Sorry to hear about your cam-belt woes. Truth is, nearly all modern
engines, particularly Diesels due to the higher compression ratio, will
cause quite a bit of damage to the valves and their drive mechanism when
the still moving pistons contact the now stationary valves. It is
because, in order to extract more power from an engine of a certain
size, the valves are bigger and open farther than used to be the case.
This means that, when they are open, they occupy the space where the
piston is when it's at the top of the cylinder at the end of the
compression and exhaust stroke. The valve timing mechanism (Camshaft
etc) ensures that no contact occurs during normal engine operation, but
when the cam belt fails, the result is inevitable! Your '89 US Spec
Escort very likely had a fairly low compression engine with not a lot of
power for its size in comparison to European counterparts. I seem to
recall that was done to enable the engines to run on the lowest quality
unleaded fuel which was available there at that time, don't know if it
It is very unusual for a cambelt to fail at such a low milage. They are
usually good for upwards of 100K these days. If the engine is U/S there
are plenty of 2nd hand ones available from breakers. It is actually a
Peugeot/Citroen Unit that they call the HDi so that should widen the
search if you need one.
Hope you found this useful.
2008 2.0 TDCi Zetec