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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a woman 36 with a goal of teaching myself automotive. I bought a 1993 Ford Escort to learn on and also wanting to add custom features myself. Where should I start learning. I am smart and learn quickly so no laughing at me y'all.
 

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well this is a great place. I'd suggest getting a factory manual. not the chiltons etc type. You may be able to find one on CD on Ebay. They show you step by step on how to do everything. The best way is to not be afraid to get dirty and be ready to ask lots of questions. What is it you hope to learn and/or modify on your car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks for the reply and ? about what I want to do. I ofcourse want to replace all of the broken or old cosmetics. Want to enchance performance, intake etc... sparko seats, sound system, rims. basically want to learn how to trick out the car. I have researched a bit about body kits and not sure my model has one avail. Mine is a 2 door 1993 GT. Thanks for anyone out there tolerating a newbie. I appreciate the input, suggestions etc...
 

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If there's any laughing going on here, it's not going to be targetted at anyone who wants to learn.

Contact your local automotive parts retailers (NAPA, AutoZone, PepBoys) to see which ones, if any, have tool loan/rent programs. You'll want to invest in good quality tools over time.. and at times you'll want to just borrow good tools. It's good to know what tools are available to you before diving into a repair, so keeping a short list of who you can call should be in any mechanic's little black book. If you have any friends or family members who might have a stash of tools, you may want to keep them in mind as well.

If you're curious about how complex engine systems work in general there are lots of interesting books and websites to read up on. Even if you're not interested in high performance engines, researching into what makes them create more power will give you a better understanding of why designers built engines the way they did to begin with. The kind of information I'm talking about should be helpful to you whether you're rebuilding an engine or just trying to find a loose vacuum hose. The better you understand what's going on inside the easier it is to diagnose problems so that you can fix them properly.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/ is a fun place to learn some of the fundamentals.

Did you buy an LX, a GT or a Pony? [EDIT: I just saw your 2nd post. GT! Excellent!]

Anyway, Welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alot of people I know are giving me a hard time about buying this car. (1993 Ford Escort GT). I have been told it is a throw away car. Runs fine and just needs some work, which is what I need in order to learn. (as long as I don't end up on the side of the road broke down). Ofcourse I don't want to return it back to stock condition (boring), I want to enhance it. Anyhow, I have seen what others have done to their 1993's and think they are pretty sharp! Maybe my friends just don't see my vision????? Should I buck my friends and do it anyway. I am giving up a 1998 reliable Nissan Quest Van to venture into this car. What do you all think? (The attractive part to all of this is the Escort is paid for and the Nissan Van has hefty payments left on it. ) but can't keep both.
 

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well the Escorts will NEVER get respect. The car you have is a great choice. The Motor is actually a Mazda motor and it is extremly strong and reliable. With any vehicle what it comes down to is maintaining it. If you do the work and make sure it is cared for properly it will last you forever with very little trouble. They are a lot of fun to drive and have a ton of cargo room.

What little problems does it have? we can suggest fixes and upgrades. The best thing is to upgrade when something brakes rather than buying the cheapest part you can find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Problems on the car: 124,000 miles, steering very sloppy, on occasion even on the freeway I get a pretty good lunge in the engine. (explain the best I can) feels like a hard shifting in the automatic transmission. Not all the time, just comes and goes. So I have been easy on the acceleration. over all just alot of wear and tear but fairly well taken care of I suppose. Cosmetic wise: what are the strips just below the windows???? dumb I know but need to replace as they are chipped up pretty bad. back bumper cracked. alot of dash features need to be redone. I don't know, just don't know where to start. Are we able to post pictures?????? Than you all can tell me what you think.
 

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pinknblack said:
Cosmetic wise: what are the strips just below the windows???? dumb I know but need to replace as they are chipped up pretty bad. back bumper cracked. alot of dash features need to be redone. I don't know, just don't know where to start. Are we able to post pictures?????? Than you all can tell me what you think.
First of all, welcome to the board! :)

Those strips just below the windows are called beltline mouldings.

