*Photobucket is doing maintenance, please excuse the lack of photos* (still adding photos)
Figured I'd make a worklog of this car by now.. it's been taking great care of me since November of last year. I purchased the car in lieu of the sale of a motorcycle I had. Basically, the fiance needed a safer form of transportation on her 25mi round trip to work every day. Found an ad on Craigslist, guy asking $1100. Checked out the car with my friend. Overall, it functioned like a 20 year old car. I offered $900 and had myself a new fixxer-upper.
I couldn't resist modding the car, so my first mod was an intake resonator mod I deduced myself. Basically, I transformed the long resonator into a snorkel for cool air to come through the grill into the intake. Not sure if this mod really works! I also installed some new spark plugs the same day as I knew the car was in need of a tune up.
A moving permit was purchased and insurance was placed on the car.
I first noticed several issues that needed working on, but each issue had to be addressed separately as I was short on cash after just moving to Vegas. The first thing I noticed was the car had no shock-absorbtion left. I just so happened to have a set of Progress springs and used S/R struts in storage from my turbo car getting coilover treatment, so I made sure I grabbed those the next trip I made to Mesquite. The car needed new strut mounts, too, so I found a pair for sale on here and grabbed 'em for $30 shipped. Once installed, the new-found handling was definitely an upgrade, as the previous setup was like riding in a boat on a windy day at the lake. This is where I got the name for the car.
I have always been on the hunt for MX3 seats and finally thought I stumbled upon a nice pair. Bought them for $52 from the junkyard. Upon installation, I discovered the driver seat was crooked and probably couldn't be realigned. Now I drove with a 'Fat Joe' status. The seats also placed me at least three inches lower in the car, which I enjoyed a lot. You could reach out with the door open and touch the ground without much effort.
Went to some car club meets:
The next issue to iron out was my fuel delivery. The car would have a hard time starting usually, so I soon replaced the fuel filter. This did not change the starting issue. Since the pump whined when cornering with 4 gallons or less of fuel, I figured the pump must need replacing. Found a remanned pump on RockAuto for $27 and also purchased a new tank lock ring and seal (big mistake--more to come later). The same day, I also replaced the cracking driver side brake line in hopes it would remedy the brake fluid leak I had. Didn't change anything.. Also cleaned the VAF because I noticed how dirty it was.
In order to properly register the car, I had to take the car to get 'Smogged'. Basically, the car passed but developed a coolant leak while running the test. The leak was a slight trickle, and I noticed the exhaust was burning it off just before the flex pipe. This had me worried--had my car acquired a head gasket leak? I soon ran a gasket leak test and had inconclusive results. I continued to drive the car, as my daily driver was almost due to be put in the body shop because some idiot teenager caved in my driver side rear quarter panel. One day the leak became larger and I noticed the issue was a coolant line leading to the intake manifold.
An issue I had not really been a fan of was the sloppy shifter. I had some spare parts from my turbo car, and one of them was an Ebay short shifter. I had also purchased a set of Corksport shifter/3rd link bushings for both of my cars. These were installed the same day. I really enjoyed the new performance of the shifter.
On the way home from installation, I discovered the battery was on its last limb. I was soon left stranded six blocks from home, in the furthest lane from the sidewalk. The coolant leak was also very apparent at this point, as smoke was billowing from under the hood as I sat in disgust at a red light, face palm and all. I pushed the car, alone, three lanes over, into a parking lot, and kicked the tire. My fiance soon showed up to assess the situation. She was upset and felt bad for me, however she set herself on a mission. She and I took off in my other car to Walmart for a new battery. Shortly after the purchase, we hauled balls on over to Pepboys to buy some coolant hose, some RTV, and a flashlight, to fix the leak. I performed a temporary fix on the coolant lines by rerouting them to only the throttle body and bypassing the intake manifold altogether. This proved to work, although the car ran substantially rich from the 'fix' because it took longer for the coolant temp to rise to proper operating temp. This did not bother me, as the car soon relearned and had an easier time getting to operating temp.
