Well it has happened.. just signed the papers trading off my 95lx with a leaky head gasket. 750 $ CAD, no questions asked - thanks for the wise words of advice, and a big thank you to everyone on the forum for having read/answered my posts... helped me more than once! The new ride: an 03 subaru impreza sports outback, manual, 50 000km. For those who run out of ideas what cheap mods to do on their Escorts, here's what i made mine go through: -spring spacers: Wanted more ground clearance for camping/snow... so got some cheap rubber rings. worked! -gauges: oil pressure, vacuum, voltage. Detected a busted alternator, and a vacuum leak. One nice use for the oil pressure gauge was to make me realize why I shouldnt over-rev the engine on cold winter starts -3000 rpm makes it reach 100 psi on a cold start.. -Headlights: not-so-legal 100/80W bulbs instead of the regular 60/55W Wire harness and wires still OK, and it helped me avoid a few deers.. -Horn: one double-trumpet air compressed regular horn wired to the steering wheel, one musical, 5-tone wired to a secondary switch. Probably the most fun mod ever . -soundproofing: a good 20 feet square of insulator/Home Depot sound deading material under the carpet and in the doors. Helped a bit, but it was more psychological than real. -audio: decent MP3/CD player, 4 new speakers, rear amplifier. -air intake: resonator out -fuel gauge: added a resistor so as to compensate for the gauge's reading being off by 1/8 of a tank. -misc: Front door edge red lights wired to the dome light fuse , two additional 12V plugs , mudflaps, fog lights, and about 15 to 20 small pieces of rubber stuck in every single hole inside so as to stop the rattling.