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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been contemplating doing the 3.8/HO throttle body swap on my 97 wagon. The problem is there isn't really alot of room on the other side of the engine for the throttle cable relocation. I have a strut bar as well which limits the space even more. I also recently installed cruse control in my car and would like to keep it in working condition. I can't even find a good picture of a 3rd gen with a 3.8 throttle body installed to see what needs to be done. Does anybody have pictures of a 3.8/HO throttle body installed on a 3rd gen?

Also, has anybody ever tried to switch the side of the throttle cable on a 3.8 throttle body? I have a friend who welds aluminum for a living and can probably do any welding that I would need done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just thought of something, why not just reposition the throttle body? I could make two flanges out of steel and weld a mandrel bent piece of exhaust pipe in between the flanges, kind of like a super throttle body spacer. Then, with the TB relocated I would have more than enough room to mount the cables. This would also give me the freedom to use any Ford TB I wanted. What effect would my huge, angled, spacer/adapter have on performance, provided I used the correct sized pipe all the way through?

I am also going to have to find a better place to get a TB. The U-Pull I love so much wants $26.99 for a TB + $5 core, which is outrageous. They are extremely cheap on most stuff but there are a few things they gouge you on. $125 for any motor but $32 for a throttle body?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would rather use steel because my welder isn't setup to weld aluminum.(fluxcore) Besides, I can just mark some steel plate and have my other friend zip out the center holes with a plasma cutter at work. If its steel I could also weld brackets to it if I wanted.

The SPI TB is about 1 3/4" (44mm), the 3.8/HO TB is 50mm if I remember correctly so just under 2" making 2" od exhaust pipe perfect for this application. The problem will be finding mandrel bends locally. I have a nice 2 1/4" bend but that would be to big. Maybe I will just have to notch and weld a straight piece because I am not using a crush bent piece from from Auto Zone.

Now I just need the throttle body itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I finally got an HO throttle body from another member. For anybody that wonders it does indeed have a 50mm bore. The part in the front is 55mm but the part where the actual plate makes contact is 50mm

Today I got thinking about it again and thought up another way to mount it. If I made an adapter plate that flipped it upside down the cable would be on the correct side.

This brings another question, does it matter if the throttle body is upside down? I know normally the throttle plate on engines opens like garage door, top goes in, bottom goes out. If I flipped it the opposite would be true which would cause the air to take a different path at partial throttle.

This is just another idea I had. I just want some opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I did it! Nobody has ever tried it before but I did it!
I converted my HO throttle body so the cable is on the other side!!!




Some finishing work needs to be done and I have to add an appropriate attachment for the cable but the major work is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! It feels good to do something nobody has done before.

2nd gens have less stuff in the way compared to the 3rd gens. Everywhere I looked to mount the cable was going to be tight, there wasn't even a place on the firewall. Plus, I went through the trouble to install the factory cruse control and with the lack of room it looked like it was going to be almost impossible to make it fit. It did take 3-4 hours to make but it would have taken just as long to relocate the cable and have it work reliably. I cleaned up the adapter plates and painted them sliver. I still need something for cable. I'm thinking maybe a small, metal, pulley welded to the linkage with a notch to hold the cable, kind of like the factory setup.

Best of all, I can still put back the way it was before... almost. I had to cut and grind some parts of TB itself but they can be put back to stock with spacers, a screw, and some JB-Weld.

The bigger TB should yield some improvement on the SPI. Supposedly, the SPI in the Focus had a 50MM TB while the same engine in the Escort only got a 44MM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have an HO header I was modifying to fit it, then I looked deep into the laws on catalytic converters and discovered I would be in violation of federal law if I were to install the header and relocate the cat (dumb if you ask me.) It was also more of a project than I felt comfortable doing at that time. All I originally wanted one of those Focus Central Shorty headers but they are impossible to find. I also lost my job last year and have yet to find another so any major projects are on hold.

At least I have my 2 1/4 exhaust done which helped a bit. I got from a Neon in the junkyard. The bends are almost the same and its 2 1/4" with mandrill bends. Not to mention its the factory exhaust materiel which lasts a long time and for $7 how can you go wrong.

BTW, if you got your header from a Protege its been done before. For some reason some BP proteges had a header from the factory and its just about a bolt on for the EGT, at least that is what I have heard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, my cat is in about the same place as yours but there is no header for my car or yours that uses the stock cat except for the ultra rare Focus Central shorty header and then that is only for the SPI. They are virtually impossible to find. I will tell you one thing, if this engine ever goes out due to a dropped valve seat and I have the cash I am going to Zetec swap it. It stinks to have almost no aftermarket support.

