Rascal's 2002 ZX2 Worklog | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Rascal's 2002 ZX2 Worklog

Discussion in 'Photo Forum' started by rascal, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. rascal

    rascal Banhammer available, no waiting!

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    Taking up on Mellows suggestion, I decided to start a work log on my Z. I will add pictures to this work log when I get back home. To start, here is a little back history of the car.

    I purchased the car used at a Ford dealership in Jackson, MS back in July 2005. The car had 12997 on the odometer. It had only one owner before me and they towed it behind a motorhome for a "get around" car. The was basically bone stock with no frills. It has no power windows or power locks. The stock interior is tan, but in great shape. The exterior is black and in great shape as well. The only issue was the front bumper. Being towed behind a motorhome put a toll on the front. They didn't keep the bugs off and the rock chips put it through hell. The car drove solid and was a big upgrade from my previous ride, a 1989 Escort LX hatchback.


    Here are pictures when I just got the car and brought it home for the first time.

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    Here was the mileage after bringing it home and driving it around some. The car actually had 12997 on it when I left the dealership that day.

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    Factory stereo was going nowhere with me. It had to go. LOL I actually did a How-To on the install. Its on FEOA's website.

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    The first six months of having the car, I didn't do anything to it as far as performance modifications. The first thing I really bought to dress it up was my STR oil cap.

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    Getting curious on what other mods I can do, I start searching the Internet. I ended up adding some metal mesh to front opening of the car. I also removed the lower "milk jug" resonator of the intake. I never removed the upper since I was planning on a CAI in the future.

    [​IMG]

    The next upgrade I did was the exhaust. I didn't want to get a "universal" muffler and make it fit my car. When I found out the S/R had a Borla muffler made for it, I knew I wanted it. It was gorgeous muffler and money well spent. I could really tell a difference in the performance on the car.

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    Shiny and free flowing on the left. Big, ugly, and restrictive on the right.

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    Before:
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    After: Still looking good after all these years.
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    When it was time to get a CAI, I did a lot of reasearch. I read about the Keman mod, but didn't like cutting up my OE air box. I wanted to go with a aftermarket CAI so I would have the option of going back to a full stock air intake. I decided to go with the Hotshot CAI setup.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Shortly after installing this, I ordered the 90* elbow that puts the filter into the area where the lower resonator went. To me, it really cleaned up the engine bay. I do understand now that it hurts the performance of the throttle response, but I still have it on the car. Its a sacrafice I will take for the clean look.

    [​IMG]

    After leaving my job of 9.5 years, I started work on the tow boat as a deckhand. I was making good money and decided it was time for more upgrades. This time, it was suspension. More research on the S/R helped me decide on Eibach's Pro Kit springs and Tokico struts. This combo really rides nice and makes the car look better.

    [​IMG]

    Before: Front
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    Before: Rear
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    After: Front
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    After: Rear
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    I wanted some "bump in the trunk", so I found this Rockford Fosgate setup on Crutchfield. It came with a 10" sub, enclosure, amp, and wiring kit for $250 with free shipping. Epic win!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the four channel amp and RCA wires I used during my dB Drag competition days. Still running strong to this day.
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    My old distribution block is still doing its job.
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    I got the windows tinted in 2008
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    [​IMG]

    In the summer of 2010 I started doing some more engine performance mods. I installed a Esslinger under drive pulley.

    Its amazing how much larger and heavier the stock pulley is.

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    During:
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    After:
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    I finally made the jump this year into modding my car's look. I bought some larger rims and tires.
    MB Wheels-Weapon 17x7 rims with Nankang NS-1 tires.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    To help with the suspension, I added a 19mm RSB. I gave it a good coat of red paint. The endlinks are Energy Suspension.
    [​IMG]

    Stock 13mm RSB vs the 19mm RSB.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    All installed and ready to go: I also drained the tranny and replaced the ATF with some Pennzoil Syncromesh MTX fluid.
    [​IMG]

    I pulled the front bumper off in July 2011 to get repainted. The first paint attempt (freebie by family friend) sucked, so it was done a second time (bodyshop).

    Before:
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    [​IMG]

    After the second attemp:
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    [​IMG]

    I also wetsanded my headlights when the bumper was off:
    Before:
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    After:
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    In August of 2011 I installed my OBX SS 4-2-1 header.

