Hey I'm J ames, I got a 98 escort zx2 with about 200K a few years ago for under $1000 (fender was inside the power steering pump ) with the plan to pull out the front and fix it up. There was front end damage, PS pump was busted, two out of four speakers worked, etc etc. It is now my first car with some work still to be done (paint hood, fix replacement used rebuilt leaky ps pump ...), I've been focusing on sound and some engine care latley, it may not be a racer but it'll be nice if it still has guts. My dad was a mechanic back when computers had no place in a car and helped a lot with pulling out the metal frames, acquiring parts, and teaching me about the fundamentals. Everything else I've learned by reading specs, the haynes manual and this site like they were novels. I've found this place to have plethora of usable knowledge and after lurking for a while I finally joined.