I just re-acquired the 1987 Escort wagon that I bought new. | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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I just re-acquired the 1987 Escort wagon that I bought new.

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Wagonguy, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Wagonguy

    Wagonguy FEOA Member

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    Well, I may have bitten off more that I should have, but I just couldn't pass up the chance to do this.

    In 1987, my then wife and I purchased a new Escort Wagon. Sadly, we divorced in the 1990's, but have continued to stay in contact and remain on friendly terms. She kept the car with her, and drove it for almost 20 years. At that point it was apparently having some mechanical issues. Her new husband ordered a running engine (and transmission) from a wrecking yard, then started disassembly of things. At the point that he had disconnected everything at the top end of the engine, taken the head off, and had disconnected some parts of the front drive and steering, he realized that he was in over his head. So he just stopped. That was in about 2006. The car has sat outdoors since then, accumulating some moss, as cars will do in the Pacific Northwest.

    They finally decided that it would be a good idea to get rid of this vehicle, and a number of others that he has accumulated (but never finished). When I heard about it I asked if they would sell it to me, and they said yes. So for a few hundred dollars I get the car that I had purchased new, along with a file of paperwork going back to new, the wrecking yard engine, and another used 1987 cylinder head that he had found back then. I figure that for that price - plus a few hundred dollars to get it towed to my house - the parts alone would be worth that much. But my intention is to bring it back to running and looking good again. Not a show restoration, but I would like for it to be reliable and presentable.

    So I am anticipating that a LOT of things will need to be replaced. This forum looks like it is a good place to find information and suggestions, and I imagine that I will be picking peoples brains pretty frequently.

    Part of my problem is that the only cars I have restored have been pre-computer and pre-fuel injection. Like 1960's Mustangs, and a 1951 Chevrolet (which was also my high school car. But that's another story). So I will have quite a learning curve to just start to understand the mechanical, electronic and vacuum controls for a 1987. But I've purchased the Shop manuals, Haynes repair guide, and ordered the CD of Ford/Lincoln/Mercury Parts book. Those should help a bit. I am even on the lookout for a complete and running 1987 Escort that I can buy in order to have something to show me how things under the hood are supposed to be connected!

    Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
    88ESCORTV6 likes this.
  2. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    These CFI are pretty simple with only 1 injector. Not much to go wrong with them a fuel pressure regulator and injector. I had an '88 Pony that had 518K miles on it when I quit driving it and did nearly all the wrenching on it from the time I bought it from my brother in '93 with 146K miles until I parked it. The first generation Escorts are really easy to work on and parts are CHEAP! Any parts you may need to get it running check Rock Auto they often have closeout prices on the older model Escort parts. Another nice thing about the Escort is the engines are non interference so if you let that timing belt go a little too long and it breaks or shreds a few teeth off you don't have to worry about the pistons and valves colliding with one another. I have a new still in the plastic Chilton's manual. I'll take $10 plus shipping for it if you're interested. I had both a Chilton's and Haynes manual and that's all I ever needed. The Haynes is OK but I preferred the Chilton's because sometime it would go into a little better detail and had better picture illustrations.
  3. Wagonguy

    Wagonguy FEOA Member

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    Thanks for the information! It's good to hear that they aren't too hard to work on. And it's really nice that it isn't an interference engine. One less thing to worry about, for sure.

    And the tip about looking on Rock Auto is good, too. I like saving money, and have used them for some parts on other vehicles over the years.

    I did already order the Chilton's manual, and it is supposedly on it's way. Thank you for the offer, though, that is a good price!

    I enjoy doing my own mechanical work. Or at least I have enjoyed doing it on the older cars that I mentioned. So I'm looking forward to getting this car home to my garage and starting the process of evaluating and fixing things.
  4. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    Good luck with the project. Looking forward to pictures!
  5. Wagonguy

    Wagonguy FEOA Member

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    Thanks Pextor! I do have a few pictures of it as it sits now, moss and all. Let's see if I can figure out how to post some here.
    100_3514.JPG
    100_3546.JPG
    20200110_105853.jpg
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  6. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    my guess its an auto?
    If you need parts PM me. I have a stash of 80s escort parts and I'm getting rid of alot of parts day be day as no one wants them. :(
  7. Wagonguy

    Wagonguy FEOA Member

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    You're right, it IS an automatic. I imagine a lot of the wagons were? But the parts in the back in the picture probably gave that away too!