    What's in the box:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Old, rusty, heavy, and restrictive....its outta here!
    [​IMG]

    Installed: Before running for first time. I used a MAC copper exhaust manifold gasket instead of the OBX manny gasket.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Video time!!

    Stock exhaust with S/R Borla muffler.

    OBX Header (no CAT), stock piping w/ stock resonator to S/R Borla muffler.

    Front bumper after 2nd attempt on repaint.

    September 2011 I decided to repaint my VC. It was ugly and needed a face lift.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Stripped:
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    After:
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    I went ahead and painted my wiper arms when I did the VC.
    Before:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Primed and Painted:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    October 2011 I installed my shifter and e-brake boots that I got from Recessbilly. (1st Version)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I installed a LXQ1 PCM to replace the HBD1 PCM.

    Installed my Corksport front strut bar today.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    October 31, 2011:
    I installed my new leather shifter/e-brake boots from Billy (recessbilly) and my RTM Racing weighted shifter knob. The boots are really, really nice. If you don't have these yet, you need too. There is no excuse. They really compliment any color of interior. It really makes my tan center console worth showing off.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    11-06-11: Installed my SCE copper gasket that goes between the header and collector. I had a SS nut and bolt strip out, so I had to replace all three to make them match in size. I also adjusted the header bracket that mounts to the transmission so it can be bolted on instead of zip ties. LOL


    11-12-2011: Repainted my strut bar ends this weekend. I haven't put everything back together yet. Going to let the paint cure over night. I also wet sanded the bar today too. It had some deep scratches in that regular polishing wasn't going to get. No pics on the bar yet. I will have those tomorrow when the bar is put back together.

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    11-18-11: Installed the NGPO PCM today at work. On my UltraScan, I notice the Adv. Timing reading doesn't go down anymore when I step on the gas. It actually goes up now. With the HBD1 and LXQ1 the reading always went down when more gas was applied. So obviously the timing is a little "hotter" with this new PCM.
    [​IMG]

    03-04-2012: I finally got a chance to start polishing the ZXTuner radiator brackets I bought from Slow98ZX2. One of them had a nasty gouge and needed to be wetsanded first. I spent most of the afternoon on that particular bracket. I haven't had a chance to start on the other one. Here are some before and after shots.

    Before:
    [​IMG]
    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After: The one with the bad gouges was done only for right now.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some updated pictures of both brackets done.

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    Here is the picsauce.
    Old and busted: Brackets on both left and right headlight were cracked and falling apart. They needed to be replaced.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    New hottness: w/ HID goodness
    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    05/16/2012:
    Fail!!

    [​IMG]

    05/19/2012:
    Got the 03' front from Doug (Zetec00) today. Here are some pics:

    A Z in a Z, lulz I couldn't get the truck today, so I had to make something work.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Whoever had this bumper before Zetec00 did a major fail.

    [​IMG]

    A little wetsanding and polishing on the turns. The fogs are toast. I'm going to find another set for future use.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Paint fail #2: They didn't even remove the rubber seal when it was rattle canned. LOL

    [​IMG]

    Paint fail #3: It isn't hard to remove the grill and fog supports. It obviously was for them. :puke2:
    [​IMG]

    I washed down the bumper with dish soap.

    [​IMG]

    05/30/2012:

    The bumper is home! Giggity!

    [​IMG]

    06/02/2012 Updates: Giggity!

    Old and busted!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Clean up time: It was a good time to clean out the condenser and was the front down while it was exposed.

    [​IMG]

    New parts installed:I also installed the new bracket that goes in front of the condenser too.

    [​IMG]

    Finished product: I took the mesh from the old bumper and fit it to the lower center grill. The OE grill was cracked too much. The car will get a good detailing tomorrow morning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. 91sleeper

    91sleeper Moderator

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    Looks great! That thing is super clean.
  3. Felix740

    Felix740 FEOA Member

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    It really does look great. I wish my ride was half as nice
  4. rascal

    rascal Banhammer available, no waiting!

