1st gen escort performance | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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1st gen escort performance

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by gt19ho, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. gt19ho

    gt19ho Guest

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    This is taken from the erdt board. I was lucky to find a copy i had printed out a long time ago. Ex7r3m3r posted it a long while back.

    EEC
    The ECU from a XR4ti is a good start. You can use this computer to run turbo or just use it in a N/A configuration. I used itwhen my car was n/a and really liked how it accelerated after 3000 rpm. But if i had ported and polished my head im sure there would have been more hp there. The xr4ti ecu gives the car a few extra horses. You gas milage may or many not suffer but when you start feeling that extra horsepower it will make you want for more. The early t-bird ecu's will plug right in and also have an even more aggressive fuel and timing curve. But watch out the later models have a completely different plug lay-out.

    Intake
    The stock intake on the 1st gen is a pretty decent intake. The thing that i would do is to get the vane air meter from a xr4ti and hook it up in the place of your stock one. Then get rid of the air box and go buy a cone air filter. The xr4ti vam has a round inlet so a cone air filter will bolt on. You may need to open up the black box on the top of the vam and calibrate the wheel inside(MAKE SURE YOU MARK IT BEFOREYOU MOVE IT). Adjust it until you get a nice idle.

    Turbo:
    The turbo you choose does not to be new...if its a used turbo check to see if it has been rebuilt. Look on the compressor and see if you can finda tag indicating that is has been rebuilt. If it has and it was with in 3 months of you buying it. Its more than likely good and does not need a rebuild. But check it anyway if the blades contact the wall of the compressort its garage. Some turbos actually will wobble a little because they have no oil in them. Theres a space between the shaft and the wall that the oil occupies and if there is no oil you will have a wobble. Im not sure of which turbos do this, but read up on them. Check the housings. See if there are any bad cracks in it. The exhaust housing usally has the cracks. Its almost impossible to find one without small cracks unless its new. Make sure the bladesare in good condition. If you see chips dont get it unless you plan on getting it rebuilt. The flanges for the IHI are small than the Garrett T3 turbo flange. So if you have a exp turbo manifold only the IHI will fit without modification. The IHI is a small quick spooling turbo good for about 10psi of boost......you will find these on the EXP's and Thunderbird Turbo Coupes. The Garrett T25 is a quick spooler also but it is good up to about 15psi. It can be found on Volvo's, Eclipses, and Talons....there are different configurations you will find but the standard T25 has a .42 compressor housing and a .48 exhaust housing. Out of all the turbos mentioned I think this one is the best for just street performance without heavy mods.......it's small enough to fit right inside the engine compartment with out worrying about anything.....and the performance is enough to make any typical performance car run for it's money. The Garrett T3 is the standard turbo used in the Euro Escort RS. The Garrett T3 demands that you make some changes to your motor to get the best performance. The T3 is a fairly quick spooler (2800-3200) and you can find them in the Ford Xr4ti, some T-Birds, SVO Mustangs, and on ebay. The T3 is no good on the escort without changing the internals and increasing the flow of air by porting and polishing, gasket matching, and a larger exhaust. The T3 can give you upwards of 125 if you have 19lb injectors and 175 if you have 24lb injectors and 247 if you have 35lb injectors, but with bigger injectors and the turbo ecu from the Xr4ti....300HP is not to far away....IF the motor is built right. The one thing you must realize is if you are shooting for 300hp you want to find an injector that will run 300hp worth of fuel at 70-80% duty cycle; Example at 100% duty cycle a 35lb injector can run 247hp of fuel but it would break or malfunction if you were running it that hard. You want to run 250hp so you need to go to a bigger injector like the 46lb injector that will run 335hp of fuel at 100% duty cycle. If you use it to only make 250hp then the injector will run cooler and last longer. If you go with the larger injectors than the 35lb you will have to look into buying a standalone computer or a chip to control the bigger injectors.

    BOOST CONTROLLER
    Manual boost controllers are just as good as electronic, and thy cost about $300 cheaper. You need a boost controller to control how much boost your turbo makes. If you try to do this wihtout a boost controller... you will get a really big BOOM!! or you will launch a piston into orbit. The boost controller allows the excess pressure to be blown out of the Blow Off Valve (BOV) so that when the throttle is closed the pressure behind it won't build up and blow hoses off. The wastegate does the same thing but for the exhaust side. Yes you will have both.

    Intercooler:
    The intercooler can be from a Mitsubishi Starion or a Dodge Conquest or you can buy one off ebay or go to Spearco for your intercooler.....make sure it's a front mount intercooler. The escort has a nice air dam that scoops up the air and brings it into the cooler. The Starion is mildly restrictive but can be made better buy cutting the stock tubes off and putting on bigger ones.... 2.25 I believe.

