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I am 6' 5" tall. Shorty was my high school nickname. I bought my Escort GT when I was in still in high shool; on 2/10/01, with 92,500 miles, for $600. I got my money's worth. Here it is, going on September 2009, and the Escort is still with me. 166,836 reads the odometer. I've replaced damn near every part on that car, and it's still a piece of crap. I love that car, though.

What about the car do I love? Pretty unique, I'd say. I haven't seen another GT on the road in years. Even when I did see them, it was few and far between. But it's still an Escort- a 21 year old car designed to last 10. It was my first car, that has to count for something.

The motor? Origonal, as far as I know. Last year I replaced the rod bearings because they were noisy at part throttle. After that, the car ran so amazing. Smooth. Quiet. I drove it to Rhode Island (650 mile round trip) flawlessly. Well, I should mention that my Ford hood badge is somewhere on I-95. At least the motor was flawless- even got me 34 mpg on the drive home. It didn't last. I'm not sure what happened or when, but right now the noise from that bottom end is frightening. My guess is I should've used oversized bearings. I'm sure the crank is just a little smaller than it used to be.

The trans? Well, sometime in 2001 my uncle decided he was going to make me an exhaust cutout to unleash the power. It unleashed noise and nothing more. While doing a burnout to test this unleashed power, my shift fork unleashed. I was more than 200 miles from home in Ithaca, NY. That sucked, because I had to wait for almost a week for this trans shop to find a trans in the junk yard. All is well now, and I've improved my shifting skills, but I'll never forget that.

The interior? The dash is cracked worse than most Escorts I've seen- even ones in the junk yard. The back seats disappeared along time ago, when I didn't have to take my buddy's sister to school with us anymore. An EXP filler piece fills the divit, along with the EXP carpet and the chrome bar thing. I put a battery on the passenger floor, only to find out it was leaking. Well, it didn't turn out well for my carpet. I replaced the seats with Cavalier seats I found in the junk yard. Biggest mistake I've made. My tall frame was getting tired of my stock seats being to high, so these seats are much lower. I had to modify my now-too-high center armrest using a console lid from an Integra. Underneath, I fit cup holders- yes cup holders! I was proud of that feat, and the armrest looks factory. But the seats look like ass, and they aren't that comfortable. Stock GT seats looked right in that car, and were comfy. I found out later that the GT seat brackets are taller than standard seats, and all I had to do was swap them. Someday I'll make good on that, but the cup holders will stay.

The paint? It had none when I bought it, and it as less now. The clear coat on the medium shadow blue metallic flaked away decades ago, leaving everything to fade. There is a cool ESCORT GT stripe that I think looks really awesome on the car. I've seen other med. shadow blue Escorts, and they all looked very drab without the stripe to liven it up.

The electronics? I'm on my 13th alternator and fourth alternator harness in 8 years. I've wired in quite a few pairs of fog lamps- one time I had two pairs at once. I swaped out the seat belt release indicator for another foglamp switch to light both pairs. They looked pretty good, but the wiring corroded away, forcing me to do it over again. I wired in a head unit- to this day sounds great. I changed all the speakers with larger pioneer speakers, and even added tweeters on the a-pillers. I spliced in three-wire two-way bulb sockets into the brake light locations, giving me 4 taillights, instead of 2. I've added a battery gage and an a/f gage- both have proved suprisingly useful. I've done a lot of little custom tweeks here and there, to personalize my car.

Overall? I retrofitted the A/C, and the compressor clutch stopped working. I installed a rear wiper setup from the junkyard which works flawlessly- one of my finest achievements. Everytime I replace a ball joint, the other side goes bad. I installed a V6 Tempo swaybar from the junkyard, the car handles great. Every right side axle seal I've replaced leaked again right away. The Lynx clear corners look cool, the tail light mod I did works great, and I've completely replaced the pull type headlight switch with a turn knob and rewired it. Good, then bad. I don't think I can keep going, but there's so much more. You see, this car is a series of ups and downs. I've done some neat things to this car, but it's still just an Escort. But it's my Escort; the Escort. But it's still a piece of crap. I love this car, though.

But the best part? In spite of everything- the horrible rod knock, the non-existent paint, the leaking fluids, the clunks, the rattles, the smells- tomorrow morning I'm going to get in and drive it to work, like I've done every day for the better part of 8 years. And it will start. And I'll be at work on time.
 
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