Shake's Zx2 Build | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Shake's Zx2 Build

Discussion in 'Photo Forum' started by ShakeZilla19, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Intro:
    1999 Zx2 track build. My buddy and I are seriously considering a car for the GRM $2000 challenge. Also, I would like a fun weekend car to take to the local tracks. I think this Zx2 could be a contender. I would like to, at a minimum, use this car as a test bed for MS2 tuning. I understand the concept and theory of tuning, but have zero hands-on knowledge and I think the Zetec is the perfect engine to play with. Also, the BG chassis handles well and is easy to mod.

    The Zetec:
    -Strong bottom end
    -Reliable (No dropped valve seats)
    -Has potential (DOHC, etc.)
    -Performance parts are available: Cams, headers, supporting parts.
    -Cheap/common

    BG chassis:
    -Performance parts from various cars
    -Handles well
    -Simple suspension design
    -Easy to work on

    The $2000 Challenge:
    -Buy and build a race car for under $2000.
    -Items that do not count towards the budget: Legal fees, 1st set of wheels & tires, maintenance, and most safety items.
    -I believe the winning bid $225 is the sale price of the car not including the added Copart fees, I'm seeking clarification from GRM on this. Hopefully the remaining budget is around $1775.

    Problems:
    -Straightening rear bumper mounts (need this fixed to get titled)
    -Need a J/Y rear bumper (old one is busted need for title)
    -Trunk latch adjustment.
    -Oil leaks (bad leak oil has soaked a clean cardboard box in a few days)

    To-do list:
    Fix rear end
    Get it titled
    Perform minor maintenance: gaskets, clean, etc

    [​IMG]
  2. austin86

    austin86 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Ohio
    Nice project. Can't wait to see how it goes.
    ShakeZilla19 likes this.
  3. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Worked on it a bit today. I hammered out the rear end. The old rear bumper atleast fits like it should. Did some j/y hunting today looking for a rear bumper. The local yard didn't have any Zx2's. There is a yard over in Seattle with a few Zx2's that I'm going to tomorrow. I also scheduled the vehicle inspection with the WSP. The inspection is about 30 days out. plenty of time to finish the rear end repair.

    Traded the steelies for some Miata 15"x 6" wheels these weigh around 15 lbs
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    4cylinder likes this.
  4. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Got super lucky on Sunday! Only 2 Zx2's in the yard and one was a color match with a clean bumper. I got the bumper mounted. I likely will not do much with the car until the inspection. I will probably clean it but that's about it. Will update with build plans in the mean time.
    [​IMG]
    Bas1c973sco likes this.
  5. slowbird

    slowbird Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    13
    This is cool, I really like the idea of a ZX2 for the GRM challenge. I have a possibility of either entering a Ford Probe or a Focus, if I end up doing the challenge (would be my first time)
    ShakeZilla19 likes this.
  6. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Small update. Signed up for a local AutoX in August. Prepping for a stock class. Rules require no fluid leaks. Suspension is fair game and street tires cant do much else So, currently have the 2 part oil pan apart to fix the oil leak. Good news there is no indication of leaky rear or front main seals. Leak appears to be from the upper pan gasket.

    [​IMG]

    Have some parts on the way. Nothing special yet: OBX Header, VCT delete, LC1 wideband, and UDP. The budget really forces you to either buy cheap parts, do everything custom, or get super good deals.

    Plans:
    -MS2 conversion
    -Return fuel system swap (to support MS2)
    -VCT delete
    -Exhuast
    -Cams
    -Light port and polished head
    -ITBs
    -Fidanza Flywheel
    -RSB
    -No name BJ chassis Protege coilovers (think I can get these to work)
    -Drift stick
    -Aero mods
    -weight reduction

    Thats it for now.

    -Matthew
  7. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    san diego, ca
    should inspect thrust bearing for wear while that is apart.
    Pizzaman5000 likes this.
  8. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Small update: Got it through inspection and registered. Yeah! :cigar:

    Drove it around a bit today. Not too happy about the brakes very soft and low engaging. I think the fluid is contaminated or one of the hoses is getting old. Luckily replacement of brakes does not add to $2k budget.

    Adjusted the accelerator cable and the clutch pedal. Replaced some rotten vacuum lines. Also, found the root cause of the oil leaks.. PCV system was clogged at the valve cover filter. Deleted that crap and piped the valve cover straight to the filter housing. Not too worried about oil accumulation in the intake since it will be apart soon.

    Car to my knowledge is prepped for the local Novice class. Raceday is Saturday can't wait! Need to find the GoPro for some film.

    -Matthew
  9. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Bad news.......:sick: Drained the transmission fluid and a big fat piece of steel is sitting over the drain hole. I think it is the diff. Typical G-series. I haven't done any burnouts or hard launches. I believe it was broken when I bought it; another strike against Copart (no test driving the cars, all around short end of the stick, just don't do it). The nice thing is the car still moves under its own power and I've put over 100 miles on it in the last few days (bounced it off the limiter too) seems ok. I've gotten it this far gonna atleast have some fun with it this weekend at the track.

    Unfortunately, I think this with be the end of this little adventure. These G-series transmissions are made of glass, few and far between, and I don't want to put any more money into this car than I have to. Thinking about an SVT Focus as they are cheap around here and still have the Zetec with a much better transmission.

    Edit: see my next post
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  10. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

    Messages:
    1,999
    Likes Received:
    873
    Trophy Points:
    363
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Bummer about the bad transmission.
  11. austin86

    austin86 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ouch that sucks
  12. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    False alarm, I'm being a total noob.. its just the pan magnet. I must not be getting enough sleep cause I'm getting some silly ideas. There's no hope for this build hahahahahahaha. The Escort is back in the hot seat!