    Intake Manifold:
    The intake manifold is a good design but it is make for all around decent power. The throttle body is 48mm across and can be bored out to about 52mm but remember if you bore it you need to make you flap bigger also... or you will idle at 2000 rpm! If you have emissions laws you need to keep your EGR (Exhaust gas Return) but if you don't get rid of it. Make sure that everything is gasket matched all the way to the head. If your going to go for super car performance...350+ you may want to look into a custom intake manny with a 60mm throttle body.

    HEAD:
    The head from the Turbo EXP is the best head to use... unless you can port the exhaust out on the stock EGT head to match the gasket. The head should be ported and polished and gasket match for best performance. You will want to put a roller cam and lifters in the head if you don't have them already. IF YOU GO WITH ROLLER LIFTERS YOU MUST GO WITH A ROLLER CAM! They allow for smoother acceleration and actually quiet the engine down a bit. The cam for the escort is FULL of potential.....If you send it to Schneider Racing Cams. He will make your car perform like it should have from the Ford dealer. A member of the 1st Gen Escort/EXP Egroups listing told me that it was a day and night difference.....and then told me about the race he had with a stock 1st gen.... he beat the stock 1st gen by a substantial amount....the cam pulls HARD!! You will not be disappointed. The 1.9 heads that were cast after 86 have a weak spot...that spot is between cylinders 3 and 4....if your head cracks...that is where it will crack 8 out of 10 times. The 85-86 heads were cast differently. Actually stronger. HEAT is the biggest enemy of the aluminum head....warping is easy to do without proper cooling so KEEP THINGS COOL! The valve springs are decent, but if your reving past 5000rpm you may want to think about double valve springs. The will prevent valve float...that is when you may want to think about double valve springs. They will prevent valve float....that is when the lifter actually floats across the lobes on the cam...in other words...it's basically skipping over the lobe...NOT A GOOD THING.

    FUEL:
    The standard injectors in the Escort are 19lb or 24lb injectors these are good up to about 175hp, but if you want more you will need to look at getting the 35lb injectors which will take you to about 247hp. You will need a high pressure fuel pump and a adjustable fuel pressure regulator...this will help fine tune the fuel flow to the injectors. If you got with the T3 turbo I would recommend using the 35lb or bigger injectors. With said read this:

    www.sdsefi.com/techffhp.htm

    I don't care what you do to your motor your fuel injectors will not allow you to exceed their HP rating. If you check the link above they give you the ratings of fuel injectors at 100% duty cycle. If you don't understand that means the injector is running at it's maximum capacity. You do not want to shoot for 250hp and have an injector that has a rating of 250hp a 100% duty cycle. The chances are you will destroy that injector in due time and your motor because of a possible lean out or you just threw the injector pin out the injector into your motor where it will tear up your cylinder walls.

    When you buy your injectors you want injectors that will produce enough fuel for your HP but at 75% or 85% duty cycle. This will give you room for improvment and safety.
    So, you want 250hp... the 35lb injectors are not going to do it for you. You need some 42lb injectors those will give you enough room to produce the hp and possible improvment .

    I thought that 550cc injectors would give me what I wanted but I found out about this and now I'm using 720cc injectors. Yes they are big but I need the room for improvment.

    So, think hard about the fuel issue....remember you need to have a fuel pump that can deliver the fuel and also make sure your fuel rail is big enough to deliver the fuel you need. I have to make a custom rail for my infectors.

    Exhaust Manifold:
    You have 3 choices of manifolds....the EXP turbo manifold, the Escort RS turbo manifold, and custom. The EXP manifold will only work with the IHI turbo....Unless you modify it to the T25 or T3. The RS manifold will fit the T25 or T3 turbos no problem...getting them is a pain especailly after Sept 11, 2001....so I have embarked on a mission to make a custom one for my 1st gen....It's looking good so far...more to come on that. The problem with the RS manifold was that the gasket that you need for it has to come from England...the US spec gasket will not work...unless you pick up a copper one from Gasket Works.

    ENGINE BLOCK:
    N/A cars can bore the block to accomidate bigger pistons but of a higher compression. The stock compression on the 88 GT is 9.2:1. If you go higher you will have to deal with more heat and pressure. I would not go turbo at 9.2:1 compression. The chances are just too great that the head won't take it.

