Without a serpentine drive belt, the 1998 Ford Escort ZX2 wouldn't operate properly. The belt drives the engine accessories using kinetic.
Results 1 - 48 of 15116 98-02 Ford Escort ZX2 With 2.0L DOHC ZETEC Engines Only. . For 1998-2003 Ford Escort Accessory Belt Tensioner Assembly.
There should be a sticker showing the belt routing diagram and location of the tensioner on either the fan shroud, radiator core support.
I'd still replace the tensioner. The pulley itself may be fine but not the spring tensioner, so it could be letting slack into the serpentine belt when it's running.
Enter a new vehicle to add it to Your Garage and filter the results below. Enter a new vehicle. Bapmic F8CZ-6B209-AA Engine Serpentine Belt Tensioner.