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    Thanks guys. It really has come a long way this year. I have done more mod work on this car in 2011 that I have done since I got it. LOL I will be keeping the mods logged here as I keep going. Thanks for looking.
  5. 2scorts

    2scorts New Member

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    i do not like the zx2 but yours is very nice, clean, and simple. not rice at all and the wheel go very nice with the car.
  6. plyrh8r1

    plyrh8r1 FEOA Member

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    nice job clean and simple yet custom
  7. rascal

    rascal Banhammer available, no waiting!

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    Haven't updated this in a while. Here are some new things done to the Z in the last month.

    October 2011 I installed my shifter and e-brake boots that I got from Recessbilly. (1st Version)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I installed a LXQ1 PCM to replace the HBD1 PCM.

    Installed my Corksport front strut bar today.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Installed my RTM Racing shifter knob and all leather shifter/e-brake boot from Recessbilly (TeamZX2).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    11-06-11: Installed my SCE copper gasket that goes between the header and collector. I had a SS nut and bolt strip out, so I had to replace all three to make them match in size. I also adjusted the header bracket that mounts to the transmission so it can be bolted on instead of zip ties. LOL


    11-12-2011: Repainted my strut bar ends this weekend. I haven't put everything back together yet. Going to let the paint cure over night. I also wet sanded the bar today too. It had some deep scratches in that regular polishing wasn't going to get. No pics on the bar yet. I will have those tomorrow when the bar is put back together.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    11-18-11: Installed the NGPO PCM today at work. On my UltraScan, I notice the Adv. Timing reading doesn't go down anymore when I step on the gas. It actually goes up now. With the HBD1 and LXQ1 the reading always went down when more gas was applied. So obviously the timing is a little "hotter" with this new PCM.
  8. rascal

    rascal Banhammer available, no waiting!

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    Haven't done anymore mods lately. I found out before Thanksgiving that the store I'm working at is closing down at the end of December. I also had some dental work done in November which cost a big chunk of money. All projects for the Z are on hold. I still have plans for a CF hood, rear disc swap, and WW lip kit for it.
  9. Dave94LX

    Dave94LX FEOA Donator

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    Cool idea on the tower brace ends! I painted mine to match the painted pieces of my engine compartment, but the two tone looks awesome!
  10. rascal

    rascal Banhammer available, no waiting!

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    Thanks Dave. With the ends painted like that, they kinda blend into the engine bay now. LOL
  11. scortin4life

    scortin4life FEOA Member

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    very nice and simple!
  12. rascal

    rascal Banhammer available, no waiting!

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    Haven't updated this in awhile:

    03-04-2012: I finally got a chance to start polishing the ZXTuner radiator brackets I bought from Slow98ZX2. One of them had a nasty gouge and needed to be wetsanded first. I spent most of the afternoon on that particular bracket. I haven't had a chance to start on the other one. Here are some before and after shots.

    Before:
    [​IMG]
    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After: The one with the bad gouges was done only for right now.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some updated pictures of both brackets done.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is the picsauce.
    Old and busted: Brackets on both left and right headlight were cracked and falling apart. They needed to be replaced.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    New hottness: w/ HID goodness
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    05/16/2012:
    Fail!!

    [​IMG]

    05/19/2012:
    Got the 03' front from Doug (Zetec00) today. Here are some pics:

    A Z in a Z, lulz I couldn't get the truck today, so I had to make something work.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Whoever had this bumper before Zetec00 did a major fail.

    [​IMG]

    A little wetsanding and polishing on the turns. The fogs are toast. I'm going to find another set for future use.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Paint fail #2: They didn't even remove the rubber seal when it was rattle canned. LOL

    [​IMG]

    Paint fail #3: It isn't hard to remove the grill and fog supports. It obviously was for them. :puke2:
    [​IMG]

    I washed down the bumper with dish soap.

    [​IMG]

    05/30/2012:

    The bumper is home! Giggity!

    [​IMG]

    06/02/2012 Updates: Giggity!

    Old and busted!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Clean up time: It was a good time to clean out the condenser and was the front down while it was exposed.

    [​IMG]

    New parts installed:I also installed the new bracket that goes in front of the condenser too.

    [​IMG]

    Finished product: I took the mesh from the old bumper and fit it to the lower center grill. The OE grill was cracked too much. The car will get a good detailing tomorrow morning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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