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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Spent the weekend pursuing an exterior change. Removed the rear reflector panels and bar, primed these with the intention of painting oxford white like rest of car. Also did the side mirrors, just the mirror units themselves, not the base. Shop did not have enough of the white paint so I've left everything primered for now, luckily it's platinum colored so doesn't look TOO bad, certainly not worse than every other primered Civic and minitruck on the road....

Must say, this is gonna look good. My rear turn indicators are already red tinted to match the brakes, so painting the reflector panels gives definition to the lamps, and gives the rear a more purposeful look. I also debadged the rear as my GT sticker was getting bubbly (was not fun - took a while). Car's rear end looks sharp, especially with the 3 piece spoiler. Mirrors were easy too - just masked off the car and used a minimum of primer to successively build up the coat to a good finish. Even though they're not white at the moment, these set off the car too. Doesn't have that 'cheap' look like the factory couldn't afford to paint the mirros.

Mods look good when paired with the new clear side turn repeaters and clear turn lamps up front. Also planning on removing side door molding and doing a general cleanup in that area. Color matching the roof rails, and a slight modification to the front fascia will complete the look.

Once the paint arrives this week I will be a happy man. I will of course post pictures both here and on my site. And the people will say "That's the cleanest Escort I've ever seen"....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My signature pic is from February 2002....I've since taken pictures but never had the film developed. I've a bad habit of taking pics and then never turning in the film. That's why I'd love to get a digital camera, working on that.

The clear corners were probably the easiest mod I've ever done. Less than 5 minutes for both.

As for the rears, I bought some Testor's candy apple red paint, masked off the entire rear section, lightly sanded the indicators, and used successive coats until it was just the right color, about 3 coats, sanding between each coat. Since your car is already red, color matching your reflector panels won't have nearly the visual effect as it would on another color, but is something I seriously recommend to anyone else. I really like the look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Spider - it was just a light sand with 1000 grit paper and then several coats of primer. I took them off the car beforehand to avoid overspray. And yes, it's the outside. Short of breaking them open, I can't see how they would possibly open up to do the interior side.

Fordboy - Regarding mirrors, I just did the mirror units themselves, from the flex joint back. So just the mirrors are painted while the rest, the base remains black. Now that it's sat w/me a few days, I rather like it. Gives the mirror an almost floating effect since the painted portion appears to be hovering next to the car. That's probably a hokey description but it's the best I can think of.

Didn't want to do the window trim, I'm looking for subtle overall changes that dramatically enhance the car without having it scream LOOK AT ME!

Can't wait to get the back painted white. Hell, it looks great now, almost got a European look since the taillights are more defined. Gonna be even better when finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got lucky - my door handles were already color matched.

Think I also 'accidentally' solved a problem too. My accelerator cable was kinked right around the intake, apparently preventing the throttle from opening all the way. I didn't realize this, the car seemed plenty quick. But after noticing that the cable didn't route properly, I removed, greased and reinstalled. And found quite a noticeable difference! Now at a strong take-off the tires scrabble for traction like never before. In first gear, if I keep my foot down and the revs near 5K the tires begin to feel as if they're losing grip, necessitating an upshift. Mind you, I have plenty of grip with the Kumho 195/55 Ecsta Supras. Feels much more aggressive now. Quite happy with the car, been a good week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
AWESOME! I completed painting today - rear reflector panels and bar are done in oxford white like rest of car with clearcoat. Same for mirrors. Also installed some white mesh in the lower part of the fascia. That part's really not noticeable but oh well. The car just looks amazing - those mirrors really stand out. I gave it a good wash and polish and then took it out to the reservoir for some pics. Will be getting these developed tomorrow and should have them for posting to my site Sunday night.

Stay tuned. It will be worth it.
 
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