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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while ago I saw a post of someone doing a 1st gen escort rwd conversion. They appeared to look like they knew what they were doing :? I believe the car was red or orange. Anyway if anyone has more info on who has one to sell or who can do that of fab., any info would be nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I heard them tempo diffs arent about squat...then it could have been a miata or rx7 rear end. he welded the subframe braces pretty well though.
 

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Yes, the AWD Tempo stuff is extremely weak, and requires a transfer case off the ATX. The drive shaft for them passes under the driver side of the car. No joke...it's not even close to the proper thing to use if going for rear drive. I suggest the XR4Ti/Sierra rear end, since it's the same basic car as the Tempo, but only with rear drive. Usually the Type 9 tranny was used, which is weak..I suggest a T5 from a Mustang, which does bolt to the CVH (uses the Lima engine pattern).
 

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Although RWD would be pretty sweet on a 1st gen, I think AWD would be a bit better.

Granted I don't have the funds to do something like this anytime soon; but it's something tempting to save up for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UnexplodedCow said:
Yes, the AWD Tempo stuff is extremely weak, and requires a transfer case off the ATX. The drive shaft for them passes under the driver side of the car. No joke...it's not even close to the proper thing to use if going for rear drive. I suggest the XR4Ti/Sierra rear end, since it's the same basic car as the Tempo, but only with rear drive. Usually the Type 9 tranny was used, which is weak..I suggest a T5 from a Mustang, which does bolt to the CVH (uses the Lima engine pattern).
So youre saying that a Merkur (XR) rearend subframe can be grafted into an Escort? Because that to me would be the real issue. Front engine mount fab and tranny tunnel wouldn't be so crucial.
 

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Just a bit of a correction. The Tempo and the XR don't have a single thing common between them outside of the wheel bolt pattern. When Ford did the AWD Escort Cosworth they cut the floor pan out of the Sierra Cosworth (same family as the XR) cut like 2 inches out of the wheelbase and then welded the Escort body on it. The Escort and the Tempo are both Erica platforms so nothing to do with the XR. A T9 trans if treated with some respect can cope with 300+ hp although power shifting will blow it up if done on a continuous basis. The XR trans and rear floorpan/suspension/subframe could be used in an Escort/Tempo as the wheel tracks are not that different but you would need to start with an XR donor car. Go with a Zetec though as it will bolt to the T9 with the proper bellhousing. Good luck.
 

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The XR is a Sierra platform. Sierra is the same chassis as the Tempo. Look up how the whole system mounts, the wheelbase width and length, and general design. The Tempo lacks the tranny tunnel at the front, and requires relocation of the steering rack. The front suspension from the XR will fit as well. Basically the Sierra was the European Tempo. So, the two cars share a little bit, but not at first. The conversion would be pretty straightforward, and I've mentioned before using an XR donor to get the parts. Why use a T9 when the '90 or later T5 world class is rated to handle more power? Also, the Zetec uses the same bolt pattern as the CVH, so one could use either.

The Tempo uses coil-over struts as stock (non-adjustable), and the Escort doesn't. But, coilovers can be purchases to make using the XR rear end easier in an Escort. Otherwise yes, Tempo struts would have to be sourced and welded in to an Escort to make things work if the person uses larger diameter struts. There are even complete kits from the UK for changing to coilovers vs. the separate spring and strut design.

For what it's worth, I've seen front and rear drive Sierras, and the Cosworth setup used a transverse engine with front drive tranny, transfer case, and a drive shaft going to the rear. In all technicalities it was front drive with rear grafted on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UnexplodedCow said:
The XR is a Sierra platform. Sierra is the same chassis as the Tempo. Look up how the whole system mounts, the wheelbase width and length, and general design. The Tempo lacks the tranny tunnel at the front, and requires relocation of the steering rack. The front suspension from the XR will fit as well. Basically the Sierra was the European Tempo. So, the two cars share a little bit, but not at first. The conversion would be pretty straightforward, and I've mentioned before using an XR donor to get the parts. Why use a T9 when the '90 or later T5 world class is rated to handle more power? Also, the Zetec uses the same bolt pattern as the CVH, so one could use either.

The Tempo uses coil-over struts as stock (non-adjustable), and the Escort doesn't. But, coilovers can be purchases to make using the XR rear end easier in an Escort. Otherwise yes, Tempo struts would have to be sourced and welded in to an Escort to make things work if the person uses larger diameter struts. There are even complete kits from the UK for changing to coilovers vs. the separate spring and strut design.

For what it's worth, I've seen front and rear drive Sierras, and the Cosworth setup used a transverse engine with front drive tranny, transfer case, and a drive shaft going to the rear. In all technicalities it was front drive with rear grafted on.
When you say the front suspension will fit, do you mean 'bolt on'?... and are you saying that the front crossmember from the XR will fit an escort? I need the whole truth b/c If thats the case thats crazy...I know where I can buy a junked out XR right now. Where online can you really find details and specs for all this (or at least some underbody comparison pics)? IM A SERIOUS INQUIRER 8O
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UnexplodedCow said:
It might require some welding skills, but the engine bays and frames under those are fairly similar.
I would sure love to see some underbody pics to compare. You know of any sites I can go to to see that? BTW...that was TurboTracerRWD that was building a rwd 1st gen...dont know how far he has gotten though...its been a while.
 

