1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia

1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia (25)

The Escort had a 1700 xflow engine and a few rusty panels. The car has competed in the Old Skool Ford Drag Challenge with some success. More power is always required so the car is now being rebuild with a Turbocharged engine with the aim to hit somewhere between 300 and 340bhp.

Rebuild of the Escort - aka The Pheonix

15 November 2018 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 1089
After the fire in 2016 only the basics were repaired to continue racing for the season. The Escort "aka The Pheonix" is now ready to have some major work carried out to it. The bodywork is having replacement metal and GRP panels for weight saving. An Airtec intercooler , radiator and twin fan combo has been sourced together with a Mustang 8" rear axle and 4 link setup and lighweight racing seats. Boot has been aligned and fitted whilst the front end has just been placed on to see how it will look.

Engine progress

25 February 2016 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 883

Here we have some progress on the engine ancillaries. A few second hand parts have been purchased such as ignition module, front half of propshaft, throttle cable, consult diagnostic plug with tail of wires, wastegate solenoid valve and bracket and instrument cluster.

New parts purchased are magnetic sump plug, K&N oil filter, engine and gearbox oil, gasket sealant, ancillary belt, exhaust studs and nuts, stainless steel performance race exhaust manifold, stainless steel exhaust turbo elbow with screamer pipe, turbo install kit with braided steel 4AN oil feed line and braided steel 6AN water lines.

All hoses, inlet manifold, throttle body etc. have been cleaned up. ECU has had the NATS removed by Horsham Developments. Consult plug wired up. The Escort has been wired up just enough to turn the engine over.  The next stage is sorting out the wiring for the ECU, fuse boxes and relays.

New gearbox mount

24 February 2016 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 802

The next stage is to fabricate a new gearbox mount. I purchased a performance polyurethane bush from a company in Poland. This was shipped to UK in 3 days at half the price of the UK suppliers. Slight modification to internal gearbox tunnel made. Templates made and gearbox mount fabricated. All metal primered and painted for protection before being mounted up with new bolts.

Escort turning Japanese

24 February 2016 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 842

The engine was trail fitted with all the ancillaries to see what space we had. The next stage was to remove all ancillaries and position the engine in place in order to fabricate some engine/chassis mounts. The existing engine mounts were cut from the crossmember and new ones fabricated after creating a small jig to hold the tubes in place while welding. The existing engine mounts were modified to take the tubes. The chassis was cleaned up and coated with weld through primer for protection. The engine is leveled using the bottom of the sump as the engine has a small incline to it. Mounts were primered and painted with what ever paint I had around just for some protection. Engine now sitting on new mounts installed in engine bay.

2015 ideas

24 February 2016 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 684

Once again we planned to complete the bodywork and race most of the 2015 OSFDC season. Well, it started ok with Round 1 completed after buying some slicks to further inprove traction. Then the idea of more power crept back into my head. I have been toiling of the idea of putting in a Nissan SR20DET (2 litre fuel injected, double overhead cams and turbo charged) for some time. I posted on the OSF forum the idea of selling our Escort running gear but was not expecting for it to be sold in under 24 hours. Well, that means the early end of our racing season.

The search was on for an engine and manual box. The photo shows the engine in a 1997 S14a Nissan 200SX which was purchased and pallet delivered to a local engineering firm.  I then collected this and the Escort engine bay awaiting its new transplant. The engine pushes out 202bhp as standard and we hope to get it somewhere around 300+bhp when we finish for the first stage. 

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