    The engine block internals need to be changed if your going to boost past 8psi. They are not strong enough to deal with that kind of pressure. The rods and pistons will have to customized. The crank needs to be balanced. The flywheel can be reduced in weight for a quicker take off. The stock clutch will not hold after you reach 170+hp. You will need a stronger clutch...Dual force or an RAM clutch....the RAM clutch is what I have and it's a full drag race clutch so it's not what you want on the street unless you like instant whiplash... that's how hard it grabs... you must be at 2000rpm for it to engage without the motot stalling...I don't think it's goning to be for everyone. The dual friction is what most of you will want to get for your car if it's a daily driver.

    You get your pistons from WISECO (talk to Brian Nutter) and you can get your rods from www.Topperformance.com (talk to Renee, he's a guy).

    TRANNY:
    It will be fine up to 400hp. Side note there is a guy who can custom build you an Limited Slip Differeintial (LSD) for $1375. There is also a Phantom grip LSD you can buy for $279. It's not a full blown LSD but it acts like one. The difference between the LSD and the Phantom grip is that the LSD is a complete differential that is built to allow your wheels to turn at the same time. The Phantom grip is a piece of metal that is bolted between your axles in the differential to make the two axles turn at the same time....poor mans LSD...it works!

    AXLES:
    Fine for those going for less than 350hp. If you still want to change the axles go to www.axleking.com he will hook you up!

    EXHAUST:
    When going turbo change your exhaust....NO back pressure is needed for a turbo application....so if your running 2 inch now ....a 2.5 is good standard. If you can make the down pipe the same size as the exhaust... that is a plus. I have a custom 3 inch exhaust under my 1988 Escort GT. It is a tight fit BUT sounds Nice!! External wastegate is the way to go...the turbo manifold that I am working on will allow on external wastegate to be used....the others do not.

    EXTRAS for you super car Killers out there:
    Ceramic coating the heads will keep temps down and allow the heat to go right out the back instead of into your block or head. Water injection is a GREAT way to reduce the charged air temp going to your intake manifold...denser air MORE POWER....if you use alcohol (rubbing) it will stay even cooler and give you a small boost....very small. A stand alone computer will enable you to tune your car up to 30psi of boost...that would put the Escort at about 400hp IF IT'S BUILT RIGHT.
  2. Flyguyeddy

    Flyguyeddy Guest

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    fantastic! i have the same thing, but a printed version. i was working on making a wordpad document out of it,but i guess i dont have to do that now. i believe this is john smith's writeup from ages ago.....
  3. tjbecht

    tjbecht Guest

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    topperformance.com link not working any one ?
  4. gt19ho

    gt19ho Guest

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    Yea i tired it a while back and it wasnt workin then either. They may not be open anymore. What are you looking for? mabye i can help ya.
  5. Escort_Gt90

    Escort_Gt90 Guest

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    You mean, i can put the XR4ti ECU in my 1.9L Efi Ho??
    I have no turbo, My car is pretty stock, only Port & Polish Head (.40) and cold air intake... 8)
  6. gt19ho

    gt19ho Guest

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    Yes the XR4ti ecu will work in your car. I believe the fuel curve is somewhat better, and a few other things. Best thing dyno your car now. And then get the other ecu and dyno it again. I was going to go that route. But thought it better to go standalone. So i got the sds and have been happy with it so far. I should get to go to the dyno here in the next few weeks. Im hopeing for some good numbers. Will be the first 1.9ho built like this so we will see.
  7. JP

    JP FEOA Member

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    Well that is one of the most well informed posts i have read. I have an '88 GT with a mutt of a turbo system. I am using the 85 GT Turbo manifold and the IHI RHB5 from a 88 Isuzu Impulse (RWD). This is the largest RHB5 exhaust turbine and it bolts right to the manifold and it is watercooled. It dwarfs the stock Escort turbo and is visually bigger than the exhaust housing on the RHB5s from both the Probe and the Tbird. I recently got an RHB5 from an 88 Tbird TurboCoupe, which has the largest compressor housing and wheel, which I am going to install when I get the turbo rebuilt. The 85 GT Turbo downpipe only needs one hole drilled to bolt up to the turbine. I installed a 2.5" custom built mandrel bent exhaust using separate mandrel turns from Dynomax as well as their SuperConverter cat and RaceMagnum muffler about two years ago, anticipating a turbo. Before the turbo though they sure made those headers sound great when it hit the powerband. I am currently running the Probe intercooler, but have a Starion model in my garage. Also running Eclipse bypass valve setup to blowoff, sounds great. I stripped the 85 Turbo, including the oil cooler and twin fans.

