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Suspension Interchangability Guide

90887 Views 102 Replies 50 Participants Last post by  Lynn Schell
I stole this from http://www.projectmazda.com 8) Gro Harlem wrote it up back in the ol ERDT days. Once of those missing pieces when it crashed.

This guide covers the various suspension parts that interchange between the following models:

* 1991-present Ford Escort
* 1997-present Ford ZX2
* 1991-present Mercury Tracer
* 1990-1994 Mazda Protege
* 1990-1994 Mazda 323
* 1992-1995 Mazda MX3

First of all....the 1990-1994 Protege and 323 are basically the same car, using the same chassis and unibody. The 1991-1996 Escorts and the 1997-present escorts and ZX2's use the SAME chassis as the Protege/323 (known as the BG chassis). Thus most every suspension part will interchange with a few minor exceptions. The Mazda MX-3 uses the same unibody as the Protege/323/ZX2/Escort/Tracer hence why so many suspension parts interchange. The MX-3, however uses a different chassis known as the "EC" chassis. The main differences between this chassis and the BG chassis is the different swaybar design that uses droplinks instead of endlinks. The control arms and trailing arms are of a different design and the rear disc brakes on GS models use different style calipers.

Strut Tower Bars-
It is easiest to find MX3 strut tower bars on ebay or online. All MX3 strut tower bars fit the 90-94 Protege, 2nd gen escort, 323, and the 3rd gen Escort and ZX2. The 3rd gens may require some re-location of various brackets as there are more systems (like ABS) and stuff. The rear bar does fit, but require trimming of your trunk interior to fit in the 97+ Escort sedan or ZX2 hatchback.

Tie Bars-
Not all tie bars fit all cars. An MX3 rear tie bar will not fit on a 3rd Gen as the mounting points are different. For rear tie bars, MX3 tie bars are easier to find than escort or protege tie bars. Front Tie bars from the Protege, will fit the 2nd gen escort. I don't know of anyone who fitted one to a 3rd gen Escort/ZX2, but it probably fits. I have a MX3 rear tie bar on my car, and it fit great.

All front swaybars interchange between the Protege/323/Escort/ZX2, as does the rear bars. The MX3's bars WILL NOT fit any of these models. This is because they utilize horizontally mounted droplinks rather than the vertically mounted endlinks found on BG chassis cars.

Control arm, Trailing arm, Steering rack and swaybar endlink kits will interchange between the Protege/323/Escort/ZX2, and possibly the MX-3 (no one has tested them). Shift stabilizer bushings are the same between all Protege's, 323's, MX3's and 2nd gen Escorts and Tracers (1991-1996). The 97+ Escort and ZX2 use larger in diameter bushings which will not fit.

Motor Mounts-
The engine mounts for the Protege, 323, 1991-1996 Escort & Tracer, and 4 cylinder MX-3 RS are the same. The 97+ Escort and ZX2 may use the same mounts, but no one has yet to test this. The #1 and #2 lower transmission mounts for the ZX2 will interchange as the Protege/323/2nd gen Escort&Tracer and MX-3 RS however. (this has been tested). Since the MX-3 GS uses a V6, none of the enigne mounts are the same and will not interchange with the exception of the #4 mount located under the battery tray (upper transmission mount).

All MX3, Protege, 323, ZX2, and Escort struts will fit one another, but the ZX2 SR (and maybe all 3rd gens) use a larger diameter strut shaft. so you will need to use ZX2 thrust bearings (also known as strut bearings) if you want to use the ZX2 SR Tokicos. These are easiy modified into the MX3, Protege, 323 or 2nd gen Escorts upper hat. Please note that the ZX2 SR struts are .5" shorter in legnth.

Springs & Coilovers-
All spring will interchange but each spring is designed with the cars weight in mind, so if you put MX3 springs on your Escort, the spring rates aren't going to be correct, so keep that in mind.

Coilovers seem to fit, but Let it be known that most won't fit the ZX2 SR Tokico struts without having to shave down the shaft (which is too fat to slip the sleeve over). All otehr struts will accept the coilovers fine.

Strut Mounts-
All strut mounts are identical for all of the forementioned cars (Protege, 323, Tracer, Escort, ZX2 and MX3).

All of the forementioned cars use the same 4x100mm bolt pattern and use similar offsets. All of their wheels will interchange. All of these models tire and rims sizes are listed below:

1990-1991 Mazda Protege 4WD: 185/65R14
1990-1994 Mazda Protege SE/DX: 175/70R13
1990-1994 Mazda Protege LX: 185/60R14
1992-1995 Mazda MX-3 RS: 185/65R14
1992-1994 Mazda MX-3 GS: 205/55R15
1991-1993 Ford Escort Pony, LX and Wagon: P175/70r13
1994-1996 Ford Escort Base, LX and Wagon: P175/65r14
1991-1993 Mercury Tracer Base and Wagon: P175/70r13
1994-1996 Mercury Tracer Base and Wagon: P175/65r14
1991-1996 Tracer LTS: P185/60r14
1991-1996 Escort GT: P185/60r15
1991-1993 Ford Escort LX-E: P185/60r15
1997-2003 Ford Escort & some ZX2's: 185/65R14
1997-2004 Ford ZX2 w/wheel option: 185/60R15
1997-1999 Ford ZX2 SR: 205/55ZR15 with a unique wheel style

