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 after fire damage

24 February 2016 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 533

The car was left for a couple of weeks feeling sorry for itself and me thinking of finishing for the year. The feeling of sickness inside had to stop. So, with two weeks to go for Round 5 meant a rapid plan had to be made in order to determine what was the minimum of items required to get the car ready to race.

The first picture is all the items removed that had fire damage - a big pile. Everything was stripped back, new battery leads made, new battery and connectors purchased and installed. New kill switch was purchased and installed for some added protection. New throttle cable, silicon hoses and fuel hose installed. New high torque starter motor fitted. A Lifeline 2000 plumbed in fire extinquisher purchased and installed. TRS tow loop added and a bonnet and lots of other bits sourced from The Escort Agency (thank you Martin).

A full on couple of weekends work, car loaded on trailer and last photo shows we made Round 5 at Shakespeare County Raceway. No one thought we would make it (even me) but we did and finished all 7 rounds with the last one getting into the 15s. A positive end to the years racing.

Escort catches fire

24 February 2016 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 496

During Round 4 of the OSFDC at Santa Pod your worst nightmare happened when just turning off the drag strip the car misfired and lost power. I pulled over and then flames started coming from the bonnet. It seemd to take an age when I thought s*** the car is on fire I had better get out of the car. There was a dragster waiting to be towed back to the pits and the driver ran up to my car with a fire extinguisher to try and put the fire out. Marshals were summoned and whilst waiting for them you felt totally helpless watching the fire get more aggressive. To cut a long story short the fire was put out and the pictures below show what a state the car was left in.

2014 update

24 February 2016 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 508

The plan for 2014 was to attend all the OSFDC rounds and carry out a few upgrades and even try and get the car painted. In order to increase traction I designed and fabricated a Caltrac System after doing some research on the internet.

The gallery below shows while the rear wheels were off I cleaned up under the rear arches and gave a coat of underseal, fabricating and installing the Caltrac system. While at the back end I purchased a 4.1 diff and got that welded up by Huxley Motorsport. This was installed with new gasket, bolts and fresh oil. Lastly, the car waiting in the fire up lane at Santa Pod.

2013 push

12 November 2013 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 1169

Time to get the Escort out from under the covers and back on the road.

Pictures in the Gallery below will see the car under cover which has been too long. Covers off, engine out to see what that small knocking noise was. Engine stripped, issue was found where the crankshaft was catching the sump baffle. It was very small, this was sorted out by cutting the baffle plate out. New gaskets and ARP head bolts fitted. An addition was a pair of Weber DCOE 40 carbs. The K&N filters did not fit past the servo :( This was cured with a new set of super lighweight ram pipes. What I did not realise at the time after waiting many weeks we had to get different Venturis.  Anyway, a new set purchased, fitted and ram pipes installed. I damaged the dipstick tube trying to take it off. Luckily, I had some silicon hose left over which was the correct size. A few measurements and new diptsick tube sorted.

Some more additions was a new electronic ignition set from Accuspark, new red top fuel pump and fuel king regulator/filter. All this was fitted, engine back in car and we had some real issues getting the car setup with the new ignition. At the 11th hour this was sorted, so we thought!! Read up here when we took the car to Round 6 of the Old Skool Ford Drag Racing Championship.

New rear arches were fitted with a splash of primer to protect the metal before getting the car to Round 7 (last round). Unfortunately, the car played up and it was decided to give it a miss. It was a long way to go knowing the car was not right.

Next stage is to get the car running right which I think we now have. A new brake pipe on the front was made up and fitted. Another new brake pipe running across the rear axle is required for the new MOT rules (a slight bit or rust on the pipe). This will be done soon and the car can go for MOT.

So will the car be ready for a full season of Drag Racing in 2014? YES, it is ready now :)

Refreshed engine and gauges

08 July 2011 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort Ghia 608

The 1660 crossflow has now been removed to go back into my Cortina. The 1700 crossflow has been cleaned up, new rings and performance head gasket fitted, electronic ingition and the twin 40s borrowed for now.

1700 xflow2March 2010 - 1700 crossflow pictured showing off its new performance head gasket. New rings fitted as a couple of the top rings had broken.
1700 xflow complete1700 crossflow assembled ready to be fitted back into the Escort. Fuel blanking plate, electronic ignition, water pump and all new gaskets and oil filter installed.
monster tachoA new 11,000 rpm tacho fitted with shift light. This gauge also houses a water temp, oil pressure and oil temperature gauge. Nice and compact.

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