I replaced all four on my wagon a month or so ago. They can be ordered from your local Ford dealer -- I don't know of any aftermarket replacements for them. Removing the old moulding is a piece of cake, since you're going to discard it anyway -- simply pull it off (probably breaking one or more of the little plastic clips that hold it on [don't worry, the new moulding has new clips already attached to it]), and snap the new moulding into place. Five minute repair job. :)

Yes, you can post pictures here, but there's no "host" available on this server for them. Simply put the picture(s) on your own web site, then use the URL to them in your message(s) here, and the pictures will appear. :)

...again, welcome to the FEOA board. :)
 

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pinknblack said:
on occasion even on the freeway I get a pretty good lunge in the engine. (explain the best I can) feels like a hard shifting in the automatic transmission. Not all the time, just comes and goes. So I have been easy on the acceleration.
Have you checked the transmission fluid level? Even if it's OK put in 1/2 - 1 of those small containers of brake fluid. It should help the transmission seals. If you problem is worse on cold days then there is a good chance that it's a slipping transmission.

BTW, I'm 38 and I have been driving Escorts since Jan 1985 and I do mostly all my own work on the car.

8O
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No I do not know how to check on what you all suggested but I will certainly find out one way or another. Thanks for the input! It really helps me in knowing where to possibly start. Posting some pics tomorrow sometime, hope you all will stop by and take a look and tell me what you think of my first ever project car. Thanks so much!!!!!
 

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One of the best investments you can make, if you plan on doing work yourself... is on a hydralic floor jack and a set of jackstands.. along with some wheel chocks. If you don't have these you'll be tempted to lift the car up on the car's jack from the trunk.. which is a good way to kill yourself or lose a limb.

Also, pick up a big bottle of hand cleaner and a bag or two of red shop rags so that you won't be afraid to get your hands dirty (occasionally those bags of shop rags show up at 'Everything's $1' stores) I like the big bottles of orange hand cleaner that come with a hand pump on top and have a fingernail brush clipped to the side.
 

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The dipstick for your auto transmission is located on the drivers side next to the battery on the rear side of the motor. To check it park in a flat spot set your brake and put the car in park. Run the motor until it reaches normal operating temp. Move the shifter through all the gears and back to park. Leave the motor running and remove the dipstick and wipe clean. Reinsert it until it is fully seated then pull it out to check the level on the stick. If it is dark brown or smells burnt it should be changed. If it is low add mercron atf through the dipstick tube with a long funnel. Do not over fill the transmission as you can damage it. Goodluck.
 

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Glad to see another female around here... this site is one of the best... there are actually a few more escort forums like ww.escortracing.com everyone around here is pretty helpful... and just about anything you need to learn they can help you with... if you want to post pictures on here i recommend http://www.villagephotos.com then u can post them on here.. it is time consuming but once ya get the hang of it its easy enough... good luck to you and your scort!... you prolly won't get respect from anyone fixin up an escort, but at least you're not being like everyone else ::cough cough::...

Laci

PS I didn't say anything about hondas.... :p
 

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pinknblack said:
No I do not know how to check on what you all suggested but I will certainly find out one way or another.
Jack up one of the front corners of the car. Make sure that the bottom of the wheel is off the pavement. Then grab the tire like you are hugging it. Try moving the tire up and down and side to side. If there is side to side play then you most likely need new tie rod ends. It's actually pretty easy to move the wheel back and fourth and see exactly where the play comes from and then replace that part. If you do need tie rod ends do them as a pair then get the car aligned. Don't buy whatever Autozone or Pep Boys wants to sell you, most of their parts are crap. If you need new suspension parts buy Moog. If Moog is out of your price range then buy the CarQuest brand (which is really Moog). Up and down play in the wheel means you need new ball joints (I think).
 

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Beaverboy said:
If you don't have these you'll be tempted to lift the car up on the car's jack from the trunk.. which is a good way to kill yourself or lose a limb.
Actually, if you can find a 1st gen Escort their jacks are much better. It's what I use to jack up my car. I saved mine from my first Escort (1984 EGT).

It looks exactly like this one I just saw on eBay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... gory=42614
 
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