    Thanks for the offer on the parts. I will undoubtedly need some items. The car is still sitting in the previous owners' driveway, because the weather is so bad here that I don't want to mess around with it until I can first clean it up a bit. And he has to move two cars out of the way before a tow truck can pull the '87 out of there. But at least I have finalized the purchase, so it's mine again. I imagine it will be at least a month before it is sitting in my garage again.

    Once I have the car in my garage and have time to assess what is good and what is needed, I will be getting hold of you for parts. Probably prudent to have backups on a number of things, too, because you can't find replacements just anywhere!
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  8. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    Let me know what you need sooner then later as I been scrapping and tossing parts left and right. I need to empty out my storage unit of parts and I'm only keeping the stuff I can use or know others will need.
  9. Wagonguy

    Wagonguy FEOA Member

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    Will do. We've had freezing weather and snow, which should last a few more days. Once we warm up at the end of the week I'll get up to their place (it's on a hill) and do some more looking around.
    I can think of a few things off the top of my head, but will PM you about them. Just have to figure out how to do that... :)
    austin86 likes this.
  10. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    I too might be able to help you with some parts at a good price. I know I have an extra set of new brake pads, a couple new wheel cylinders and maybe other new parts I had as spares. I also have an extra used starter and alternator. I also have the '88 Pony still sitting in the yard that once the weather gets nicer I could pull some parts off of.

    We also have a thread here on the forum that we try to keep updated with Rock Auto promotional codes that if used will save you an additional 5% off your order.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    austin86 likes this.
  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    It actually doesn't look too bad, I bet a thorough cleaning will make it look pretty good.
    I would give it a good wash, using dish detergent and rags and tooth brushes around the emblems before putting it in the garage.
    It really is more pleasant to work on a clean car.

    Where are you located?
    I promise not to come over and steal it.
  12. Wagonguy

    Wagonguy FEOA Member

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    Hey Joey - I just looked more carefully at your profile info, and see that we are "Neighbors!" I am just over the border from you, in Bellingham, Washington.

    The car really is not all that bad, in my opinion. A thorough cleaning is in order, and the previous owner is going to let me do that where it sits. The interior has some mustiness issues, due to them having left a window open for some time. I'm going to try to address that with some Concrobium and a good upholstery cleaning.

    The hood and at least one fender were repainted about 20 years ago, after my ex had a minor fender bender. But the guy doing the work just mixed some paints that he had together, rather than ordering the correct color (trying to keep the cost down). So the color doesn't match well. The original color is Driftwood Clearcoat Metallic, and I can see places ion the original paint where the clearcoat is gone. My long term plan is to do a repaint anyway.
  13. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    That's neat, you are just north of me! I thought that the algae and moss looked familiar.
    I am a bit familiar with Bellingham, as we have a family friend who lives there and lets me use her address to have parts sent, then picked up when we occasionally cross the border.
    You have a really good hardware store there (Hardware Sales).

    Alas, I have almost no first generation parts, other than a HO engine and spare cylinder head that took me literally years to find.

    Do the first generation US Escorts have those awful "Mad mouse" seat belts?
  14. Wagonguy

    Wagonguy FEOA Member

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    Oh, yeah - Hardware Sales is awesome!

    LOL - Mad Mouse seatbelts! Is that what they call the seat belts that automatically retract in the track above the door? If so, then yeah they do. Pretty strange design! You can kind of see them here:
    20200110_110047.jpg
  15. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    The Canadian cars have conventional, manual seat belts. Some people would buy up the complete assemblies when visiting Canadian junkyards, when the automatic (aka Mad Mouse) units started to give trouble, as they can be difficult to repair.

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