At this point, a lot of issues were addressed with the car and I was fairly happy.
The hard start issue was still irritating me, so I finally got around to installing the new fuel pump, lock ring, and o-ring. The pump was a very quick and painless install, although the lock ring proved difficult to install, as it was too small. I made it work though, for the time being. The car seemed to enjoy the new fuel pump whilist driving, although my hard start issue was not resolved.
I was sort of lost at this point as to what this issue could be, so I started doing odd things to the car. My first thought was a plugged exhaust, so I pulled the rear muffler off. It bolts on about at the rear subframe, so removal was very simple. The car fired up much easier at this point, so I rejoiced that the issue was finally fixed. WRONG. The next day, my car had the same hard starting issue. If you're lost as to what this is, basically my car took a very long time to start, usually requiring 15 seconds or more of cranking over.
In January, I snagged a K&N panel filter, from a Volvo, in the junkyard, for $5. I cleaned it and trimmed it to fit the GT airbox:
April of 2012, I ran into issues with filling up the tank. It appears the lock ring had come loose or lost its sealing ability. Things got crazy at this point, as I had to get the car ready for a car show. My buddy and I cranked down the ring by bending the tabs down on the fuel tank, just as a temporary fix. I decided at this point something had to be done about this shitty lock ring. I washed the car and semi-prepared it for the show. Worked on removing all the goop off the headlights, as there were rock chip covers that were installed to reduce the chance of an RV towing it to throw up a rock. Also added Ford badges to the car, as they were missing from both the grille and hatch. Car looked great when all was done. Also added my Konig Foil 16x7 wheels to the car to complete 'the look'.
*disclaimer* this was a dumbass move of me */disclaimer*
The night before the car show, I visited Vatozone for a one-item purchase. I bought super glue in hopes the o-ring would seal around the tank. It held.
The next morning, I woke up about 5:30 AM to meet up for the car show. Rolled out with several members of my car club and we soon found ourselves situated at the show area of the car show. I entered my car in the open-class autocross, which required no helmets, just to get an idea of how it handled. That was the most fun I had racing in a long time. Ate some cones and smoked some Mustangs around the course.
About three days after the car show, I decide it's time to do some work on the car. I removed the buddy bar with the help of a friend and a plasma cutter. Was very pleased with the outcome.
I was at a friend's house one day and installed the new cap and rotor I bought from Oreilly's for a decent price ($16). This did not remedy the hard starting issue. I got too fed up with the hard starting issue and discussed the potential causes with him. We considered the fuel pressure regulator may be at fault, so I strolled outside to give it a test. Primed the fuel pump a few times and tried to start the car. Fired right up. Hmm.. why? Pulled the vacuum line on the FPR and discovered fuel had been leaking past the diaphragm this whole time! Wow, I was estatic and pissed all at the same time! I soon looked for prices on new FPR's, and discovered they were pretty expensive. I took the Oreilly employee's advice and hit the junkyard. The first car I found with a 1.8 DOHC was a '92 Mercury Tracer LTS, and bingo! A new FPR mounted on the fuel rail. Damn, was I giddy. The next car I came across was a '92 EGT with some aftermarket spark plug wires (still don't know the brand to this day.. gook as fuuuuu). Awesome.
These parts went on later that night, after I learned how to remove the fuel line from my car's FPR (I cut the line at the JY). I was surprised to learn that the quick disconnect tools were just small discs that you pressed into the line. Cleaned up the wires and put them on. I was very happy with the new results. Car fired right up with no hesitation.
A week or two later, I grabbed an OEM fuel tank lock ring and o-ring from the yard to install on the car. The OEM one was about 2mm wider in diameter and fit the tabs much more solidly. The glued on o-ring had to be removed with a gasket scraper, as the glue had done a number to the area the o-ring sat in. Upon replacement of the shitty parts, I now had a fully functioning fuel pump, aside from a low fuel reading, which I believe may be from floater location.
