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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Day fellow Escapers,

Time to make my first post here. Unfortunately I have been met with a challenge.

I have a 2002 Ford Escape XLT 3.0L V6 DOHC Duratec. I have this nasty squealing sound coming from the engine.

Here is what I have done so far:
- Manually verified free pulleys in both Water pump side and all in passenger side. (Alt, Air, Tensioner, PS).
- I have purchased a new belt and also after it not fixing the issue have applied belt dressing against my better judgement.
- I looked into anything loose, hissing, just not looking right.

Here is what I found:
- I have an exhaust leak on my front manifold. (Right off the head). This goes away after running the truck about 30 seconds or so.
- Of course as we all know the Escapes manifolds are Cats.
- All pulleys are free of restriction, Altenator is slightly resisting compared to others but still free. (Hard to reach too)
- Tensioner has lots of strength to it yet.
- Nothing loose, just exhaust leakage from manifold to cat (front).

Now after several different theories and such I decided to pull both belts off and see if I got the same squeal. Long behold it still remained with both belts in my hands. Hmmmm.

Slightly confused at this point as it now means the sound I am hearing is engine related possibly.
There is no spinning parts left to check to my knowledge.

I also have noticed a lack of power so I changed the Fuel filter just as a precaution. Seeing as it lacks power under load or mashing the throttle. Thought it may have been starving for gas. No difference.

1 thing of note is I had a misfire for a day in late spring. But I cannot truely remember if the squeal was there prior to that or not.

So I took it to the dealer and they are always booked way in advance. The shop stewarts both looked at it and said cat right off the bat.

So into the Parts Dept I went.
The front convertor in in my town from the ford dealer is 1283.00 +tax. Sorry but that is just way too much.
And I have read of the warranties but I have 168000KM on the truck so it is past any hope of the free replacement thing.

Anyone have any other options or suggestions that I can try? or look at?
Truck is normal powered under 2K RPM, then starts to squeal after 2.5K and up, scare you at 4K just before a shift.

Any suggestions that you have would be great.

I will be checking back to view comments or suggestions off and on.

Thanks again.
Snap.
 

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Hmmm...When I replaced my fuel filter a few weeks ago, I started the engine and pulled the fuel pump relay so that the engine would stall and remove the fuel line pressure (I just followed the Haynes manual I have). Anyway, when I tried turning over the engine afterward to make sure there wasn't any residual fuel left in the lines, I got a loud squealing from the engine. After I replaced the fuel filter, I put the relay back in and the engine didn't squeal as I tried to start it up. In fact, the only squeal I've ever heard from the engine (02 Escape V6) is when the fuel pump relay was pulled.

I don't know if it's the same squeal you have, but hopefully you can divine some clue from my experience that will fix your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply J
Yeah I did the same deal as you did with the Haynes book, Those things are great for helping out. The Fuel filter change was flawless accept for the pressure that did still remain in the line even after the bleeding steps. That was a surprise! I did have the squeal before and after the change really didn't make any difference at all. But at least I know the filter was a bit dirty so thats cool to know it is good for a bit.

I don't really want to go ahead and gamble on a part so expensive as a cat. I will be out alot of money for no reason the cat is not the issue. That is why I am wondering if anything else to possibly look at before dealing with that massive expense.

Does a hollowed out cat cause any damage to the engine I wonder. It's not like there isn't the main cat inline on the main exhaust. Has anyone done it on teh escapes? I know lots of other styles of vehicles that it has been done on and teh vehicle actually worked a lot better, but not sure about the escape. Any thoughts on this?
Thanks Again
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Can you go to an auto parts store and ask to use their code scanner? You might have to clear out old codes from the misfiring you had before, but any new codes should just appear again.

The reason why I posted what I did is because the squealing occurred when the fuel system wasn't working correctly (becuase I pulled the relay for the fuel pump) and stopped when the fuel system was operational again (after I put the relay back in). That, and the lack of power at high throttle, makes me wonder if you have a fuel system or fuel pump issue. Please note that I'm no mechanic and am just trying to make an educated guess based off my own experience, but at least it might be worth having a look before plunking the money down for the new cat (did they say which cat? Isn't there 3 of them in the Escape?).

