loosen up the rust and leave it at the stoplight .

Shocked

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Joshk
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Texas_Ace wrote:
Anyone know if the 2.3L in the escape is prone to rear main seal leaks?

I topped off the oil when I got it but it has proceeded to loose 1 quart and then stopped loosing oil.

I am hoping it is something else but sounds like a rear main seal to me since the oil is coming from that location as well.

If the main seal does need to be done, how hard is it on this car?

I don’t envy your purchase anymore. Ughh

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Joshk wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
Anyone know if the 2.3L in the escape is prone to rear main seal leaks?

I topped off the oil when I got it but it has proceeded to loose 1 quart and then stopped loosing oil.

I am hoping it is something else but sounds like a rear main seal to me since the oil is coming from that location as well.

If the main seal does need to be done, how hard is it on this car?

I don’t envy your purchase anymore. Ughh

lol, I was actually checking the oil today and it was not as low as I thought (It was on a slight incline last time and had a larger effect then I figured it would). Looks like only 1/2 a quart low. I topped it off again and going to see how it goes this time.

Think I might try one of those oil leak sealers, normally I would never touch them but for this car I am willing to take the risk.

I have some seafoam in the crankcase now (also could be causing the oil leak to be worse), going to change the oil in a day or 2 with some cheap oil. Then drive it for a take of gas with some marvel mystery oil and seafoam in the oil again. Then change the oil to some good oil. This is my normal procedure for any new to me car.

I have had great results, combined with a water / seafoam treatment through the intake I got my 4runner from ~100-120psi IIRC compression on all cyclinders up to ~200 across all of them. It was night and day when I did that in performance and how well it ran. Actually had to reset the ECU to let it relearn the tune since it was so far off from the bad compression.

I also did the fuel filter a little bit ago, first time really up under the car and have to say, the rust is not nearly as bad as I thought. Seems the rust is primarily on the wheel wells and door sills (which is all I could really see before). Under the car the body is mostly fine and the frame is just surface rust.

I will try to get some pictures later to get some northern’s opinions on the rust. Going to go give it a bath right now.

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The coil on plug on all fords of that Era were prone to going bad, and when they do they will fail to illuminate the check engine light. This would be a studderomg going up hill on moderate throttle @ 2500rpm though.

If check engine light is on, scan it for the problem.

Check for vacuum leaks with carb cleaner, possible jammed catalytic converter for bad power down low

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Turby3Pots wrote:
jammed catalytic converter for bad power down low

Heh, a new cat would definitely cost more than the car.
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Turby3Pots wrote:
The coil on plug on all fords of that Era were prone to going bad, and when they do they will fail to illuminate the check engine light. This would be a studderomg going up hill on moderate throttle @ 2500rpm though.

If check engine light is on, scan it for the problem.

Check for vacuum leaks with carb cleaner, possible jammed catalytic converter for bad power down low

Yeah, the COP going bad is a possible issue, the work order that was in the glove box says that they checked this and replaced the #3 coil about 5k miles ago. So at least one of them died recently. Just surprised that another might be bad in the last 5k miles.

I plan to check for vacuum leaks in the next day or 2. Hopefully that is the issue.

It is strange, it runs perfectly above 3k rpm, decent power and basically as expected but it can hardly get out of it’s own way below 2500rpm. Like it is constantly downshifting on the highway just to maintain speed.

No misses or stuttering to speak of, if I really pay attention I can feel the slightest hint of some surging as it pulls through the RPM band but that seems better now after the first seafoam / water treatment.

The only lights are the ABS, 4WD and airbad, the engine light is the only one not lit up lol. I do plan to check for codes tomorrow though.

The replacement window showed up today so I spent my morning installing that before work along with some other minor things.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
It is strange, it runs perfectly above 3k rpm, decent power and basically as expected but it can hardly get out of it’s own way below 2500rpm. Like it is constantly downshifting on the highway just to maintain speed.

No misses or stuttering to speak of, if I really pay attention I can feel the slightest hint of some surging as it pulls through the RPM band but that seems better now after the first seafoam / water treatment.

The only lights are the ABS, 4WD and airbad, the engine light is the only one not lit up lol. I do plan to check for codes tomorrow though.


If the check engine light is off, it may be a bad check engine light bulb!
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Scallywag wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
It is strange, it runs perfectly above 3k rpm, decent power and basically as expected but it can hardly get out of it’s own way below 2500rpm. Like it is constantly downshifting on the highway just to maintain speed.

No misses or stuttering to speak of, if I really pay attention I can feel the slightest hint of some surging as it pulls through the RPM band but that seems better now after the first seafoam / water treatment.

The only lights are the ABS, 4WD and airbad, the engine light is the only one not lit up lol. I do plan to check for codes tomorrow though.


If the check engine light is off, it may be a bad check engine light bulb!

That is quite true. I need to re-install the torque app on my phone so I can get the codes with my OBD scanner.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
It is strange, it runs perfectly above 3k rpm, decent power and basically as expected but it can hardly get out of it’s own way below 2500rpm. Like it is constantly downshifting on the highway just to maintain speed.

Back when I had wires go bad, that was exactly the case. On the highway, it would struggle just to maintain speed, but if I’d pull it out of drive (slushbox) into the next-lower gear to get the rpm up, it ran like a champ. That’s what I meant about it almost dieseling, that even a weak spark would be enough to push it over, but at lower rpm you need a beefier spark to light it up.

Wires go bad, coils go bad, but not always go-or-blow, but by degrees. Wires get “leakier” as the insulation develops cracks. Coils, too, can weaken over time. Plugs wear, and breakover voltage sneaks up higher and higher.

At least in GM cars, its HEI was great right out of the box, no need for aftermarket ignition systems like Accel or MSD or anything.

