1991 Ford Escort Pony(rebuild project) | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

1991 Ford Escort Pony(rebuild project)

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by BattleBowser, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. BattleBowser

    BattleBowser FEOA Member

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    So I made a small introductory post when I first joined this forum and I've found quite a lot of good information and suggestions.

    Now to the project.

    Back in 2014, I bought a gently used(engine,transmission, mileage) 91 Ford Escort Pony. I never intended on doing anything with it other than using it as a daily driver until it kicked it. The struts were bottomed out, the inner and outer tie rod ends were bad, the body was dented and scratched, the hatchback lift supports were no good, and I backed into a bush and ripped the door forward, effectively making it a 1 door vehicle after I sealed it shut.

    Flash forward to 2020 and I have taken it on a 2150 mile road trip to Montana and back, replaced all struts and did an engine inspection and with help, pulled and replaced several of the rubber rings and seals in the engine. All fluids have been flushed and changed, all long life filters have been changed and the interior has been cleaned out and stripped to run wiring. It even got itself a brand new alternator since the old factory one finally failed after almost 30 years.

    New news on this project came today. I went on and ordered all new hatch supports and put them on even though I ordered the wrong ones initially. It's been really nice having a trunk that I don't have to hold open with a closet dowel. The next thing I ordered was both sets of tie rods. I was unable to find a sleeve removal tool which made things much more difficult and with how little space there is behind the wheel and up into the access point even with the wheel turned all the way. So i ordered 2 sets of tie rod of each because it was incredibly difficult to figure out which one I needed for sure.(don't worry. shipping total was $14 and each inner rod was $4 and each outer was $2.50 so I didn't lose an arm or leg.)

    All the Items arrived so I went to an outlying auto parts store and found the inner sleeve puller for free rental as well as a 3 ton jack which they sold me for 20 dollars because they said it didn't work. (it just needed the air bled out of it) I also noticed that the inner and outer rods on each side were different but they were the same length and same form factor and they installed to the same length. I need to still fix the toe on the passenger side front wheel then tomorrow she gets new tires and a fresh alignment.

    Now looking to the future. A neighbor at my old house backed into the car one day and blew out one of my tail light housings. I was sure these would be impossible to find. but to my surprise, I found a highly reputable seller on eBay who was selling both sides for $35 and they were Oem ford factory parts new in box so I'm very excited about that.

    So that's as far as I've gotten. I've set up a list of things I still need and so far the cost for everything I've done has been very low. let's just hope it stay that way but from what I can tell, parts for this car are extremely affordable.

    Next on the list:
    1.Brakes(full new calipers, wheel bearing, lines, rotors, etc)
    2.Full power steering system
    3.New Radiator grille
    4. body work(I've already got a factory replacement body kit lined up)

    I'll be posting pictures of everything as I go starting soon.
    Valdres Rose and zzyzzx like this.
  2. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Exactly what do you mean by this:

    2.Full power steering system
  3. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Good to hear that you are fixing up the old Pony.
    I wouldn't change the rotors and calipers unless they are bad, OEM units will be better than Chinese replacements. I was very disappointed at the rebuilt units I recently installed on a Honda. The casting cores appeared to have been left in the cleaning acid way too long, there was a lot of metal removal to the point that the sealing surfaces for the brake hoses were quite pitted.
    I prefer to buy the rebuild kits and repair my originals. Kits are cheap and rebuilding is pretty straightforward, just a fair bit of work.

    I'm kind of surprised that a '91 Pony has power steering.

    Parts for these cars are really cheap, I buy a lot of "wear parts" like brake pads, hoses etc. on Wholesale Closeouts from Rockauto so I have them in stock when I need them.
  4. Valdres Rose

    Valdres Rose FEOA Member

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    [QUOTE="I'll be posting pictures of everything as I go starting soon.[/QUOTE]

    When you replaced the lift supports on your Hatchback door did you need to repace the whole lift with the attachments or were you able to just pry the cup end off the ball?
    Thanks for any help you can give me on this. I have a '91 1.9 L, LX, 2dr hatch.
  5. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    That's why I asked about it.
  6. BattleBowser

    BattleBowser FEOA Member

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    Sorry about the late reply. This car has a power steering system. I got a new pump, and set of hoses.
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  7. BattleBowser

    BattleBowser FEOA Member

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    When you replaced the lift supports on your Hatchback door did you need to repace the whole lift with the attachments or were you able to just pry the cup end off the ball?
    Thanks for any help you can give me on this. I have a '91 1.9 L, LX, 2dr hatch.[/QUOTE]

    So the ones I had on this one are the ones that have 2 bolts that attach to the body then a ball joint on the end. I just bent the rod away from the end cup and used a pair of needle nose and a flathead screwdriver to get in there and pop it off. Not going to lie, it was a pain but new ones should have the tensioning ring you can slide on and off with ease. I even reused the old ball joints but new rods came with new ones too.
    Valdres Rose likes this.
  8. BattleBowser

    BattleBowser FEOA Member

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    Rockauto has a great selection of cheap parts. Living up here in the rust belt, The calipers are pretty bad but I'm going to disassemble them and clean them when I get the rotors just to take the rust off. maybe weatherize them. I'm not sure yet.

    I was also surprised it has power steering as well. I know for a fact, I hear a screeching PS motor when I turn.
  9. BattleBowser

    BattleBowser FEOA Member

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    UPDATE: The weather is butt today but I swear I'll get pictures soon. Got the car aligned and a new pair of shoes today and they gave me attitude about the condition and age of the car. Couldn't tell me what was wrong other than things I am actively replacing and the fact that it's "ugly"
  10. Valdres Rose

    Valdres Rose FEOA Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, it was -20 degrees below zero up here in ND this morning. The lift supports on my Hatch don't have any way to separate the cup from the ball. My question was how I would replace them with just the rods or the brackets included, so I'll get the rods with the brackets. RockAuto has them in stock and they're fairly priced. Thanks again and good luck with your project.
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  11. BattleBowser

    BattleBowser FEOA Member

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    You can always remove the ball joint with a small wrench and just replace it with the new one . If those dont come off, you're going to have to force it off like I did.
    Valdres Rose likes this.
  12. Valdres Rose

    Valdres Rose FEOA Member

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    Yeah, I used a 12mm open-end wrench to get the bolts out. They were tight, I needed to get the wrench on solid before they would loosen. Thanks again for your info.
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  13. BattleBowser

    BattleBowser FEOA Member

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    UPDATE.

    Got off the phone with a guy about 30 minutes away who has this same model in a junkyard and the body is in perfect condition. I talked him into selling me both doors all the interior trim, the seat belt drive and motor as well as a bunch of trim under the hood that's missing and both outer fenders. . All for $100
    zzyzzx likes this.
  14. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Will he sell you the whole car? If the body indeed is in perfect condition, it might be easier to fix up it.

    On the second generation hatch struts, I believe there is a small wire spring clip that's part of the socket, and if it be pulled out with a small screwdriver then the ball will easily come out.

    On my car the "captive nut" inside the body broke free of its weld and now spins when I try to unscrew the ball stud.

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