EDIT: Have a look at this thread: http://www.ford-forums.com/ford-windsta ... queal.html
Does that describe your problem? The last post mentions something called a "Camshaft Synchronizer".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Again J

It is interesting that you posted that link. I too was already to buy the parts and do the work as one on the forums had a fantastic photo instruction thread. I went to the dealer and they were like you dont have that engine. I was confused. They explained that the Escapes have the dual over head cam Duratec style engines and the style of part I was asking for was for the other style of 3.0L (I think it was Vulcan) or something. That is when I went back to the drawing board. Our Duartec has strictly a sensor I am told and is located on the front on the engine near the belts. Actually quite easy access surprisingly.

Yeah the Escape has 3 cats. Each manifold comes directly off the head into individual cats. Then to a Y pipe of sorts into a flex pipe and another much bigger cat. They say mine is the front cat basically right behind the Rad. The issue that blows my mind reading all these forums is the fact that one day of a misfire can cost extreme dollars to the owner with plugged cats. The forums are full of it. I have been browsing many of them looking for the little thing I may not have checked yet.

Thanks
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I have the exhaust manifold gasket replaced and the squeal is gone HORRAY!

But I am still lacking Power at high RPM

We have a fair bit a longer hills on our highways here where I live and I used to never lose speed on them but now (about 6Months) I start at the bottom of the hill at 130KM/H there abouts and by the time I hit the top I will be at 80 to 90KM/H. The accelerator position is matted. The engine seems to be screamming Tack at 4 to 5 K but I am still slowing down.....

That's crazy.
No lights no codes etc

On a straight away it will roll along but gutless on anytype on incline
Idea's?
 

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have you checked all the plugs and wires? how many miles are on it? Could be a clogged Cat too..
 

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It's the cats. As you have researched a misfire can do it. The blow exhaust gasket is likely from the back pressure build up.

You can do a vacuum check to determine if you cats are bad and then you'll know for sure.

The cats can be gutted with a little work. You will get a MIL light after that unless you install a MIL eliminator on the 02 sensors. Gives kinda of a tinny exhaust sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks For the Replies everyone
I will try and get the cats tested.

170000 KM - So just over 100000 Miles.
I haven't checked all the plugs out yet as I truely beleive the exhaust is the issue at this point.

Like I stated at low RPM it has good power but as soon as you get to 1/2+ throttle there is not much diffence in power although the engine is Going wide open.

I will get the cats looked at to see if they are indeed clogged up.
Ironically the Exhaust manifold I just replaced is leaking just as bad again (slowly got worse over time). So I am thinking a downstream blockage.

I will post results after as It mayhelp someone else along the way.
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As the cats fail the contaminates actually burn, creating hotspots that melt the internal preceious metals into a hard block. It totally blocks most of the exhaust path. It will seem ok at idle but once you ask the system to flow at higher RPMS it's like the classic banana in the tail pipe trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I wanted to post the solution as promised.

Problem: Low power, Constant exhaust blow outs on gaskets. General poor poor performance.
Solution: Rear cat was clogged.

I finally got back to the mechanic and we unhooked the exhaust just before the rear cat. He said before we spend a bunch of money take it up the road with no exhaust to see if you have your power back.

So I jumped in the truck mashed the thottle and much to my surprise the little bugger took off like a bat out of hell. Power WOW I had more power right there then when I bought it. I was climbing hills and still gaining speed. We have a very large hill near the mechanics and most cars will drop about 10 to 15 KM/h climbing it as it climbs for aprox 2 KM and is really steep. (Basically a hill that you gain some speed at the bottom and just wish it would finally be over). Well I have to say I hit it at the bottom at 100KM/h and topped it at 135KM/h. So I was very impressed by the result. I pulled into the mechanic and had a smile ear to ear as we had finally found the issue. :D

As we removed the old cat we opened it up just to see what really was going on in there. The ceramic was fully intact but when we looked at it to see if we could see through it we could see maybe at best 10% of the holes open. Thinking it was just the inability to get through the proper angle looking through it we broke off a chunk of it. Then looking at it we indeed had a clogged ceramic block showing very little tiny little holes open.

