two_days_late's 1980 MK2 Escort Sport

26 posts in this topic

So after working on This car for longer than I care to admit, I've had a slight change of plans.


Managed to pick up this genuine sport that'd just been painted so made sense to grab that and put the motor / wheels / box / other sexy bits I've been building up in that, and finish it instead.

If anyone knows any history about the car, or has any old photos of it that would be awesome :D

How it looked when I picked it up



Starting the tear down process












Sorting out the wheels and guards






Paneling the engine bay









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Starting to fit the flares

Got this set of flares for $100 off TradeMe, they stick out 55ml. Far better option that the bigger ones that I had. Should look good once the airdam is on and they are molded to the body.






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Rear Guard Modification

Starting to modify the rear guards so there's plenty of room for the wheels with it sitting nice and low, and also allowing the flares to be molded on to the body properly.

Uncovered a bit of rust that had been bogged up prior to the paint a year or so ago.. a little bit concerning but can't do much now.







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More Guard Modification

One side of the car is done and in primer. Next up is the other side, then the front air-dam. Once those are on then it can finally get painted and get the sports striping on it.

Made the right decision by going with the 55ml wide flares, wheels will fit perfectly in there. Should look great once its sitting down at the right height.







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Front Air-Dam

Front air dam is on and molded to the body, looking good I reckon. One more Flare and a then its almost ready for the paint shop.




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Engine Bay & Guards Painted + Stripe Kit Applied

Engine bay and guards are all painted up and the stripe kit is on. Just need to finish under sealing the whole car, then paint for the bumpers, handles, around the windows etc. Some new rubbers might be in order to really set it off as well. Should look nice ones its sitting at the right height :D








Front End with Paint and All New Bushes



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Checking Front Ride Height

Making sure the front wheels wont rub with it sitting a more respectable ride height. Back wheels will be sitting slightly further under the guard, and lower.


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Just submitted the big order to Burton... should be here in a week or so. Images to follow :D


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Two brand new Weber DCOM's (Apparently the replacement for the DCOE) popped up on TradeMe with a manifold for a sweet price so I snapped them up. Already had a manifold that's been matched to the head porting so I now have 2xDHLA Dellorto's and a manifold for sale if anyone's interested.



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Parts from Burton

So after well over a month of waiting for my order its finally here. You guys were right, they are really slack at following through but after a few phone calls and emails it finally got shipped off. Was held up mucking around with customs etc for about a week in NZ but that's another story.

Few good bits in here, mainly the Alloy radiator, new single piece drive-shaft for the Sierra box, silicone hose kit, and front drive kit. Plus a bunch of gaskets, side entry dizzy cap, new performance leads, bolts and studs, thermostat, fuel pump blanking plate, engine back-plate, oil cap, electric radiator fan, and a new alternator (from TradeMe) that I can swap my polished housing into.

Good times!




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So finally progress is happening again!

Went back up to Gisborne for the rally last weekend and picked my car up from Dannevirke on the way back through.




The panel work is largely finished now, the whole thing has been undersealed as well, including inside the boot. There is a little bit of tidying up to do so I'll get some more underseal and do that when I get around to it. I also haven't done any of the black trim (mirrors/handles/bumpers/window trim) or the rubbers yet. Will do a full rubber kit and black paint at the same time, but for now the focus is getting it moving under its own power.

First step was to order some new bits and get some bits machined, so I have ordered:

- 2x Reconditioned DCOE Webers with linkages and filters, plus an electric fuel pump all jetted and choked etc for my engine from Weber Specialists in Auckland.

- Ashely Extractors from Palmside as it was going to cost me over $200 to get the cobys coated and then they would still just be cobys.

- Honda pre-engaged starter motor with adapter plate for the Sierra box from Palmside.

- 2x Kelpro urethane engine mounts.

- Dropped the gearbox at Cemeck Engineering in Petone to get shortened so I can keep my shifter hole.

- Also dropped the flywheel at Cemeck to get some grooves cut in the teeth to suit the new starter motor.



