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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I'm going to be a dbag and completely ignore the performance thread because I don't know prices.

I've got about $1,000 that's free money, and I want to invest it into power for the escort. Its a 1989 ford escort gt, stock 1.9l h.o., no modifications. Runs rough, wouldn't hurt to get an engine rebuild, and I'm looking for some fun. Car has about 120,000 miles on it. What should I do?
 

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slap a turbo on it :)

manifold = 200 ish
turbo = 200 ish ( less for a use garret on ebay )
miscellaneous hoses and fittings = 100 or so
mercur ecu, vam and injectors = 150-200 bucks
charging pipe and downpipe + cheap bov = 100-200 bucks
 

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And his engine will fall apart after a while due to the 9:1 compression ratio, no solid knock control, good fuel or boost control.

A solid rebuild should cost no more than $1k, and you can also get to play around with whatever parts float your boat...and maybe go higher compression to up the performance. Maybe lighten the car with that money. This question is very open to suggestion and opinion. Personally, I'd make the thing mechanically perfect, and wait for the money to further the upgrade (get a turbo, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ill be honest, i want to keep it n/a for awhile... ill eventually go turbo when i get setup for my perfect build, but right now im just looking for a good set of power upgrades. i plan on removing as much weight as possible here in the next couple of weeks, but i need some power too. engine rebuild is looking like a good idea right now, i trust it, but it idles high and burns/leaks oil
 

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Well, if you want to keep it naturally aspirated, and want more power, expect to mill the head, maybe deck the block, and use a thinner head gasket, to go for high compression.

To that end, I'll suggest a 1mm overbore, use a 1.6 gasket, see if you can install 2.0 SPI intake valves (keep the exhaust valves stock), gasket match the intake and head ports, and open up the exhaust ports to be more gasket matched with the header (like the 1.6 size ports). Be sure to have the crank journals polished, and the whole rotating assembly properly balanced. Spring for a Melling oil pump; it weighs more, but is probably cheaper, and I've had no problems out of mine. Keep the bearing tolerances at spec, and blueprint the rest of the engine (CC the head chambers and ports). The head should be able to be milled down to the half moons on the bottom. Don't go that far, but close will net you in the 10.5:1 compression area. The stock pistons should hold up fine here. If all this happens and you've got money left over, or find stuff cheaply, get a 1.6 head, and then order a high rpm cam from the UK, with matching valve springs. Power will peak around 8k (hence the need for a blueprinted bottom end), but you'll see around 180 hp if everything is spot on.
You can also get more acceleration by putting on smaller tires. 195/50 or 40 series would work just fine, and it would be about the same size tire as the 14" rims would use.

Now comes to weight savings. If you strip the interior, including the stereo, you'll save about 100 pounds. This includes removing the auto seatbelts completely, and installing some manual units. No carpet, console, rear seat, head liner, or trim pieces...all gone. Next up is to remove the power steering and A/C units completely, and possibly find a non PS main pulley (should take off nearly 100 pounds as well). If you're really anal about it, you can find manual brakes as well, and that will save the weight of the brake booster (a few pounds). Next up is the starter motor: replace it with an '88 or newer Tempo remote relay type: it weighs nearly half as much. Following that would be the swaybar mounts: swap in some from a manual Tempo and you'll shave off about 5 pounds. Get rid of those electric mirrors, and install some pony model ones, and you'll save weight on wiring and crap (not much there). You can also take off the timing belt cover and save a few ounces. EXP or modified '81-'83 seat sliders will save a few pounds vs. the later model one piece mounts. If you have cruise and a tilt wheel, replace it with a basic unit to save weight on the tilt mechanism. You can also try to find early '81 engine mounts. They fit, and are made of aluminum. They won't work for the MTX-3, so you'll only be able to go with the actual engine mount.

All of these things together should add up to at least 200 pounds off the stock weight of the car, and that'll make for a little increase in acceleration. The downside is that your car will ride high in the nose I'm experiencing this myself, and have the listed mods above, except for the '81 engine mount, and Tempo starter as mine died and I swapped back in the original one. I also kept the electric mirrors. Another possible side effect is the Tempo swaybar mounts put the front of the swaybar up quite a bit higher....I can't quite get my index finger between the sway bar and header on my car.
 

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We race a 1.9 gt and have had the good fortune of getting a mechanically perfect motor from some very good engine builders who built the motor for themselves. It is decked, balanced, blueprinted, dynotuned and puts out 120 hp at the wheels. This is still with a stock cam as we must use a stock profile in our division
Of course a rebuild of this caliber is far more than 1K, but we need something that stays together when constantly pushing the redline
 

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If he does most of the work himself, and assembles the engine, he can spend the money on proper machining, and good parts instead of trusting the machine shop to build the engine for him. I don't even trust the local machine shops to properly file a ring...and I argued with one local shop regarding bearing gap, and had them regrind the main journals since they were barely within spec and cleaning the crank journals up (just one example of how a machine shop may try to cut corners).
 

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i have the exact same car right down to the paint except mine has seen more weather and can use some body repair. nice to see someone else has the same ride. these cars are so much fun to drive. and i also have the same problem with oil burning and a slight leak in the intake.i went through and sprayed carb cleaner over the injectors while it was running to check for leaks and found one. u might want to do the same. dont take anything off just start and spray u will know if u have one.
 
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