Well now the truck is fully measuring up to its worth. I call it my little sports car now. I am sure that will pass but for now being almost 9 months with this type of power lacking slowly getting worse and worse to being the little rocket it is now. It is like going from a 1 cylinder engine to a turbo charged V6.

Regardless I hope this thread helps someone else in the quest to repair their vehicle.
It is always nice to help a fellow Escaper!

Cheers
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Regardless I hope this thread helps someone else in the quest to repair their vehicle.
It is always nice to help a fellow Escaper!
:) Thank you very much, my escape has been ailing of the same symptoms for a lil over a year now. This weekend I'll disconnect the cat to test it out as you did and hope I receive the same results.
 

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a "cat" is a catalytic converter. it is part of your exhaust/emissions system. you will find it under the car in line with your exhaust pipe. looks like a smaller muffler under the car about 1/3 of the way back.
 

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thank you soooo very much snap37!!!! i have had the exact same problem except along with the dpfe sensor going bad my pcm went out too all with no codes thown (just got the car back after 2 months at the dealer) after replacing the pcm they told me that all 3 cats were bad! personally i think my local dealer is blowing smoke because they told me if i drove it with the cats the way they are that i would blow the pcm again, i think they just want the $4000 to replace them all. i was smart enough not to buy the $800 pcm or the $90 dpfe from them either lol. although the car is now running thank goodness it is still running very badly with no power or acceleration past 2000 rpms and wont go over 30-35mph, trust me i will try your mechanics solution before i do anything else, again thank you very much!!

p.s. i bought the car in 12-2007, with 111800 mi on it, when within the first month the #6 cyl ignition coil went bad and from 3-2008 to 6-2009 had to replace #4 and #5. have had no other problems until close to the 2 year mark at 149240 mi. when it started to run like the fuel filter was clogged, so i replaced that and the very same day it quit running, go figure, but i think that is a completely different problem, something to do with the ground wire to the block, thats next after i check the main cat, lol.
 

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Good to see you got your problem fixed, Snap37. Just one question though, What did the squealing sound like, was it consistent, slightly change tones? I have a squeal but an trying to track down the specifics and might be related since most of the problems I'm having are like yours but no loss of power.

Truck is normal powered under 2K RPM, then starts to squeal after 2.5K and up, scare you at 4K just before a shift.
My problem is at the same rpms but the sound doesn't get louder with rpm
 

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Interesting posts...I have a 2004 Escape XLT 4WD and about two years ago it had an exhaust leak diagnosed by my mechanic. Was behind motor and only would leak for a few minutes til it warmed up. Had a tranny rebuilt a year and a half ago....so know how fickle the Escape is in that department.

Now of late , I noticed it was running a tad irregular at idle. ...wife said it started bogging down going up hills when somewhat cold...and squealing.. So done a lot of research and ran across a MAF sensor cleaning tip , so did that, somewhat fixing the rougher idle but same bog/squeal deal...and is getting worse. When cold if you try to tap it only lightly going up a hill , it will bog down and act like it is not going to shift and squeals.....louder the more you mash it.
With the Escapes fickle tranny, I was first worried it was that...but now not so certain

Seen the posts on the Cats. I suspect that may be the problem and makes total sense as the exhaust (sounds like a manifold gasket) is getting louder...and does not clear up fully now when warm

I have a Prius 2002 and had a new Cat put on it for $200 a year ago and works perfectly. Not sure if it can be done for the Escape that cheap , but will explore that option soon.

I'm sure they could do it for a lot less than a dealer and maybe even fix the exhaust manifold gasket while under it (also makes sense)

Will gladly report the result for all as soon as I can get it done... may be a while though...but have the forum/page bookmarked
 
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