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I've searched around, but haven't found any info on exactly what UK cars (if any) the 1st gen US suspension is most similar to. I'm really interested in some upgraded control arm and sway bar bushings. I've looked on burtonpower, but don't know what generation of UK car to choose. Any advice?
 

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Generally speaking this is UnexplodedCow's expertise, at least with the help he's given me.

IIRC he told me mk3/mk4 are the same as ours, but don't hold me to that.
 

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They are the same as US 1st gens. Check out www.burtonpower.com, as they have a very wide selection of upgraded suspension that will bolt right into our cars, including coilover setups (and replacement rear strut towers if needed). They even have rear disc brake, and big brake kits. It's a pretty comprehensive list.
 

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Is there an importer for the EU spec Escort parts on the US? I just joined this board and I am starting building a 1988 Escort GT.

Front and rear suspension is the same? Is the brake booster/master cylinder the same? It looks like the the RS Turbo S1/S2 has bigger breaks than the US. Just wondering if it will work ok.

Would it be better to use the spindle from the pre-85 Escort to switch brakes or to import ones from the UK?
 

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The rear spindle is the same between all the years. The front spindle changed, and the earliest ones ('81-'83 to my knowledge) are the split bearing types that the UK uses. Technically the later model, single bearing knuckles are upgrades, considering they come from the Tempo, which carries more weight.

There is no importer I know of for Escort parts, foreign or domestic. You would have to do it yourself, pretty much, or we get a group order going. If you get big brakes, I'd suggest just going for a floating rotor Wilwood setup with quad piston calipers, and rear discs. Of course you'd need a new master/proportioning valve by then, but it would be well worth it. If you're just going for a road car, the stock brakes are surprisingly good, and I recently found stock size (9") slotted rotors and ceramic pads for the front. They work much better than the OEM ones I had before. Another thought: rear brakes are only worth 10% of the stopping power on a FWD vehicle.
 

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MK3 and 4 are the same chassis, but with minor suspension, engine, and fascia mods. It's like the difference when Ford switched to the 1.9L engine, Tempo knuckles, and 14" rims as standard.

Yes, rear discs do look better. However, if you choose form, think about rear discs because they are far less prone to locking up, or rusting out if they catch water. A drum can catch water and rust, causing problems, they require more brake fluid, which means more pedal travel, and they will lock a whole lot easier than a disc. For high performance, I'd go with disc.
 

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I was looking at going with the RS S1 spindle so that I could use the UK front brakes, which are about 1" bigger than ours. To get the car on the road I am just going to use the stock brakes with good pads for now. That cost to go with rear disc is not worth it for the amount the rear brakes work.

Back to suspension, my biggest fear is not being able to find a set of springs and dampers that work together and work with the car. I have a set of Ground Control Coil-Overs for the car, but they are too short and too stiff for the dampers on the car. The KYB's are the only ones here in the US that I have found to be better than just stock. But I don't know if they are able to dampen the coil-overs.
 

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The KYBs, if memory serves, are not meant for lowered cars. I could be wrong, however. I was looking at springing for a set of Gaz shocks a few years back, and going with coilovers on all corners. It wouldn't be cheap, but I imagine the handling would improve a bit.

I also have to admit that the stock 9" front discs are pretty good, especially if you use slotted rotors and ceramic pads. I've noticed a marked difference in stopping power, and fade especially, with the new brakes. They're ATE slotted rotors, btw.

If you've got the 8" rear drums, you're fine for rear stopping power imo. The 7" just doesn't cut the mustard, but that 1" definitely makes a difference.
 

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My big thing with wanting the rear discs was about look as well. I think it's goofy looking to see a car all done up with paint and wheels just to see drums on the back.

I will agree that the braking power of the escort is pretty decent, but whenever they start to get warm I can tell they just don't have the power anymore.
 

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Been meaning to pick them up; just toooo lazy to order them.

Back to the suspension... Would it be bunches of work to do coil-overs all around?
 

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Coil over suspension up front already exists...since the coil is over the strut. Yes, I'm picking nits. Anyway, front is easy to do. Just slip the strut into the knuckle, and have fun adjusting the springs.

The rear is another story. You need very small diameter springs to start with, and then struts to match, along with control arms to replace the heavy stamped ones the stock springs sit in. The rear struts should take the stress, as they're plenty beefy. If you're doubting this, you can always weld in Tempo rear towers, as they are designed for coil over struts, just like the front.
 

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I'll have to look more into my car I guess. I'd eventually like to make my car into a rally-style/corner beast.

I figure stiffer suspension would help me loads over my 20 year old sagging springs; however there's a point where too stiff could be a problem right? And you want a little bit of play?
 

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The KYBs, if memory serves, are not meant for lowered cars.
I actually checked this out myself a while back, and in some vague official documentation on their site they specified that the GR2's allowed lowering springs with up to 1.5 inches of drop. I'm 99% certain of this, I just can't find the info at the moment. I've also read about people going a lot lower on them for years without any problems, but obviously luck could be a factor in that.
 

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What I am planning on doing for now is just get the car back on the road. Rust and paint is top on my list of things to do. I have the GC Coil-overs in the front. I am planning on going with the KYB's for now, Brembo rotors, Ceramic pads, new wheel bearings and bushings. Those parts are cheap, so I am not concerned.

Over the next few years I will go to the Turbo RS spindles and brakes, GAZ coil-overs in all four corners. After calling around I found a few connections to the UK for parts. That will help shipping cost.
 

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Brembo OEM rotors? I didn't find any upgrades from them that fit.

What are those connections, man? There are a few of us here who've wanted UK parts. Might do a group order, or something.
 

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On the Tire Rack's website they have OEM Brembo rotors, they are $25.00 each. They will be a lot stronger than most rotors.

I am still working on the contacts, but my best friend works for TiAl Sport and he send stuff back and forth to the UK a lot, also he deals with Burton Power. So I am going to see what I can do. I can't guaranty anything, but I am going to see what I can do. I will be sure to express the needs of 1st gen EGT owners in the US and lack of parts.
 

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The reviews I read of them said they rusted quickly, which is why I went for the ATE slotted ones; they have a paint on them.

Yeah, any 1st gen owner (even non-GT) can fit the parts, and there is a serious lack of support. It's just pathetic that even Eibach stopped making springs for our cars.
 
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