    I can replicate the noise/vibration by rotating the tires with the front end in the air. I think it is an old diff bearing with some grit in it (fingers crossed). Cause if the metal was a tooth or something from a gear there would be no way the car could move. Once the gear rotated around to the supposed missing tooth it would lose contact and the transmission would eat itself alive.
    Bas1c973sco and austin86 like this.
  13. austin86

    austin86 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Ohio
    I was going to ask how the car drove with a big chunk of metal flouting around in the tans.

    Also the manifold I have is a zx3 intake, not a zx2, sorry.
  14. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    [​IMG]

    My times for Autox. An instructor drove it around once to give me a base line; on the right. This was a newbie event so lots of runs. Learned a bunch. First pass was a practice lap to learn the cones. Last pass was the best of the day idk if that was because the tires were hot or because I drove better. With new stock tires 185/65 R14's. For relative numbers to other cars.

    "Pro driven" 2019 ZL1 Camaro ran a 52.1
    Modded Miatas with novice drivers mid to high 50's
    Stock MK6 Golfs high 50's to low 60's
    Modded 2nd gen Integra best was 66.3

    [​IMG]

    Overall very fun event. The Escort was definitely outclassed by everything else but did surprisingly well cant wait to do some mods and see how it performs relative to other cars. The biggest issues where: not enough grip and body roll. The Zetec has more than enough power to spin a stock tire in second gear all the way through throttle sections.
    Joey_Twowagons and austin86 like this.
  15. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

    Messages:
    1,999
    Likes Received:
    873
    Trophy Points:
    363
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Sounds fun! A great way to learn the limits of our cars.

    I often think of the saying "It's more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow".
    ShakeZilla19 and austin86 like this.
  16. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    PARTS!! Stage 2 Comp cams, Focus Cam gears, Ebay UDP, Manzo 2" lowering springs, OBX Header, GSXR ITB's, MS2, VCT delete and 19mm RSB somewhere. Still need to pick up: Fidanza Flywheel, Clutch, and a return fuel system. At the current budget I Might be able to pick up an Mfactory LSD. Problem is that if I grab the LSD I will have no additional budget to make the car look cool (err atleast paint) and I will have to get the 26 spline LSD vs the 28 spline LSD. The 28 spline LSD is preferred because you can use stronger axles.

    Going to replace all brakes with OEM parts: Master, Rebuild the calipers, new brake fluid since none of that will affect the budget. The OEM brakes can already lockup the wheels so I dont think there will be much benefit going with performance pads. Braking force is good and fade is not really a problem with the short track times. In the mean time I might pick up some Hawk Performance Blue 9012 front pads to test out at local events.

    Ordered Federal 595RS-RR tires in 205/50 R15. These should be nice for the local events.

    [​IMG]

    Installed 2" lowering springs on front and rear. Went with Manzo springs, I have no idea of the quality never heard of them haha. This was simply due to price; $80 for the set of 4. Did not replace struts they are pretty worn out though. Springs are 300lb/in Front 250lb/in Rear body roll appears much improved.

    [​IMG]

    Alignment hole on the top spring perch. This hole needs to line up with a hole in the bottom perch. Much easier to do once the strut is assembled.

    [​IMG]

    Set the front strut alignment to the rear position for positive Caster and most negative Camber. Need the positive caster for steering self center benefits. The Auto cross turns can get a little wild. Letting the steering self center after tight turns really helps transition between obstacles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    GOD WHY!

    [​IMG]

    Also, the clutch slave cylinder took a dump....
    Bas1c973sco likes this.
  17. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

    Messages:
    1,999
    Likes Received:
    873
    Trophy Points:
    363
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Why? Because you are too strong.

    Your idea of changing out the brake fluid is a good one, since you will have to refill the system anyway. I also prefer to rebuild the stock calipers, since I found the rebuilds to be of dubious quality. Rebuilding your own is cheap but time consuming.
    I would have thought that for this type of event, worn out performance tires from the pile behind the tire shop would be fine. But I have no experience in these events.
    ShakeZilla19 likes this.
  18. ShakeZilla19

    ShakeZilla19 My name is ^^^

    Messages:
    3,142
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    263
    -Replaced the Clutch Master and Slave cylinders. The fluid was very contaminated black in color and full of junk.
    -Removed A/C components (the compressor was already removed).
    -Swapped to some Miata wheels and Federal 595 RSRR Tires.
    -Added spacers to the hood hinge for better airflow through the engine bay.

    I ran in this weekends AutoX it turned out to be a wet one. The car really wants to oversteer not really sure if that is due to the rain or recent mods. Only know that the current setup is wild in the rain. I had a few decent slides that worked well with the course and I'm sure they looked cool but my times were not the best. Pics below one shows the track setup.

    Link of the official results I'm Matthew Burton under the NOVPM heading: https://scorekeeper.wwscc.org/results/bscc2019/event/0980db7a-1c0a-11e9-8261-0242ac170003/post

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ndlm8888 likes this.
  19. Pizzaman5000

    Pizzaman5000 FEOA Donator

    Messages:
    1,446
    Likes Received:
    421
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Location:
    Central OH
    Two things I would do

    1. Buy stainless braided brake hoses. You can get sets on eBay for nothing. Like $20-50 bucks This replaces the dry old rubber lines in the wheel wells and will make the brakes feel great!

    2. Make sure the sump pickup is ok for racing. I don't know much about zetecs but that's a common one you hear about in auto x since it's such tight turns. Might be good from the factory...
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    ShakeZilla19 likes this.
  20. austin86

    austin86 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Ohio
    Nice you beat a Subaru WRX in a escort. that guy must of felt the pain.
    ShakeZilla19 likes this.

Share This Page