    My pride and joy is the fuel injection though. I am running the LA3 ECM from an 88 Tbird TurboCoupe, I wired in the knock sensor, wastegate solenoid, octane switch and relay, and ACT sensors. Reg octane runs 9psi and Premium runs 14psi on my gauge. Thats with the stock bottom end. I'm also running the 35lb injectors and 80mm VAM w/ cone K&N from the Tbird, no problems there.

    There are alot of wiring changes to the ECM terminal to run this ECM, including vehicle speed sensor, brake activation, and cooling fans(optional), but it works great. You have to eliminate the Backpressure Variable Transducer diaphragm though, that ugly black round thing under the throttle body, because the T bird ECM controls EGR directly, the BVT varies the EGR action by backpressure.

    Of course, if possible use the impossible to find ECM and VAM from the 86 Mustang SVO, best rated at 205bhp, the one that was faster than the Mustang GT of the same year. If not, find an 86 Tbird TurboCoupe 5spd, which uses 35lb injectors. What makes these better than the xr4ti is not only the inectors but the 86 ECMs are the only ones compatible with the EEC Tuner PMS. Either ECM plugs right in to the 1.9 GT harness, but I recomment at least running the knock sensor. There is a nice boss underneath the #3 intake runner that can be drilled and tapped to accept the 2.3 knock sensor.

    Another thing, you need to override the clutch-in switch and neutral-safety switch on the Escort as the 2.3s dont use them. Simply jump the black/white wire into pin 30 on the ECM harness, otherwise the engine will idle fast in neutral or with the clutch in.

    Otherwise I am running a Dual Friction (sucks!) and a 1 1/16th" front swaybar from the 88.5-90 GT models. I didn't like my Suspension Techniques springs and switched to the Eibachs. The ST springs bounced around like a chopped Honda! The progressive rate Eibachs are much better. Next I have a set of new adjustable Konis from an 85 Turbo which I am going to mount in the Ground Control CoilOver Kit. There are now front camber plates availabe from PepBoys of all places.

    Sorry I get longwinded about my Escort.
    FORD = Found On Road Dominating
  8. red97lxscort

    red97lxscort FEOA Member

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    well iof any of u one g guys want a merkur xr4ti ecu.. ican get one.. just gimme a price ull pay for it.
    -Justin
  9. Escort_Gt90

    Escort_Gt90 Guest

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    I need one, I live in Puerto Rico... How many $$$ ???
  10. 89scortGT

    89scortGT Guest

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    does it make any difference what year XR4ti the ECU and VAM come from?
    also is there any difference between a MAF and VAM?

    oh and will any of this affect emisions output?
  11. gt19ho

    gt19ho Guest

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    I believe it 86 to 88 but dont hold to that. Vam uses a flapper door to measure air, maf uses a heated sensor. And im sure it will affect emisions somehow.
  12. XJeepguy

    XJeepguy Guest

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    Hiya , hey where's the Diesel performance tips ? :D :D :D lol


    Thx


    XJ




    86 Escort 2.0L Diesel
  13. Sam

    Sam Guest

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    I need a cold air intake for an '86 Escort GT, I haven't been able to find one. Does anyone know where to get one? Also is there a way to bypass the air vane? I would like to remove as much b/s parts as possible.
  14. fez192004

    fez192004 Guest

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    "the ecu from an xr4ti" are those the PF3's?
    how about LA2, LA3, or even PE (which seems to be outrageously expensive compared to the rest)

    plug layouts alright on any of those to fit stock into an 88 gt? (1.9L HO motor)
  15. bowtie

    bowtie Guest

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    This year I am looking like racing a 88 or 89 1.9 HO escort. Last year I ran a 91 1.9 LX. How much more, if any, power can I expect to have in the HO this year?? Any numbers for comparsion would be helpful
  16. southysuper

    southysuper Guest

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    I would like to add my two cents on the section about the "custom" intake. Why not just use the second gen manifold on the first gen head? I think my 1.9cfi bottom end with flat pistons, 2nd gen intake and the HO head would give a lower compression perfect for a boost application with the ECU upgrade.
  17. phillupmacrevis

    phillupmacrevis Guest

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    ok this is cool.....but what about non-gt owners....


    people who are out for gt-like performance!
    especially the suto tranni guys...

    my wagon is an automatic!,

    i know thw gt header will bolt up, but can i also do the vam and ecu swaps?
  18. 1lowscort

    1lowscort FEOA Member

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    the cfi motors dont use a vam, and im pretty sure the computer swap wouldnt work either
  19. 1lowscort

    1lowscort FEOA Member

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    and btw, i just tried a PC1 computer out of a turbo poop and it didnt work. had a misfire for some reason.
  20. 4banged

    4banged Guest

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    I read somewhere that you have to adjust teh vam a couple clicks. Did you try that?

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