Here are some more pictures. I painted the plates and added a screw to hold the spring. I also swapped the old throttle stop screw over to the new location. It has a spring so it won't rattle out. All the screws are in and have lock-tight on them. I just need something for the throttle cable connection and I have to shave the ridges off the opening so my SPI intake will fit over it. I need to but get a new high speed cutting bit to shave the ridges and go shopping for something for the cable connection but its labor day so I can't do that.



Ridges I need to shave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The high speed cutters work great on aluminum and plastic, they shave that stuff down really fast. At work be had several we would attach to an air die grinder. They went through steel pretty fast and don't remember us ever having to replace one. I have a bench grinder but its small, I will try it anyway. I can't seem to find any new wheels for it though. Its a 4" grinder which I have never seen. It came out of my grandfather's basement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, I know! I have that same angle grinder. Some of the best money I have ever spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have it almost complete now. You do not know how hard it is to find a 2" pulley for a small cable. I went to 2 hardware stores and Lowes but found nothing I could easily modify for my application. A garage door cable pulley would have been perfect but smallest size I could find was 3", I needed 2". :mad:

I ended up making something out of a table leg bracket I bought and a piece of steel. It ain't pretty but it should work. I still need to weld the nub for the cruse control bracket onto the "pulley." Speaking of welding, I should have protected the throttle shaft from spatter. I got some on it but fortunately it isn't on the part where the bearings or seals contact.

I have a feeling the whole thing it isn't going to work though. It looks like it will but when ever I put this much work into modding something it never turns out. I took it apart alot of times so I hope the bearing seals are all right. Also, there was alot of corrosion on the bore after the throttle plate that I had to clean out which relieved some actual pitting in the aluminum! I wish the member that sold it to me had mentioned the corrosion when he put it up for sale, at least I didn't pay that much for it. I think I can actually have it finished tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I got it done, installed it, and it works perfectly! There is a place for everything including the cruse control. I had to add a small spring but I found the perfect place to attach it. It looks like it belongs there.



My cable hookup.


Grounded down ridges.

I'm vary happy with it. The high end pulls harder all the way to the redline. The flat spot that used to be at about 3500 is almost gone, and the low end seems about the same as before. I wasn't able to port the manifold as much as I would have liked to because my dads old JC Penney brand dremel started to go out, I never understand why electric motors start to spark at the brushes and loose power when the brushes still have plenty of meat left on them and the stator is clean. The manifold is really almost the same size as the new TB minus about 2 mm. so there is an improvemnt there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Before it would fall on its face after 5000 but now it seems good to the redline. My Scanguage trip computer says I gained about 5-7 HP. :eek: Of course, I don't take the HP numbers it spits out as true but it seems pretty accurate. One reason your 1.9 didn't respond on the top end is because the fuel maps in the computer end at 4500-5000. This causes the engine to fall completely flat at higher RPM's. The SPI has the complete fuel maps so it responds better.

I used a high speed cutter bit on the dremel to get rid of the ridges. That is probably the reason it started to die when I was porting the intake. I must have wore it out trimming the ridges and finished it off on the intake. Now I need to buy my dad a new one. The bit itself is still ready to go though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Have you actually measured how long it is!? The collector on that header is at least 6" lower than the one on the stock manifold. That means the stock cat is going to be dragging on the ground if its hooked up to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Your going to need to mod the throttle cable connection like mine of you want any chance of a kickdown cable fitting on a HO throttle body.

Why would you build an automatic Escort anyway!? To much of a pansy to do the 5 speed swap? The auto trans on these cars is weak and will blow easily with power. You will easily gain 2 sec in the 1/4 mile and 5 MPG with a manual swap. If you can even manage to get an auto Escort to run the same 1/4 mile as a manual then you are vary lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
juggalo said:
i have only drivin a manual once and everytime i'd shift from 2nd to third i'd go right back into 1st.
That's lack of expirance on your part. One month driving stick and you won't have that problem.

juggalo said:
i don't wanna deal with replacing the clutch.
Better than replacing a transmission. I have heard of these automatics lasting about the same as a clutch. Do you even have an axillary cooler on the tranny? You are one of the biggest pansies I have seen.

