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I have never seen a issue with the rods breaking with these engines, and it will defiantly be cheaper to get a rebuild versus a brand new engine, if you can even get a brand new engine. Most the engine you can get for this are rebuilt. If it were me and my ride I would put a rebuilt engine in the Escape.
Thanks for the answer. I will keep searching for someone with more experience. There are hundreds of complaints about the rods breaking in this particular engine, so maybe it has not happened in your area.
I guess that is possible, I do work at the Ford dealer for 30 years. If you are really concerned about it then replace the engine with a new engine.