Its not the Alfa, don't worry!
My brother's Escort has a hole about 2 inch by 1 inch in the main chassis member running down the left hand side of the car. Its right at the end, pretty much where the chassis meets the bumper support bracket. We reckon the heat from the exhaust is whats done it, as the rotten area is right above the backbox.
Seen as the area doesn't really need any strength, it just needs to look good for MOT, so we are going to cut away as much rust as possible and weld a U section of metal over the main chassis. Then paint it and pump it full of Waxoyl. I have someone who can weld, and has welding gear, but we need to have everything prepped first, so I can drive it there (minus exhaust), get it welded quick, then get it home. The car doesn't need to do anything other than pass an MOT, its only got one more to pass before it gets scrapped anyway, next year it will need discs/pads all round, cambelt (needs it now really
), plus it doesn't run right either..
Actually, maybe I could pick your brains regarding the rough running, basically it starts fine cold on a morning, but after about 30-60 seconds it gets a real rough idle, has conked out a few times. If it is driven in this state it sometimes conks out approaching a junction. As it gets warmer, it calms down, but the idle is still lumpy. It runs very well out on the open road at speed, definitely has all its 85 horses. Its a 1.6 Zetec by the way.
Getting into the diagnosis, we started by checking the spark plugs, all fine. They were cleaned and re-gapped. Then, when it was idling hot, we removed the plug lead from cyl 1. It barely made a difference to how the car was running, and there was a strong spark at the end of the lead. Replaced 1, removed 2, car stalled. Replaced 2, restarted, removed plug lead for 3, car stalled again. Replaced 3, restarted, removed 4, made no difference, plus a strong spark at the end of the plug lead. Swapped the plugs between 1 and 2, and between 3 and 4. Same symtoms persisted/
. The car has one coil pack, and runs a wasted spark system, so 1+4 fire together as do 2+3. Got a 2nd hand coil pack and 4 leads from the scrappy, made no difference whatsoever (only £3.45 including a rear wiper arm for the Punto, so not so bad
Any ideas guys? Got to be a sensor, but can you guess which one, and give a reason why?