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Sorry, hate to belabour the point but the Erica platform (North American Escort, Tempo) had absolutely nothing to do with the Sierra line of cars from which the XR4Ti and the Cosworths (Sierra, Sapphire and Escort) come from. There never was a transverse Sierra. The replacement for the Sierra was the Contour and that was FWD. The four wheel drive Sierras used a longnitudinal engine with an inline transfer case and a front diff that mounts to the engine oil pan. The driveshaft passes through the oil pan. I own all three (3 North American Escorts, 3 XRs and an Escossie body in white).
As far as why you would use a T9 instead of a T5? The early '85 and '86 XR's do not have the wider tunnel that was put in place for the 4WD offered in Europe so the tunnel needs to be chopped up to make a T5 fit.
The Escort Cosworth was created by chopping the floorpan out of a 4wd Sierra and welding the Escort body to it.
In England and Europe there were MK 3 RWD Escort shells offered for sale by a company called Gartrac. They used a combination of components from the Sierras and the original RWD Mk 1 and MK2 Ford Escorts. The Erica platform Escort we have in North America is the European MK 3. I believe Burton Power also offered a kit for the MK 3 Escort to RWD conversion consisting of all the required sheet metal and bracketry to accomplish what Gartrac did. The Sierra components could come from an XR4Ti and the MK1 and MK2 Escort parts would come from a '73 to '78 Mercury Capri, the one before the Fox chassis like the Mustang.
If you are serious about doing the RWD conversion cruise over to Passion Ford and do some research and ask a few questions. I'm sure the boys over there can help.
 

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Then I've seen photoshopped Sierras...or AWD ones that were labeled as FWD. It would've taken a lot of work to make the Sierra floorpan fit the Escort, primarily because of length (it would have to be trimmed in the middle to make it work). Now, if you would kindly rewrite all the info I've read on the subject.... :p Seriously enough, I need to see some pictures, specs, and numbers to know what you're getting at, because the stuff I've seen and looked under says a little cutting here and there will make it work. Would it be stock? Nope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know both of you guys have more knowledge than I when it comes to this matter. Im not just gonna haphazarldly go and buy a XR when I dont know the facts, thats why I need pics (good underbody pics) so I can see for myself. I know that bracing the rear end is a given. I know Ill have to have a tranny tunnel fabricated...also motor mounts and such...what I dont want to do is a full tube chassis build. Just need to see if there are common chassis points to swap over. PICS PLEASE...ANYONE :)
 

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Just some added info for the pile. The wheelbase for the cars in question are as follows Sierra (XR4Ti) 102.7, Mk3 Escort 94.2 and Escort Cosworth 100.4 As you can see the Escort Cosworth was a shortened Sierra with a lengthened Escort Body, although the Mk 5 Escorts were a little longer than the Mk3. The Tempo if I remember correctly is a 99 inch wheelbase North American Escort.
The kit offered by Burton Power was called the Genisis. That might help in your Passion Ford Search. There was also a kit produced by EARS (Escort and Rally Spares EARS.co.uk ) for the same purpose. Think both of them were around the 400 quid mark in the early 90's.
Cow, the only thing I can think of you having seen is a MK5 or MK6 Escort RS2000 which was a transverse FWD or AWD car around the same time as the Escort Cosworth. Other than that I'm at a total loss. Bob Lutz was the guy in charge of Ford Europe at the time the Sierra was designed and he wanted it RWD. It was replaced by the Mondeo (Contour).
 

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And the contour replaced the Tempo over here. Yes, I remember hearing about Bob's reign over the Merkur brand and the Sierra. My entire point is that, while the cars are not identical, they are so close it's moot to bicker over them. The actual wheelbase width of the Sierra is what I was most concerned with (more specifically the XR), which fits the Escort floorpan a whole lot better than, say, making a stock Fox body rear end fit. That's why I'm leaning toward the XR as a starting point...it will fit with minimal mods to the rear end, and the stock Escort tranny tunnel will need to be enlarged slightly to fit a T5 (or even less if the T9 is used, as you mentioned above).

I'm not as concerned about wheelbase length because it's not as important in this case. A custom drive shaft would be required, but otherwise that should be it. Of course, I haven't gotten into the micro details of it all, as I don't have an XR to tear down, or the 1st gen chassis I want to build up....I'm waiting on the latter first. Once that happens, I'll start a thread to show how it could be done.

Another thought I've had is to just strip a fox hatch, and stick a well-built CVH under the hood just for the added oddball factor (plus I like the engine). It wouldn't be fast...maybe 300 hp, but the chassis is already capable of handling it, and it would be almost a drop in and play affair (aside from wiring, clutch, and mounts).
 
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