While I'm waiting for all these bits I've been getting the motor in a position where its ready to drop in the car. I've pulled the cross-member out and plan on bolting the engine and gearbox all together on the floor/trolley and the just lifting up the car and dropping it down on top of it. This means I am far less likely to scratch up my new paint dropping in an engine, and I can muck around with the new starter/clutch/engine backplate on the garage floor where I can see and get to everything easily.


Also needed to modify the engine mount brackets to suit the new style mounts. This involved cutting off the bonded rubber from the mounts (an old one on the left), then drilling a hole in the bracket followed by a spot of paint. Just like new.



Decided it was also a good time to fit the new front pulley kit... and neither of the pulleys fitted.... They were both really close though so just filed back the water pump a tad and now it is snug on there. For the crank pulley I got out the Dremel with a sanding bit and then a polishing bit until I could get it on the crank. Also fitting perfectly now.


That's all for now... hopefully some new bits show up in the next week or so.

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Small update: Box and flywheel are still at the machine shop.

Small bit of info in case anyone else gets caught out... It turns out that near the end of the production run Ford changed from a 110 tooth flywheel to a 135 tooth flywheel. Mine happened to be a 135 tooth flywheel, and the Palmside starter motor kits are toothed for the 110 tooth flywheel (The 135 tooth ones are quite uncommon... apparently). This means I had to find an older flywheel to get the ring gear swapped over from since my flywheel had already been re-drilled and doweled for the sierra clutch, and had also been lightened. On the plus side, it means I have a newish engine. So yea, if you are going to buy a pre-engaged starter kit from Palmside, make sure you have the 110 tooth flywheel first :D

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New Bolts!

Have got new bolts for nearly the whole engine, plus most of the front suspension/steering including some lowering blocks for the gearbox cross-member. This should tidy things up heaps.



I have 3 extra complete sets of all the engine bolts shown in the first photo for sale (thought i might as well import a few sets). PM me if you are interested.

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Gearbox is back from the Cemick Engineering in Petone where Carl shortened it down. I needed it to be 82ml shorter and he managed to get it to 75ml. Should be plenty though and means I can use the standard gear level hole, and have the shifter in the nice factory position. Also means I can keep the standard centre console.

Ended up costing $350 but that included swapping the ring gear over on my flywheel and then machining let-ins on the teeth for my new starter as well.

Have also replaced the front and rear oil seals, oil, gaskets, and bellhousing bolts .




A bit of paint and it's looking all good




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Productive night tonight.

Engine Backplate

Cut a piece out of the engine backplate so it slots in nicely with the starter motor adapter plate.


Clutch and Flywheel

Flywheel and clutch torqued and loctite'd. All very straight forward mating it up and aligning the clutch.


Engine and Box

Engine and box bolted together ready to go in.



Engine In

Jacked the car right up and just slid the whole drive train under the car, also pretty straight forward. Just need to sort out my gearbox crossmember and straighten up the engine now. Pretty sure all the paint will fall off as soon as it started but ah well.






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Converting Front Panel to RS Spec


Cut away the top of the radiator shroud, and cut away the bottom of the front panel to fit the new piece so there is enough clearance for the new larger radiator. Putting up a few photos as I had trouble working out what converting the front panel to RS spec actually meant so hopefully it helps someone else. Could have easily folded up the piece to put in but they are only 8 pounds from rally design. Will weld it and tidy up/paint next weekend. Sitting further forward and being slightly higher means I need some extensions for my front radiator hoses though as I can't find a Samco silcone hose the right size. If anyone knows of a Samco hose I can use without an extension then sing out. Also cut out the piece connecting the top and bottom of the front panel to make way for the electric fan.





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After not working on the car for a good year or so there has finally been some progress. First job is to tidy up the rest of the inside of the car, so I can paint it all up and then start thinking about wiring. 


Joe was awesome enough to donate some time and give me a hand with the long shitty job of stripping out the entire inside of the car. This includes stripping out the underseal in the boot as it never quite went off properly and I've decided to keep the boot white now. Anyway, pics:





Stay tuned for more updates. Matt

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