Hubs, Rotors and Calipers-

There are two different diameters of drive-axles used in the BG and EC chassis cars. There is the F-series transmission and G-series transmission found in these vehicles. All of these cars have identical wheel bearings, hubs and brake calipers and rotors/drums, and use the same brakepads and shoes. I will break down the cars in terms of which use F-series transmission and which use G-series transmissions: *Please note this does not mean these transmissions are interchangeable with these cars. It means that you can interchange internals from one to another.*

F-Series transmissions:

1990-1994 Mazda Protege DX and Mazda 323
1991-1996 Ford Escort Pony, LX 3 and 5 door hatchbacks and 4-door sedans and Mercury Tracer (base)
1992-1995 Mazda MX-3 RS

G-Series Transmissions:

1990-1994 Mazda Protege LX
1991-1996 Ford Escort GT, LX-E and Mercury Tracer LTS and Ford Escort Wagon
1992-1994 Mazda MX-3 GS
1997-2003 Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer with 2.0 SPI engine
1997-2004 Ford ZX2
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whats up!!!!

YO! i understand that maybe my scort looks different but i will tell u this.... i am constructing my enterpretation of a GT/CS rally car... out here in californioa u have all these honda boys that think they r fast and soon i will show them that a scort can smoke them with a wing and scoop that looks ricer.....

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I like it, to each there own. I like different. I am sure people have no idea what it is. I feel I get that too. It would look smoother one color, but everything is a work in progress. Did you blend the fenders?

no i did not blend them.... when i did the swap, i was trying to figure that out.... major told me what to do and it seemed too much.... that is why i added the 1st gen GT side skirts.... before it did look OK, but now with the skirts on, the fenders to door line looks better......

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would coil overs from a 93 Probe GT fit a 91 escort GT? I have a set of tiens and would love to mount them on my EGT
stock ford probe springs have been used but on one escort that i know of to lower it. they don't cause the stock struts to bottom out according to the owner but a lot of members have said they will bottom out with aftermarket coil overs at their lowest point. so if u do plan to use the tiens, u would need to get aftermarket struts.
I believe Tien's are full coilovers.
so they're not like the adjustable ones u see on ebay?
V8LTD would have to tell us what they are like but I'm thinking they are like the K-sport ones which are far beyond what you are thinking of. TEIN coilovers are around $1,600
yes these tiens are not just the springs... they are full coil overs like the k-sports ( $1100 ). I have these for a 93 Probe GT and would love to use them on my 91 EGT will they fit with out rebuilding the whole car LOL?
even if i have to use some shims that would be fine with me. has anyone ever used probe shocks on a EGT before?
i've been told probe struts won't bolt to an escort chassis. but u can use stock probe springs on escort struts to lower the car.
Josh_LX put K-Sports for an MX6 in his 2nd gen so probe ones should fit. He didn't say which year MX6 though. He did have to weld an extension onto the rear spindle mount though.
http://www.feoa.net/modules.php?name=Fo ... ic&t=38149
http://www.feoa.net/modules.php?name=Fo ... ic&t=38935
so if i understand correctly, probe struts will bolt right in on the front but not so much for the rear without doin some modification. i can't remember if there was anything needed for the 3rd gen rear struts(excluding zx2) but if not then with the springs being a bit thicker and an inch shorter than the 2nd gens should lower my rear a little. i think this would be a sweet set up using junkyard parts for those, like me, that have a 2nd gen wagon and can't afford good quality aftermarket struts and springs
juggalo said:
i can't remember if there was anything needed for the 3rd gen rear struts(excluding zx2)
2nd gen, 3rd gen, and ZX2 rear struts are pretty much one and the same.
now i'm seeing the light heh
bout to snatch the rear Sway bar out of my moms wrecked 94 Wagon for my Green 2Dr, any other suggestions? what else will I need from the rear suspension for the sway bars to match up? Still have stock Drums, (which only work when using the E-brake for some dumb reason).

Also using Motor and tranny, since the motor was just rebuilt, the tranny don't leak, and my clutch is shot. Windshield is getting taken out for the red Escort, and the Tranny from mine will convert it to a 5-speed. U say the rear Springs are stiffer than my 2Dr? the struts are completely shot in it, but we were looking to remove most of the suspension once its on the car trailer to be scrapped.

Just trying to get my $300 back from buying it back from the insurance company.
the rear wagon springs will raise the rear on sedans and coups. nezwick did that. 3rd gen springs r a little bit stiffer than 2nd gens and an inch shorter
95EscortDriver said:
Still have stock Drums, (which only work when using the E-brake for some dumb reason).
I would look into that. Only the mechanical e-brake operating is not ideal. You have an issue with your hydraulics; bad line, wheel cylinders or the shoes are way out of adjustment, but that usually gives a low pedal.
95EscortDriver said:
Still have stock Drums, (which only work when using the E-brake for some dumb reason).
You have an issue with your hydraulics; bad line, wheel cylinders or the shoes are way out of adjustment, but that usually gives a low pedal.
surprisingly, my front brakes darn near lock up at the slightest touch, my Clutch is spuratic at best though. so I could agree with the Hydrolics being jacked.

not looking to hike the rear any higher than it is, thank you it's too high. rides like a freak of nature drag car with the rear hiked like it is, was looking to get drop springs for the rear to try and lower it about to level.

so am I right about the rear sway bars being better? and will I need anything besides the rear sway bar just to swap it over?
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