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Hi. I'm new around here, but I've been driving my EscortLX Wagon for almost 2 years now,(nearly 30,000miles) and after reading many many reviews, i've come to agree that the trusty 1.9L 88HP 8v engine is pretty disappointing. It's got -allright- pickup from 0mph-30mph then from 45mph-60mph but that's only if you drive it really hard(Which I do.)

I'm in the process of figuring out what i'm going to do to resolve this issue. I have a base package Escort LX wagon, no power locks, no power windows, no foglights( I think thats what the plugged switch next to the console backlight fader is for ), and it -HAS- AC, but whether it's gonna blow cold air at you is up to the outdoor temperature. If my calculations are correct this car should weigh somewhere around 2320-2340lbs (with the given equation that a 2DHBscort weighs 2200, and that I read in an escort review that the wagon added 120-140 lbs.)

I've been reading around and I've come up with a few options...

First option that I was TOTALLY all about doing until reading up here a bit, was to get the Mazda 1.8L 127HP DOHC 16v engine out of a 91-96 Escort GT. It's supposed to fit in my car, but requires some modification, and I'm not that educated in the field of cars. After reading a few car profiles on CarDomain.com that had done similar procedures, I was led to believe that for this conversion to be even worth it,(or even work!) I'd have to grab the transmission, the struts and the shocks and a few other key pieces off an Escort GT... meaning I'd have to pretty much go buy a junked Escort GT to do this... this made me stop and wonder if I could just get the entire drivetrain off the Escort GT and slap it on my Wagon. I'm not sure if the dimensions match up though.

Newer option I read about: Get the 2.0L 110Hp engine off of a 3rd generation Escort LX and get a turbo off of a 1st gen Escort GT... the 2.0L engine is a really really easy swap from what i've read, and also I read that the Turbo piece off the 1st gen GT only requires a little bit of modification to get it to attach.

and finally, most recently, I read that you could gain even more performance if you take the engine out of a ZX2 which clocks in somewhere around 130 HP. I dunno if the turbo piece will fit on this engine though.

My concerns with putting the 3rd Gen engines in is that when Ford realized the biggest complaint about the 1.9L Engines was lack of power, they upped it to a 2.0L which added an extra hundred some Lbs according to a document I read. The reason I want to modify my escort wagon is because it's roomy, comfortable, and handles amazingly well for being a wagon. I drove a friends 1994 LX 4door and tried to cut corners like I do in my wagon and I thought I nearly soiled myself in fear that we were going to crash. I'm worried if I add that much weight to my front end it's going to totally screw my handling, and make me have to dump more money into the car to balance it out and even make it drivable. The EGT drivetrain would more than likely fix this i'm sure, but i'm already talking expensive and tedious work on this car as it is! I'd like to be able to work with as much stock parts as I could yet keep my handling and acceleration at viable performance.

My final option is to start working on my 1.9L engine. The car was my Grandpa's (he purchased it in second quarter of 1992, brand new) and he kept it well up until he passed away leaving the car at approximately 54,000 miles. I've got it up to 75,400 miles right now and just gave it a high-mileage oilchange, new PCV Valve(8k mi. ago), and new platinum plugs(the 2$ kind...ooo! fancy!) It still sometimes will act like it's gonna stall if i'm in park and rev it hard, itll fall far below the idle rpm's when it's revving down and then my battery light comes on and everything dims and it either catches itself and returns to idle, or stalls flat out determined on fate alone. A mechanic friend told me to clean off the part where the black tube coming from where the Air filter is goes into the engine. I wish I knew the name of that part so I don't sound like a complete moron.

Anyways i'm babbling at this point, can anyone send me in the right direction to making this baby float? Cause if I'm stuck with this 1.9L i'm just gonna buy that ECU chip that's supposed to add up to 20HP(i'm worried itll burn my lawnmower of an engine out in 10k mi if I put this mod in) Maybe get an Exhaust kit, and then the experimental idea would be to hook an 8,600 RPM Computer CPU cooling fan up in that tube the air filters hooked up to(but right up into the intake, this was suggested by a mechanic friend, but i'm not to fond of clown-rigging stuff together)

Please help!!
 

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if you already have a 1.9 in your car, swap out an spi. that would be the first thing to do. next, invest about 1000$ into a good turbo and fuel system. a turbo and motor swap will be the best for the buck. running about 6psi in a spi would be a major difference. if you could get a turbo and manifold then all youd need is an FMU. 1000$ is the absolute max you would ever spend on a good cheap turbo setup. look over the escort turbo info in the forced induction page.
 
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