Not much modding was done to the car for some time, but in the process of tearing down my silver '03 for the turbo build, I grabbed the old ES mount inserts and installed them on DHOOPTY. Upon removal of the EGT mounts, I recognized both had been replaced at some point in time and a mod was performed to make the rear one more accessible, which made me very happy. After installation, I noticed an instant difference and loved it. The engine used to rock like a twenty year old car, and now it held solid. At this point, I had several driver mods that made me very proud to drive the car:
Corksport shifter bushings
Ebay short shifter
ES trans inserts
ZX2 strut mount upgrade
K&N panel filter
I was tired of the factory muffler at this point and wanted some noise. My buddy offered a turbo muffler off an SVO he used to own. 3" inlet, 4" tip. Bought a reducing coupler from Vatozone and made it fit. Was very pleased with the sound of this muffler on an otherwise factory exhaust:
And basically, this is where I'm at now.. I have plans for the car, but they'll have to wait until I finish the turbo car.
Last edited by The_underclassman; 06-23-2012 at 05:07 PM.
...............____............Originally Posted by zx2loon
'03 MTX - Intake - Header - Suspension - Interior.. boosted soon
'91 EGT MTX - MX3 Recaros - K&N panel filter - Diy snorkel - corksport shifter bushings - zxtuner shifter - progress springs - s/r struts
'98 MTX - being built 350whp / 330wtq
Have you repped someone helpful today?
need pikturez. great story did i sell you them strut mounts?
01 ZX2 w 155k ~ S/R NGP0, MMI, S/R B&M W Bronzoil Bushings, S/R Cluster, S/R Borla, OBX Header, Front & Rear ES MM Inserts, Fidanza Flywheel, Zxtuner headlights, Charcoal Leather Interior, 00 Focus Leather Knob, ZX2 Armrest.
Added some pics. Adding more after work.
Its nice to see a 2nd Gen on the road again. Nice ride bud, can't wait to see more updates on it.
them 2nd gens are more common then a z around here.. see 3 or 4 a day lol whereas ill see a z once or twice a week.
Moar pics added
Dhoopty got a few things.. 205/50-16 Yokohama S-Drives and an S/R Borla muffler.
In other news, I am paying a member of ClubProtege for some intake manifold work (it's called the cut intake mod), which is a deletion of the divider in the manifold that activates the VICS system (which is quite similar to the SVT DSIM), which increases airflow to the VICS and makes my top end come on sooner. Then it's off to JohnP for an extrude hone and blending. This intake manifold is gonna flow like mad!
For that, I need a better intake side altogether, so I am acquiring a non-turbo RX7 VAF, which is an airflow meter that flows 20% better than my OEM VAF. I'll have to build an intake pipe to join all this together, and I think I'm only going 2.5" for it as you guys remember the gains the Hotshot intake had on the ZX2.. it was 2.25"! I figure 2.5" will be fine for the power I'm looking to make.
After that's done, I plan to do my timing belt and drop in a redrilled/cut exhaust cam into the intake slot for another 7whp or so. That should conclude my engine mods for a while until I decide to swap out the factory exhaust manifold. Then it'll be header, wideband, and injectors.
when you put head in you need to put this too
how is the K&N mod holding up? It should work but I was wondering how it holds up after being oiled
I keep asking myself if that's my radiator, but that appears to be for a non-zx2 radiator!
Checked the K&N a while ago and everything looked fine. I'll check again tomorrow.
that radiator pictured is a new one for the escort like you have. It looks the same as yours except it is missing one part for the lower hose used on the zx2.
the rims you are using from the 03 look good on the gt
I may be interested in the radiator at a later date, but right now it has fresh coolant and is running at the proper temperature.
I'm thinking about installing a cylinder head after the 03 is running--or possibly building an engine. Should cost around $900 when all is said and done.
And thanks, I really like the wheels.
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