You won't get much performance help on this forum once you tell people your auto. Nobody on this forum has built an automatic car (for a reason) so anything that has to do with the kick down cable you will have to come up you yourself. The first advice everybody is going to give you is do a manual swap.

I love my manual wagon. I get 38+ MPG on the highway

Also, why are you bring this up in my thread? I would like it to stay somewhat on topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
juggalo said:
don't call me a pansie. the only pansie i see is the one talkin ****. and when i do say automatic, yall r dumbfounded and act like performance is gonna be different. have u had any problems with an auto?
At least I'm not afraid of a motor swap. I see you avoiding it at all costs even if it means more work and less gain.

Heck yeah, performance is gonna be different with an auto. You think having one less gear, greater drive train power loss, and higher drive ratio isn't going to yield different (worse) performance? dream on.

I haven't ever had problems with an auto because I was never dumb enough to buy one. I had a friend with an automatic 93 wagon, at 180K it was on its 2nd trans and that one was already shifting hard. That averages out to about a 110K mile life span. Another person I knew had the auto trans go out on an Escort wagon. Look around on Google, you can find tons of cases of Escorts with bad auto trannys. If you service it and drive like a normal person it may provide good service life but the moment you start racing and building power its toast. Consider yourself lucky if it makes it to 120K, about the same life as a clutch.

$2500 for a new trans or $600 for a clutch job? the choice is obvious. When you consider the better gas mileage the choice is ever easier.

This forum is full of good advice and one of the biggest pieces is to manual swap. When you start acting like your auto is better than a manual and then expect people to tell you how to mod it you WILL get slammed.

Escort92Man told me you were dense and boy was he right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
juggalo said:
ur homeboy didn't know how to adjust things and he probally didn't change his fluids like he's supposed to do.
It was a girl.

juggalo said:
people race in automatics ALL THE TIME!
On the drag strip in high powered RWD cars that have so much power you can't control them and drive stick. Racing a FWD car with an automatic = epic fail.

We aren't slamming on you about your car. I see great potential in your car if you would only listen to the advice the forum has to offer. The advice I have given to you is the same advice anybody else on this forum will give, you choose to ignore it.

I can get a motor for $100 and a tranny for $75 any day so a motor/trans swap makes sense to me. I though the U-pull you go to had good deals? You need to decide on what your power goals are before you do anything. The SPI or Zetec swap is the best option for NA power. Actually, if you were to swap to the Zetec engine and manual trans you would be looking at a 44hp increase and going from a 3.75 finale drive to a 4.10. That difference will blow you away. Set a goal like that and save your cash towards it. Its been done before and is proven to work. You will be more pleased with the results of a goal you saved towards than one you pieced together with what cash you have on hand.

juggalo said:
as far as i'm concerned, do not give me anymore advice or post on my threads. i maybe slow, but i'm not retarded.
Notice that I was one of the only people to comment on your posts and try to help you and point you in the right direction. Your posts look like those of a noob who wants to do things their way yet expects people to hand everything to them and not do any digging for themselves. Other members can see that and they don't want to deal with a person like you that can't help themselves. And I can post on any thread I want to and provide advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
juggalo said:
madmatt2024 said:
On the drag strip in high powered RWD cars that have so much power you can't control them and drive stick. Racing a FWD car with an automatic = epic fail.
here's what i found. http://www.modernracer.com/tips/dragrac ... iques.html
Nothing I don't already know there. Manual defiantly has an advantage in circuit racing though which is a more at home place for our cars. Our cars shine at handling, not drag strip performance.

Don't sweat it on the irritability thing. As you see, I can be quite irritable myself. :wink:

The throttle body is working fine so far but then again I haven't driven it that far. I got my dad the red HF dremel you talked about. It was on sale and I had a 20% off any item coupon so it only cost me $16! I now need to finish porting that manifold. One of my lifters has been sporadically making a racket lately though. It seems to come if I do a bunch of short trips but if I do one long trip it is gone for a week. I need to look into it sometime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Bent rod, ouch! That is one problem nobody wants to believe they have. I wounder how it got bent.

I also got the MIG cart with a coupon. Now my welder has a place and it looks so professional now.

My car only has 57K miles on it so I really don't think I should be hearing any valve noise. See my detailed thread in the 3rd gen section. It makes my beautiful wagon sound like a piece of junk.

Yep, I like the bigger TB. I still need to take it on a longer trip with consistent speeds over 50 MPH. I don't think fuel mileage will suffer once I get the hang of it. You just need to give it less gas because the throttle opening is bigger.
 
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