1st gen bracing? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

1st gen bracing?

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by austin86, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    For the unlikely few of us that have built or been around a 1st gen escort/EXP setup for racing where have you braced the car to stiffen it up or reinforce week spots?
    I'll be putting a 6 or 8 point cage in my car and was wondering what other places like on the under side or engine bay, suspension needs reinforcing or bracing?

    I know the rear strut towers are a bad place and need cross braced and fully welded to the floor pan/frame rail and pillars. The nose is anther place I know off and adding a control-arm cross brace and or a brace that runs runs parallel with the swaybar.
    Anyone have other ideas or photos of their cars?

    Thanks.
  2. 88ESCORTV6

    88ESCORTV6 The Alpha Of The Omega

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    well well well I have race and still race Ford Escort Ford Tempo's and Ford Taurus SHO.
    so I'm the man to talk to. <--- all ford man
    but I need to know what is your racing type like track and track condition from solo to dirt oval and so on size give me the best info it will help me help you.
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  3. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    I'll mostly be doing auto/rally cross, nothing hard core, just fun on the weekend. A mix of road and off road racing, some dirt, some mud, some light gravel, dry road and wet. No oval or drag racing.

    The EXP will have coil overs in the rear at some point down the road and a boosted 1.9HO around 150-175hp.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  4. 88ESCORTV6

    88ESCORTV6 The Alpha Of The Omega

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    so a type of auto-cross
    the floor frame rails need to be extended from the front to the rear this will make your car more solid.
    you already know about the front and rear shock towers maybe a small roll cage to tie everything together would help. don't forget strip it down gut it out. with good sticky tires it will do very well.
    the front track bare shaped like a C that got from one controle arm to the other need to be modded bit time if you need this to corner. this is not something a non prefecianel should do but you need to have a pipe mad to slip over the center of the track bar after you have cut it. and only weld it on one sice to let it more don;t forget to make a lubing nipple on it.
    now go to www.phantomgrip.com and get a 1989 ford taurus limited slip diff I use it and it works great.
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  5. 88ESCORTV6

    88ESCORTV6 The Alpha Of The Omega

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  6. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Any idea if that Phantomgrip fits the second generation 1.9 Escorts?
  7. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    Thanks for the info, what about reinforcing the frame rails too?

    Could to elaborate on the track arm part?
    I think I understand what you are saying. But am not quite sure.

    I been thinking about a FG, but I also was thinking about a LSD form a sho. They should work with some minor mods.
  8. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    There for a mtx transmission. Of the second gens use the mtx then maybe?
  9. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I'm not sure if the second generation LX (1.9) manual transmissions are MTX or not, or even if they are, that there are differences that would affect this application.

    Funny that Phantomgrip doesn't mention that their product fits the early Escorts.

    Kind of like ARP lists its head studs as fitting the Escort 1600 engine (only) yet they also fit the 1.9 and 2.0 CVH. They probably lost a few sales over the years because of that.
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  10. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    Wow for real? like the 1st gen 1.9l?
    I'll have to look into them.
  11. 1982 EXPert

    1982 EXPert FEOA Member

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    That LSD might not fit Escort MTXs, I know the SHO MTX uses a similar casing and design but there's no garrantee its diff or other innards are interchangeable. Luckily it looks like that's just an insert for a differential but still might not fit.
    I have pretty much all the FWD Ford MTXs so I can do the appropriate comparing but I know that most aren't internally compatible....

    Back to body firming, that all sounds like a good improvement. I'd focus hard on the rear stiffness, the EXPs having such a huge hatch opening makes the rear end flex a LOT. In my stock 82 the deck lid will sit in a different place every time I park it after a casual drive, you can tell that my last hard turn was to the right because my hatch is overhanging to the let.....

    Trick for me is fixing this without a giant metal beam being visible in my stock interior.
    Lucky for my convertible EXP that the boot hides whatever strut brace/rollbar I put back there. I have to do that among many other reinforcements, a neat improvement from the factory was mine had it's rockers lined with thick square tubing that goes down the entire rocker then behind the front fender up towards the A-pillar. Issue is rust made a hole on the end in the rear wheel well then the tube rotted inside out so replacing it and fixing it right will be a major pain..... I also need to tie it in better in the rear, it just ends (making it a giant L-shape) but if I can make it a big U-shape the rear quarters will flex far less and the doors will close with more confidence!

    Up front you can do similar reinforcing within the front framework which will help a lot, especially with a stock-appearance but a brace between the lower control arm mounts would help a lot.

    I have access to MTX SHO and 06-12 Fusions suspension, I'll be using one of them to upgrade my EXP Turbo. The SHO uses the same control arms but in a different manner which can help stability and the Fusion uses similar control arms but has additional control arms linked with them for even better stability. Of course with both I'll have to modify struts and springs because the Taurus and Fusion are over 1,000lbs more than my EXP lol
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  12. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    The phantom grip is known to work and has been used befor by others.
    A true SHO LSD will not fit out of the box as if I'm not mistaken the axles have different amount of teeth. But the core of the LSD might fit into a escort diff.

    Thanks for the rest of the info.
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  13. 1982 EXPert

    1982 EXPert FEOA Member

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    That's good to hear! If it's reliable I'll have to try it!
  14. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    the PG is reliable for racing. not sure about daily driving. I don't know of anyone that has used one for a DD.
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