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Texas_Ace
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And a few quick pictures from my phone to put a face to the car. Not the best by any means but should give an idea of the rust and overall condition:

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Lightbringer wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
It is strange, it runs perfectly above 3k rpm, decent power and basically as expected but it can hardly get out of it’s own way below 2500rpm. Like it is constantly downshifting on the highway just to maintain speed.

Back when I had wires go bad, that was exactly the case. On the highway, it would struggle just to maintain speed, but if I’d pull it out of drive (slushbox) into the next-lower gear to get the rpm up, it ran like a champ. That’s what I meant about it almost dieseling, that even a weak spark would be enough to push it over, but at lower rpm you need a beefier spark to light it up.

Wires go bad, coils go bad, but not always go-or-blow, but by degrees. Wires get “leakier” as the insulation develops cracks. Coils, too, can weaken over time. Plugs wear, and breakover voltage sneaks up higher and higher.

At least in GM cars, its HEI was great right out of the box, no need for aftermarket ignition systems like Accel or MSD or anything.

I am used to toyota ignition systems that are beefy as heck from the factory in most cases. My 4runner COP are so strong the plugs actually die from being eaten away by the strong spark.

I will indeed check the COP but since they don’t throw a code / misfire, not sure the best method to actually check them since I am sure that are firing enough to light up my spark tester.

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BTW, thanks for the help everyone. I do miss the good old days of hanging out on Car sites but not really worth finding a good one for this since I don’t think I will actually do much more then get it running properly.

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I’ve tested spark by running the engine and slightly unplugging the wires one at a time and seeing how far out I can draw the arc. The cylinders that draw the longest arc and makes the loudest snapping sound are your best performers. I’ve never tried that with COP, but I imagine it would work.

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pennzy wrote:
Once the under carriage is rusty, the best medicine is 50/50 solution of diesel fuel/used motor oil sprayed on once or twice per year . That will build up a oily coating that will resist further rust. Near impossible to try to paint over the rust at this point and it would only trap moisture .
For that I would end up in prison in our country…
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Texas_Ace wrote:
And a few quick pictures from my phone to put a face to the car. Not the best by any means but should give an idea of the rust and overall condition:
[images snipped]

Ohio here. That’s not bad for 2006. Either ND uses less salt than us, or it wasn’t up there nearly its whole life.
Did you say how many miles are on it?
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Scallywag wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
And a few quick pictures from my phone to put a face to the car. Not the best by any means but should give an idea of the rust and overall condition: [images snipped]
Ohio here. That’s not bad for 2006. Either ND uses less salt than us, or it wasn’t up there nearly its whole life. Did you say how many miles are on it?

Not sure if I said the miles or not. It has 180k miles right now.

Yeah, once I got under there I feel better about the rust. It is there for sure but nothing super worrisome that I noticed. Mostly the door sills and fender wells.

Mostly I want to stop the rust from getting any worse or spreading.

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Here are the head units I am considering. Think I am gonna rule out the FM modulator simply because the stock radio even with a CD doesn’t sound that great and add in the modulator and bluetooth adapter on top of that and I am guessing a cheap china radio would be at least the same quality if not better but be easier to use.

For the cheap end there is the basic single DIN head unit:

Then you can step up to the double din touch screen unit:

There are dozens of versions of both of these with minor changes to the design. Just wish I could find a good review of them. The ones I do see are mostly positive but don’t give much info on sound quality.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
Not sure if I said the miles or not. It has 180k miles right now.

Yeah, once I got under there I feel better about the rust. It is there for sure but nothing super worrisome that I noticed. Mostly the door sills and fender wells.

Mostly I want to stop the rust from getting any worse or spreading.


My ’05 Prius is just over 200k. The underbody rust on mine looks worse, although it’s still just surface rust. Your fenders and wheel wells are worse than anything anywhere on my car though. But, the Escapes and Mariners and Tributes I see from that era all have the wheel well and fender rust problems. Certain models I just always see with rust in certain places.
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Yeah, apparently from searching these models had a known issue with rust in the fenders but ford would never do a recall for them.

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There’s a guy on YouTube that goes by PS that completely redid a Ford Focus; including an auto to manual transmission swap.
New bumper install and all kinds of other stuff.
Might give you some tips on how to.

When you're up to your ass in alligators; it's hard to remember your original intention was to drain the swamp.

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Turby3Pots wrote:
Hahah Bob that was totally Ford’s fault! (Though I guess Mazda could have bit the bullet for Ford..)

I do realize that, but to me Mazda bears just as much blame for not standing by their products, and there are plenty of other car manufacturers I like. This wasn’t a cheap car (premium V6), and it’s not like it took 14 years to rust out. Both rear wheel wells were replaced at great expense just outside the 3 year warranty and the dealer couldn’t have cared less.

This thread inspired me to go check out the current status of the rust bucket. I was taking a few photos and decided to have another peek under the front carpets, and well… yeah. If you’re wondering, the car had all-weather mats installed from the day it was picked up. And yes, that is the driveway you can see through the floor.

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Wow, the idea of something like that even being possible is foreign to me lol.

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Note to self : Take out an insurance policy on Bob .

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Getting a little more work done before work today. Changing the oil and good news! The oil leak is not nearly as bad as I feared. After sitting all day yesterday and driving around it lost just a small spot under the car and the dipstick is the same as yesterday. That could honestly be due to the Seafoam in the oil right now.

I am changing the oil now and will see how things progress with fresh oil.

All of the fluids on this thing are shockingly bad.

Also thinking about just getting a whole set of coils for $25 on ebay and replacing them all. Kinda doubt that the ebay ones would be worse then stock since those are so bad already.

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